When “Winston” asked me to help him promote one of his products, I agreed to mention it in my e-mail newsletter. I told him that all he needed to do was give me a coded link for his landing page.

If you’re at all involved in marketing on the Internet, you know that this is very basic stuff. By providing me with a link that includes a tracking code, Winston would know when a purchase was the result of the promotion in my newsletter. That’s how my profit share would be calculated.

Among Internet marketers, this is like telling an ice cream truck driver that he needs a freezer to keep the ice cream frozen.

Unfortunately, Winston didn’t know what I meant. He brought in his “IT” guy, who didn’t know what I was talking about either.

Eventually, after I gave them several examples of coded links and explained the process in half a dozen e-mails, they got it.

At that point, I was sorry I’d gotten involved. I kept my word and gave Winston’s product a mention – however, I politely passed on any future collaboration.

When you’re dealing with a larger and more experienced company/businessperson, you must make it easy for them to work with you. And a huge part of that is knowing what you’re doing. You don’t have to be an expert by any means, but educating yourself on the basics is key.

If Winston had been prepared, he would’ve given some thought to my needs as a marketer and e-zine publisher. Naturally, I would want to know how he was going to track sales to calculate my percentage of the profits. Other ways he could have impressed me and made me more inclined to do future business with him would have been to show me statistics on how his product has sold to other competing lists and/or sales copy that he has tested and proved to be successful.

If you’re asking for help to advance your career or business, make sure you’re ready if the answer is “yes.” Because you may not get a second chance.

[Ed. Note: Paul Lawrence is a successful entrepreneur and publisher who has started over a dozen profitable enterprises. To get more practical small-business tips, check out his “Street Smart” program.

Ready to jump-start your marketing knowledge? Check out Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business, Michael Masterson and ETR Publisher and CEO MaryEllen Tribby’s bestselling book.]

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Paul Lawrence

Paul Lawrence is an entrepreneur who has made his living starting and running a series of profitable businesses. One day while cleaning his mother's pool for a few extra bucks, it dawned on Paul that he could perhaps start his own pool cleaning business. He carefully employed all the marketing techniques that he had learned in school and designed his first flyer. Immediately the business took off and within a week, Paul had his own little business. He quickly expanded, hired employees and then eventually sold it some relatives who made well over $250,000 in the next year before they eventually sold it for a six figure profit. After finishing college, Paul did a brief stint in a management program for a national rental company, but he quickly realized that he was much happier running his own show. Paul left the rental company and launched one of the most financially successful independent ballroom dance instruction companies in the state of Florida where he received quite a bit of media attention for his revolutionary business practices that included front page features in the Life Style section of the Sun Sentinel, features in the Miami Herald, Boca News, Center Stage Entertainment and many others. With that business running profitably, Paul started several other businesses either individually or as partnerships that included a million dollar video production company, a mortgage brokerage, a home maintenance business, several mail order companies, a business consulting service among others.With a love of movies, Paul began to work at breaking into Hollywood as a screenwriter where he's beaten the odds by becoming a produced writer. He is a credited writer for the film CRUEL WORLD, starring Jaime Presley and Eddie Furlong and has signed a development deal for a national television series with one of the world's largest producers of television and films among his half a dozen sales and options of movie scripts he wrote. Paul is the creator of the Quick & Easy Microbusiness program.

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