Scott Olson is the director of marketing at Mediaspace Solutions, a marketing services agency bringing national brands to local markets. Mediaspace maximizes advertising budgets, increases ROI, and reduces operational drag through expert talent, incredible service and proven buying strategies. Our ‘What’s on Tap’ blog is updated twice a week and we’re regularly tweeting business to business marketing and advertising news.
In his best selling book Never Eat Alone Keith Ferrazzi sums up the argument for developing greater relationships when he says, “Life is less a quest than a quilt. We find meaning, love, and prosperity through the process of stitching together our bold attempts to help others find their own way in their lives. The relationships we weave become an exquisite and endless pattern,” (Never Eat Alone, 2005, p. 297, emphasis added).
Recently the Mediaspace Solutions business development group went through Ferrazzi’s book as a group in an effort to put what we learned into practice. Below are a few examples of both what’s been done and the sometimes immediate results we have experienced:
- Small Gestures Big Impact – While on a recent trip to NYC, I decided to build a relationship with two CEO’s of major ad agencies. As part of the due diligence up front, I found out their favorite kind of wine by talking to their assistants. I purchased wine as gifts but bought Starbucks gift cards for their assistants. Both assistants were blown away by the gesture. “We never get any gifts” one said. I had two sincere conversations with two smart women and I now have regular communications with both of them. The key was being genuine and generous with no expectations in return. They are now on my “ping list” for regular communications. Keith’s teachings work.
- Pinging/Generosity – I recently sent an email to a high level agency exec who I met years ago but have not been able to connect with in at least the past two years (despite repeated attempts). I sent this person a note of sincere appreciation for being a business professional I have enjoyed working with in the past, and it worked. The ping + sincere generosity helped me secure an in-person meeting.
- Warm Calling – I now do an exhaustive search for any type of reference I can “draft” off before sending a note to an executive I have not yet met. I am seeing the benefits first hand of making “6 degrees of separation” … one or two degrees. Example: I just referenced us working with an agency in New York that also has offices in Chicago. I was able to leverage that relationship to secure a meeting with the desired group in Chicago.
- Staying Connected – I have made a personal commitment to schedule either lunch or coffee with someone I know (or want to know) in the ad business – outside of just newspapers – at least every two weeks. Thus far I have established or re-established connections (and met) with people who work in or sell in complementary verticals and plan to continue this networking contact circle.
- Joint Happy Hour/Networking Event – A friend and I decided we wanted to bring together our networks so we scheduled a joint happy hour. Our goal is to not only introduce our friends, but help unemployed friends and recruiter friends find each other. More than 100 people RSVPed and the event was a great success.
- Scheduled Pinging – I started by identifying contacts I wanted to ping, meet with, or send a note to each month and quarter. In just the first week of reaching out I’ve already scheduled six coffee/happy hour meetings and expect more in the coming weeks.
These examples are fresh so we haven’t yet fully realized the outcome. And abiding by Ferrazzi’s principles, the outcomes are not the key so much as the establishment of new relationships.
Which myGreenlight tactics have you used this month?