Don’t you wish Yoda would have shown you the ropes when you first started bartering? There is so much to learn when you first start bartering. Many business owners are so busy trying to run their own business that they really have no time to devote to teaching themselves how to get the most out of trading. Additionally many brokers are so over-loaded that they simply don’t spend a lot of time training their members. The end result: There are a lot of people that are really bad at barter and there is a much higher attrition rate for exchange membership than there needs to be.
I propose that all barter exchanges develop a formal training/mentoring program. Everyone gains from having more potential barter partners so everyone should get involved. My vision is two-pronged:
- Exchanges should set up formal group training sessions. The sessions should include basic training for new members and advanced training for folks that have been around the block and just need some new ideas. These classes can either be taught by management, brokers or even by advanced members that are paid on barter. I wouldn’t pay members to attend, but I would have lots of good food/prizes at all the events (all purchased on barter of course). The events could even have a “mixer” feel to them and be hosted by a member that has products/servcies for sale at the event.
- Exchanges should set up a formal mentoring program where advanced members can help newer members one on one. Mentors could be minimally compensated (on barter of course). Mentors can help their assigned members find good ways to spend their credits (the most common problem for new members) as well as help with all other aspects of barter.
Please post back if you are familiar with programs along these lines of if you have any suggestions for improvements.
One thought on “A Barter Mentoring Program”
YES! I so agree. I have been members of ITEX, IMS, TransMedia, Tradebank, TradeBanc, and other regional/local trade exchanges over the last 15 years and YES a better mentoring program is so needed.
The guys at TransMedia, I must say are the most out of the box and creative barter thinkers that I have ever worked with – they are coming up with new ways for their members/clients all the time to connect with others and learn more.
I like IMS, it’s just it was always harder to get services outside of their system, same experience with ITEX.
I think the whole barter world (200+ small companies in the US alone) should work together more, and share with their members how that all the companies are there to work together and find the goods and providers for what they are needing.
Thanks for a good post