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When you ask someone to engage with you . . . a conversation or a click . . . you’re asking them for two valuable commodities . . . their time and their money.

If you ask, you presume (or, hope) there’s some value in that connection, potentially, for you.  But where’s the value for the other person . . . i.e. your prospective client?

Feed First, Ask Second
Whether you’re trying to make friends with a neighbor’s new dog or a new prospective client, offer them something for the effort they must make to connect with you.

Special Reports and Special Relationships
A valuable commodity to exchange is your expertise in the form of a white paper or special report.  Not only is it an item of value — which generates reciprocity towards you, it also helps to build the perception that you are, in fact, an ‘expert’ in your field.   Creating these ‘gems’ once may be difficult but once you have them, you can use them again and again.  Sweet, non?  Here’s one of my own as an example.

KEY POINT:
Create Items of Value to build goodwill, reciprocity and position yourself as an expert in your field.

Years ago, a red salmon cannery in the Pacific Northwest was losing it’s share of the market for salmon.  This bothered the company owner who asked his VP of Marketing to find out why.

After much research, the VP reported.  “Well, seems there’s this new kind of Salmon — PINK.  It’s eating into our share of the market for Salmon.” Distraught, the company watched as their marketshare steadily declined.

Finally, in desperation, the company owner called a meeting.  “Folks” he started, “we have GOT to do something about this Pink Salmon problem.  See what you can come up with”.
The staff went away only to return shortly thereafter.

“Boss!  We’ve got it!”  The owner was excited!  “Tell me” he asked, “what did you decide?”. “Simple.  We’re just going to change the label on our cans!”.  The owner agreed.  Shortly thereafter, sales of Pacific RED Salmon was (no pun intended) ‘in the pink’ once again.  The label change was simple. They added, “Pacific Red Salmon.  Guaranteed NOT to turn Pink.  Inference?  “Pink Salmon?  Whoa!  What happened there?”

The company positioned itself against a quality its competition could not change!  And it was enough to boost the sales of their (RED) Salmon.

KEY POINT:
If you’re outstanding but not standing out, find your ‘competitive distinction’ and beat that drum like a dusty rug in the springtime!