Neighbors Selling To Neighbors: Think That Works?

 

 

 

Picture this:

Everyone residing in your local community is an independent business owner who works from home.

And every day you all get up and go knocking on each other’s doors trying to sell your products or services to your neighbor.  

Just think about that for a minute and get a crystal clear image in your mind.

Not a pretty picture, is it?

Now take that concept and mental image and transfer it over to the internet.

I don’t know about you, but the picture still doesn’t look very pretty to me.

So, let me ask you this …

Are you trying to market and promote your offerings to fellow entrepreneurs, in particular those in your same niche?  In your same “neighborhood”?

What are the chances these folks are going to turn into loyal customers or clients?

I’ll tell you the answer:  Slim to none.  So stop spinning your wheels.  

They’re not buying!

Having said that …

I’m not suggesting you stop connecting and networking with fellow entrepreneurs.  

You’ll want to continue to look to entrepreneurs who “do what you do” for support, inspiration, masterminding, accountability, encouragement, and joint venture partnerships

These will turn out to be some of your most valued and cherished online relationships!

But don’t look to fellow independent business owners for “sales”.  

If you do, you’re going to be very disappointed.  Remember: They’re also looking to make sales in their own business so it’s not likely they’re going to spend any money with you.

It’s your turn now …

  • What’s your take on neighbors selling to neighbors?
  • Do you see this happening online?
  • Are you getting pitched by people in your same niche?  Maybe a better question would be: Do you buy from them?  Why or why not?

 

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  • Selling to one’s neighbours does not work.

    Being recognized and appreciated, on the other hand, is sometimes easier among neighbours, because they know what it is you’re doing and they can understand if you’re doing it well or not, if you are genuine or fake, if you are a good professional. Building a reputation among neighbours seems to me a quite legitimate goal, no?

    • Absolutely right, Helenee!

      The rock solid “relationships” you build with your “neighbors” (whether they’re you’re actual neighbors or your internet neighbors) are the foundation for your business.

      You should definitely make it a goal to nurture, strengthen, and broaden those relationships.

      But as you mentioned, “selling to one’s neighbors does NOT work”.

      Thank you kindly for the visit!

  • Hi Mel

    “…I had the joy of making his acquaintance a time or two.” – wow.

    Thought Frasier was head and shoulders above the rest.

    Friends is / was big in the UK, but I never got into it.

  • Hi Mel
    “Neighbors Selling To Neighbors: Think That Works?”

    I know that it doesn’t but bloggers often equate visits / comments / popularity with sales and they aren’t the same.

    Thing is, I have bought things from bloggers that I’ve become friendly with.
    Granted, not in my own niche, but I have still bought from them or made donations.

    I’m guessing that lots of blogs follow this pattern…

    1 I’ll set up a blog and make some easy cash – everyone tells me it is so easy.

    2 Eh these bloggers are real friendly and I like some of them – I’m one of the gang now.

    3 No way could I try and sell to these people – they are my friends.

    Am I right?
    I have to be right once in a while.

    • Exactly right, Keith!

      You’ve mapped it out beautifully.
      I always knew you were a quick study. LOL

      If I could, I would send you a digital trophy or blue ribbon to pin up at easyP. 🙂

      “1 I’ll set up a blog and make some easy cash – everyone tells me it is so easy.”

      Here’s a news flash (and stale old news for those of us who have been around the block) …

      Making money online is NOT “easy” — especially via blogging.

      • How right you are Mel

        “Making money online is NOT “easy” — especially via blogging.”

        Basil Faulty (John Cleese) would call that…
        Stating the B******g obvious.
        Biut it’s not obvious to everyone. LOL

        And before you ask me who Basil Faulty is, take a look here…

        http://www.fawltysite.net/

        Keith

        • Just what the doctor ordered — a hearty belly laugh!

          Checked out Fawlty Towers on You Tube and took a peek at John Cleese’s favorite episode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8spJd-bMaA (The Rat) 🙂

          Basil is my kind of guy!

          • Hi Mel
            They didn’t make many episodes of Fawlty Towers, but the series became a classic in the UK.

            John Cleese appeared in a few episodes of Cheers in the US, a series that I loved.

            My all time favourite American comedy series has to be Frasier – thought it was brilliant.

            Hope you feel better tomorrow.

          • I loved Cheers and I still watch re-runs of Frasier whenever I can!

            “Brilliant” best describes the writing, casting, and production of Frasier. Tiny piece of trivia: My daughter, Morgan, and Kelsey Grammer’s daughter went to driver’s education class together. We did a bit of car pooling so I had the joy of making his acquaintance a time or two.

            You have good taste in television programming. Actually, you have good taste … period. 🙂

  • Melanie:
    This is a key consideration. And, it’s something I long considered.
    Let’s talk IRL…
    I habit (the correct verb, trust me) a local coffee shop, (http://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Elmos-Coffee-Pub/39850807010), and have been known to hold court with our loose network of 10 to 30 folks. Every morning (less so, now that we are aging). I studiously avoided offering my services, since I felt that I would be taking advantage or leaning on friends. Until one day, one of my compatriots, after the others left, told me he was insulted. He wanted to know why I wasn’t willing to help him grow his company- it was like he wasn’t good enough…So, I realized the following:
    I am always willing to lend a thought to the discussion. Once it goes beyond that, I hold back. (I don’t want to be responsible for something I don’t control and if you are not a client, I can’t insure that you really follow the advice.) But, if you ask me to provide my services, then I jump in with both feet, both arms, and my head (and the rest of my team, if need be) to insure that you reach the solution you desire.
    The same works for the internet. Offer discussions. Don’t cross the line between discussion and consultation or product sale. But, respond immediately and with your normal business practices if one requests your professional input.

    • Hooray for you, Roy!

      You nailed it with this …

      “But, if you ask me to provide my services, then I jump in with both feet, both arms, and my head (and the rest of my team, if need be) to insure that you reach the solution you desire.”

      That’s the ticket!

      Instead of shoving your products, programs, or services down the throats of your compatriots …

      Treat them with dignity and respect and keep the door to communications open so when the timing is right and ripe, they’ll ASK to hire you or make a purchase from you.

      Thanks so much for passing along these pearls of wisdom! 🙂

      Melanie

  • I see and get your point you are making here Melanie. But I do still see value in marketing to your industry and of like minded folks only because they are connected to folks that would see you or your products.

    Social media has been a great way to channel your marketing efforts to find that right niche or group that are your buyers from the other ‘like’ professionals. I am finding that is why many people don’t see how a social site like, Linkedin (you knew I would bring this up, right?!) wouldn’t work for them because they think they are all just ‘professionals’ like them.

    I hear that all the time. But the fact of the matter is, these same professionals use, need and want products that you may have OR they are, as you say a great resource to help each other cross promote, mastermind, and even joint venture.

    So this is a great topic you are sharing today and really opens your eyes to seeing a more full picture of what ‘online’ can or cannot do for you if you are looking in allt he wrong places.

    • Thanks for sharing your insights, Lynn — great to see you here!

      I totally agree with you about LinkedIn and the preconceived notions people have about it. Without hesitation, LinkedIn is the place to be! The group discussions on LinkedIn and interactions with fellow entrepreneurs are the best on the net. 🙂

      I love LinkedIn because people aren’t wasting time playing silly games or engaging in frivolous gossip and things of that nature.

      Every minute I spend on LinkedIn is worthwhile and that’s extremely important to someone like me who has a very limited number of hours each day to build my business.

      The main idea I wanted to get across in this post is to really zero in and clearly define who you should be sharing your marketing messages with to insure your success.

      Directing those messages toward your ideal target client or customer is going to be far more effective than focusing on repeatedly marketing to your online “friends”.

      Thanks so much for the visit,
      Melanie
      xoxo

  • You are RIGHT ON as always Melanie! I observe this MOST OFTEN when networking! It can be amusing, but I guess not funny because people are trying to “make a living.” However, when you see two network marketers trying to sell each other, you just want to step in the middle and say, “are you kidding me?”

    I was at an event recently and a lovely woman approached me and proceeded to tell me all about Juice Plus and all the scientific studies and why it’s so very important for me to use. And then she took a breath and said have you ever heard of it? And I said I have, and have even used the product in the past, but no longer. She was visibly “done” with me and moved on. I found it funny…but some might not. Wish I had her email…I’d send her the link to this post! hee hee

    Do you think she’d get it? smile

    • Hey Chris!

      Thanks so much for reaffirming my observations. Helps to know I’m not the only one who’s seeing this sort of behavior in action.

      I wish you had that woman’s email address, too. Would she “get” the message? Every ounce of me wants to shout, “No!”. Those kinds of folks rarely get it. They’re definitely missing the “networking” boat. 😉

      As my dad would have said, God rest his soul …

      “She’s a half a bubble off true level.” LOL

      Your comment has made my day!

      Hugs,
      Melanie

  • I don’t know about others, but this sound like my experience with local networking groups! Thanks Melanie for the read.

    • Hi Louise,

      I usually bump into you over at LinkedIn — it’s great to see you here today! 🙂

      You’ve brought up a really good point about local networking groups. I’ve heard more than one person mention how they’ve had the uncomfortable experience of being “pounced on”, pressured, and prodded at meetups. Feels somewhat like hanging out with a room full of used car salesmen, doesn’t it? 🙁

      Some small business owners and entrepreneurs just don’t “get” the proper etiquette for networking (whether it’s online or in-person). They make their communications “Me, Me, Me” in nature.

      Unfortunately, that’s not appealing, professional, or attractive behavior.

      Instead, it REPELS people!

      Thanks for knocking on my door today,
      Melanie

  • Great post, Melanie! I actually do buy from some people in my niche, mainly because I want to see what they are doing:-). And to keep on the bleeding edge of what I am doing.

    And yes, I have had some buy from me for the same purpose.

    That said, I do not hang out in my event niche to buy, but to offer support and to learn from my fellow entrepreneurs. If it became pitch, pitch, pitch, I would bolt in a heartbeat!

    • Hey Daphne,

      Thanks for sharing your feedback on this topic over at LinkedIn, as well. Much appreciated!

      I’ve made a few purchases from fellow small biz owners in my same niche, too, and for the exact reasons you’ve mentioned.

      But nothing causes me to run (far and fast) in the other direction more than hearing the obnoxious pitchfest and the “buy, buy, buy” tune playing! I’m outta there!

      This shrink-wraps it for me …

      “I do not hang out in my event niche to buy, but to offer support and to learn from my fellow entrepreneurs.”

      Same goes for me!
      Melanie

  • I see this all the time, Melanie. In fact, I quit a “tribe” a couple of months ago because of it. The tribe was brought together, I thought, for accountability and support. Turns out I was hit up a lot to buy, buy, buy.

    I said, “See ya.” Nope. Didn’t buy anything. Wasn’t happy about it. And left.

    It is an ugly picture indeed! Thanks for shouting out about it!

    • Can’t tell you how much I appreciate your candor, Deb — thank you for sharing your story!

      Had I been invited to the “tribe” you’re referring to, I can predict with 100% accuracy I would have also bailed out.

      Sadly …

      “Accountability and support” was the smoke screen — the false pretext to get people to join. Don’t you just hate it when people have an ulterior motive in their back pocket?! 🙁

      So glad to find you here today,
      Melanie
      xoxo