One of my favorite examples of marketing persistence is the story of the scientists at the 3M Company who found a use for an adhesive which didn’t stick. Despite discouraging feedback from the marketing department and his peers, Arthur Fry believed in the potential of this unique product.   Bypassing traditional channels, he made a batch of the pads using the adhesive and distributed them to the secretaries of all the executives at 3M.

Why? He assumed they would use the product, become fans and share them with others.  In no time at all, the secretaries and their bosses, were using the handy notepads, and calling for more. Initial launch plans in the late 1970’s built on the same strategy as pads were sent to secretaries of executives of all major Fortune 500 companies. And the rest is history!

Post-it® Notes were successful because they were a great product, put into the hands of people who would use it, and more importantly, share it.

Everyone Needs a Great Secretary

You simply have to find your “secretaries”; people who understand your product and will share information with others! Begin with your most loyal customers, asking them for testimonials and referrals. Then, the next time you go to a networking event, shift your focus; instead of trying to find your next customer, look for people who call on your customers.

These strategic connections will become your best secretaries over time. If they truly see the benefit of your product or service, just like the secretaries and the Post-it® Notes, they will become evangelists for your brand.  Of course, in return, you need to be their secretary, too. Networking is a two sided process. If you want other business owners to carry your message to the marketplace, you have to be willing to carry theirs.