Short on time? Here’s the punchline: Treat each acquaintance personally and give more than you get.
Here’s my example. New Product Development Engineer “Victor” invited me to his LinkedIn network. He lives in San Diego, home to 10x for ENGINEERS, this October.
I accepted, and wrote him: “Thanks for checking out my profile, Victor. Can you make the 10x for ENGINEERS in October? It’s in your town!”
Victor: Hello Joe, unfortunately I will not be able to attend. As a grad student, finances are tight and it’s out of my price range.
Joe: I make dramatic price concessions for students. Do you want to come? Here’s a short video:
Victor: Of course!
Joe: How much can you comfortably afford, Victor?
Victor: No more than [redacted].
Joe: Oh my, that’s lower than my food costs. :/
Victor: I know. I can put money a side starting now. How much do I need?
Joe: The lowest I can go (and not “lose money”) is [redacted]. Possible? I can even let you pay it over time. It’s a solid education which is why I hate to deny anyone who wants to attend. If you want to be there, I want you there.
Victor: I’m hungry to learn. So I will make it happen.
Joe: Great. Go ahead and “register” but don’t select anything from the top (the prices). Your registration will go through as free (if it’s working properly). Then, you can pay me as you can at https://paypal.me/medicalmarcom/ (kind of “offline,” if you will.) Will that work for you?
Joe: Be discreet about our little arrangement. As I’ve done with you this morning, I take everyone on a case-by-case basis because, hey, I was a student and I’ve been unemployed. Sometimes the little breaks like this make a difference in someone’s career path.
It’s good karma for everyone.
Victor: Roger that! Just registered! Thank you Joe. I will pay it forward in the near future.
Wasn’t his last comment great?
I’ll make no money on this “sale.” I cover my variable costs, Victor benefits, and other guests have another interesting person with whom to interact.
But Victor will remember this act of kindness and, if the past is a fair predictor, I made a new business friend for life today.
Two discreet behaviors engendered his response
- I treated him personally. I responded genuinely and immediately to Victor’s situation. I spent maybe 10 minutes with him to make a lasting impression.
Compare that to my favorite punching bag, LinkedIn. Here’s a compilation of a ridiculous and completely predictable outcome.
LinkedIn clearly doesn’t give a shit about me or my business. And it shows.
- I gave more than he expected. Victor’s opening statement was definitive. He can’t come. He can’t afford it.
Not only did I reply (more than expected), I asked what he could afford versus telling him, we have a 30% discount for students. (This would probably still be out of his range.)
When he offered a very low number, I surprised him again with a number he could reasonably attain. A third more-than-expected move was offering, without being asked, an installment plan.
The result was an extremely grateful student ready to “pay it forward in the near future.”
I suspect (hope?) I taught you nothing new today.
Perhaps my little story will inspire you to “pay it forward” to a new business acquaintance or prospect, ready to become your new business friend for life.
This is America – Childish Gambino
Have you seen this video?
It’s shocking. Half of you won’t like the music. (Beth didn’t.) But, my God. What an effective story teller Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) is. And he’s, like, a sextuple threat: Actor, singer, dancer, writer, director, and handsome.
So, for all you Beth fans out there (I know you like her better than me, and I’m over it), I recorded her reaction immediately after viewing the video.
So, here’s the video. It includes GRAPHIC VIOLENCE.
Side story: I created a “sanitized version” by removing 2-3 seconds of footage. You can ask me to send it to you. YouTube immediately took it down as a copyright violation. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
For the description I had written, “No copyright infringement intended and I know graphic violence is vital to the song’s message. Still, the original video here with roughly two seconds of shocking gun violence removed so this important message can be shared with sensitive audiences.
Original, unedited video available at https://youtu.be/VYOjWnS4cMY.
Thank you, Mr. Glover, for this vitally important, uniquely American message.”
Anyhow, you’ve been amply warned and – Mom – don’t watch it. I’ll tell you about it when we talk later today. Love, Joey.
And for good measure, this fascinating cultural analysis by Fordham University’s Dr. Lori Brooks.
What did THAT have to do with medical device marketing?
But I found it fascinating.
And we are ALL in the communications business. Talk about Content Shock!
Gary Vaynerchuk. Do you know Gary, a renowned social media expert? Listen to his candid reply to an aspiring healthcare marketer. Sound like anyone you know?
Design inspiration. Look at this great About Us / Team page. I love it.
One business enemy for life. Kind of a dick move on my part. But, I mean, what are the chances? ????
Thank you for joining me on The Journey.
See you next week – or sooner – if you choose to reply to this email,
P.S. That 10x for ENGINEERS video? Yup. Lucia made it. How I love working with her! ❤️