Listen to the podcast here:
The Tool & Technique For Growth
This is the podcast where my wife and I live life and run the business. We live our lives and run our business with a notebook, either a physical notebook or an iPad but in some way, shape or form, if either one of us bumps into a scenario where we’re either talking on stage or we’re in a conference. We’re working with our own people but we see or hear some reaction to a growth technique, whether it be direct marketing, whether it be personal relationships, something where we see somebody reacts viscerally to a topic, we write it down and make sure we podcast on it.
I’m in the middle of a three-part episode on what are some growth techniques. This came from somebody asking us through email, “Would we cover three different topics that we’ve never covered before?” We’ve not podcast on it. We’ve not written in books or it’s in a book, but it hasn’t come out yet. It took a nanosecond and I rattled off three techniques that we’re either currently using or used regularly. That I haven’t found the right way or method to a podcast on or write on and I took advantage of it. This is the third of a three-part series. I got done with a series of Deliberately Disregard. That’s episode 376. I got a feeling that’s going to be one of the most downloaded podcasts of all time. Then 377, Assign Five To Five. I explained what a lot of the private equity groups do to grow their business. That one can be done. I broke it down and distilled it so even a one-person shop could use that technique. I think that’s also going to be pretty heavily downloaded and shared.
The definition of a successful meeting is the booking of another meeting. Click To Tweet
I got this idea and I’m going to blindside my wife with this because Kerri is almost done from her last political event. She holds court, she’s on five committees. She’s an elected official in Grundy County, the second largest county in Illinois. She’s a very influential person in our community, in our town. Nobody of any consequence comes through Illinois without an email to Kerri. Do you want to come in and shake hands and say hello to Governor Rick Scott from Florida? Kerri and I run a rooftop on Michigan Avenue in Chicago rubbing shoulders with Governor Rick Scott in Florida. Senator Lindsey Graham was here too. Kerri was in Northbrook, Illinois rubbing shoulders with Lindsey Graham.
Kerri is a person of influence, but she’s going to take a couple of years out of politics and jump into our business because we are growing at a rate that is just consistent with the last six, seven years. We’re physically doubling every year in both employees and gross revenue. Kerri is very needed and she knows it. She knows the areas that she wants to play in. However, my wife is a master relationship builder and I’m going to ask Kerri to do what I’ve done in two occasions over the last seven years and it goes like this. I’m going to say, “Kerri, do you mind building five new amazing relationships from scratch?” I’m going to give you the technique that I’m going to share with Kerri. Let’s hope she says yes. This takes some effort. It takes tremendous follow through, but the results are amazing.
Here’s what I am going to recommend to Kerri. I’ll give you an example. We do a lot of conferences. We still sponsor a lot of events. That’s big for us. I’m going to have Kerri go into a tool called BuzzSumo. I’m going to have her type in phrases like, “Put on events, hold conferences, plan events.” BuzzSumo is going to show Kerri the top twenty most viral pieces of content under each of those phrases that were in the title of the poster relevant to that phrase. Here’s what’s magical about BuzzSumo. It is going to show Kerri not only who wrote the article, not only what website that article still resides on. It’s actually going to show us the social platform and the person of influence that had a massive following that grabbed that piece of content and shared it with their massive audience. The best part is my wife’s going to be able to read that piece of content that this person of influence shared. She’s going to absorb it and she’s going to be able to reach out to them through that social platform and introduce herself.
I’ll give you an example. I’ll make one up on the fly. Let’s say that maybe the biggest event coordinator, let’s call her Mary Smith, saw an article on USA Today on how to put on a big event and Mary grabbed it. She thought it was great but she had a couple of other suggestions. Maybe Mary Smith put it on her Facebook page and reposted it. She put some comments, “In addition to what I read in USA Today, I would also do this, this and this.” Let’s just say she did the full link to that post on USA Today and maybe Mary Smith has 800,000 followers. My wife can become one of those followers, introduce herself to Mary, call her up and say, “Mary, this is Kerri Courtright. I’m the cofounder of a five-time Inc. 5,000 company. We have 800-plus websites that generate substantial revenue with huge traffic. I read your article. I was very impressed. We put on two big events a year. Could I pick your brain for fifteen to twenty minutes? Could I fly to New York and take you to coffee?”
Not everybody’s going to have the means to fly to New York and take Mary Smith to coffee. The point is you could say, “Could I have fifteen minutes and pick your brain on Skype?” Here’s how this works. If you’re a person of influence and someone gives you a sincere compliment, you’re going to take the fifteen minutes and do a Skype call. If you don’t think you’ve got a portfolio or a resume that would warrant that fifteen minutes as well, then what you want to do is you want to read five to ten back articles on Mary Smith and say, “Mary, I caught this article on USA Today. It moved me. I’ve got a few questions. I also have been following you for some time. Your article in Newsweek was amazing. Your article three months ago in USA Today was great, although I disagree with this nugget.”
If you prove that you have been following Mary Smith and you genuinely are complimenting her, she’s going to take fifteen minutes and answer some of your questions. The definition of a successful meeting is the booking of another meeting. The definition of relationship building is you build on small blocks to create a larger block. Then you put those larger blocks together and have a massive block. What you would do is you would take fifteen minutes and you’d stop early. You’d only go twelve minutes and say, “I want to respect your time. I appreciate it. Do you mind if I reach out if I have any other questions in a month or so?” Of course, you’re going to schedule a call with Mary in a month. All of a sudden, here’s the magic, by call number three, you are considered associates or semi-friends. By the fifth call, you can call each other friend and the magic move that has worked for me so well over the years is you call up Mary when they’d say, “Mary, I bumped into somebody that I think could use your expertise or guidance or even be a client of yours. Do you mind if I do an email meet and greet between you and them?” You elevate yourself into a true expert, someone that’s truly concerned with their well-being and not just a fan or a follower to pick their brain in perpetuity.
What I’m going to suggest with Kerri is she digs into the five areas she wants to work on in our company. She finds and lands the biggest whales or people of influence. She might have to do seven to eight attempts, but if Kerri does this five times or does this until she’s successful at it five times, she might all of a sudden maybe have a relationship with the biggest influencer in HR. The biggest influencer event coordinating. Let’s say we want to grow and expand into another city and we need to know the rules of that city. The point is the world rises and falls on leadership. That’s from John Maxwell. Right below that, you can say that businesses rise and fall on relationships.
If anybody hasn’t taken the time or has taken the time to see the State of the Union video that I just put up on the press page of IncomeStore.com, click Press. You will notice that I did a State of the Union, where is our company in the last six to nine months? What are we laser-focused on? You will see that I have changed all of my focus on relationships and bigger people, bigger amounts of gray matter leading our organization. It’s no longer about Ken and Kerri. We are so far behind the scenes. We’re not in the front, we’re the face of the company. We still work on it, not in it. The bottom line is the bigger we get, the more important it is that Kerri and I lead with super sharp tips of spears to keep finding, penetrating and expanding the best relationships out there.
Businesses rise and fall on relationships. Click To Tweet
For episode 378, if you want a growth technique that no question works, you go into BuzzSumo. You find the people who have massive influence. You befriend them through sincere compliments. You ask their permission to email or call them a second time. Then you do the email meet and greet on the third occasion and you start connecting them to other people of influence. Here’s what’s cool. Let’s say you’re a sophomore in college and you don’t know anybody. Mary Smith, who’s an event coordinator, and there’s another person, John Smith who’s maybe one of the best internet marketers in the world, do you think that John Smith might want to know Mary Smith for some reason? Of course, they do.
If you’re top in your field, you want to meet everybody else that’s top in their field. You might need their service someday or you might know somebody that needs their service. What if you befriended Mary Smith and what if you befriended John Smith and you’re a little sophomore in college. You don’t know anybody, you don’t even have a business. You’re in the business of connecting people. What if you introduced the two of them? What do they both think of you? Talk about the Law of Reciprocity. I cannot tell you how many powerful people I have connected that are lifelong friends because I took the time to stop my life, take my eyes off myself and put them on other people and say, “What does Jeff Hoffman need, the cofounder of Priceline? What does a guy with his stature need?” He needs a lot of things. He needs continual advanced relationships. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve connected with Jeff Hoffman and vice versa. The concept is can you take your eyes off yourself long enough to build relationships with very influential people? All it can do is come back and help you grow your business. This is episode 378. I hope this helps. Take care.