Roger Burnett is a visionary. He’s taken an old and tired business model of “promotional products” and transformed it into his philanthropic business passion with Social Good Promotions. Every product he sells has a direct benefit to our global community, separating him from others in his line of business. He’s also a master story teller and host for the “So, you’re in sales?!” podcast and he’s a dedicated Caerusnet Michigan Member who has taken the long term view on referral relationships. Enjoy this insightful and information packed interview with our socially good guest, Roger Burnett.
How long have you been in your profession? I’ve been in sales for 25 years, with the majority of the last 15 years dedicated to the promotional marketing industry.
How did you get into this field? Every role I’ve played, regardless of the organization, boss or product line I was selling has been the direct result of someone recommending me. Many people have gambled a portion of their own success on mine in my career and for that I am tremendously grateful .
What is the best thing about your business/career? Having the opportunity to participate in the local economy as a small business person and knowing this is my time to take everything I’ve learned and reinvest it in my community. Our work is in direct alignment with that I am passionate about and knowing that my success will find itself reinvested into local non-profits gives me the motivation to be persistent and intentional with our sales efforts.
How are you different and/or what’s your niche? We’ve dedicated our mission to supporting Michigan and Ohio-based non-profit Organizations and we curate our supply chain around those factories identified as having documented community involvement programs. When you buy merchandise branded with your logo from us, you do so knowing your purchase will make the world a better place.
What is it about the Caerusnet model that you like most? As a business person, I’ve always gravitated toward an approach built with the long term in mind. Caerusnet aligns with that approach by way of its scheduled interactions with a finite number of people. Done well, that structure allows the opportunity for deeper connections to be created which in turn should lead to more valuable referrals. A recommendation from a Caerusnet friend should come with some personal conviction about both you as the referral recipient as well as the person being referred.
Share a success story about why giving referrals/bringing visitors are beneficial to you. I was able to successfully work with Eric Jones and Chilah Weller from Workforce Payhub as a result of attending Caerusnet’s ReferralTopia in 2019!
Any tips on learning how to find situations where you can create a referral or invite a visitor? If you know someone that you root for the success of their business for, if you are involved in any community-minded organization where you observe other business owners seeking ways to grow their own business, if you volunteer for something you’re passionate about, there are people in those communities in need of what Caerusnet provides and they’re most likely unaware of us – that said, don’t refer just anyone to participate! If you wouldn’t go to a person’s home to spend time with them, then that person may not be the best referral (laughing).
What is your strategy with your member minute and your spotlight presentation? I try to inform and entertain while mixing in a mild call to action, either for members themselves or for the businesses and/or non-profits they may refer to me, based on the content I’m delivering that day. When I hit on a good “ask”, I usually will get a nice quantity of referrals all at once!
What is your approach to positioning yourself as a resource in the community? I’ve always focused on being different by providing additional value beyond the transaction. These days, that offer takes a number of forms, but I’m always focused on trying to take advantage of the time business owners spend with me by giving them something they can use to solve the problem they’re struggling with at that moment. I’ve successfully used the “So, You’re in Sales?” podcast series to provide interested business owners the opportunity to tell the story behind WHY people do what they do from within the Caerusnet community. I have done interviews with Steve Zyskowski, Doug Moffat and a future episode with Wendy Caverly. If you’re interested in learning how to use long-form content like a podcast to benefit your own business (either as a guest on my show or as a collaborator on a show of your own) please feel free to reach out to me. Let’s talk!
Tips on how to be successful in Caerusnet? You can’t half ass it. Either be all in or don’t do it. Take a “hell yes or not at all” approach to this effort Make it your mission to have Trust Builders with every Member you can. For me, I like to spend the majority of that first Trust Builder talking about everything BUT business. I want to talk about your family and how you came to the job you have today, etc. – the business conversations will be infinitely better because of that effort even if you have to schedule a second Trust Builder Meeting! Get as specific as you can about who would be a great referral for you. Spend time reviewing other Caerusnet Member’s LinkedIn profiles to see if there are connections of theirs you’d like to meet. Do the research and put in the requisite amount of effort and your chances for success will skyrocket! Develop as strong a relationship as possible with your Facilitator. You’re paying them to help create opportunities for your success and you should be invested in them and the growth of the team, as a result. Remember, know, like and trust are keys for success and that doesn’t stop with your Facilitator!
Share how your Caerusnet members have positively influenced you or your business besides passing referrals. Doug Moffat, my Facilitator, has taken me as his guest to Rotary meetings. Tom Lampert has done the same. MaryBeth Potrykus has championed my business with the Brighton Chamber of Commerce (see the Ribbon Cutting photo) and Steve, Doug, MaryBeth (and more) attended. I’ve adopted Ann Arbor Caerusnet Member, Julie Palmer as my resident Event Planner (an economic engine for our company). Caerusnet members are frequent participants in my lunch and learn series.
Want to give a listen to the “So, you’re in sales?” podcast? Roger selected these two just for you!
Want to connect with Roger? Type his name into the Caerusnet Member Search Engine here.