I think all of us are moved by people we see who commit their lives to giving to others. Selfless acts of kindness, love, sympathy, camaraderie and generosity can touch an inner part of us and make us pause and think, “I wonder if I had the strength to do that or maybe even the time.” After all, we are all very busy people, what between work and family there is precious little time for much of anything else.
This isn’t going to be a post dedicated just to acts of kindness, although, according to The Artist Farm in “Warning: Life is Risky and Will Cause Death,” with each passing moment, we are one breath closer to our last breath. Helpful acts can bring great joy.
Rather, this post is about how giving a small piece of your knowledge to those who could become a client or customer one day can be very smart marketing, and it may just be the right thing to do.
There are a number of sales training courses that will tell you to be cautious of the trap of free consulting, that it’s a lot of fun to show people how much you know, how smart you are, and shouldn’t you really be charging for those great ideas? I believe there is a fine line between what some people call free consulting and what I call helping people out.
I believe that most entrepreneurs become so because they have a passion for something, whether it’s good food, excellent financial advice or just building a business that can be sold for a huge profit. There are always opportunities to use this passion to help entities that are having trouble helping themselves, or to give guidance to a protégé who will some day improve on what you have done. Every time we turn around, if we open our eyes, there are ways we can help and use our talents to make a difference for someone else.
It’s really not that hard, and it doesn’t really need to be a Mother Teresa moment, although she did provide us with a great quote, “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”
If you help someone who has a question, and the advice you gave them was valuable, don’t you believe that they will tell a friend, who will tell a friend and so on and so on? You can’t get much better word-of-mouth advertising. Better yet, maybe, just maybe they will do the same for someone that needs their talents.
Think about it and give me your thoughts.
David Soxman, Marketing Consultant