Association… Tarred With The Same Brush

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by Pete Godfrey · 17 comments

Association… Tarred With The Same Brush

NOTE: I was reminded of the importance of association last weekend on the Gold Coast when I was speaking at Matt and Amanda Clarkson’s eBay gig. You see, who you know is critical. But also, who you allow into your space governs the levels of success you’ll receive.

Anyway, here’s an article I published last year in my Emotional Ad Writing & Marketing Letter. I’ve edited and updated it slightly to suit the blog. I’m sure you’ll get plenty out of it. And yes, I know it’s long and it WILL take you 5 minutes or so to read. But just remember the old saying: Readers Are Leaders. More important today than it ever was.

Association… Tarred With The Same Brush

The power of association is a potent positioning tool. Who you associate with is a clear message to your market. If you’re in Real Estate for example and you walk into a seminar with Donald Trump hanging from your shoulder, you’ll get an instant reaction from the audience.

There’s a story about J.P. Morgan that demonstrates this perfectly.

Instead of giving an old friend a loan, he took him for a walk across The Stock Exchange floor. By doing so, Morgan solved his friend’s financial problems.

So clearly association is important in marketing and positioning. But association is more than this, much more. Who you associate with DEFINES who you are; more importantly, defines who you are in the eyes of others.

It’s essential, as you move through life and become more successful, that you are careful about who you let close to you and who you keep out.

I believe many people let newcomers into their lives too easily; without due diligence. They are swayed by other’s recommendations, even though those recommendations are based on the flimsiest of substance. Just because there’s a new kid in town that everybody is raving about, doesn’t mean you have to climb on the bandwagon and embrace him with open arms. Suss them out first. Observe them; not just what they say, but what they do. Don’t be bullied into making a decision.

It’s the same with neighbours. Just because you got new neighbours, doesn’t mean you throw open the BBQ and roll out the welcome mate. You don’t know a damn thing about them. Getting too familiar with your neighbours too quickly is a mistake many have made. And look, if they are okay, well after a while you’ll find this out. But you haven’t rushed it. It has happened over time.

By the way, I discourage my neighbours from getting too familiar. I’m polite, say g’day but never ask questions. I’m the same on planes. I’m used to hitting the road by myself… used to Hotel rooms and room service and a pay-per-view comedy and laughing with only myself. A good movie, or if I’ve got a good book, then I’ve got all the company I need; so I don’t need to swap idle chatter with passengers or crew. This may seem anti-social, but it works for me… and, I get a lot of work done on planes, adding to my productivity.

This caution applies DOUBLE when recommending and introducing someone to your Tribe of clients, members, patients or customers.

For those who hold seminars, this is critical.

The mistake I see often is judging a guest speaker purely by the dollar amount he or she sells. Doing this is a naïve and stupid way to make the decision on who speaks at your event. There are many other points you should be looking at.

  • Who the person is
  • What happens after the sale?
  • What is he/she really selling?
  • This and more is ALL part of your due diligence you undertake before hiring a speaker.

I’ve seen too many clients and members rush into hiring speakers on the basis of questionable recommendations… hiring purely on the speakers ability to sell. What happens after the sale is when the shit can hit the fan. If your customers aren’t happy, sure they’ll blame the speaker; but they’ll also blame you. All the trust you have built gets shattered by one misguided decision; albeit a decision based on greed.

As we move forward into this economically challenged year, your relationship with your Tribe becomes even more important. We all have to be more sophisticated when it comes to letting people in under our guard. Base our decision on facts, not hearsay.

It’s no accident after almost 10 years doing what I’ve been doing I’ve built solid relationships with hundreds upon hundreds of members and customers throughout the world. They trust me, as I trust them. I take great care of who gets in my circle and who is shut out. I take care on who I introduce to you and who remains on the outer.

I don’t get carried away with the next “new kid” the next “shiny object” that comes to town. I remain grounded, but curious, sussing them out to see if they’re the real deal. I urge you to do the same.

Association is a two-sided coin; it can make or break you, lift you up or throw you down. Accurate thinking is what is required and that is sadly lacking in this instant 21st century.

POST SCRIPT: Don’t forget, if you want something covered here on this blog, send me your suggestions thru my Contact Page

And if you want me to continue blogging, keep leaving your comments right here. It inspires me… and when I’m inspired, I tend to write more. It’s in your hands.

P.P.S. Good news for all those people who wanted to attend my Sales Letter Writing Workshop but couldn’t get there. I have just received the DVDs and CDs of the event… so within a week or two, you’ll be able to get your hands on them too. I’ll keep you posted.

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About The Author

Copywriter, Sales Strategist - Pete GodfreyPete Godfrey, The Wizard of Words, from rebel without a clue to one of the most in demand and highest paid Copywriters and Sales Strategists in Australasia… all with the power of his emotionally charged words that sell… Discover the “Secret Weapon” to increasing your Sales and Profits by downloading the valuable report "The Ultimate Copywriting and Marketing Secret" While you're at it, follow Pete on Facebook

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Judd Leverton September 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm

People assume that if you voluntarily hang around someone you must like them, which infers you are like them. Unless you want to be seen as like (i.e. the same) as the people you’re hanging around, don’t hang around people who don’t convey the same values as you want others to assume you have.


p.s. DON’T buy the Sales Letter Writing Workshop DVD’s – I don’t need the competition! ;O)


Scott Wilson September 1, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Great advice Pete.

I always look to trust my gut when these situations come up. The simple fact is I can’t stand people who don’t take action and let people know this point pretty quickly when meeting them for the first time. This magicially seems to weed out the time wasters and energy stealers pretty quickly.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Scott Wilson


Jan Richards September 1, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Thanks Pete for great and timely advice! I particularly resonated with “Association is a two-sided coin” and “…remain grounded, but curious…” about newcomers as this my business(es) begin to receive wider coverage/publicity.

Jan Richards


victor Little September 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm

many of us have seen speakers who promise the world and delivery a drop, but making plently of money on the way. But what will stand up is being the real deal. In 5 to 10 years later on, only those who will be coaching , teaching or promoting will be those who walk there talk.
Integrity is what they have.

keep these words and toughts coming


Danielle McMahon September 3, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Thanks Pete, I’ve just found your blog and read this and the last entry on procrastination. I’m really enjoying reading your perspective… it’s original and honest, and has really given me food for thought.

Thank you.


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