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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