July 9th, 2010 | Edwin Dearborn, Chief Brand Officer

It is so easy to get into the mechanical “how to’s” of small business marketing that one can readily miss the boat on the most important factor, the foundation of all success in small business and marketing itself.

In partnering up with a newly acquired business contact, he told me of a story of his top sales person of all time. Although no longer with him as an employee, the clients that he brought on board are still loyal clients many years later. In fact, he has built a very successful small business in Orange County, CA. In asking how this sales rep brought on so many top customers, I learned of a simple lesson in small business success. Now before I tell you this, most will say, “Well of course Ed, we already know that.” Yet, what one says and what one does are very often two worlds apart.

This sales rep would network at all the right places and to all the right people. Lesson number one: Know your target market and fish where the fish are. But many a fisherman can go to the right place and still end up empty-handed.

This sales rep would go to all the right networking meetings and joined all the right organizations, but he refused to sell. He simply got into communication and would break the ice by telling them a funny joke, none of the dirty or offensive. His first action was to put people at ease with humor and then from there he would simply get into communication with the person. In other words, he established a memorable relationship. From there, he continued to build trust.

Of course, people want to do business with people they trust. This is basic human nature. From that foundation, it was then easy to engage in the sales and marketing techniques that he too was so adept in. This coaching video from best selling author, Michael Port, truly illustrates this point clearly.

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