How the ‘Strategy of 100’ Can Build Your Business

Most business people have at least 100 people they call their business associates, strategic partners, vendors and related support services providers that they know well. Add to that clients—current and past—and your number easily becomes 500 or more based on how many years you’ve been in the business world.

With a group of 100 or so, formalities are not necessary. That’s because behavior can be controlled on the basis of personal loyalties and direct contact.

With larger groups, that approach becomes unwieldy if not impossible. Basing your marketing program on your “personal influence” will allow you to dramatically increase your influence and build market awareness.

The “Strategy of 100” lets you establish a solid marketing foundation that can grow under its own strength and power, which is far better than trying to push your brand messaging to people who:

a) don’t know you,
b) have no reason to trust you, and
c) have many alternatives already lined up in your business area.

This is why a “cold call” is so cold when the circumstances are that the person you are trying to reach doesn’t know you, doesn’t recognize your product/service, and already has a source for what you are calling to offer. Making 100 calls of this kind usually results in 10 or fewer actual contacts that lead to appointments, let alone business. Such results a perhaps great for direct mail, not so great if you don’t have 40 hours a week to devote to cold calling.

The “Strategy of 100” lets you start with people who do know you, trust you and will give you an audience. Often, business marketers go straight for the big numbers by using broad media and venues. This approach may be great for well-established brands like Nike or FedEx, but how about the vast majority of small businesses that don’t have global brand budgets?

Tom Marin is the managing partner of and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.

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