Learn how to systematically get more referrals from Clay Clark, the "Entrepreneur of the Year" award-winner who goes over the "The Boomerang Philosophy" here. More referrals means more business which means more money so this training could literally change your lifeSign Up to Watch
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-My name is Caleb Taylor, and today, again, I have the wonderful opportunity and joy to be sitting next to Mr. Clay Clark, the CEO of Thrive15.com, the online training website that teaches sales, marketing, branding and time management. T oday, we're going to be discussing this topic of networking with him. Specifically, we're going to be discussing the boomerang theory. You know, you give a referral, and it'll come right back to you. Nobody knows this better than Mr. Clay Clark.
Hey, we're glad that you're watching these episodes, and we want you to be taking those notes, OK? But more than anything, we want you to apply what you're learning here to your personal life and to your business. If you don't, this episode could be so meaningless. Because we believe that knowledge without application is meaningless. So don't make this episode more meaningless than a silent film on vinyl.
All right, today, we are going over networking. We're going to do a little deep dive here. We're going to focus first of all on referrals, so we're talking about the boomerang philosophy. Do you have much experience with a boomerang?
-I do. The physical boomerang not so much, but I'm really into Australian culture.
-OK, that's good. Here at Thrive-- all cultures. Send a referral, and you will soon receive a referral. Now, Clay, I know that we've all heard the different sayings; do unto others as you'd have them do unto yourself. But you believe that's more than just a nice cliche. You think that can specifically be applied to business and networking and help you thrive.
-Yeah, I can just say I don't specifically-- that when I got out of college, or when I got out of high school, this idea is you're going to go out and just storm the earth and just take over, like it's one big game of capture the flag, and you're just going to be ambitious, and you're going to sell stuff, and you're going to build a company. You don't realize that nobody has any desire to do anything every day, other than to help themselves. So you really have to go out of your way to help other people, before they're willing to even consider helping you.
-Well, you know, what's interesting is "Forbes" magazine would agree with you.
-Oh, hey, now.
-The article that came out in March this year in "Forbes" magazine said, "building solid relationships in business is about helping others succeed in moving their efforts forward. This benefits both parties. Relationships are built easily, naturally, and profitably when you focus on helping the other party." That perfectly encaptures what you were saying.
-Yeah, well, I'll just give you an example; well, for Thrive, we have a lot of venture capital partners, and these are guys who have a high net worth. They're very successful. And at one point, I was just a disk jockey, and I'm trying to get to know-- and saying you're a disk jockey, if you're watching this, and you're a DJ, there's nothing wrong that. With share in this. We share in this burden, this cross we bear.
But people assume that you live with your mom. And there's nothing wrong with living with your mom. It's just they assume that your mom supports you, and you might be 25, you'd probably be working at the carnival if you weren't a DJ.
-It's an upgrade from a clown, just a little bit upgrade from a clown.
-If you're a clown, I'm not trying to rip you. There's an industry there. So here's the thing is that so you meet these people at a Chamber event, and what happened is they're assuming that you're not a credible person. So I had to make a decision, what am I going to do to help them? So it starts by just at the Chamber asking them, so what are your goals? And when you ask somebody what their goals are, when you meet them at a breakfast or a lunch, they're not ready for that.
And then when you say, well, tell me about your company. And again, they're not ready for it. And then you say, well, let me ask you this, what sort of services do you provide that maybe my company could utilize? And they say-- again, they don't know grasp what you're doing, because they're like, you're taking an interested in them?
And then after the Chamber luncheon, you send them a little handwritten note, and you show up at their place of business, and you buy something. And so you'd have very little money, but you're buying something from them, or you're offering them a free service, or you're doing something, and it starts to activate. They start to say, wow, this DJ I met at the Chamber, he just did my daughter's birthday for free. He just sent me a handwritten note. He just came in and bought stuff from me. Either this guy's crazy, or I like him.
-Right, only one of the things you said there-- I'm thinking of specific action steps-- is asking them questions. Going back to 70/30 rule, almost, in a lot of ways you're making sure that they're talking a lot. You're showing an interest in them, and then you're providing a value.
-I mean, another "Forbes" article that read said, "connectors understand the necessity of creating value for others. if you want to be in the middle of the action, you must seek ways to enhance the lives of those surrounding you. The best connectors I know are extremely generous with introductions where they make sense. One of my favorite questions is, what are you most excited about right now? From that answer I know who I can hook that person up with."
And just like you said, you've got those questions that you ask people-- what are you doing? Tell me about your business. How can I--
-You really have five questions that you like to ask if you can.
-You ask somebody first of, you ask them what their name is. They'll tell you. And then you say-- because a lot of times' we'll forget. We just talk at somebody. We don't even ask them their name. And then we say, what's your name, and they to tell us. And you say, well, let me ask you this; where are you from? And then they'll tell you where they're from. What's great is you might have a connection there.
And then you say, so tell me about your family. Because people love talking about their kids and their wife. And then you ask the next two questions, which are kind of big-- so what do you do? And they tell you. And then you say, so what's kind of your goals this year? And by asking these five questions--
-Name, where you're from, family, what do you do, what are your goals.
-Yeah, and then what will happen is you'll find out this guy is from Oklahoma State University. He has a family with a couple kids. He is a banker, and his goals are to get as many deposits as possible. And all of a sudden, you say, wow, I now know what his goals are. I can bridge that gap. He's from OSU. I could refer to it. He's got a great family. I can have a little rapport there.
And usually at that point, the person you're talking to will then ask you, well, tell me about yourself. But what you have to do, this is the step that no one does, you have to write on the business card when you meet them all this information as quickly as possible so you don't forget. So literally, after the Chamber event, you're in your car, on the dashboard, just writing out, and then you get back, and you reference that in a letter.
So you say, hey, Sean, go, Cowboys, exclamation point. It was a pleasure meeting you, and I want to tell you we're going to send you a little special gift for you and your kids. And I look forward to banking with you soon.
-It's impossible not to stand out if you do that.
-Yeah, and you just consistently follow up. It's
Are you looking for online trainings on time management?
-Well, now tell me, Clay, how did you go about connecting with these people or referring these people when you were starting DJ Connections?
-Well, I'll just show you up here on my little board of awesomeness. What I found out was that you had the chambers. And everybody watching this-- unless you're located on like a different planet or in a country not in America, I guess. But if you're in America, you can do this.
There's chambers. There is rotaries. And if you're watching this and you're going, you know, I can't believe you go to these events just for this purpose. Get off the high horse for a second, OK. But anyways, so you go to the chambers, you go to the rotaries, and then what you do is you say I'm going to go to every single one of these events.
Well, there's a breakfast meeting. There's a breakfast network they had there. There is an after hours. So it's an after-hours event. They have their monthly breakfasts over here. There's like a whole bunch of fundraisers you can go to.
And the thing is is that you want to be at these events because who hangs out at the fundraisers at the country club? I mean, honestly, who's at the country club? You know. They're people that have a high net worth.
So I would go to these chamber events, these fundraisers, these rotaries, and I would just be there. And nothing's more awkward, by the way, than showing up at a chamber, where you're a 20-year-old man or woman or whatever you are, you don't know anybody. And then so you just have to go in and just go for it.
-And that was you.
-Yeah. So you're sitting down at a table with a bunch of successful people or people who you perceive to be successful. And you don't know anybody. And you have to real quick-- that's when it gets real.
If you're watching this, you have to go ahead and book that chamber lunch. And it's going to be $30. That lunch will be $30. But don't even eat anything. Just go there and gather cards.
That should be a game. I'm not kidding. If I paid $30, I remember going, I have $50 to my name. And if I'm buying this breakfast for $30, I'm not leaving until I get 100 cards.
-I'm going to get some satisfaction out of this. And sometimes I would get like 25 or 30 cards. But I made it a game.
-And you just have to book those luncheons. No matter what city you're in, there's rotaries, there's chambers, there's the thing called the optimist club, there's these country club fundraisers. You can get into a country club when they're doing a fundraiser.
-But the idea of what you're doing here is when you go into these events, you're connecting with people and you're immediately thinking how can I add value to them, right, by referring somebody to them.
-And I'm not exaggerating. I had a thing I called the phone list. It was a document about this thick, where I had everyone's first name.
-Then I had their occupation. Then I had what problem I could solve for them. And I had how many kids they have and what school they went to. And I had like five pages of it.
And every month I would go through it and I would say, OK, I'm going to send him something, her something, him something. And I just did that. I mean, it got to the point where, I'm not exaggerating, I was probably delivering maybe 1,000 donuts a month.
And I had my team delivering donuts to the offices of all these people. And that's how I went from being an unknown to a known. And that's what you can do. Just go get crazy on the doughnut route. I'm telling you, everybody loves fresh donuts in the morning.
-OK. So practically, as we're talking about referrals here, how do you do that now? Are you still thinking of ways to connect different people and send people referrals?
-Here's the real talk, it's probably not really a-- makes me seem like a jerk. But it's OK. Today I'm doing reverse networking, where I try to go to events and not meet anyone. Because I can't possibly do all the business deals that are out there.
I get more calls every day than what I could ever deal with.
-So just this week, I had one lady is like, hey, could you help me get a business loan? Another person says, I'd love to hire you for this. Another person says I'd love to hire you for that.
So I probably had 10 consulting clients reach out to me today or this week and four speaking events. So now I reverse network. So now if I go to those events, I'm like hi.
And I almost do all those tips I'm telling you in reverse. I'm Clay. I have a family. I do this. You want to buy some stuff? No, I'm just kidding.
But I really try to like not even connect with people. I really don't.
-I do. Because I just don't network anymore because out of time. So that's why we're making Thrive, so we can be here teaching you these principles. But I'm telling you, you'll get a snowball going.
-And some of you might be like why would you reverse network? Because all the businesses I have are pretty much at capacity So just-- you know.
-When you were at DJ Connections, though, did you consciously think of ways to refer business to other people you met? And how did you practically do that?
-Well, here's an example. I'm just giving you examples of people I met. Sean Kouplen is an investor in Thrive, and so I'll put him up here, because he's a dynamo, man. I love this guy. He's fun. So Sean Kouplen's over here. There's a lady named Jennifer, with Facchianos. And then, there was a lady, over here, with Party Pro. It's a party rental company.
And I remember going, well, gosh, I heard that he was a baker. He didn't own a bank at the time. But he's a banker. And I know this person's looking for a bank. So I thought, well, you know what, I'm going to do a free DJ event for this person. Well, then at his event, the Bixby Blues Festival, I remember meeting somebody who was getting married. And I referred her over to Facchianos.
So then, I picked up the phone. And I called her. And I said, hey, I met this bride to be at this Bixby Blues Festival, and she's getting married. And I just wanted you to know, here's her phone number. She's getting married.
So now, you have to think about this. When you call somebody, are they thinking, oh, crap? Here comes somebody needing something. Or when you call, do they go, oh man, this guy, every time he calls me, he gives me something? What am I going to get this time? If you get people to say, what am I going to get this time, every time you call, it's awesome.
So you start calling, and he's going, Clay Clark, what's going on, buddy? And I'm realizing, I'm getting called buddy, by the bank boss. I call her. Hey, I just sent you a referral. She's like, oh my gosh, thank you so much. Party Pro, sent them a referral too. Same deal.
What happens is, I keep calling, hey, is this Stephanie? Yeah. Hey, this is Clay Clark. I have another referral for you.
-And if you specifically call them. So they know this is coming from you.
-I tell them. I'm open about it, man. Have not, because asked not, maybe. But I tell them about it. And what happens is, they start to feel, like, I probably need to reciprocate at some point.
So then, she says, we have an open house, where you guys could set up your system there. We have brides who come in every Saturday to plan their weddings. Would you like to set up a booth there and maybe connect? And I'm not kidding. It's like fish in a barrel. I'm just sitting there talking to 10 or 15 brides, on a Saturday, which is more than I typically talk to in a month, because they're in there looking for gowns and dresses. Awesome. That is huge.
And so this is how you do it. But you know what, I didn't know him. I didn't know her. I didn't know her. And the thing is, if you're watching this right now, and you're sitting at home, and you're waiting for your phone to ring. This is the phone, the old school phone, for some reason. And you're just waiting for your little phone to ring. It's not going to happen.
You've got to get outside of your four walls, and you're going to have to meet people and find a problem that they have that you can solve. You have to help them get closer to their goals. If you can do that, people will love you forever.
-Well, Clay, as entrepreneurs watching, I might be speaking what they're thinking right now, they are very busy. They don't have time to be thinking of how they can just help all these other random people. I mean, day by day, they got to make their business operate.
-Real talk. It's Thrive o'clock somewhere. Here's the deal. You're going to have to wake up at 5:00 AM, if you're going to be an entrepreneur, if you're starting out, or you're going to have to stay up all night. Find a way. Dr. Zoellner likes to pull all nighters. I like to get up early. The point is, you're going to have to work, probably, a 12 hour day.
-This is worth it though. This is worth my time.
-Yeah. Get up every day, write down a list of five people that you can bless, that you can solve a problem for, every single day. And when you do that, I'm telling you, your future, your luck, will change.
-I mean, that's your action step. You write down five people you can help every day. And you're saying it's worth our time.
-And I actually have done it. And I actually did it for years. Only reason I don't do it now, is because I'm just sort out of time. So now, what I do is I write down five people on my list, who actually maybe work for me, or are partners, and I want to call them, and tell them I appreciate them. Same thing. I'm networking with my own team, now.
-Do you have any other action steps, besides writing those down, as far as practically thinking of ways to--
-Get to five events. Get to five events a month. Don't go to less than five. Why do I say five all the time? I'm trying to give you doable numbers that you can do. I mean, if you're going to go to five luncheons, five chamber events, you need to book it. Get it on the calendar. Schedule that beast. Put it on your calendar.
CALEB TAYLOR: Nothing happens if you don't.
-Put it on the calendar. Commit to being there. Go there. Meet people. Build rapport. Find their needs. Help them solve their problems.
-And you're saying that this will come back to us like a boomerang.
-It will come back every time. It's a beautiful. I'm telling you. Because most people, they don't understand that your network is your net worth. Your network is your net worth. So if you have a small network, you have a small net worth. Therefore, wah-wah, boof.
-So action items for you. Go to five events. We don't care if it's a breakfast, or the after hours, whatever. Get out of your comfort zone.
-Five events where there's people who you would actually want to network with.
-And you got to do that research ahead of time. Make sure you want to get to know these people. If you're in the clown business, do they have clown commerce events?
-Well, you want to go to events where patrons of the circus would be.
-Good. So find those. Do the research. Get a ridiculous amount of business cards.
-A ton of them.
-A ton of business cards. Write, right on those business cards, something about that person, your conversation with that person, send them the follow-up letter and everything. And then, make sure that you find a way to add value to their life.
-Absolutely. It works every time. I'm telling you. It's awesome.
-Thank you, Clay. Appreciate it.
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