Your Prejudice is Holding Back Your Business

by Shawn Collins on April 11, 2018

Over the years I’ve heard from lots of people at Affiliate Summit that they only want to meet certain types of attendees.

Pi Kappa Alpha at University of Maryland 1993

People focused on sales of products and services in a revenue share arrangement want to stay with their tribe and the same with lead generation folks. The belief that the other side has nothing to offer them is ingrained in a lot of people, and that’s a shame.

When you’re dismissing a whole group like that, you’re diminishing your own opportunities.

At Affiliate Summit East 2017, 58% of attendees self-identified as focusing on Sales of Products or Services. The remaining 42% chose Lead Generation. Those people painting the other side with a broad brush are missing out on around half of the crowd, and that’s a mistake.

Come back with me for a minute to the spring of 1992 at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC.

U2 was going to be in the stadium in the late summer, and a bunch of us in my fraternity went to wait out for tickets for days before they went on sale. Frat boys from the University of Maryland working for a ticket broker.

After we arrived and took our place in line, another group of guys came up and said they were going to be first. They looked to be homeless, and I was thinking we were in for an ugly few days.

Soon after, a burgundy and gold custom van rolled up. It was covered in a mix of Washington Redskins player names and numbers, as well as Bible verses. In big letters on the side it read “Redskin Rob”.

This guy, Rob, gets out of the van and approaches the group that just arrived and tells them the plan for getting all of the best tickets. Our crew approaches to say we were there first. And in that moment, I thought we were headed for a fight. That would have sucked because I am a bad fighter and all I wanted to do was chill out and drink cheap beer.

But a funny thing happened. We decided to work together — unlikely allies ended up alternating spots in line to take over the top twenty spots. A unified group to keep back any new people who wanted to overrun the line.

We became fast friends. We drank, ate, talked, played football, and laughed with each other for three days. When it was all done, I genuinely missed these guys. Strangers who I looked at with disdain days before.

In the end, we were just a bunch of people looking to earn some money and get by.

Innovation is happening in all corners of the industry, and in many cases, you don’t know who you don’t know. Change that up and reach out to some strangers. You could learn a thing or two.

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