It’s called "The Bread Strategy" and Professor Bread swears by it.
Professor Bread (aka Gary Gomer) is a Jersey City-based Marketing Mentor client who gives bread-making workshops in schools and for staff development in nonprofits and corporations.
Here’s Gary’s "Bread Strategy"– he bakes fresh bread and hand delivers it — fresh — to his best prospects in the schools.
It’s labor-intensive (he spends one day baking bread and then another day driving to 5-6 schools in a district and distributing the bread) but it pays off big time. Secretaries and principals he hasn’t been able to reach on the phone welcome him with open arms and are so touched by the fact that he went to the trouble of making and then bringing the bread, they can’t help but hire him. And even when they don’t right away, he knows that, when he calls later in the year (when their budget needs to be spent), they’ll remember him fondly.
Another client, cartoonist Lloyd Dangle, whose goal is to get his images licensed on various products, has chosen a few excellent prospects and has taken the time to make a prototype of their product with his work already on it. It more than gets his foot in the door and talking to the right person.
Whether they know it or not, this strategy is based on the Reciprocity principle (in short, that people tend to return favors) described in Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion, recommended to me by yet another client, José Angel Santana, Ph.D. Read more about Cialdini’s principles here.