Originally posted at: GerardMcLean.com
I just came back from a trade show for the soccer industry. Since we provide a soccer tournament management system to teams and tournaments with our TourneyCentral product, all the soccer publications will come up to me and try to get me to advertise. In addition we get approached by companies looking to sell their products to either the teams or the tournament directors. Because our reputation is on the line and tournament directors look to us to “shield” them from the snake oil salesmen and charlatans, we’re generally not interested in partnering up with other brands without a thorough vetting.
It is almost always hard to say no. But, I have stumbled upon a solution that quickly decides the direction the relationship will go. And, it gets pushed back to the party that had approached me to make a deal so it gets me off the hook for saying no. The request is simple:
Write a post for my blog, then we’ll talk. 300-400 words, talking to my audience about why your product/service will help them is all I ask.
I’ll get a couple reactions. One is a blank stare, asking either “what is a blog” or “you guys write a blog?” This usually ends the conversation pretty much there. If the company approaching me has not bothered to go to my Web site and read a few blog posts, I’m not interested in “partnering” with them on any level.
Another common reaction is an enthusiastic agreement to write a post followed by a firm handshake. It is almost never followed by a blog post.
I have used this response for the past 8 months or so for most of our brands. Of the hundreds of sales pitches I’ve received, only one has resulted in a blog post being submitted.
In my mind, that is the real business power of the Web 2.0 tools that separates the players from the posers.
*The icon I am using for this post was provided by PaintBits.com.