Align and Conquer
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The 2012 presidential campaign is closer than we think. With each primary vote, the battle for the GOP nomination gets more and more heated. Like any campaign, as the final vote draws nearer, those who swore off mudslinging start slinging and alliances that were once unlikely are forged. Mudslinging aside, the alliances that grow from adverse circumstances interest me here the most.
Similar to politics, in business—especially sales—strong alliances are key to growth. With an economy that has remained frustratingly sluggish, I think it is safe to say that times have been adverse for businesses. Perhaps the moment has come for you to consider creating new alliances—maybe even one that pre-2008 would have seemed highly unlikely.
Recently, I spoke with a highly successful distributor who explained to me that the relationships she has built with suppliers have been paramount to the growth of her own business. Those connections not only have proven useful in assisting her business in the obvious way, on the order placement side, they also have proven to be instrumental in sending her new end-user referrals. A completely unexpected welcomed benefit of nurturing these relationships.
Building strong and enduring relationships on the supplier side is one way to create growth opportunities. Comparing notes with the competition is another interesting way to learn how others in the same business are achieving their goals. Distributor networking events are a great way to achieve this—meet and compare notes on what works and what doesn’t.
If you’ve been resisting the social networks, don’t. Great professional relationships can start through social media sites. Or perhaps joining the board of a local non-profit or lending a hand with community volunteer efforts will be just the thing to build your reputation as a leader.
No matter how you go about it, the real key here is to take a lesson from the presidential hopefuls: get out there and be seen. If you’re the underdog, then you’ve got to shake even more hands and kiss more babies. Put your best foot forward and be seen as often as possible. Building strong relationships within the industry and your community will be enriching on both a personal and professional level. You just never know who you are going to meet until you get yourself out there.
E Nichole Stella Author's page Nichole Stella is group president/publishing director of Promo Marketing Media Group, which consists of Print+Promo, Promo Marketing and NonProfitPro.