How to Network Like a Rockstar | Ted Prodromou

How to Network Like a Rockstar

Business networking experts Ely Delaney and Ted Prodromou share their best business networking tips in this week's episode of Social Selling Television.

What you will learn:

  1. How to instantly connect with people you meet at conferences and networking events
  2. The 3 biggest mistakes people make at networking events
  3. The difference between offline and online networking
  4. And a lot more…

Download the transcription here

 

Transcription:

Ted:
Hey, welcome everybody. It’s Ted Prodromou. We’re getting started in a minute here. I’m getting Ely on board. In the meantime, if you have any questions, go ahead type them in the chat window and share this with your friends. Let’s see if we can get Ely on board here. I see you, but I can’t hear you.
Ted:
We’re good. Let me kick this off and we’ll get going here. Welcome, everybody. It’s Ted Prodromou again, and welcome to Social Selling TV. Every Thursday at noon Pacific Time, we do Social Selling TV where I interview experts in marketing, and sales, and business, and mindset, really just to help you get more from your business, be a better marketer, be a better sales person. Use social selling and just make more money with your business. That’s the bottom line. That’s why we’re here.

Today, I want to introduce Ely Delaney. Ely and I met through a mutual friend Tim Harrington years ago. We’ve been online friends and we’ve just watched each other on the internet and watched our businesses grow. Welcome, Ely.
Ely:
Thank you, Ted. It’s a pleasure to be here. It’s really funny. I’m pretty sure that you and I were introduced from Tim Harrington years and years ago who was a friend of mine that in fact he and I just spoke about 3 weeks ago which was cool because we hadn’t talk to each other for quite a while.
Ted:
Nice. We’re heading down to Sedona in a couple of months so we’re going to get together with Tim.
Ely:
Very cool. Be sure to torment him for me, because now that I’m not in the Phoenix area, I don’t get to bug him as much as I used to.
Ted:
Ely, when I first met you years ago, you were doing web design and web development. What are you doing now?
Ely:
Now, the world has changed a lot for me since then. We grew the web design business from the standpoint of originally, I was starting out my office, was my dining room and grew to the point of opening up an office, having 5 employees, closing 3 to 5 contracts a week, just crushing it and then I decided, I really didn’t like that at all.

I got away from the fact I didn’t enjoy designing anymore and I really didn’t like my employees much. I decided I was done with the whole thing, I ended up eliminating the entire thing and moved into the marketing and consulting side of things which is where we launched our current company is Your Marketing University.

From there, we’ve been doing that for 7, going on 8 years now. I’ve got clients in all sorts of different countries where our latest course is my networking course which is my little specialty, my little niche of the world, and we’ve got just under 1200 students going through it. It’s been a fun ride. I have to say I love it a lot more and it’s great because I don’t have any clients that are actually close to me. I do most of my networking as more online and most of my clients are in other countries, let alone just, not even here in the states.
Ted:
I know you use to go to a lot of in person networking events as I did years ago, BNI, and chamber of commerce, and the local events. Do you still do that?
Ely:
I do some. Not near as many and a lot of it is more because I enjoy the networking side of it. Networking is what I enjoy. I’m a people person. I like to collect people just not in a Dexter way.
Ted:
Okay.
Ely:
From that, I actually do networking at some local events, but a lot of times they end up being bigger conferences and seminars and stuff. That, I find is a great place especially who my clientele is because my clientele isn’t necessarily brick and mortar businesses as much as it used to be. Now, I’m working with a lot of coaches, consultants, authors, speakers, that kind of stuff. That’s where they go to big conferences.

I can spend 3 days at a conference and walk home with a ton of great connections and some new clients. It never fails. I get at least one good, solid client out of every event that I attend, but those are the bigger events. Then the smaller ones, I do that a lot more for fun and because I still enjoy that connection time.
Ted:
I was in BNI for about 3 or 4 years. It was good. There was a lot of time commitment. Every Friday morning, at 7 am, we had to be there for breakfast and we were there for a couple of hours.
Ely:
With my web design business, that’s how I grew that business. Literally, I started off with … I had 2 clients and those clients came to me because of places that my girlfriend worked. I mean, that’s really how I got those clients. It was great because those were the clients that they were beautiful in the fact that this was back in the day with web design. There was no WordPress. It wasn’t a dime a dozen when it came to design. I was the guy who knew how to do it and everybody else desperately needed that.

I build an entire website show to somebody and they’d be like, “It’s beautiful, it’s exactly what I want. Can you change that word?” That would be it. There would be no hemming and hawing about the colors or moving things around, or anything and that was great. The problem was that those 2 clients were enough to pay the bills and so I had to learn networking to get out there and connect. From there, one of the first things I did and to this day, I’m not positive, but I’m like 95% sure that my mom was actually the one who suggested that I look at a chamber of commerce and that’s how I got started.

I went to one of the local chambers in the Phoenix area which is where I was. I called around, talked to a couple of them and ended up going into one of their offices, and having a conversation with the sales rep there. He was like, “Here’s the deal. You could go broke trying to join every chamber of commerce you want, but if you just put the time and energy into 1 or 2 of them, you’ll get what you put into it.”

I took that to heart. I started going to every meeting I possibly could and by the time I finally decided that my business was growing to a new level, I had actually built over 200 websites because of chamber members.
Ted:
Wow. That’s important what you said there. Pick one and focus 100% on that 1 chamber of commerce or 1 networking event because I was going to 3 or 4 a month and I felt like I was getting some business and it was okay, but it was a lot of work going to 4 different events, every month.
Ely:
Right. That’s 1 reason why seminars and conferences tend to be really cool is because you can go to 1 a month and you’re spending 3 intense days with a ton of networking with maybe 300, 500 even. I mean, I go to an event here in the Portland area where it has 3,000 people. I literally will spend an entire week in downtown Portland going to little side parties and things for this particular event.

That’s where I meet a ton of people and the great thing about it is I’m not even paying to go. I don’t actually walk in the door. I just figure out where the people are hanging out and hanging out with them.
Ted:
That’s another great point to go to those conferences. You can sit in there and listen to all the great content but if you stay outside the door, you meet more people and network with more people, and connect with them.
Ely:
That’s the funny thing about it is the networking side is actually where you get the most value. I mean, obviously, especially depending on what your business is, the content learning and listening to these experts that are on stage is very powerful, but a lot of times the networking is really what happens and I find that the afterhours.

If you go to a conference, maybe you spend all day like 6 or 7 hours sitting at a seat all day, but the after party is usually where the real things happen. That’s where the real magic happens. I’ve gone to conferences where literally I hang out in the hallway until 3:00 in the morning, just talking to people. One of the things that I’ll say is that if you’re going to any event, one of the best places to go is standby the front door.

Right on the inside or right on the outside. It depends on the event, but literally stand right there, smile and introduce yourself to people as they walk in the door. It’s one of the easiest things you can do and you will meet so many amazing people just from that one little thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big conference with a thousand people or a networking group that’s got 20.
Ted:
That’s interesting approach because that sounds like they would think you actually are part of the conference if you’re standing right behind the door greeting people.
Ely:
They do. You don’t like to them. You don’t say you are, but what you do is you introduce yourself to them. You ask them who they are, ask them what do they expect to get out of the event or what are they looking for. What kind of clients are they looking for? Something to bring the conversation in to their space, let them talk about themselves and the great thing about it is you’re getting great feedback. You’re getting to find out who they are and you find out.

They might be a good business for you. At that point, you can also find out, they may not be a good client for you but you can connect them with somebody else or maybe they could help you in a different aspect. Maybe they know somebody else, but more importantly if you can connect them with the right person, they’ll remember you forever. Down the road, they might become that great client or they are much more likely to talk about you and refer you to somebody else when they’re asking.
Ted:
That’s a great point you made there. Just when you introduce yourself, put the emphasis on them and learn more about them and be very interested in them and be genuine about it. Some people will come up and they’re like, you can they’re like not really interested in you, if they’re trying to pretend to be interested in you.
Ely:
It’s really funny because you can find the people. They’ll ask questions but it almost sounds like they’re reading a script.
Ted:
Some people do have scripts actually.
Ely:
There’s nothing wrong with having scripts. Everything we do is scripted to some extent. The idea is to make it sound as natural as possible but it’s funny because I’ve had people that literally, they ask questions and you can tell question number 1 is this, question number 2 is this. You can almost see them thinking through their head of what that question is but then they’re not paying attention to your answer.

If you want to succeed, if you want to get better clients and have better relationships in the business community, whatever that looks like for you, be more interested in people and actually pay attention because those people, they’re looking for people who can be resourceful and help them out. That doesn’t necessarily always mean buying their stuff too.

That’s one of the things that I love is that if I find somebody who can be a great fit for me as a client, I would love to have that person on board but there are times where it’s just not going to be a good fit and I can turn around and say you know what, I know somebody you should talk to. What ends up happening I’ll make that introduction and both of those people end up being so appreciative of it, they both get better service because the fact that that person I introduce him to gets a new client which makes them happy.

The person I introduce to them now has a resource to solve whatever problem they have and the great thing about it is at the same time both of them now have almost a reciprocity thing going back to me. They’re going to remember me and they’re going to be more likely to refer business back to me just because I was a nice guy helping them out.
Ted:
That goes so far. Just helping people out.
Ely:
That’s one of the things and I encourage everybody watching this to have one simple little question and this is q question I wake up to everyday is who am I going to help today?
Ted:
Who am I going to help today? That’s great.
Ely:
It’s such a simple question. By doing that, it doesn’t … If you can help somebody with your products and services, great, that’s awesome but it doesn’t always look like that. A lot of times it could be that introduction with somebody else. I have a client who came in the door that she came to me as a one off client, just basically wanting a basic strategy session and she’s become a monthly client but what has end up happening is I connected her with one person who can be … or actually 2 people that can be resellers for her.

One person who can be a supplier for her. Another one who could actually be almost like a contracted employee for her and all of that side of the stuff has nothing to do with what she pays me. The amount that I get compared to what the amount of business she’ll get out of it is very, very small. I’m happy for that because she is a client of mine which makes me happy but on top of that, I get to see her succeed.

I get to see all these other people succeed. I’m building this almost like a syndicate of people who are all working together to grow their businesses and all it is means like you need to talk to this person. You need to talk to this person and if I can be somewhere entwined in there, awesome. That would be the ultimate goal from the business standpoint, but I know it’s going to work out in the end one way or another.
Ted:
There’s a real synergy there and everybody starts working together. They’re feeding off each other and you may get business from it. You may not. I feel that by doing good things like that for people, business will come to you eventually.
Ely:
Definitely.
Ted:
It’s interesting. You said this to me recently, people never go to a networking event to buy. They’re always going there to sell. That just hit me like a ton of bricks like BNI, that’s a networking. You’re not going there to learn, you’re going there to get new business.
Ely:
Here’s the thing. We are in business to grow our business and to make sales. One thing about me is I am a capitalist. I will not hide that fact in any way, shape or form. I want to sell you something but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to and I’m definitely not going to sell you something if it’s not a good fit for you because that is bad. That’s poor business. What we as networkers and connectors have to do is go into with that mindset.

Don’t be shy about selling something but also be fully aware of when is the right time and when is the not the right time to actually try to sell something. The most important thing is sales mostly don’t happen during a networking event. It can happen. It’s very rare for me. Literally twice in my life have I actually sold something on the spot at a networking event. To this day, 22 years later I still haven’t figured out how the heck I did it.

It just doesn’t happen there. What you do is you build a relationship. You start it and then that phone call that happens the next day, that coffee meeting or the phone call or the showing up of their office or whatever, that’s what leads to the next step and so if you’re dealing in brick and mortar and more of a local community, when you’re there, your job is to be as helpful as possible, show them that you are a good person and that you are interested in their success and then get their business card and email them or call them to have an appointment the next day.

The next day could be for lunch. It could be for coffee, it could be show up at their office and just get a tour in what they do, get to know more about them. That opens up the conversation to how can I actually help you. If you’re going more of a global audience, this is what I do now is I actually have. I’ll meet somebody into that and then we schedule either a Skype call or Google Hangout like what we’re doing right now.

The funny thing about it is I call it a virtual coffee date. I actually will go to the coffee shop, get my coffee that I have here because I have one of these earlier before our call today. I will go get my cup of coffee and I bring it back and I have it. We sit down and we just have as close to face to face as we can which is where Google Hangouts and Skype is such an amazing tool because now you get that point where you can see somebody’s face.

You can see the reactions when you tell a bad joke. You just get to know them. It’s no different than you were to sit down over a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop but you can do this with somebody across the world.
Ted:
That’s what I’d teach people with LinkedIn and social media. Treat people like we’re face to face like we are having a conversation right now.
Ely:
Right. Definitely.
Ted:
So many people think when you’re online, you could hide behind this and they don’t know who I am and I can spam them or I can be really aggressive selling. It’s like treat people like we’re face to face.
Ely:
Right. That’s the funny thing about it is that in today’s world, we become so in that world, especially with social media and people say things that they probably shouldn’t necessarily say and they forget that you’re still a person and the person on the other end is still a person. As the old sales adage goes, people don’t but from companies, they buy from people. We always have to remember that. We always have to keep in mind the relationship and the connection with the person is what makes the difference. You want to be successful, connect with more people and help them out.
Ted:
Focus on helping. BNI, that’s their whole motto. Givers gain and if you’re not familiar with the business networking international, go to BNI.com and get Dr. Ivan Misner’s book because it’s a great book about help others and it’ll all come back to you.
Ely:
There is another great book and Dr. Misner has got some amazing stuff. I’ve never actually been a member of BNI but I have attended multiple groups in different areas and I know him from a distance and it’s amazing some of the stuff that he’s done. There’s another really good book too. It’s called The Referral of a Lifetime. Tim Templeton, I believe is the name of the author but it’s Referral of a Lifetime. It’s a very easy read. I highly recommend you pick it up.

It really changes the paradigm of your thought process behind your connections. The people you talk to, the people you meet because I just told you a second ago that I’ve never sold an event but I have actually sold stuff in the drive through of Starbucks before.
Ted:
Tell me this one.
Ely:
I actually got in a conversation with the cashier out of Starbucks because I was going there every day. I drive through, grab a cup of coffee either before other meeting or whatever and they saw me go into the shop a few times and I’m at the drive through and one of the guys there, he’s like, “What is it that you do anyway?” I start talking to him. The next thing I know, he’s like, “You know what, I got this thing that I was going to startup and I just don’t know where to start. I’ve got this business idea.”

I was like, “Here’s my card. Look on the back. The back of it has a free guide. Your typical free report but it’s a free guide. It’ my marketing road map report.” I’m like, “Go here. Fill that out. Go there, download that. Go through it because that’s going to help you validate the idea of your business and where you start from. Once you’ve done that, let me know what you think.” The next thing I know, I get an email from him and he’s buying my stuff.
Ted:
Nice.
Ely:
He was all excited because it was something he could do. He learned from me, surely because of a 2-minute conversation in the drive through.
Ted:
You just never know. Every day, people see each other. You go to the same coffee shop and they get to know you.
Ely:
Right.
Ted:
Everybody that’s in the coffee shop usually has some other bigger dream.
Ely:
Another story of the coffee shop scenario, I have one coffee shop. I was in Boise, visiting some family because that’s originally where I’m from and I had a meeting with somebody. I had a meeting with basically an aunt of mine who has moved on with somebody else now but anyway, I met with her and her current boyfriend and they’re doing some business stuff and I was like, “You know what, I’ve got this program that might help you guys out. This is what it is and this is how much it is.”

They’re like, “Okay,” and they’re ready to give me money. I was more thinking that that would be think about it, let me know what you think. They gave me cash right there. I mean, again, new coffee shop, never been there before. This happened and literally 5 minutes after they left, I’m overhearing a conversation with 2 guys at the table next to me and they’re web designers.

I come from a web background so I started a conversation with them. We start chatting. They asked me what I do and I start talking about it, find out more about what they do and I was like, “You know what, you guys would probably be good affiliates for me. We talked about how that works and everything. They didn’t even know what an affiliate marketing was at the time.

I start explaining it to them. They signed up as an affiliate and one of the guys was the owner of the company and was like, “You know what. I think we need that for us.” He turned around and put in his credit card on the sales form on the website that I just was showing him as an example.
Ted:
Nice.
Ely:
It was funny because Cindy, my partner was just all of a sudden, I get a Skype message from her. She’s like, “What are you doing?” because literally within, not even half an hour of each other at a random coffee shop in Boise, Idaho, I made 2 sales.
Ted:
For those who aren’t familiar, what’s an affiliate program? Can you explain that?
Ely:
An affiliate program is basically a referral program where you actively play somebody who send you business. Let’s say as an example. I have an affiliate program and you find, you think, “Hey. You know what, my audience would think that this might be good for my audience. You can sign up as an affiliate that takes you 1 minute to do so. You should get links. You give somebody else that link.

If they buy, you get a commission off of that. It’s really that simple. I highly recommend that everybody listen and do that because if you can set up some form of affiliate system and of course we use Infusionsoft software so it does a lot of the backend stuff for us. You don’t have to even be that fancy with it. You can have something set up to where you just have a referral situation, mortgage brokers real estate.

I mean, obviously there’s some legal stuff involved in there. Find a way to give somebody a commission for referring somebody over to you because 9 times out of 10, that person, that new customer would never have even shown up if somebody hadn’t recommended you to them or them to you. I found people that it’s so much fun because I can go through and say, “You know what, this is how I can help you out and I’ll send out a referral and actually I get paid on it because I have that person extra business.

It’s an extra form of income. It’s an extra product that I can recommend and I never recommended anything I don’t either use myself or I don’t know that person inside [inaudible 00:24:03] that I know they’re going to provide a great service. Starting up an affiliate program can be very easy. Again, you can call an affiliate program, you call it a referral program but basically just give a way to say I want to reward you for recommending me to your friends. It’s really as that simple.
Ted:
Then you have an RME of sales people out there that can refer your business?
Ely:
I’ve got one person who’s one of our infusion soft clients that he doesn’t … Initially he paid us a pretty good chunk of change to get him set up for the stuff that we’re doing for him and ever since then he hasn’t give us anything because he’s referred so much business to us that he calls us up and says I need help on this and we just take care of it for him because we have the agreement instead of actually paying him cash.

We basically do some work for him instead because Infusionsoft consulting and coaching is a piece of what we do and it works out great for him because he gets us pretty much on demand in exchange for referring people to us and he’s referred some amazing clients to us that we love working with.
Ted:
We’ve talked a lot about offline networking going to events and conferences. What are the 3 biggest mistakes to see what people are doing when they network in person?
Ely:
In person? Most important thing is not having a business card.
Ted:
I’m going to put this one right out upfront because there are some people out there that will disagree with me on this one. That’s fine but I’ll you a personal experience on this. If you walk in to a room and you don’t have business cards, I wonder if you’re actually serious about your business. I live in the digital age. I’m a geek through and through but I still find business cards are the most powerful tool you can have.

One of the biggest reasons for that is that if I’m talking to you and I’m like, “You know what, I want to find out more about you, can I have one of your cards?” You say, “I don’t carry business cards or I don’t have any with me, chances are, 30 seconds later, I’m going to forget your name because we’re busy and we live in an ADD world.
Ely:
Yes.
Ted:
I actually had time. It’s funny because I had times where there’s one person in particular I met that I wanted to look at doing a partnership with because he had what I thought would be a great service. I always say, “Do you have a business card? I would love to set up a time to have coffee with you and find out more about what you do.” I was 100% serious about wanting to find out more about him.

I had no interest in selling him anything. He was like, “I don’t do business cards. You can just look me up online. I’m easy to find.” I was like, “Okay. I’ll try to remember that.” Then I went and it was at an event. We were both speaking and by the end of that, we were both so busy, I completely forgot his name.
Ely:
Right, exactly. I couldn’t follow up with him because I couldn’t remember him.
Ted:
I agree with you.
Ely:
His last name was not easy to remember. His first name was, I think it was Sam. That’s the part I remember but I don't remember his last name.
Ted:
I’ve run into those people too. They have an attitude sometimes, “I don’t carry business cards. I’m too good for that.”
Ely:
The funny thing is I’ve even turned around and said I’ve given people the benefit of the doubt and I said, “Here is my card. I want you to email me. Send me your information as quickly as possible because I want to find out more.” I’ve done that in a situation where I was ready to buy their service and I never hear from them. That leads to number 2 which is follow up.

The follow up is the key. We’ve heard the phrase, the fortune is in the follow up. If you’ve been in sales for any amount of time, you probably heard that phrase but what people forget is that it’s really true that you have to follow up and you have to follow up quickly with somebody. One of the most important things is that we are again, on that ADD world. We get busy and so we meet a lot of people.

I mean, it’s not uncommon for me to meet 50 people in a week. This is first time just out of events and different things. For somebody to have send me an email or even on social media, send me a Facebook message or a LinkedIn message or whatever, send me a message saying, “Hey, I met you at XYZ event last night. I really had a great time.

Here’s my contact info. That alone solidifies that relationship. It goes into my head. I’m like, “Oh yeah. I remember him from last night and we talked about this.” Now, there’s a catch point that goes into my subconscious. Without that, you give it 48 to 72 hours, poof, it’s gone because I met so many other people.
Ted:
So many people and so much content. You’re overwhelmed. Let me get home.
Ely:
Exactly.
Ted:
Whenever I speak at events, I ask people, “Who has collected a business card here today?” Everybody raises their hand. I said, “How many people are going to call somebody when you get home or email those people? About 10% of the people might raise their hands.
Ely:
Right. That’s the funny thing about it. I know that out of a hundred people, I will be excited if I get 2 to actually send me a message. I’m not even saying pick up the phone. I’m saying you should pick up the phone. That’s the best way but I’m saying just shoot an email. Here is for everybody listening, I have a great script. You can steal this script to run with it. Send an email. You got to send it within 48 hours or I’ll say it’s not near as effective.

You send an email and here’s what it says. It says, “Dear, Bob. It was great meeting you at XYZ event last night. I hope you met some really great people. I know I did (like you),” that way you feed their ego a little bit. “By the way, what other cool events do you go to? Here’s a couple that I recommend.” You list 1 or 2 that you go that, that you think are good events.

“By the way, I’d love to have coffee sometime next week. How does Thursday look for you?” signed Ely. There’s a couple psychological pieces with this. Number 1 is you comment on them. You compliment them on the fact that you met them and you met a cool person. You ask a question what other events do you go to or do you recommend which elicits a response and that’s a very key point.

It’s just a micro commitment of “Hey, by the way. Do you know of any other events that I should be attending?” The answer may be no but that no is a response. It’s an engagement. Then you’re adding value by offering a couple that you would recommend. Then you mention setting an appointment.
Ted:
You give them a date or a time.
Ely:
You give them a date and here’s the thing where it really doesn’t matter what day of the week it is. You pick a date that’s going to work pretty well but worst case scenario, if you’re not available Thursday, they reply back and you say, “Hey, I’m really sorry but from the time I sent this to the time you replied back, I ended up getting booked on Thursday. How does Friday look?” It starts the conversation.
Ted:
They’ll come back and suggest the time and day.
Ely:
Exactly That script right there has gotten me so, so many appointments with people. Some of those appointments could be face to face, sometimes they’re coffee. Sometimes we meet for lunch, sometimes I go to their office. Sometimes it’s a phone call. We’re easily in the hundreds if not multiple hundreds easily from that one email right there.

You can literally write that email, stick it in a word document, saved it in your desktop, open, copy and paste every single time. You don’t have to change it. It’s that simple but by doing that one thing, you are going to stand out above 95% of the other people out there just because you did.
Ted:
99%.
Ely:
Yeah, 99%. We’ll go with a 99%. I was even being conservative and given an extra 4%.
Ted:
I do the same on LinkedIn actually. Whenever I meet somebody at conferences, I connect with them on LinkedIn immediately. Usually that evening when I get back to my room. Then I’ll send them a message similar to that.
Ely:
Right. The cool thing about that is that after that message goes out, then you go into the social media sites. You go to LinkedIn and immediately find them, look them up and connect with them and say, “Hey, I just sent you an email, but I wanted to connect in the social world too.” Then that way, what ends up happening is they get the email. They get the social media connection.

They’re more likely to remember you because when they remember you, then they’re more likely to accept you because if you do this 2 weeks later, they probably forget who you are and they’re less likely to actually accept your connection request on LinkedIn. Within 48 hours is very, very key with us.
Ted:
It’s all about timing. The first mistake is you didn’t bring a business card to the event. The second mistake is you didn’t follow up. What’s the third big mistake?
Ely:
The third big mistake is adding somebody to your generic newsletter. This is a huge pet peeve of mine and sadly enough it happens a lot. Commercial real estate people, if you’re listening to this, please pay attention to this because you guys are the worst. Basically, I go to events. I’ll meet some really cool people. I’ll shake hands. I have great conversations. With do the business card exchange. The next day, all of a sudden, I get an email, “Hey, here’s the greatest listings on the property in your area.” I’m like wait a minute.

I’m not in the market for real estate, commercial real estate. I never said I was. I didn’t show an interest. I didn’t ask for it in any way shape or form. You just spammed me and so you got to stop that. It doesn’t matter how great your products and services are, don’t assume that I want them until I’ve said so. That is such a huge relationship killer that I’ve had people who’ve done that and I immediately report them to spam and I will never recommend them. [inaudible 00:34:25] about it.

That’s why that email that I just talked about is so important because that email is a nice introduction. It’s a relationship starter. The great thing is that at that point, that opens up a conversation to where you can then say, “By the way, if you’re interested in checking out commercial real estate, here’s my newsletter or here’s my free guide,” which I do recommend don’t say here’s my newsletter because in today’s world, that pretty much reads, “Give me permission to spam you.”

Nobody wants a newsletter. We already get 10,000 emails a day. Give them something of value. That’s why like with me, I have … My business card has that free guide on the back. Since we’re in camera, I can actually pull out a business card and I’ll show you. This is a great way because then if I find somebody who’ qualified, and qualified means that they actually show an interest. I’ll put this right here. Got it right on the camera. You can quickly look at it. That is the back of my business card.

What I’ll do is when I talk to somebody, I start off with the conversation of asking a lot of questions, getting to know them and then if they strike an interest, then I’ll be, you know what, this is on my contact information. Definitely feel free to email me or whatever. I’d love to have coffee with you but if you want to find out more in how I work and get some goals training, this is a report that I give away for free.

It also goes to a training horse that I have that’s completely free. Check it out, let me know what you think. That’s your starting point because then it’s a soft pitch. It’s not trying to push them into a sale and your conversation when you send that first email or that first LinkedIn connection, you start with the start a conversation. When they respond back, say, “Hey, by the way. I have this thing for free that I give away. Would you be interested in checking it out and let me know what you think. That’s it. That’s the entire pitch.
Ted:
It works.
Ely:
The thing about it is if they’re interested, they’ll do it. If they’re not interested, you didn’t waste anybody’s time and you didn’t tick anybody off in the process.
Ted:
Right. I give people free chapters of my book. It’s on the back of my business card. It’s valuable real estate that people don’t take advantage of.
Ely:
Definitely. This one piece has been my number 1 sales tool out there because it doesn’t matter what kind of event I’m going to. It doesn’t matter if I happen to be in a coffee shop. No matter what it is, it gives me something I can put out. It’s very inexpensive and I’ve gotten hundreds and hundreds of opt-ins from that one little thing.
Ted:
That’s better than just spamming them.
Ely:
Yeah, because what it does is it basically gives them a reason to raise their hand saying yes, I am interested. Yes, I do want more. Just last month, I went to the sportsman show here in Portland and I am not a sports guy. I’m not a hunter. I’m not into any kind of that stuff but in the last year, I’ve gotten into archery as a personal hobby of mine. It’s target archery. For me, it’s like a form of meditation, but I wanted to go and I’ve gotten into it enough that I wanted to check it out and see what archery shops we’re going to show up at this event, from this one thing that I went to.

I’m going down the aisles, bored out of my mind for most of it and then I get to this one and this one has Hungarian horse bows which if you’ve ever seen them is they’re actually beautiful. They’re a good work of art on top of the fact that they’re fun to play with. I ended up talking to the woman who runs it and we start off in a basic conversation.

I don't remember what started it but something came up about her Facebook page is how I actually art first known about her and she was really excited about that and we got talking about something and I just gave her a quick suggestion. Something she could do on her Facebook that would make it more effective. She’s like, “Really? That’s really cool. What is it that you do?”

She asked me and I bring up, “I’m a marketing consultant essentially and this is what I do. I help people with their sales funnels,” and blah, blah, blah. She was like, “You know what I really need that.” I’m like, “Cool.” I sat there and talked to her in her booth for about 45 minutes. At the end of the day, I walked out with a whole set of gear and a new client.
Ted:
Nice.
Ely:
It was just networking. It was just connecting. The great thing is I had a call with her earlier today and I’m helping her with some other stuff. I’m helping her with these connections, with other places that she can help grow her business and they can be resellers for her and all that kind of stuff. It’s a blast. It’s so much fun because I don’t look at it as what do I get out of it. I look at it as how am I helping these people all get connected and grow their businesses because I know it’s going to come back.
Ted:
You mentioned something there. It’s something I teach too. Just start conversations with people. That’s all you want to try to do.
Ely:
It’s really funny because we tend to be afraid of that and depending on where you are in the world it can be a little bit harder. I know coming from Phoenix, if you go to talk to a stranger in Phoenix, chances are you can pretty much see the ticker tape across their head that says, “A, are you going to mug me and, B what you going to sell me?” That’s pretty common. I get that. Coming from Portland, it’s totally different when I moved up here because I moved up here, everybody is friendly, everybody talks but I am one, I’ll talk to a complete strangers anywhere.

If I can find a reason to have that conversation, it’s so much fun. I’ve gotten so much business. I mean, I’ve just told you about 2 different conversations during our call today that led to cash in hand by talking to some stranger. Neither one of those was in a place that I would expect it, that I was looking for it, in any way shape or form but by starting a conversation, it led to being in the right place, right time, right conversation and that person trusting me because I wasn’t there to pitch them planning to sell them anything.

I was there having a good conversation and it led in the right direction. That’s something I think all of us in business need to remember. If you show that you care, show that you’re an expert in what you do and show that you can add value, the sales process is actually easy because you don’t have to sell anything. You just make sure that they’re aware of what it is and how much it costs that you show those other 3 things make us so they want to do business with you.
Ted:
They know, like, and trust you.
Ely:
Exactly.
Ted:
Just by the conversations.
Ely:
Exactly. The KLT factor is what I call that. It’s KLT factor. If you think about it, that is so key to remember that. I mean, just write it down, know, like, and trust. Look at those 3 words. Those are in that order for a very specific reason because you can’t trust somebody if you don’t like them unless maybe that person is a doctor or a lawyer. They can get away with it but the rest of us can’t. For somebody to like you, they have to get to know you. That’s why those 3 words are in that order because it’s know, like, and trust.
Ted:
Let’s shift gears here. We’ve talked a lot about offline networking and meeting the person. Let’s go networking online. You do most of your network online now?
Ely:
Yeah. Most of it now has been on the online world and what I’ll do with that is some of it is still, like, “I’ll meet somebody at a conference or seminar where they’re in town or I’m in town for something on a short standpoint but immediately I want to connect with him with the social media world. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, those 4 places. You don’t even have to use all of them. Use the ones that are going to be the best fit for where your referral partners are and where your customers are.

Those 2 keys are very important because some people will join different social media sites because it’s the big popular one. Matter of fact, I just had somebody before we jumped on this call that I was sending an email to. He was talking about being overwhelmed by all the social media stuff out there, other stuff like Blab and Periscope and all these different things. I’m like you don’t have to be on everything.

You need to be where your customer is and where your referral partners are, those 2 places because your referral partners are the ones you’re going to connect with in order to get in front or more customers but your customers if they’re on Facebook, then you need to spend more time on Facebook. If they’re on LinkedIn, spend more time on LinkedIn. If they’re not on Twitter, don’t spend a lot of time there. It’s really simple.

You don’t have to spend that much time on these places. What I’ll do and I like Facebook and LinkedIn because of the groups more than anything else. Those 2 have amazing capacbilities with groups where you can join a group, have great conversation with somebody, get in there, be part of a conversation where somebody asks a question, help answer it.

Again, that whole thing when you wake up in the morning, who are you going to help today. You go in there, you say, “You know what, I know the answer to this. You pop in there, answer the question.” Every time you do that, that adds a little bit of social [inaudible 00:43:37]. Every time you do that, it adds the credibility, shows that you’re an expert and you’re helping somebody, showing somebody who likes to add value.

You and I talked about this before we started everything. We’ve talked about the fact that we’re doing Infusionsoft consulting as one piece of our business. I got 1 client and this multiple times this happened but this one specifically, he went in to one group and posted in, “I’m looking at moving to Infusionsoft and I just need to know what are the plusses, what are the minuses, what do you think?” A whole bunch of people bombarded him with, “By the way, it’s the greatest thing since slice bread. This is why, this is how. Call me up and I can give you special deal,” that kind of stuff.

They were consultants that were part of their referral program type of situation. That’s pretty much where they got bombarded by how awesome it was and come to me and I’ll get you a deal. After looking at 20 of those, I was like, first off, it’s not really answering his question. I went in there and I spend about 10 minutes writing something up and I said, “Okay. I’ve been using this since 2007. We love it. It runs our entire business. This is what we love about it. Here’s what we don’t love about it. Here’s the things you need to remember before you get started with it. If you’ve got more questions just shoot me a message.”

I didn’t hear anything back for a few days and probably about 4 days later I get a message from him. “Hey, thank you so much for your detailed response.” I mean, it was pretty good sized. “I’m wondering if maybe we could spend a couple minutes and talk.” I get on the phone with him. That person has become a client of mine.

He’s been with is for 6, 8 months now. Has paid us quite a large sum of money and has been a great person for us to work with. It’s just purely because of the fact that I didn’t go in, pitching him, I gave him good solid information that he could use whether he bought for me or not.
Ted:
Was this on LinkedIn or Facebook?
Ely:
That one was on Facebook, but I’ve had both. I’ve had them on LinkedIn and on Facebook.
Ted:
LinkedIn, everybody used to do what you did and then the last couple of years, LinkedIn group for me, people just bombard people with soft promotions and that’s why they made all these group changes recently.
Ely:
Right. That’s because we’re marketers and as marketers we have to destroy everything which is a sad thing.
Ted:
Find something that works and kill it.
Ely:
It’s like, “How can we abuse this one now?” Unfortunately, it happens. The goal is to don’t do that because I can look at it. On LinkedIn, I have probably 10 messages from people that are just pitching me on their … “I’d love to get on the phone with you and offer you a free strategy session.” I don’t even know who you are or what you sell. Let’s start the conversation of, “Hey, I would love to have a chat with you and get to know more about your business.”

Imagine that. How do you know if I’m going to be a good customer if you don’t know anything about me? You know what I mean? That’s just basic relationship building. That’s all it is and that’s the fun thing about this is this is not rocket science, this is not hard stuff. Just build a relationship with somebody and those that … Obviously, you don’t hide what you do. Like I said, I said up front, “I am a capitalist. I love making money and being successful in my business,” but I come in to it with a, “This is what I do. How can I help you?”

It’s funny because I’ll ask that question and people are like, “Well, I don’t think I need your services right now.” I’m like, “That’s not what I asked. I said how can I help you?” If that happens to be buying one of my programs or becoming a consulting client, awesome. That’s great.” If it means that you need somebody build out your new retail location, I might have a connection for you, so just ask.
Ted:
Now, that’s one of my pet peeves is the welcome message from LinkedIn. They’re very aggressively selling you. It’s like, “Can you refer me or give me an endorsement or recommend me?” I’m like, “I don't know you.”
Ely:
That’s a big one too. From a standpoint, don’t ask for recommendation or a testimonial from somebody that doesn’t know you. That’s just silly. I mean, I don’t understand how people thing that that’s even valid. I’ll have people that will actually do a little endorsement button and it’s really funny because I’m like, “I don’t even know this person. How do they know that I do this?” I get endorsements for things that I don't do. I’m like okay.
Ted:
I have other things in there that I don’t do that.
Ely:
Like SEO. People say I’m an SEO expert. I’m like, ”No, I’m not,” but whatever. The recommendation, I will do like if I have a strategy session with a client or if I worked with somebody, I would be like, “Can you help me out with this? Go here and do write a recommendation for me.” It will be for somebody who knows me, somebody who’s actually.

They may not necessarily bought my services but maybe they came to a free workshop or they saw me speak at an event or something that they’re still, they can speak on something valid. That’s a good way to do it. Here’s the thing. If you want to get more exposure, go to somebody else’s profile you did business with and write a recommendation for them without them asking for it.
Ted:
I do that a lot.
Ely:
That’s huge because just by doing that. I’ve had times where I’ve had somebody on my podcast ad I‘ll go write a recommendation on how great of a guest they were. They didn’t ask for it but by doing that, that adds that credibility and it adds that karma into it. They’re shocked and amazed by the fact that I did it.
Ted:
They’ll be prompted to write you one in return.
Ely:
Exactly.
Ted:
That works like magic. It works really well.
Ely:
It’s funny because everything we’ve talked about is not hard. It’s not complicated stuff at all. We’re talking about just being a good human being, helping people out. That’s it.
Ted:
It’s sales 101 in a way because any course you take in sales is what’s in it for me? Put yourself in their shoes. Don’t try to sell them. Learn more about them and help them.
Ely:
Any good sales program cut is based around that concept because when you do that, you are showing them that you care and become a trusted source. I’ve had people tell me that they would never consider doing business with anybody else just because of the fact that they’ve seen me as the person who’s always been there to help them out. I had one woman that I knew for 10 years. All of a sudden, she comes out of the blue and says, “Okay. I need some help. Can you stop by the shop this afternoon?”

Sure. I stopped by. This was back in my web design company and I stopped in and we had conversation about building a website for and what she needed and how much was going to cost and all that kind of bunch of stuff. We get to the end and I was like, “Who else are you talking to about this?” She’s like, “Well, nobody.” I knew her well enough to know she’s the kind of person she gets at least 3 bids and I was like, “Really? Why aren’t you talking to everybody else?”

She goes, “Because I’ve known you forever. You’ve always been there. You’ve always helped me out anytime I had a question and I’ll know that you’ll be the one to do the best job for me.
Ted:
That’s awesome.
Ely:
That’s a good place to be and I’ve never hard-pitched her on anything.
Ted:
That way, you’re that kind of guy. You’re just very helpful. You’re always there for people.
Ely:
That’s a fun place to be. When you do that, it takes the sales process out of the stress level because when you’re doing that, all your doing is you’re just being a resource for somebody helping them out and saying, “Hey, I’m glad to help you out. Can I connect you with somebody?” At that point they trust you and they’re not going to want to deal with anybody else because they know you. They like you, they trust you. That other person is scary. Whoever that other person is.
Ted:
People don’t realize. People look at you or what you do online. 77% of people look at your LinkedIn profile before they do business. If they’re savvy business owners today, they’re going to look at what you do on Facebook, in Twitter. They’ll follow you in Twitter and see what kind of post you do. Are you a self promoter or are you helping people.
Ely:
That’s a big one too. I’ve seen some people who connected with me and I’ll look at them and all it is, is just, “Hey. By the way, this is on sale.” As a matter of fact, I know somebody just 2 days ago, that posted on our LinkedIn group about pitching that [inaudible 00:52:19] advertised on his calendar. I was like, “Dude, no.” The worst thing about it was there was no … he could have send it as a private message. It would have been fine but he posted it publically. He posted on 2 different groups. I turn around and I look at what he did on a couple of Facebook groups run together.

He did it with the exact same message. All he’s doing is basically copying and pasting and spamming his message out. It’s a marketer. It’s a person that I know. I liked the guy but I’ve lost all kinds of respect for that situation. It will also go in to your concept of people watch what you say. Watch what you say in a social video world about your positivity or your negativity, your political views, that kind of stuff because that kind of stuff, there’s nothing wrong with having your political views.

You can take it too far to where people will not do business with you because if your attitude behind things. Another great examples are somebody that I know here locally who is … They tend to post a lot of stuff that is very extreme in the political world and it’s not even that I disagree with the stuff that they post. A lot of it, I actually in its base sense I agree with.

They do it with such hatred behind the way they post and the comments that they add to this stuff that I could never recommend. I would have anything to do with them and I’m like, “You may be good at what you do but I’m not going to send my clients to you because you scare me.” It’s not saying you have to soften things out. You just have to be careful about, be aware of what you’re doing because that negativity could be hurting your business because in the social world, everybody sees it.
Ted:
Don’t engage in politics and religion on social media.
Ely:
Exactly.
Ted:
Find some private forums where you can vent because that stays there forever.
Ely:
Yeah. I always tell people. If I said half of what goes through my head, people would hate me. That’s why I don’t say it.
Ted:
We all have that, yeah.
Ely:
Exactly. We all have that.
Ted:
This has been really great. How can people get a hold of you? What can you do for people?
Ely:
A couple of things I could do for people. Number one is connect with me because if you just connect with me social media world, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, look for Ely Delaney. Do a search. You’ll find me. Very, very easy. I have fun just connecting to cool people. I also have my follow up blueprint. This is my networking follow up blueprint. Whether you’re networking online or offline, I would love to have everybody listening to this. Grab a free copy of it. Give me one second. It’s Yourmarketinguniversity.com/ted.

You go there. You’re going to opt in just like you do on anything else, but that is my blueprint. This is the checklist that I go by to follow up after an event. It’s geared more for offliners, so if you’re meeting people in face to face and then connecting with them, it’s both face to face down the road and in the social world. No matter where you are, what kind of businesses that you’re in, it doesn’t matter if you’re a coffee shop owner or a speaker. It’s this basic guidelines that I go through. I’ve been very powerful. These are the things that I’ve used for years. They work really well and I decided to put it in to a checklist for you. Go grab that.
Ted:
Awesome.
Ely:
It’s helped me out. It’s helped a lot of my clients out and I like to share it anyway I can.
Ted:
Cool. Thank you very much for your time.
Ely:
Thank you, Ted. It’s my pleasure. It’s always fun. You know what, I need to hangout more often definitely.
Ted:
Instead of just occasional chats on Facebook. Cool. Thank you very much for your time. This will be posted on socialsellingtelevision.com too. That’s my Apple TV channel. This will become part of my podcast so we’re going to get some traction with this.
Ely:
Very cool. I appreciate it. If there’s anything I can do to ever help you out, reach out and let me know anytime.
Ted:
Great. That goes for everybody listening too. Thanks a lot.
Ely:
Thank you. Take care.

 

About the Author Ted Prodromou

Would you like me to help you? I'm the #1 best-selling author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business. People call me America's Leading LinkedIn Coach. I'm the founder of Search Marketing Simplified, LLC, a full service online marketing agency. The SMS team designs and implements advanced LinkedIn and social media lead-generation strategies for small to medium-sized businesses. SMS will set up and manage your marketing funnels using organic, social and paid traffic. Did you know I've been working with the internet since 1991, long before Al Gore invented it?

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