As president of Bartizan, one of my earliest positive experiences with “lead retrieval” and “social networking” took place over 30 years ago. The success of that experience continues to this day, both financially and socially.
In the late 1970s I was contacted by a gentleman by the name of Graeme McLeod, located in Wellington, New Zealand. Our company, Bartizan, manufactured those once ubiquitous machines used at point of sale to record credit card transactions, the credit card imprinter, also known as the “zip-zap” machine or “knuckle buster”. Five North American companies, including two Fortune 500” organizations, manufactured imprinters. Bartizan was a distant fifth in every category that counted Technology, quality, reputation, years in existence, etc.
Graeme’s company, Hightech New Zealand, had been assigned to procure 5,000 imprinters for a major Australian bank. As I recall, the previous year that would have been a quarter of our annual output. Communications between Graeme and me was limited to telephone and telex. Much to my delight – and surprise – Bartizan got the order.
Some years later, after we had become fast friends, I asked Graeme why he gave us, rather than one of our prominent competitors, his order. Surely, I thought, it must have been price. Graeme’s pithy response: You answered.
None of our competitors bothered to answer Graeme’s inquiry! Bartizan’s “lead retrieval” process won the day. Our “social media” initially consisted of those telephone and telex communications, but over the years frequent in-person visits resulted in a bond that endures to this day. Oh, by the way, the relationship has generated revenues well into eight figures for Bartizan.
Lead retrieval and social networking may have morphed into something new, but the basics remain the same, no matter the form.