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Ben Franklin, Puppy Dogs, and Referral MarketingWednesday 03/13/2013
DirkDirk Cummins / MainStreetChamber - Houston
Chapter President / State Director

Ben Franklin, Puppy Dogs, Referral Marketing and the GNPBy Dirk Cummins and Bertrand McHenry


“Referral Marketing”, “Networking”, “Business by Relationship” these are buzz words that we have all been hearing in the market place the last several years. In fact it has become rather chic, sexy for sure, to sprinkle your business conversations with at least one of these phrases. When a concept reaches this kind of popularity status it runs the risk of becoming cliché and loses it’s innate impact. We were discussing this one day last week and how it has become a bit irritating to listen to people use these terms so often in the wrong way. The concept of selling is one that brings up painful emotions for many, many entrepreneurs and that is a sad state of affairs.


Wait a minute! Aren’t you guys the ones who are on the forefront of teaching business owners the art and science of Referral Marketing and Networking? Indeed we are, but by day our secret identities are, wait for it…….Super Sales Pros! Surprised? You shouldn’t be, but let’s explain this a bit. Our niche is Referral Marketing as a system, but we were raised as sales professionsals. That is our background and one we are proud of, and one that Ben Franklin was proud of as well. Ben Franklin inventor and consummate business man, in fact Franklin was what we would call today a “Boot Strapper”.  Meaning that businessman who starts a business on a shoe string and by persistence and force of will creates a successful business.  Early on he learned if he was to succeed he needed to create revenue. Revenue is created when the process of a product (or service) and money changes hands, occurs. This process happens millions of times a day between business owners and customers and literally becomes our country’s revenue and GNP.


Now for years and years the way we arrived at the end of the sales process was taught as a manipulative adversarial process and it worked, for a while. We were taught the Puppy Dog Close, The Ben Franklin Close and a thousand others equally manipulative. That old was of selling is gone…hopefully forever! However that is not the process most business owners are afraid of. What most owners are afraid of is simply closing the sale at all. So instead of taking personal responsibility of creating their own revenue…they opt for avoiding that pain by squawking about doing “business by relationship”…which is a way of procrastinating what must be done as responsible patriotic business people…Closing The Sale!


Let’s be clear, Networking is one of the most powerful ways to get connected in the market place and brand yourself.  Referral Marketing is the undisputed single most potent form of marketing there is and can get you closer to doing business than anything else. Business by Relationship is about aligning yourself with powerful strategic partners who can champion your cause in the market place. Having said all of that, in order to create revenue, grow a successful business, add to our nation’s success, after our referral partners have brought us to the referral’s desk, we still must be bold and responsible enough to be able to sit across from the prospect after you’ve presented your solution and simply say “What do you see as our next step here?” Go be uniquely American and close some business today!



About Our Show Advisor: Dirk Cummins is a practicing financial consultant who attended the University of Virginia at Quantico, Virginia while serving in the United States Marine Corps. He is a CHARTERED FINANCIAL CONSULTANT® (ChFC®), and has completed the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®)certification curriculum. Dirk is also a CERTIFIED DIVORCE FINANCIAL ANALYST™ (CDFA™). Dirk's areas of specialization include business and individual planning. Dirk's professional career began in 1974 in his hometown of Canton, Ohio. In 1978 he accepted a position with Lineberry Financial Group and relocated to Houston. He has held various positions within the financial services industry prior to starting his own firm. Dirk has been involved with numerous volunteer groups and is currently serving as the President of the MainStreetChamber Houston Chapter and State Director for the MainStreetChamber. He has also served on the Advisory Board for the Academy of Finance at Spring Branch ISD and on the Pro Bono Committee for the Financial Planning Association Houston chapter. He has also served as Past President of the Crossroads Chapter of Services Cooperative Association as well as a member of the Board of Directors. He has also served as an Advisory Board member of the Entrepreneurial Development Center and a member of the Board of Directors of Women Achieving Independence & Financial Success. He was a Republican Party Precinct Chair in Harris County, and an Election Judge in Harris County.


Dirk Cummins is the President of MainStreetChamber, LLC


Dirk Cummins is the President of MainStreetChamber. Dirk is an advocate of the MainStreetChamber philosophy of  “Give First and Expect Nothing In Return”. Dirk, a serial entrepreneur, reaches out to small businesses every day to help them grow their business by creating revenue where none existed before.


MainStreetChamber is a nationwide membership organization dedicated to the success of small business.


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