Author Topic: My Joint Venture Journey  (Read 1433 times)


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My Joint Venture Journey
« on: June 19, 2011, 10:55:49 AM »
I have been reviewing my experience as a marketing junkie and realized that part of my challenge as
been consistency. I wrote this little whatever you want to call it and wanted to share it in some way
although I'm not quite sure how.

Could certainly become a part of a listbuilding plan.

Any feedback will be appreciated.

My Joint Venture Journey

Learn the most important skill in the construction of a Joint Venture. (Listening)
Why the word NO is not necessarily a bad thing.
The one thing you should never do in a Joint Venture. (Be In Love With Your Product)
Be willing to think outside the box. (How I turned my supplier into a buyer)
The secret to joint venture success. (Wash, Rinse, and Repeat)

Before I ever heard of the Internet, I developed the skills to succeed although I didn't realize it at the time. I've been doing a lot of reflecting recently and realized what I had accomplished and what I can share with you about the experience.

I'm a typical novice marketer. I've spent tons of money over the years on tons of opportunities and basically done little or nothing with them. The reason I've done little is because I forgot the one principle that is necessary to success in any business venture, even mowing a lawn.

My Joint Venture Journey didn't start out that way. I went to a Shill Seminar, basically an afternoon spent listening to a bunch of different business opportunities. This was in the early 90's, right before the Internet was introduced to the world at large.

One of the opportunities that was presented was by a company called Borges-Lamont. It was called FONE and basically went like this. Everyday I would be faxed 2 or 3 closeout items, basically last year's model that would be presented to independent businesses for sale at a bargain price. Sort of a precursor to Big Lots on a much SMALLER scale. It was sold as a way for the independent business to compete with the Big Boxes. Lots of different products were offered in somewhat limited quantity.

I decided that I wanted to make a bigger buck, and decided to contact larger distributors and wholesalers. I figured the best way to do that was to purchase a 1-800 Directory which I did. It was a great investment.

The first product I started to sell was a video. I don't remember the name of it, but that's not really important. I was living in New York and started calling Video Tape distributors. I called one in Tampa, Florida and was put in touch with their buyer. He listened to me politely and said that he wasn't really interested in the tape that I was selling. BUT, before I had a chance to hang up the phone and dial another number, he told me that what he's REALLY interested in is Video Games. This was in the day when the shift was beginning from 8 bit to 16 bit games. He said that if I found a source for a reasonable price, he'd buy all I could get him.

Looking back on this first conversation, there were a couple of lessons that I learned. First lesson is to not fall in love with what you're selling. If I had only wanted to sell my widget and nothing else, I would have missed out on a great learning experience. I still missed out just a bit, but that's a story for later in this report.

The second lesson from this experience that I learned is to listen to what your prospect  is saying. When I was told that the company was really interested in Video Games, I went to Borges-Lamont and asked if they had any Games coming up soon. They didn't, so I just started checking around. I don't remember exactly how I came across the ad, but I found a small chain of Toy Stores was closing and was going to be having an auction and they had GAMES. I decided to make the trek out to the location of the auction a few days before it was to be held and got a hold of one of the managers. I explained that I was representing a company that was interested in purchasing all of the Video Games that were available. I was able to negotiate a price of $10 a piece for all the games from the seller and tried to sell them to the buyer for $11, but they weren't willing to go higher than $10 either. Fortunately they were willing to pay me a finder's fee of $1000 dollars. So for roughly 30 hours worth of work, which included a bit of travel, the time spent on the inventory and preparing to ship the product, wasn't a bad paycheck in 1994. 

I was obviously thrilled with my success and decided to see what else I could come up with. FONE occasionally sent out an inventory list of all the products that were still on hand from previous offerings and there was a quantity of books available. So I went back to my 800 directory and started calling Book distributors. I found one in New York City and called them to discuss what I had to offer. He didn't decline the offer, but invited me down to their offices to see what we could do.

Now I'm a book nut and when I got to the office, I was in sheer heaven. The guy who was showing me around ended up not being really interested in the book I brought with me, at least at the price offered. So I was looking around and came across a book by Charles Givens, who was the Suze Orman of his time. They were offering it at like 1.95 or something like that and it was retailing at about 24.95. So I was inspired to call Borges-Lamont and offer it to them. They bought 1,000 copies of the book and I was paid a $1,000 commission from the Book Seller as well. THIS was much more to my liking as it was basically a couple of phone calls and one day's work.

What happened next, I really appreciated. The bookseller invited me to go to a trade show in NYC as his guest. He could have become a mentor to me I'm sure, but I didn't realize what I had. While at the show, I did meet up with Prima Publishing who had a couple of books that looked very interesting to me. They were basically Sesame Street books about computers. This was 1994 like I said and Windows was still on version 3.1, so these books were very much a novelty. I contacted Borges-Lamont, sent them a couple of samples, they loved em and bought an inventory of them. My check was a bit less this time, but still enough to make the day worthwhile.

What happened next? I tried a couple more deals and then just fizzled. It's been a long time, but I'd hazard a guess that it started to feel more like work than fun. One of the principles that I have learned since that I actually started to implement without knowing what I was doing is Wash, Rinse, and Repeat. If it works, just keep it up, tweak where necessary, and continue.

Even though I'm calling this a Joint Venture Journey, it could also double as an early lesson in Affiliate Marketing. All of the best principles that I've learned about Internet Marketing, I learned Offline without realizing it.

Find out what your audience wants. When I called the video company and they told me they wanted Games, that was market research in its purest form. They told me what they wanted and I gave it to them.

In the beginning, be willing to do a little extra leg work, sometimes literally to make the deal happen. I did that when I inventoried the video games and prepared them for shipping.

Think outside the box. That's how I turned my supplier into my buyer. I had learned what they were looking for and was able to offer it to them.

And by all means, remember to Wash, Rinse, and Repeat. Keep learning, keep tweaking, build on your successes.

And have fun.



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Re: My Joint Venture Journey
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 01:25:38 PM » interesting read thanks John

I do like success stories like this - really fires up my brainpan and keeps me going

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Re: My Joint Venture Journey
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 01:22:09 PM »
Excellent Post ... Thanks Much for the peek inside your world. Like Dom said ... gets the ol' brain a churnin'!  ;D