How Do You Get Past A Gatekeeper?Written by Habiba Abubakar
The best joint ventures are with people in your own network – those that already know, like and trust you. However, there’s nothing to stop you from partnering with “cold” contacts – those you’ve never associated with before, and you would therefore need to build a relationship with. This simply means it will take a bit more time to execute joint venture because any “cold” contact would need time to evaluate your character and your business before committing to a partnership with you.
One of skills you need to acquire if you choose to joint venture with a “cold” contact is this... getting past gatekeeper!
Your potential joint venture partners may not pick up phone themselves. They may have a secretary, or an assistant, or a receptionist that screens calls before putting calls through to them, or someone that screens letters before putting letters in front of them. These people are known as gatekeepers. Your potential partners may even have a permanent voicemail kind of set up. In this case, voicemail is gatekeeper.
Here are some tips for getting past gatekeeper:
•When you call office, treat gatekeeper with same respect that you would treat potential partner. This will make them warm up to you. Sound important, but courteous e.g. “Hello there, please put me through to Joe Smith.”
•Develop a relationship with a source that knows your potential partner, and then receive an introduction from that source so that you go in with introduction from source. So, when you call potential partner’s office and gatekeeper asks what your call is regarding, you can say “His good friend, Jim Benson asked me to call him.”
•Adopt gatekeeper i.e. develop a relationship with them. Do this by engaging in a conversation with them whenever you call. Developing a relationship with gatekeeper comes in handy when you’ve been unable to reach your potential partner because they’re often out of office.
Discount Promotional Items - How to Save MoneyWritten by Cindy Carrera
It takes money to make money is an adage we hear everyday in business world. So, when it comes to getting promotional items, you've got to budget for it. Or do you?
There are several ways you can save money on your promotional item order. If you are planning to kick off a campaign, create an item to woo existing customers or create an exciting event giveaway there may just be a way to pinch a penny or two.
PUT OUT FOR BID You may have a company that you've always dealt with and if that is case, you may want to stick with them. However, if you aren't privy to a certain promotional company, then perhaps you will want to put out your order for a bid, and take lowest price or best deal. If companies know they are being pitted against one another, they may give you a discount or throw in extras for free. This method can help you save money as otherwise, you'd juts be paying standard catalog rates.
BUY IN BULK You may or may not have budget to do this, but more items you buy, usually lesser cost per item. If you are type of person to buy a little at a time, in long run you will be essentially be spending more money. So, look at rates for higher volume and see how you can save.
SPONSORSHIP This does not work for all types of companies or items, but in non-profit, education and media sectors, this idea can work great. For event marketing, often times t-shirts are big giveaways. But, t-shirts are also a little bit more costly than an ink pen. So, if you can sell sponsorship on back of a t-shirt, you can have those shirts paid for while still advertising your event. In addition to selling sponsorship to outside companies, many times promotional company themselves will kick in part of money if their logo or name can be on shirts or other item. Radio stations are known to do this. Aside from items for specific events, you sometimes see this practice done on uniforms, such as little league teams or community sport teams. So, if you have an event coming up or just are planning to create some promotional items, it won't hurt to ask clients or neighboring businesses to help underwrite costs- after all, promo item also will promote them.