09 January, 2015

Why Gil Dunn's Business Card Is Worth $26K

People will not do business with a stranger if an acceptable non-stranger is available. 

You look through the yellow pages for a lawyer or a plumber or an accountant and you don't see anybody you know so you don't hire any of these strangers. Later that day, you mention to your friend or your neighbor that you need a plumber. He recommends one that he has used and liked. You call that plumber and give him the work. What just happened?

The plumber moved from the stranger category to the non-stranger category. How?

The shortest distance between two strangers is a trusted mutual friend.

Here's one I've seen hundreds of times: A manager places an employment ad in the newspaper or on the internet and receives stacks of resumes from qualified strangers but he doesn't hire any of them. Why not? People don't do business with strangers if there is an acceptable non-stranger available. The hiring manager probably doesn't know it but he/she is waiting for an acceptable non-stranger. 

One day the hiring manager is introduced to an acceptable non-stranger by a mutual friend and makes the hire. Why?

The acceptable non-stranger was moved out of the stranger category because he was endorsed or recommended by a friend.

The shortest distance between two strangers is a trusted mutual friend.

Don't be a stranger.

Why Gil Dunn's business card is worth $26,000: One day I was looking through some business cards I'd collected over the years and I found Gil Dunn's card. I couldn't remember ever meeting Gil Dunn but I had his card. Gil was a radio marketing guy and I had a question I thought he could answer for me so I called this stranger named Gil Dunn. Gil didn't remember ever meeting me, either, but he helped me with my question. Just before we hung up the phone Gil asked me what I did for a living. I answered and then he asked me if he could give my contact info to a principal at a local company. When I said yes, Gil told me I might get a call. 

The next day I got a call from Gil's friend who invited me to his office and gave me $26,000 worth of work that I was happy to do. 

Gil Dunn moved me from the stranger category to the non-stranger category with a guy who paid me $26k.

The shortest distance between two strangers is a mutual friend. 

Don't be a stranger. 

I can't quote Harry Beckwith enough: "Competence gets firms into a game that relationships win."

Get introduced. Don't be a stranger. 

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