I Confess: I Lied
When approached by financial planners, insurance salesman and contractors, I find it easier to simply say my brother-in-law was in that particular business. I confess that these are lies. In reality, there is no harm done and it saves them time they wouldn’t waste on me. This experience did get me thinking about how networking and showcasing our businesses is done.
A few years ago, I wrote a commentary entitled, "I Won a Chip Clip and Invested 100K!" It was a snarky piece touching on how business expo vendors often give away “stuff” just to give away stuff, regardless of it being effective in conveying their desired message. I did win a chip clip on a wheel spin game at an investment brokers booth, but I did not invest $100,000 with the company. Even if I had $100,000 lying around, what had the company done to earn my trust in sensitive financial matters? What did they do to show me they were good at what they did? They gave me a chip clip.
While our business is in many ways about selling “stuff,” it’s also about providing marketing and branding solutions. There is nothing revolutionary in that thinking. You can make a case for why, as distributors we should show our “stuff” at expo-type events. But for me, I’ve never wanted to be known as that person.
Many years ago, we created a marketing toolbox concept—all the tools you need to build your business. Our booth was a business construction theme with a real A-frame road sign and a flashing yellow light. We created “Business Construction Zone Ahead!” signs and talked about our ability to provide the right tools help businesses grow.
Our marketing toolbox presented our branding message with promotional products, like screwdrivers, stress hammers, compressed tool shaped T-shirts, all with relevant imprints, like measuring tapes/levels with the message: "Business Measuring Up? Let Us Take You to a New Level!" These were often delivered in a toolbox graphic printed cardboard box that supported our “Let Us Help Build Your Marketing Toolbox" message.