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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Networking -- some expert thought

You will gain a lot by reading Tim Klabunde's latest blog entry: "The Experts on Networking". Tim and I share many values about how to go about marketing professional services: It is not about "take", it is about "give".

More and more, I find there are two schools about selling and marketing and if I can find the common denominator defining the difference, (as I have discussed on occasion before) it is the attitude of Push or Pull. Push marketers want to get in your face, whether you want them there or not --they believe telemarketing, canvassing, and intrusive surveys are okay and effective. Pull marketers want you to gravitate to them by creating an environment were you sense trust, respect, and competence. Yes, you can combine both and I suppose I do with my own business -- I'm sure my sales team wouldn't get too far if they were sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring because of the Pull of our publications, this blog and so on.

But I sense that Pull works best in the long run, especially for professional services with long-term relationships. The reason is that the actual process of completing the project or commission is all about a combination of technical competence and personal relationship skills -- you are partners with your suppliers and clients on the work that can last years from concept to completion -- and these clients are more likely to want to work with you if they sense you are respectful of them and their interests. (If you are installing vinyl siding or patching residential driveways, of course, good old-fashioned Push may indeed be the way to go.)

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