ivs4charity-MiwaukeeMilwaukee was a great stop because it blended the old with the new. Sue Spaight, one of the hosts, has been a friend for over 20 years and is one of only two hosts on the entire tour that I knew BSM (Before Social Media).

That really speaks to the power of social media platforms as true relationship builders. Phil Gerbyshak and Joe Sorge (the other two hosts) are both folks I met and got to know via social. In fact, last night was only the second time I’ve been physically in the same space with Joe and Phil in my life.

We talked about that a lot last night — about the role of Social Agents in building your business, your network and ultimately helping you achieve your marketing and sales goals. For too long folks have placed newly met contacts into one of two buckets — prospect or non-prospect. You really have to add a third. You need a non-prospect, social agent bucket — those are the people who may never buy anything from you but end up being your best customer because they tell 100 people to buy from you.

We also learned an unexpected lesson — cookies can be viral. Yep, the DoubleTree folks were nice enough (in addition to donating all of the space, food and staffing to the party!) to drop off a tray of cookies — a very big tray with way more cookies than we needed.

Instant party favor — everyone took home not one but many cookies. Some taking them to family but others taking them to give to coworkers. Each DoubleTree cookie is wrapped in a special DoubleTree sack, so that little cookie just became a viral ad. More importantly, when attendees hand out the cookie, the obvious question from the recipient is “where did you get the cookie” which creates an instant WOM (Word-of-Mouth) moment benefiting all involved — the book, the hotel and the charity.

So today’s tip — have cookies ;-) or some other viral party favor to create a day-after marketing opportunity.

By the way — if you missed the event but want a copy of the book — grab it here