ICS Magazine

Fun Marketing - "How We Can Help Each Other"

August 9, 2008


This is my final chapter on networking, “the least expensive life-changing and business-changing marketing strategy ever.” As I think about relationship building, I may come back to this subject in the future, but I think eight installments should give you a good picture of the world of networking.

I encourage you to practice the skill of building mutually beneficial relationships. I call it “Fun Marketing.” To me, it is fun to go out and meet people. It’s easy and, to me, it is encouraging, though if you are not used to doing it, you may not see it that way at first. Just yesterday I popped into a carpet store that I visit about every 6 weeks. Typically, whenever I am in the area, I pop in with a box of chocolates or something like that. The owner is rarely there, but when he is, I like to talk to him because he has been referring me since my first year in business almost 24 years ago.

There is no pressure, no games to play. Just two old friends shootin’ the breeze, just having fun. As business consultant (and my friend) Ellen Rohr always says, “What could be more fun than giving away free food, free cleaning, and free money?” Of course, I did make sure I shared some new ways we could “help each other,” the focus of this month’s column.

Write down the phrase “How we can help each other.” Remember, when you want to build a mutually beneficially relationship, there has to be value on both sides. If I tell you how I can help you, your first thought might be, “What’s this going to cost me?”

On the other hand, telling you how you can help me is quite selfish. So use the powerful phrase, “I have some ideas on how we can help each other.” If you have positioned yourself as a consultant and a sharp business owner rather than as a cleaning technician, any business owner worth his salt will be open to discovering how you can help each other.

Throughout the past seven installments, you have learned how to position yourself, and you have learned how to follow up. Once you follow up, you want to begin exploring ways to help each other. 

Programs to Offer

You want to have some marketing programs that will benefit both of you. Before sharing those programs, you may want to ask if they have thought about ways you can benefit them or their clients. If not, share some of your ideas. For example, if you offer the “free room” or “free trial” concept, talk about the benefit to them of using it. If you have a Referral Reward program, share that with them. Let them know that you are willing to do a presentation to their staff or networking groups. You may want to do a joint mailer to their client base. All of these can be powerful tools. 

If I Might Recommend...

If you want to be a better networker, here are a few books to get started. This is by no means a complete list, as there are many books on referrals and networking.
  1. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” – Dale Carnegie. This book contains practical information on how to treat people. Concepts that we forget in today’s post-modern world.
  2. “Relationship Selling” – Jim Cathcart. Jim is a highly acclaimed public speaker, the past president of the National Speaker’s Association and more. Relationship selling reminds us to “become and asset to others before they become an asset to us.”
  3. “The Go-Giver” – Bob Burg. This book reveals the difference between being a “go-getter” and a “go-giver.” “Give, and it will be given back to you.” As Zig Ziglar says, “You can have everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
  4. “How to Build a Network of Power Relationships” – Harvey MacKay (audio book). Harvey MacKay is recognized as America’s master networker. My favorite quote from this book is, “You will be changed most in life by the people you meet, and the books they write.”

  On that note, congratulations for reading this. And I really do hope it changes your life. My Passion is YOUR Success.