Network Marketing Strategies

Social Internet & Face to Face Business Development

Doing Business Profitably

twoway1I don’t mean running your own business well; I mean investing your money, time, and referrals with businesses that will increase your profitability by spending money and time with your business and actively referring you to their clients.

I get involved in other peoples’ businesses a lot. It’s not just a networking strategy; it’s how I get value for my money in the marketplace. It is also how I make friends; the business world is exciting to me and it is as much a hobby as it is my livelihood.

Below is a list of profile points that other businesses can have that will increase the likelihood that I will spend my money and time with them (and refer them to my clients.)

  • They have a product that I need or desire.
  • They do business with me.
  • They offer product value (either a great product at a good price or a good product at a great price.)
  • They have a good relationship with me by being in friendly contact in context with my normal life.
  • They have a novel product.
  • They are a great referral source.
  • They like me.

Here’s an example of a business that is currently in the absolute forefront of my desire to engage in business:

My friend, Shari Weiss, is a marketing consultant and has been focused on internet social media with a business partner, Les Ross. Shari and Les introduced me to the marketing value of social media at a presentation that I attended and their particular approach to the social media venue was novel to me.

Here’s how they line up in my profile points:

  • Marketing is something that I need for my business.
  • They offer great value for their product: Their group consulting rate is very affordable and their approach is tailored to meet my needs –great price, GREAT product.
  • Shari is in contact with me in context with my normal business marketing functions: We follow each other on Twitter and Facebook and exchange emails regularly. She and Les both have a good relationship with me.
  • Performance Social Media (their consulting practice) has a novel approach to social media marketing: They are focused on bottom-line performance for micro-businesses and they know how a business should operate with a high level of integrity (which is critical in the social media venue –not many people get that.)
  • They have proven to be a good lead referral source for me in the sense that I have greatly increased my online contacts in quantity as well as quality as a direct the result of the tips, hints and guiding that Shari has sent my way informally. (That kind of quality informal contact is a critical strategy that direct marketers should have down –it’s also fun.)
  • And they seem to like me.

Shari is not a Mary Kay client for me; she is already connected to an MK consultant and in Mary Kay we don’t compete with each other for clients so that is out of Shari’s control. My desire to do business with these two is very strong because they meet six out of the seven profile points that I have listed above. I refer clients to them as often as I can and I do my best to market their business because I believe in them, personally and professionally.

As my social media network has spread its wings and my influence has increased I have found myself to be an increasingly desirable contact to do business with by other local business people and some of those people have found their own ways to fit into the profile points above. Some have not.

I am always forging ahead with generating leads and referrals for my networking contacts regardless of who plays ball with me and who doesn’t because I believe in the local business people that I’m connected with and that’s just how it works. My networking and referral to-do list is a long one however and those that are at the top of that list are the ones who meet the greater majority of the profile points that I have described above and that’s just how that works.

I believe that this same value system should be employed by anybody and everybody in business (and I believe that it is already in place with successful business people throughout the world.) Therefore my own behavior towards other businesses is an active expression of my desire to fit in (or not) with their realm of influence: If I’m right at your doorstep when you open up for business in the morning that’s no accident, if I’m not that’s no accident either. Now I’m not perfect so I do screw up sometimes and miss a grand opening here and there but when that happens I expect that my “referability” has decreased by that much. You should too.

My bottom line message here is to play ball by playing ball. If you expect a business to employ you profitably then employ them profitably. Your attention, money and referrals to other businesses should be reserved for those that return that profitability in kind. Be a generous networking partner but ultimately play this game by the rules, it pays.

-Love, Tony.

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