Success: It’s All About Relationships

John began his career working in politics, including as a writer in the Clinton White House, Office of Presidential Letters and Messages. He was also a Speechwriter in the California Governor’s Office during the Davis Administration, and later he became an Attorney.

John gave up speechwriting and the law to become a blogger and podcaster! He helps business owners connect with anyone they want to connect with. And they find their businesses grow exponentially because of it. He also owns and operates a website and related Podcast called SmartBusinessRevolution.com where he shows entrepreneurs how to build and use relationships to build more value, revenues and profits in their businesses.

John’s take on the business: The number one, most important thing that will determine your level of success or failure in business is your relationships.

In this Podcast episode John shares his insights on building stronger relationships, and connecting with people that can make a difference in your business.

Episode Highlights:

  • John’s history as a white house intern, staff writer, attorney and entrepreneur
  • Why “helping first” matters most.
  • How to build relationships without being awkward.
  • How to break the ice with a new group of people.
  • Learn some basic mechanics of talking with people.
  • Making connections brings more value.
  • Why delivering value works best.
  • How making introductions builds value for you.
  • How does John make a living in “networking”.
  • Events where “mixing” is required and new people are attending.
  • How to monetize Podcasting

Transcription:

Mark: So I remember an event … I think it was three years ago, I was at Pubcon and I had hired a PR firm to be able to help with Quiet Light Brokerage and some things that we were trying … no was it four years ago we were trying to do and I had hired somebody to come with me from a PR firm and she was an awesome networker. I mean she was phenomenal at what she did. And she came out to me laughing at the networking event at Pubcon because she said this is so funny. She’s like I’m so used to networking events where everybody’s a professional networker and she said people here obviously are not because everyone was looking down at their phones and shuffling their feet and saying I don’t really want to introduce myself to anybody so I’m going to pretend like I actually have something to do on my phone. And you know what that was also me. I’m a terrible networker. I’m not really good at it. I’m a natural introvert. Joe, I understand you had John Corcoran and he’s a networker and you guys talked about networking. This is an area where I struggle so I’d love to learn a little bit more about what you guys discussed.

Joe: You know one of the first things John said was don’t fall asleep, don’t tune out because it’s networking. You can grow your business dramatically by meeting the right people and being introduced to the right people. You don’t go at it with that approach ias John’s thought it’s more just building relationships and those relationships lead to additional connections and relationships that can help grow your business; double, triple the size of your business. It’s helped us dramatically through what this podcast we’ve met so many people. It’s broken down doors and they feel like they know us more because of it. The networking that John talks about is exactly the same. It’s through all of the different events that we might attend to. And he kind of gives some tips on breaking the ice to make connections and really kind of the Golden Rule approach to networking. It’s a fascinating story. John’s actually a fascinating guy. He used to work as a speechwriter for … I think it’s called presidential letters during the Clinton administration. He did not know Monica Lewinsky. For those listening, I did ask. It was pre-recording but he absolutely didn’t know her. Yeah, everybody chuckles poor girl really, seriously. He went to law school after doing that and eventually became a lawyer, practicing attorney and replaced his income as a lawyer by podcasting and blogging and doing that through networking. Pretty impressive guy, great story and I think he can help a great deal with people that don’t realize how important networking is in helping other people is to their business at the end of the day.

Mark: Awesome let’s go right on into it and learn a little bit more about networking.

Joe: Hey folks it’s Joe Valley from Quiet Light Brokerage and today I’ve got a very special guest. His name is John Corcoran and he has a ton of experience both as a writer for the White House, as an attorney, and as a networking specialist. John, welcome to the Quiet Light Podcast.

John: Thanks to have had me, Joe.

Joe: Quite heavy here man. We met at the Prosper Show you’re doing that very thing, walking around with a camera and a microphone, networking, talking to people, helping James do a great job there which they always do and I think you’ve been a big part of that. But that’s my intro right there. I need you to tell these folks that are listening all about your background, your experience, who you are, and what you’re all about.

John: Sure. Well hopefully, people didn’t tune out when they heard oh networking I hate that stuff. That’s a funny reaction that people have. It’s kind of like sales right? We know it’s important but we also kind of hate it. And oftentimes that’s because we’ve had some kind of negative interaction or negative experience with it; some guy coming up and sticking you his business card in your hand, in your face trying to sell you on something at a networking event. I’m not an advocate of that. I think there’s a lot smarter ways to do it, a lot of tools that we have available. My background you know when I was a kid I moved around a lot. My father lost a job three separate times and each time we had to move across the country 3,000 miles away; away from family and friends. That experience taught me the importance of building relationships in business and it’s critically important. And as a result of that, I’ve had some amazing experiences in my career. As you mentioned right there in the White House, in the Clinton White House years, speechwriter with the Governor of California. I had my own legal practice for a number of years and now I’ve got a business called Rise25 and a blog and a podcast called Smart Business Revolution. That’s really more of my focus now and we bring people together at live events and I really enjoy doing that.

Joe: Tell us a little bit about your background in terms of … I’m looking at your bio here and it says you went from party school to the White House. Just for the sake of the people that are listening, how the hell did you make that transition from being at a party school to writing speeches for the president?

John: It’s strange I know. It’s a strange trajectory. So yeah I mean basically I went from an English major, getting a BA in English at a party school to within a year of that I was a writer in presidential letters and messages in the Clinton White House. It’s kind of like a second tier speechwriter. I’m kind of like a … you know as a speechwriter has pulled a hamstring then we would step in, that kind of thing. But it was an amazing experience. I had interned in the speechwriting office during college. It was an amazing experience and I went back to college. And networking lesson number one is keep in touch with the people in your network. And once you build a relationship with someone it’s really important to keep in touch with them. And so I was back at college, I knew I’d love to get a job at the White House but not all former interns get that kind of gig and so I kept in touch. I would send things from time to time like speeches or articles or passages that I found that I would send to the speechwriters. Not as a way of saying like hey do you have a job for me? But they … it kept me top of mind and what do you know a month or a couple of months later, a year later something like that they reached back out and said hey we heard about this position for you and I ended up applying and getting it. So it was an amazing experience.

Joe: Were you taught that or did you just intuitively share information, stayed in touch and tried to help with little bits and informa,tion that you found?

John: Yeah looking back I think really it was part of how I grew up and having to be that kid who is new in the class. I remember what it’s like to move in the middle of a school year into … I went from Southern California to Massachusetts which is a huge culture shock. From being a kid it was like out at the beach to like dock siders and button downs and stuff like that in Massachusetts. It’s a very different kind of culture and showing up in the middle of the school year when everyone had been in the same group of kids for years and years. And so it taught me the importance of being able to go into a new community and be able to make friends essentially. And I did that a number of times growing up and so I just realize the importance of it. And also just with watching my dad struggle when he got laid off a couple of times, the importance of building a network before you need it. You need to have these things so that when the S-H-I-T hits the fan, which it does from time to time, the economy or your company going under or whatever you’ve got to have that network. You have to have built those relationships first so that you can use them when you need them.

Joe: Yeah I think it’s essential. There are several mentors in my life that have given imparted wisdom. One of them is along those lines and it kind of goes with what I’ve recently studied which is a DarrenDaily … they call them DarrenDaily it’s a Darren Hardy program, you know essentially it sounds like what you do about speechwriters was you gave something to them first. You didn’t expect anything in return. You were giving them something to help them. Hey here’s an idea and you were on top of mind because of that. And then you kept giving throughout the year and eventually, you got something back. Maybe it wasn’t your intention to get something back but you were there, you were front of mind and you were offering something to them. I find that the same thing applies to what I do. You talked about networking it’ll gross folks, don’t tune out because of that. Same thing with a broker man, I’m a “broker” right? I’m a business broker. People get sort of turned off by that if they go with the general label of business broker. But more than anything else we just simply try to help. We try to help people with whatever the issue is, with the experiences that we have, with the knowledge that we have, with the relationships that we have. I refer people out all the time helping them connect with bookkeepers, attorneys, whatever it might be expecting absolutely nothing in return. Eventually, we’ll run into them at a conference and spend some time with them and build a relationship with them and then they may refer somebody to us or if when they decide to sell their business they’ll think of us first. I don’t like networking. I don’t. I never have. I’m a bit of an introvert. I love doing the podcast because it’s just you and me it’s not a whole group of people here. I don’t have to walk up in a crowded room. I’m a kind of a low talker so people can’t hear me. I’ve got a big microphone now so that helps. How do you advise people to sort of break the ice with a new networking group or a mastermind group or if they’re at an event like Rhodium Weekend like E-commerce Fuel like Smart Marketer, like Blue Ribbon Mastermind, and to just walk up to a group of people and start talking? How do you recommend they do that? Just say hey because obviously, they’re strangers too?

John: Yeah I mean there’s a high level and then there’s the mechanics of what you use in a physical … a face to face type of interaction like that which also applies to online. You know a lot of networking we do these days can be through tools like LinkedIn or Facebook or something like that where you can really leverage relationships. So I would say first you got to start with okay am I at the right event to begin with? And that requires some really deep soul searching. Are you going in the right direction with your career? And people do pivots all the time. They change, they just … they lose passion for something. So you have to be sure you’re going in the right direction because you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip. And if you’re at the wrong event then you’re not going to find the right people there who you’re going to want to engage with or you’re going to want to talk to. So start with that and then secondly I think you’re right about the give approach. You’ve got to focus on okay I’m going to give, give, give as much as possible and then after that people are going to want to return the favor. And that doesn’t mean you should be taken advantage of but it means you should try and deliver value to people first before you try and hit them with a sales pitch. We’ve all been hit with a sales pitch right off the bat where people tries to get something from us or tries to get us to buy from them and it just doesn’t feel right. It sits in our stomachs. So don’t be that kind of person. Be a giver first. And then [inaudible 00:11:08.3] talking to people face to face in an event or something like that. Usually, I think people struggle because they over think it and they think okay I want to come up with some brilliant thing that will be related to my vocation, that will get us in a big discussion around what it is I do so that I can sell them on something. Well, the truth is you should spend a lot more time on just more human conversation. It could about hey how about this crazy weather we’ve been having or when did you get in? If you’re at a conference you know where are you from? Maybe it’s something on their attire, maybe they have an interesting shirt on or something like that. A lot of times there are little tidbits that you can you can pick out of there and then that gets you into a conversation. And then people leave little breadcrumbs all the time they just require exploring. People will mention oh yeah I was a little delayed my daughter had a volleyball tournament and so I wasn’t able to get here when I wanted to. Well, that’s a huge opening right there explore that. Go a little bit further and say oh really where did she play volleyball, what was the tournament, what was … how is she doing, what position is she in? Just taking an interest in people will get you really really far.

Joe: It almost goes back to our teenage days when our parents told us just to take an interest in the girls and ask questions and it would work out pretty well.

John: I know.

Joe: We were teenagers and we paid no attention and we got it all wrong. At least I did, I don’t know about you though.

John: Exactly. I don’t even know if my parents gave me that amount of advice so [inaudible 00:12:37.8].

Joe: I’m trying to do with my kids and I know that you’re doing something with your son. I saw it on LinkedIn. I love that you’re helping him sell some-

John: Yeah we’re-

Joe: It’s … I almost said Girl Scout cookies.

John: Yeah … oh no, it’s Kab Scout. And it’s funny he’s like a natural born entrepreneur. He just turned eight and loves selling stuff, loves making money and so we’re kind of using it as a teaching opportunity. But right there, there’s a good example okay. You said I hate networking, a lot of people say that I hate networking but I love connecting with people. They’ll follow it up with that and then I’ll say okay well what do you think networking is really? I mean it’s connecting with people. Maybe you hate being in a room full of strangers and not sure what to say, that’s a given and that’s fine. I totally get that. A lot of people get uncomfortable in that kind of situation. But me sharing my son’s experience and experience we’re going through with learning about setting up a website to sell Boy Scout popcorn as a fundraiser you know that’s a way of remaining top of mind with people who are in your network on LinkedIn. And people see that and then it’s also a way of teaching too because I’m also using it as a teaching opportunity as well. And it also personalizes me. I found … you probably found this too, when people they know more about you personally, a passion, or a hobby that you have or they know something about your kids or something they’re a lot more connected to you. And I mean I discovered this a long time ago, long before I had kids. When I asked people about their children before I had kids I would ask too about their children because I notice they would light up. And it just breaks down these walls, breaks down these barriers, it allows you to really accelerate the connecting process so that you get to know that person a lot better and they’re a lot more motivated to help you. They start to treat their interactions with you less transactionally and more like a true friend, a relationship; something that they actually are invested in helping. So that’s why I do things like that is sharing a little piece … if you share a little piece about your life, it’s not everything, but sharing a piece about your life it makes people more connected to me. It makes me top of mind and who knows where it might lead after that.

Joe: Right, I couldn’t agree more. I saw it and I felt it humanized you and I felt like I knew you a little bit better even though we’ve only met a couple of times. I was a guest on your podcast, you’re a guest on ours, and we met at the Prosper Show. So I totally get it. By way of example a lot of people listening they’re either buyers or sellers and they love to monetize things. They say well how can I monetize something? And I want to give an example, I got a text today about two hours before this recording where someone was at an event in Miami and I introduced him to somebody else. They connected and he said to me, he sent me a text and he’s like thank you for introducing me to so and so. I feel like I got 1.5 million dollars’ worth of value out of that lunch and I’m buying a business from him for much less than that so I feel like I’ve doubled my money. And they were able to meet face to face for the first time and just get that connection. And that particular individual is making a point of helping lots of different people. I can’t give you his name but every time I speak with someone that has connected with him it’s not about what they got from him it’s what … which they did get it’s what he did for them. And that comes back around and it gets monetized in a variety of different ways. Most people listening again are either buyers or sellers thinking how the heck is this going to help me? Back when I sold my business in 2010 there weren’t really any Mastermind groups. There were certainly not any Facebook groups. There weren’t any Smart Marketer events or Rhodium weekend, any of these things that we go to now and connect with people over and over and over again and it’s eventually just a trip to hang out with our friends. Hanging out with those friends now and sharing that information without expectations or getting back anything else is what I think is the way to immaterially monetize it. You can monetize it but you have a hard time calculating it. Do you have any direct experiences or examples where you can say you know I introduced these two people … this person connected with so and so and their business took off because of it?

John: Oh … I mean I couldn’t narrow it down. I mean I have so many examples of that sort of thing and I do it more than most people. So I don’t want to say that you need to spend all your time doing that. There are some connectors who spend too much time going out delivering value, connecting other people. But let me put it this way if you try the alternative … the opposite that certainly doesn’t work. We know that doesn’t work. If you just go out there and you don’t try and deliver value and you just try and pitch people we all know that doesn’t work very well right? So if you try the alternative, if you try the give first approach you will see dollars and cents to your bank account, others will see dollars and cents in their bank account. I can think of offhand two situations where I introduced two people to each other, kind of like you, you’re just an introduction; no strings attached or anything like that. I just thought you two would get along and they started a business together. In one case those two individuals, they lived in the same state but opposite sides of the state. One ended up moving to the other part of the state so that they could work together and have a business together as a result of that one introduction. And you know those people will walk to the end of the earth for me after I’ve made that introduction. So it definitely turns into dollars and cents in terms of more clients, more referrals that sort of thing.

Joe: But that wasn’t your intention right?

John: No … I mean it’s not my intention but I will say this, look we’re all in business, we’re all motivated by making money, we want to keep the lights on, we want to keep food in the fridge right? So I don’t say at all that you should go out there and you should just be randomly introducing everyone on the street or be doing it matchmaking or something like that. You should do it strategically. You should do it because it’s good for your business. I’m not saying go on and do it because for charitable purposes although it is a great thing to do and it does great … it puts great good out into the world. I’m saying do it because it’s good for your business. It’s good for your career. And it has just been the experience that I’ve lived. There are great books out there by the way, Give and Take by Adam Grant, Dale Carnegie all the books that he’s written. These books they give voluminous examples of people who have resulted in much value coming back to them as a result of the value that they put out in the world.

Joe: And you got to a lot of events, a lot of networking events where you have got both business owners, employees, founders, and potential buyers attending them; are there any particular events that you love because specifically the way that it’s organized for networking that you can … through off the top of your head, two or three of your favorite events?

John: Is this cheating or can I say the ones that we do because they’re-

Joe: You know people are probably going what the hell does this guy do for a living? It’s networking, how does he make money so … answer the question how do you make a living?

John: Sure.

Joe: You’re a networking guy, how do you make a living? What do you do?

John: Yeah. So … well, first of all, I was a practicing lawyer for many years. And even when I was a practicing lawyer I mean just introducing your clients is really valuable and giving … thinking about your clients because they will send more business back to you. Your referral partners would send more business back to you. So when I was actually full time practicing law I was practicing what I do today. Eventually, that pivoted into a blog and a podcast which replaced my income as a lawyer and I monetized both of those through a variety of digital courses and through affiliate promotions and that sort of thing. Today I run Rise25 with my business partner. We do live events. We go to conferences and we partner with conferences and hold on connection events like VIP receptions, like dinners, like all-day Masterminds at conferences. Again connecting people but we create the forum. We invite the people. We bring them in. Another thing we do also-

Joe: Just to understand so you’re not actually putting on the entire event, you’re putting on a segment of it or a specific group of attendees.

John: Right, and there’s an important lesson in that because we’ve done our own standalone events but the reason that we do a lot of that now … an important lesson for others is it’s a lot easier to go where the fish are already gathered to go fishing rather than try and pick some spot in the middle of the lake where there are no fish and attract them back to it. Go to the spot where all the fish are gathered which is what we do around conferences. The other thing we do is we do some Done-For-You lead generation as well. So we do Done-For-You lead gen so helping people with the process that we’ve used for years to generate leads for our self we help other businesses with that as well.

Joe: What types of businesses?

John: It’s primarily professional services but e-commerce as well. So it’s anyone who’s … I mean who doesn’t need leads right? Every business needs leads whether it’s you’re trying to connect with someone who might buy your business or whether you’re trying to connect with new customers or clients or referral partners or strategic partners or whatever. You know there’s a lot of different … the truth is everyone need … and like you’re selling like a very inexpensive widget which is often the case with e-commerce there’s often someone higher leverage who you are trying to connect with. So that might be other website owners or it might be other people who are selling on the same marketplace as you, or just other sellers that you want to connect with, or other professionals or something. It’s a variety of different applications that we’d manage for people. But you asked … so you asked the question earlier was types of events that I’m preferable to. The type of event … and I want to answer that because that’s an important question and it actually guides my decision making in what events I go to. I don’t like going to events where the culture does not encourage people to mix with one another and what do I mean by that? Oftentimes you have events where at a local … this often happens on a local level like at a chamber of commerce or something like that where you have repeat people coming back month after month and they kind of know enough other people that there isn’t enough mixing. I like events personally where I go to an event and I can just stick out my hand and talk to someone or someone else will stick out their hand and just talk to me where you feel free to meet other people. The other thing is I really like formats of events which breaks the mold. They’re not just the boring, stuffy kind of reception type of format but I like the ones that are different. So actually just last night we had an event in Chicago which was a VIP food tour and we’ve done this a number of times, I did one in San Francisco a couple of weeks back and it’s like a progressive dinner party meets a networking reception. We kind of combine the two and rather than keeping everyone in one room with watered down drinks and talking to each other all night or maybe being at a dinner table where you’re stuck talking to the guy in the right of you and the guy in the left of you for the entire night, we take a group and we take them to multiple locations over the course of an evening. So you’re up, you’re down; you’re sitting next to different people the entire time. You’re walking or sitting on a bus next to different people. And we love doing that format because it gets people meeting more people which is really what we’re about. So that’s another piece of what we do. I realize [inaudible 00:23:45.3] to what we do but you asked the question what types of events so I really enjoy that format.

Joe: All right. Tell us about Rise25 and the blog … the podcast and the blog. I want to know more about that. I have a feeling here John that people are going to want to listen to your podcast and learn more about what you do.

John: Yeah.

Joe: Just … let’s hear it.

John: Yeah so Smart Business Revolution I started it about eight or nine years ago now. It was a blog and a podcast, it still is. I continue to write there. I continue to publish podcasts. I started … this is an important lesson because now we do help clients with this as well so this is part of the lead generation piece is eight or nine years ago when I was a full time practicing law literally I had a client who came in and he hired me for a tiny little matter. It was $500 of writing a lease for him. I was reading about the guy and I was like wow this is a really interesting guy. He was an entrepreneur. He had started multiple companies one of which had gone public. So he’s really successful. I was thinking how can I make … how can I turn this guy into like my best client? You know come back to me over and over again. Literally what I just did is I said hey do you have like 20 minutes I’d love to just like ask you some questions about your career and your businesses and everything. I’m going to record it and I’m going to publish it. I didn’t even know how to do that. I didn’t even know how to record or publish; podcasting wasn’t even a thing back then. And so I ended up doing that, I asked him all these questions. What’s amazing is you’re publicizing that person. It’s exactly what we’re doing right now. But you’re publicizing that person and you’re also asking them questions about their challenges, their opportunities, you’re figuring out are there other ways that you can help this person or deliver value to that person? And so what do you know he ended up turning into a great client. He ended up coming back to me and saying hey can you help me with this and this and this other thing too. And it’s a strategy that I’ve used over and over again. I’ve done it probably three or 400 times with different people where you just simply take an interest in someone else. And you go the extra mile so you actually record it and you publish it and you give them a promotion, give them publicity, you send traffic, you send eyeballs to them. Again it’s exactly what you’re doing right now. You don’t have to have a podcast to do it although podcasting is such an accepted and understood medium these days so that’s really the best way to do it today. And I think everyone should have a podcast because it’s so powerful.

Joe: And you’ve figured out a way to monetize the podcast and the blog as well which is really weird if we think about the fact that you went to law school, quit to be a podcaster and a blogger and you replaced your income. How did you manage to do that?

John: Well so, first of all, you can monetize a podcast … when people hear … I know I just wrote an article about this. I did a research study and I surveyed hundreds of podcasters and I asked them how they monetized their podcast. And so you can go to Smart Business Revolution and you can see the article now. It’s at Rise25 also. And people generally thought … they thought of the traditional model, the old school media model. Like I’m just going to build up a big audience and then I’m going to sell ads or sponsorship. And that is only one of dozens of different ways of monetizing a podcast. It’s actually probably the worst of all of them and yet everyone thinks that that’s what you need to do. It’s the most difficult to do. So I mean I’ve monetized my podcast in a variety of different ways including getting more clients, getting more referrals, filling live events, filling webinars, strategic partnerships; you name it. If you can connect what it is you do which is your business, your profession with the podcast which not everyone does a great job of connecting those two. Sometimes they are completely unrelated and if you have a hobby podcast that’s fine that’s not what we’re talking about here. But if you connect those two and you use them to build more relationships with prospective clients, with referral partners, with strategic partners, you use that podcast in order to build more of those relationships and connect with SALT leaders and gurus and speakers and authors that you would never otherwise have a chance of connecting with then it’s an amazing powerful tool. It’s … I mean I’ve been able to have conversations with people who would never give me the time of the day you know what I mean? Like I can’t email Gary Vaynerchuk and say hey man I would be in New York can you meet me at a Starbucks for 45 minutes? I want to pick your brain; I’m going to ask some questions about my business. Is that cool? [inaudible 00:28:00.1] like who are you I’m not going to do that but I had him on my podcast even though he’s a busy guy because of the nature of the medium. So that’s why I’m such a huge fan of the medium it’s just … and it’s a much better way to network. That’s what we’re talking about right? Connecting, building relationships, seeing how you can help each other, giving, all of those are encapsulated in the process of doing a podcast and everyone should do it.

Joe: I agree 100%. It’s what we do; it’s why we do it. Because we’re connecting with people like you that might be hard to connect to or with otherwise.

John: Oh yeah absolutely, I wouldn’t return your call if it weren’t for that.

Joe: I know you’re never going to list it … and it personalizes things right? You can write an amazing article, give some amazing advice but without that personality behind it, it’s just words on paper. We had people tell us that if they chose someone else to go with someone else it’s because they felt like they knew them because they listened to their podcast.

John: Yeah.

Joe: So I think the personalization of it is important. I think that for those listening that maybe an expert on an advertising business, content, blog, or a SaaS business, or an e-commerce business and you’re wondering how the heck do you benefit from this, how would you start a podcast and what … how is it going to work for you? You’re going to connect with people that are going to be experts giving advice and you’re going to benefit from it in your own business being able to apply some of that advice and being able to pick their brain as well. In addition to other people that have had great success that may come onto to the podcast and share their story and may want to do business with you as well. You just never know what’s going to come of it if you just help others and give. And yes it is business we’re all in this to put food on the table and hopefully put some money in retirement and stop doing this someday when were not capable anymore but it’s fun and it’s enjoyable.

John: Yeah.

Joe: And we get to make a living from it which is kind of nice too.

John: Yeah and you know I say it’s kind of personal and professional development that also doubles as marketing. Because you’re enriching yourself, you’re learning, you’re asking questions, you’re learning and you’re also recording it and you’re going to put it up on the internet and it’s going to exist forever. So it’s marketing that will be out there for you forever. And if you’re asking well I sell a widget, it … I don’t see how that’s going to help me or maybe it’s some other seller out there that you want to connect with or maybe it’s potentially a buyer. I mean that’s a great way to use that as a tool. It will help me with hiring, recruitment right? There’s so many other ways that you can you can do it. I mean I’m sure Joe you’ve had this experience, I’ve had this experience when people come up to me and you have a conversation with them and they’re just kind of like smiling as they listen to you talk because you know what’s going on in their head they’re thinking wow he sounds just like he does in the podcast. And people will say that, they’ll be like man you just … you talk just like you do in the podcast. Well, guess what when I’m on the podcast that’s me. I’m not putting out an act or anything like that I’m just actually being me you know. And we’ve had people that would go …  a couple of people who came in to our event recently in San Francisco who had gotten to know me from the podcast and the funny thing is … and this takes a little getting used to, the funny thing is that they’ve been listening on their own time while I’m doing other things to episodes, past episodes, the whole back catalog and when they come up they feel like they’ve already built a relationship with you. That’s wonderful because of the know like and trust process right? You are already that much further along so it then makes it just a lot easier to have a conversation with them around some kind of strategic partnership or a client … a relationship of some sort. It’s just a lot easier. You’d move the ball a lot further down the field.

Joe: 100%, I couldn’t agree more and I would recommend that everybody does it. For those that are going to events and I’ve been to many of them and I have that stigma of being a broker. We don’t pitch at Quiet Light, we’re just here to help so we have to get around that stigma some way. But I was at an event last March I think it was and I’ve had a conversation with two or three other people and this guy walked up and he just stood there and he started to shake his head up and down and you know at the right moment he just stuck his hand out and introduced himself. And that I think taught me a lesson. It’s the hardest thing to do when you go to some of these events like this, you see groups of people talking and you’d say damn they all know each other. I really don’t know anyone. It’s my first time here. The reality is that even though they’re talking and having a good time and having a drink and laughing they may have just met. That was exactly the case that night. The three of us had just met and this person came into our conversation not knowing whether or not we really knew each other and he was welcomed into it and that’s what these events are all about. You should never be shy about walking up to somebody and saying hello. You should never be shy about talking to someone like John, talking to someone like myself if we have something that we can help with that’s our operation. That’s exactly what we do. We’re going to give you any and all advice we can. And if someone like John and myself try to get their hooks into you for a commission they’re the wrong people to work with. Just walk away, get what you can, and move on. But don’t be afraid to stick your hand out and shake your hand and just say hello. It starts a conversation. It’s the hardest thing to do but it’s also the best thing to do wouldn’t you agree?

John: I totally agree. Absolutely. Yeah. It’s just funny as you’re saying about having a stigma you know I think a lot of people feel that way. Especially when they’re in business which most people are right? You’re in business, you’re at a networking event and you’re thinking oh other people are thinking that I’m just going to try and sell them. I know this because people email me every day about this saying these things. And I think a lot of times we get stuck in our head a little bit and look I mean I totally get it. I worked for politicians. I’ve been a lawyer. I think I’m going to round up my career by working for the IRS or as a tax professional so just the most detested professions possible. So I’m used to being in that type of position. I totally get it but look if you approach not thinking about okay how am I going to get this person as a client as soon as possible and you approach thinking okay I’m just going to learn about this person. I’m going to learn what I can do if there’s some recommendation I can provide. Maybe they’re a huge fan of something else I’m a fan of and we can connect over that. That’s it. That’s all that matters. You’re going to build up trust. You’re going to get to know them. And then later there might be the possibility of doing business together but start with that first and that gives you a great foundation.

Joe: I agree if you do that enough your pipeline of new business will eventually fill up and it will be continually flowing.

John: Absolutely.

Joe: John, how do people find out more about you and learn about your experience and get to listen to the podcast and things of that nature?

John: Yeah, thank you sir. So Smart Business Revolution is the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, wherever you listen to podcasts. SmartBusinessRevolution.com is the website. Rise25 is the other website and yeah reach out, I love hearing from people who heard me on a podcast so I appreciate it. It’s a pleasure being here.

Joe: You’re a good man John. Thanks for your time.

John: Thank you.

 

Links:

John’s LinkedIn Profile

Smart Business Revolution Blog & Podcast

Rise25

Book recommendation: Give and Take by Adam Grant

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