Larry Benet shares valuable tips on how to connect and create more value for others.
In this episode:
01:34 – The “Trigger Event” strategy
04:06 – Meeting for the first time
08:20 – The big dirty secret!
09:50 – 3 simple things to consider when connecting with others
11:43 – How to become a Value Creator
16:40 – The 5-Step Formula
19:43 – Larry is starting his own podcast
21:02 – Why we changed the TAG logo
22:58 – Look out for the book – “Connection Currency” later this year
James Schramko here. Welcome to SuperFastBusiness.com. Today’s topic is connecting and I brought on a special guest Larry Benet from L.A. Welcome, Larry.
Larry: Thank you, James. Appreciate you having me. Super excited.
James: Larry, probably the question on everyone’s mind is who DON’T you know? Because you seem connected with just about everybody.
The Principles of Adding Value To Your Network
Larry: Well you know, that’s always a nice compliment you know that I always get. But you know it is true that I do believe everyone can tap into some of the principles and the strategies and the tactics that I use in every single day for them to get very similar results in whatever industry or business that they’re on.
And the bottom line is you know, for everyone listening today, what that they care about is how can they get whatever they want in business and their life faster as a result of the adding value to their network.
And you know, we’ll share some stories and principles and strategies today, but I want everyone to look through the lens of how they could apply these principles in their life so they can have you know, gain more things, have more fun whatever they want to do and spend more time with their love ones and on their passions whatever that might be.
You know I just got off the phone just a few minutes ago with one of the top book agents in North America as we’re talking about my book Connection Currency and what’s interesting is she was so super excited. She was the agent for the book you may have heard of called “The One Minute Manager” which is by the gentleman Ken Blanchard.
But the reality is when you apply these principles, you can get things done in a fraction of the time it would normally take. In other words, I literally just did a Facebook post just literally minutes before you and I got on the phone to do for this interview and one of the strategies that I like to use that anyone could use is what I call Trigger Events.
So a trigger event could be someone’s birthday. So yesterday I reached out to a famous actress, her name’s Sophia Bush and the reality is I can’t remember the last time I… it’s been a very long time since I saw her. I’ve only met her one time. But because it was her birthday, you know, I reached out to her, wished her a happy birthday, she responded back.
Yesterday on late night television here in the States, I was watching the Tonight Show, and Lionel Richie, the famous singer, he was on there playing a song and they talked about he was kicking off his concert tour. You know I’ve met Lionel on one or two occasions.
I happen to have his email, so I emailed Lionel. Congratulated him for being on The Tonight Show and wished him well on his upcoming tour and said “Hey I’d love to help you on the charity that you care about.” Which in his case, is a charity for kids with cancer.
This past week I had two friends who hit the bestsellers list with their most recent book launches, Noah St. John and another gentleman named Jay Baer who wrote a book called “Youtility,” so I congratulated both of them. Reached out to both of them via Twitter, via text, via phone.
And then just the other day, two billionaires, the CEO of Salesforce.com and again, it’s not like I know him very well at all, I only met him on one or two occasions but he had built a very big partnership with Oracle which is one of the largest software companies in the world and his arch nemesis, Larry Ellison, another billionaire, so I reached out to Mark Bennett who is the CEO.
Like I said I’ve only met him on a couple of occasions and I don’t even know if he would really even know me but I reached out, sent him a very nice greeting card congratulating him on the new partnership. And I just really believe when you focus on serving others, you can connect with anyone, anytime, anywhere with ease and confidence and ultimately if you’re serving others, it’ll be easier for you to get what you want.
James: So it sounds like you’re quite proactive and I guess it’s a good idea for us to just reflect back on how we’re connected because that’s a good example of what happens. You and I were both at an event where Jay Abraham was the centrepiece and I believe you know him through certain channels and I know him through certain channels and that’s I think the first time we met, but it wasn’t the first time I’d heard about you.
Because before that, I was staying with another friend of mine in the jungle in Belize of all places, like right across the other side, and he had been to a SANG Event and I think he was a co-producer on “Pretty Woman,” you probably know.
James: Talking about Gary.
Larry: Yeah, absolutely, yeah.
James: I heard about this SANG Event, it’s the thing to go to. I’d love it if you can tell me a little bit about what that is and how you manage to get that up and running.
Networking at the SANG Event
Larry: Sure. Well SANG is, it’s all about some of the top entrepreneurs, top nationally recognized speaker-authors, business thought leader types. And we’ve had everyone. We have really good fortune over the years.
We’ve had everyone from Tony Robbins to the motivational speaker, Les Brown to Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen who co-created “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” to you know business greats like Tony Hsieh of Zappos and Peter Guber who owns the Los Angeles Dodgers and some other teams.
But bottomline is, and I think anyone can apply the same exact principle, in my case we happen to bring together nationally recognized thought leaders to help each other.
So to help them collaborate people like you to share best practices because you may be the world’s greatest; say, online marketer and Jack Canfield may be one of the best publishers you know, in terms of marketing books and Les Brown may be one of the greatest speakers of all time.
But Les, for example, could benefit from knowing you and all your online marketing genius and Jack Canfield can learn from you too. But if you come out of the book, you would be able to learn from Jack.
So in your local market, if you’re a real estate agent or you’re a mortgage professional or you’re a consultant or whoever, who could you bring together? Who could you connect that they can ultimately benefit from knowing each other?
You know you and I met with Rich Schefren and Jay Abraham and others and basically if I recall it was in Vegas and everyone was sharing you know of ideas and it was a very valuable two days.
So basically SANG is a… I guess a networking best practice group on steroids for some incredibly successful thought leaders. But I think that same principle could apply, how could others be the connector? You know even if you are brand new to a marketplace, you could reach out to, you know I’m in Hollywood right now and in Hollywood, they always say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
And I’ll even go one step further, it’s not only who you know, it really goes about how well do you know them and how well do they know you and more importantly, what have you done for them? What value have you added?
Take the Hollywood Scenario
So using of the Hollywood scenario, if you were brand new and you are just trying to break into the city or town or the industry, how could you connect with some of the agents? How could you connect with some of the producers, the directors, the actors, some of the publicists?
So is it possible you can reach out to them for 10 minutes to just to get a meeting and maybe refer them business and as you actually met them, could you, you know, one of my friends is a gentleman named Stephen Meade, great entrepreneur and a great networker.
One of the things that he does about once a month, he does this simple little free networking event where he brings his network together and invite some to come and connect you know at a restaurant. He doesn’t pay for it.
It’s just happy hour or whatever and everyone pays for their own drinks but he’s being the connector component. So how could you, in your own respective way, it’s either online or offline, do the same where you’re kind of at the hub of things and I think that would work in every industry, won’t you agree, James?
James: Nice little tie down there. Larry… Larry “Tomahawkins” Benet. Yes, I would agree, Larry.
Larry: There you go.
James: I tell you what, that was the point I was trying to get across. Was that you went out and created the forum to get the people together. That gives you massive power in that environment.
And in the same way I’ve created the little meetups for my own community and we literally go and meet up at a pub or a restaurant, same thing that you just talked about, and people come together. And here’s a big dirty secret about online marketing: that most of the leverage happens offline, it’s going to live events.
You know that event that we went to with Jay Abraham was a fantastic event for me because I was able to spend hours talking to Jay Abraham who was one of my business mentors, even though he didn’t know it, through all the books he produced and the material.
He was able to validate my business model and give me some great insights as to how I could move it to the next stage. And that was a very critical meeting for me and a foundation in which I set spent the next couple of years actually, developing and building with confidence knowing I’m on the right path.
We also reconnected again at another event earlier this year and you recognized me from before and you sort of… I think one of your techniques is when you meet someone, you remind them of where you’ve met before so that they know that you know.
Because I knew that I’ve met you before but for you to know that I met you before and to tell me that was great acknowledgement. I guess it makes someone feel like they are important or special.
3 Techniques on Making Connections
Larry: Yeah, so in terms of technique, there will be three simple things that you may want to think about when you’re trying to connect with someone online, in person or you Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, however. I think by reminding someone how you met, that’s powerful.
Just to let them know that you have met them. I think the second thing is, if you have a mutual friend in common or business acquaintance or what have you, that’s another powerful thing to throw out there.
Again, from a credibility perspective, you’re trying to borrow credibility or… And the other thing is, not everyone has a great memory. So you may meet thousands of people so you may not even remember me, but if I went up to you and say “Hey, James. You and I met at the Rich Schefren, Jay Abraham mastermind.
And by the way, we also met at the Traffic and Conversion event and so that’s why I wanted to email just to reach out to see how I could serve you.” You know, I’m just saying, those simple little things, believe it or not, go a long way.
So normally when I’m emailing someone, especially if I haven’t connected… as a matter of fact, the actress for example who I haven’t connected with for in a long time, she’s very famous, has hundreds and thousands of followers. She’s not someone that I’m interacting with every single day, in the text that I sent her, I said, “I can’t believe how long it’s been since we met on the Summit Cruise.”
And that cruise was probably was a year and a half, couldn’t be even two years, I don’t even remember how long it was. But I wanted to remind her that’s how we met just to jog her memory because you know, it’s not like I’m in touch with her everyday. So you want to give the…it just makes things a lot easier.
Well you know, when it comes to connecting, you want to give yourself as much leg up and advantage and rapport building. And these are simple things that really go a long way.
James: Yeah, so you reconnect by reminding where you met before. It’s like you’re picking up the last conversation and re-deploying it. What other tips have you got? I tell you what. I’m interested in this one.
I think the listener will really be interested in this. Everyday, I get approached by people from outside, like strangers, who I don’t know. So they don’t currently have my email or they don’t think they do even though they do. If they just reply to any email I ever sent, it would just come to my inbox.
But people sometimes Twitter me or Facebook me, they’re saying, “Hey, where can I send a pitch?” They literally said, that was today’s thing: “Where can I send you a pitch?” I’m like, I don’t even want to be pitched, who wants to be pitched? But anyway, how do people connect with someone who they don’t know?
Mistakes when Connecting with People
Larry: Well, let’s talk about the first mistake. You’re busy, you’re successful, you’re influential. So most people know of you. The first thing they try to do is pitch you. That is the absolute worst thing they can do in my opinion. I think you want to be different than everyone else. So my thought is, how about I reach out to you personally, via Twitter, via LinkedIn, via email, via blog, whatever.
Number one, do my research, do my homework, and figure out… Listen, I’ve listened to your podcasts, I think they’re genius. By the way, podcast number seven with that expert, that one idea at the seven-minute mark was huge. It added huge value to my business. Throw a compliment their way. Ask them. You know, you’re genuinely interested in the other person on how you can serve.
Knowing Someone In Common
You know, you and I started this conversation with a person in common, which is Jay Abraham. You mentioned Jay Abraham’s been a mentor to you, Jay Abraham’s been a mentor and friend to me as well, and the way I connected with Jay for example, years ago I went to one of his high-priced $5,000 seminars. But he didn’t know me. I literally did not meet him at that seminar.
But years later, I was on a tele-seminar coaching call of his. At the very end of the call he happened to mention he was taking his 10-year-old son to Atlanta, Georgia on a trip, a school trip, so his son can learn about the state of Georgia. I reached out to his office, and I mentioned we had a mutual friend.
Again, the credibility. I said I’d like to make his trip more enjoyable when he comes to Atlanta. If he’s interested, please have him contact me. He reached out. I didn’t say I want him to joint venture with me, I didn’t ask him to promote me to his list, I didn’t ask to speak on a stage or none of that. What I wanted to do was create value first. So I think everyone should write that down.
Become a Value Creator
Become a VC. Become a Value Creator. The more value you can create for others, your life will get easier, whatever it is you want or need. In Jay’s case, we were able to connect him with some amazing people.
He was able to meet the governor of Georgia, his son became an honorary citizen of the day, he got a special VIP tour of the science museum. Today – this is 10 or 15 years later – Jay’s written probably hundreds of thousands of dollars of copy for me, he’s spoken at my SANG events on two different occasions. You know, Jay’s gotten as much as, I think, a $150,000 to speak on someone’s stage.
So the point is, it was all because way before I needed it, I was able to create value. Sometimes it’s personal value. Other times it’s business value. And other times you might not be able to create value right away, but you want to be able to stay in touch without pitching.
And I think that, and by standing out, that’s the way you do it. By being different than everyone else, and then it becomes easier. Like you said, here it is, you’re interviewing me for your podcast and exposing me to your customers, so there’s value being created both ways.
A week ago when I reached out to you, there was someone else from Australia, that I thought you could add some value for their event, and you’ll be adding value, and so it’s this constant way of creating value.
James: Well that was an interesting scenario, because I already knew of that other person, and I’d had a couple of people suggest we should catch up, but when you intervened, and threw us together, that had a lot more credibility than the previous referrers. Turns out we’ll both be hanging out at the same place soon, which will be really nice. I imagine we’ll be holding cross notes and help each other more.
I know you use the word “interview” for this, but really what I want to do is to bring my customers some connection techniques. And I’ve made a couple of notes and I wonder if I can just run them past you as we close up here.
Reconnect With Someone You Already Know
James: So, first thing is, when you reconnect with someone who you already know, remind them where you connected last, to pick up the conversation. If you don’t know someone, get a mutual friend or someone they know that you know to try and be the middleman so that you can bring that extra credibility.
And do your research in that regard, so that if you do a little bit of research, it might save you having to go in cold. And create value first, well before you ever pitch anything.
Larry: Absolutely. Let me just give your listeners a simple five-step formula, very easy to remember, that will allow them to connect with anyone, very easily, and then create value with anyone, therefore being able to build a relationship with anyone that they want, so they can increase their influence so they can get whatever they need or want quicker, faster, better. Would that be OK?
James: I think they would love that, Larry. Five-step formula, let’s do it.
The Five-Step Formula
Larry: Alright. So, simple and easy. Number one: you want to make a personal connection, because no matter what company you want to do business with you’re always dealing with an individual, so you want to make an authentic, personal connection.
Second thing you want to go do is you want to find out what is most important to that individual. Again, it could be what’s important to them in business, it could be important to them personally. Literally like a week ago, I found out the former head of marketing for Infusionsoft’s mom had leukemia. We were supposed to have a business meeting on the day she cancelled.
But within the hour, once I found out her mom had leukemia, I was able to connect her to one of my friends whose father had leukemia, and she told me that was like the best call she could ever have. Again, right now in her life, what is most important is her mom, dealing and grappling with leukemia, and her being a caretaker, so by tapping into what’s important, that’s number two.
Number three, help them get whatever is most important for them. Many times you could ask what’s important to them. A question that I like to ask is “What is the most important project that you are working on over the next six months in case I or my network can help you?”
So it’s a very simple question you can ask. Sometimes, the more visible the person is, you could do research and it’s in black and white what’s important to them. So that’s the third step.
The fourth thing is becoming a VC, becoming really good at adding value, becoming a value creator for others.
And fifth, most importantly, it’s not good enough to make a connection, but you do need to be able to follow up over long periods of time so if and when you need something, you’ve already added value and you’re front and center and they do remember you. And that’s a very simple process, kind of rinse and repeat.
James: I love it. It’s picking up the elements that we should know but we forget. Especially number two and three, finding out what people think is important and then helping them get it. I think Dean Jackson and Joe Polish were talking about this offering the customer the cheese. Like the mouse wants the cheese – give them the cheese.
Instead of showing them the mousetrap. Everyone’s thinking about themselves, and they really should be thinking about what’s important to the customer, because if they can get that, then they’ll be fine. So that’s fantastic. And the value creation thing. I mean, that’s the whole point of things like this podcast. We don’t charge for this podcast.
I think I read on Facebook that you’re going to start a podcast, too. You mentioned to John Lee Dumas and myself of having an impact.
Larry: Yeah, you know, you were telling me how your podcast reaches over 60-something thousand people every time you do it, and with your different podcasts and John Lee Dumas was telling me what he’s been doing and I’ve been watching what Joe Polish has been doing.
Personally, I think no matter who you are, what a great way… You can just interview someone for a few minutes over the phone and share that knowledge and insight. Next time, you know, just share it with your network. It’s value creation along the way. And personally I think it’s a great strategy is to reach out to people that are authors and experts in their field, because they’re great people to connect with.
But also, they can really add and demonstrate value for others, and there’s always people coming out with books, and experts that you can always go interview. And you may not be able to start at the top with a Tony Robbins but you can start with someone local in your field or local on the Internet to you and make things happen pretty quickly that way.
And I also think less is more. If you ask for less time with someone – you can even ask for a few minutes – you’re more likely to get it than asking for an hour or two of someone’s time. So obviously, you’ve demonstrated an amazing amount of success, using that principle, with all the podcasts you’ve done.
James: That is a super tip there: Just asking for a little bit, just the first, little, tiny thing. It’s like this guy sent me a T-shirt at my event, for my podcast, just from nowhere. He sent a T-shirt. The logo was so much better than the one we had on the website, we changed the website.
And then he sent me through the logo for the website and the favicon, and then he started designing T-shirts for all my other brands, and then he started designing a website for my co-host, Ezra.
And this guy just came from nowhere. His name’s Greg, and his design studio‘s now famous to our podcast listeners because he just delivered so much value, and it was unasked for, it was unexpected, it was just such a lovely tribute. But now he’s got this huge audience who are aware of him because of it, and I’m talking about it now.
Larry: You know, it’s interesting. I was the keynote speaker a couple of months ago at a very large social media conference put on by Social Media Examiner. Some guy comes up to me, I’ve never met the guy in my life. His name is Ian, he’s from Ireland. And all I remember is he met me for just a few minutes, somehow got on my schedule for a few minutes while I was at the conference. I’m not kidding you.
He looked at all our websites, our social media, and he literally created a report on all the things we – meaning my companies and me – could be doing better. I was so taken aback and so blown away at this guy. He ends up doing the same thing, he befriends Chris Brogan, sends Chris some information on what he could be doing better, and next thing you know, Chris is so impressed.
Chris, who’s a very huge influencer, puts him on his podcast radio show. And that just goes to show you – the guy reaches out of the blue to create a logo for you, and the next thing you know he’s doing websites and he’s adding massive value. It goes back to the thing we talked about in the beginning. Add value first, things will come easier for you. People will track you down. And just do great work! Right? Makes it a lot easier.
James: Just do good work. Well, Larry, you’ve been very generous. I’m sure I’m keeping you from something. So I’m going to just ask you as we close out here: What is the name of that book that you were about to come out with again? Because I’m looking forward to grabbing that. I hope you’re going to do a Kindle version.
Larry: We will. It will be probably called “Connection Currency: The Fastest Way To Get What You Want In Business And In Life.” If they go to LarryBenet (B-E-N-E-T).com, they can get some articles, register for a report, we’ll send them a book on how to connect with anyone, anytime, anywhere.
And if they want to go to the SANGEvents.com site, they can do that, we’ll send them a ton of free… some of the best SANG talks of all time, from the Tony Hsieh of Zappos, to some of the other remarkable thought leaders that we’ve had, so either LarryBenet.com or SANGEvents.com. We’ll provide some more valuable resources for your listeners.
James: Fantastic. I’m going to put the links to that in the show notes, on SuperFastBusiness.com. Larry Benet, thank you so much for talking about connections, and I’ll be seeing you in Mexico, soon.
Larry: Absolutely. James, I’ve really enjoyed it, and I look forward to connecting with you again in the near future.
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