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367 Marketing Ideas & Tactics for Your Business

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Make Your Next "Spotlight Speaker" Presentation Work Harder for You
The next time you're asked to be a "Spotlight Speaker" at your local business networking group, turn your presentation into an easy way to ask for referrals. Make extra copies of a professional-looking handout that summarizes the important points of your talk. Be sure that the information provided is interesting and of practical use to the average business owner. At the end of your presentation, distribute 5 copies of your handout to each member of the group. Ask them to forward a copy to 5 of their clients with a FYI note. This provides a way for each networking member to keep in touch with at least 5 members of their client base and can lead to more referrals for you.

Trading Cards Aren't Just For Kids
Have a bulging business card file from all your networking efforts? Offer to trade card files with another professional who isn't competing with you for business. Chances are you both can benefit.

Networking Nudge
Is your networking group sluggish? Members not showing up? No new guests? Bring it back to life with the "Don't Pass Go Until You Pay $1" technique used by Joe Ilvento, president of The Alexandria Business Exchange in VA. If a member arrives after the 7:05 a.m. deadline, he or she must pay $1 into the *kitty*. Part of the money collected is used to 1) pay for the breakfast of the member who has brought the most guests and 2) to reward the winner of the day's "lead slip" drawing. Only members who have passed lead slips that day can participate.

Networking in Person & "On-Line" - Ask Questions!
When you first meet a business prospect in person or on-line, make them feel important by asking open-ended questions (ones that can't be answered with "yes" or "no") about their business. Example: "How did you get started in (their business)?" Or "I'm curious - where do you think your industry is heading in the next year?" This can help start a new business relationship as well as provide useful information.

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