Inbound Marketing, Referral Networking, Prospecting or Inbound Networking?

First, I apologize to subscribers that this appears to be my third post of the day. The other two posts were published when I worked at Kurlan & Associates and when I left, Dave Kurlan decided that he wanted to delete my blog. I saved the articles, and republish them when I need to link to them. I needed to link to the other two articles today.
You may remember that in 2010 and 2011, I spent a lot of time developing and delivering a sales development program for Hubspot Partners. Pete Caputa was the driver behind that program. During that time, I wrote “How to Grow Sales by 1,600%“. Pete is now famous and has recently started the Inbound Networking movement.
So, what’s the title mean? Most people don’t know that I am a card carrying lifetime member of the Sandler Sales Training President’s Club. In the mid-80’s, I signed up and paid for the training myself. My employer did not reimburse me. A few years later, I noticed that most of the people taking the training were employees of companies where the company was sending and paying for their salespeople to be trained. Why is this relevant? The Sandler franchisees recognized that most (80%?) of individuals don’t think of themselves as a business and therefore won’t invest in themselves.
I’m mentioning the President’s Club for another reason. We met weekly for two hours. 50-ish minutes of training, 10-20 minutes where we met our neighbors to determine if they were or knew a potential customer (We called it Prospecting.) and we wrapped up with 50-ish minutes of training.
20 years later I met BNI. At my first meeting, I recognized that Referral Networking was very similar to what I called Prospecting.
I published my first blog article on March 18, 2006. Pete Caputa was my blog coach and he taught me about links, html, yada, yada. I owe him big, but he used to make fun of me because I built my readership by face to face networking. I’d go to BNI and chamber of commerce meetings, business expos, anywhere there was people and ask them to read my blog. 38,362 visitors stopped by in the last month. More than some. Less than others.
Here’s the point. When I was prospecting and/or networking, I never got in front of 38,362 people in a month. One other point. I’ve never thought of myself as a marketer. I’m a salesman and always will be. I’m always nurturing (until I don’t want to know you any more). I’m always qualifying. Some feel it. Some don’t.
Sorry. I’m long. Bottom line is I think that Pete has something. It’s not fully cooked, but with the right 20%, it’ll be great.
Stay tuned. There will be a lot more on this. Feel free to subscribe, comment, link, tweet, or whatever to spread the word and/or get more points of view.
Last thing. If you’d like to see more, and have the time, read:

5 thoughts on “Inbound Marketing, Referral Networking, Prospecting or Inbound Networking?

  1. I’ll try to keep it short, and finish it in a blog post later today.

    First, your BNI math is still spot on. 4 years in 2 chapters as educational coordinator and President, I can tell you by experience that those #’s have not changed, nor has the 80/20 rule. I know another former member who said, “BNI is like a frat party. Eventually you grow out of it.”

    Regarding Pete’s Inbound Netorking, if it can be done right, could be as powerful for small businesses as BNI is.

    And the rest, is going in the blog post.

  2. I always enjoy reading your posts Rick, regardless of whether they are new or old. This one made me remember H.A.N.G., probably because you were going through a little of your past networking experience and you didn’t mention it! 🙂
    I hope to comment more in the future.

  3. Brett, nice to hear from you. It has been a long time!

    I don’t know what you thought of H.A.N.G. (Holden Area Networking Group, but I know that several relationships started in that group that continued for a long time. No rules. No dues. Come if you want. Don’t if you don’t. The group existed strictly for the benefit of the members. It met for over two years and reached the mid 40-s for attendees.

    Thanks for reading and commenting. Stay in touch.

  4. This idea sounds very interesting. Wow Rick 38K visitors last month! That is awesome. I am slowly but surly working on this kind of reach. You got about 3 years on me (blogging). Hopefully in the next year or two I will be able to reach these numbers. Keep up the great work!

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