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14 Tips Joel Brown Taught Me For Contacting And Interviewing Influential People

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Before I became an author on Addicted2Success, I didn’t really know much about contacting influential people. Joel Brown taught me the art, and now I am teaching you. Most of what Joel told me made sense, but I just wasn’t consciously aware of it. Having done hundreds of interviews now, Joel has mastered the art of contacting people that are normally quite hard to reach, and he is at a world-class level.

Below are the fourteen tips Joel Brown gave me on how to contact influential people.

 

1. First contact is crucial

Always try a warm introduction first

– Before attempting to contact any person of influence, it’s always best to see if you know anyone in common first. When someone is in common with the influential person you are trying to contact, you can ask for an introduction. What this does is almost guarantee you a response and provides leverage. When someone who you know asks for a favor, you feel obligated to at least hear them out even if you can’t meet their request because of the connection you have. Reaching out cold doesn’t work because there is no leverage or obligation for the influential person to respond to you.

The best way to find out if you know anybody in common is to have a look on LinkedIn. If you haven’t already learned yet from previous articles, LinkedIn is the key to almost any form of networking or connecting. Once you identify someone in common, reach out (ideally via phone or worse case, email) to that person and ask for an intro. Try and offer something in return if you can and always give them an out in case they’re not comfortable.

Don’t forget to ask them how well they know the person. I had a situation recently where the person introing me hadn’t spoken to the person of influence in a while, and it was awkward. Given how famous the person, was though, I was willing to take the risk.

If the mutual connection says yes, then get them to send an intro email and CC you.

Ring their personal assistant

If you can’t get a warm introduction because you don’t know anyone in common, try and find the number of their office so you can talk to their personal assistant. Always be respectful and acknowledge the influential person’s time and then do your spiel about why they should get the influential person to be interviewed by you.

If all else fails, write to them in this format

Typing On A Apple Air LaptopOnce you have tried the above methods, if you haven’t been successful, try and write to them via LinkedIn or email. Like with previous methods, make sure you mention anyone that you know in common.

The subject line should is very important and should outline the opportunity and grab their attention. Something along the lines of “Exposure for your new book Sales Mastery in front of an audience of 5000.”
In this short sentence, you have explained how you can help them and what your reach is which is the most important thing. It’s a good idea to mention their name or product title in the subject so that it doesn’t come across as a generic message.

In the body of the message, you should keep it to three short paragraphs. In the first paragraph, you explain who you are, and your audience reach. In the next paragraph, you mention a few names of people that you have interviewed before to help build credibility. It’s also a good idea to give them a link to a recent interview that you feel best represents your work.

In the final paragraph, you mention your ask and state the time commitment. You will find that if you start out asking for 20-30 minutes, you will get a lot more responses. You can always ask for more time later, but a small amount of time (like twenty minutes) is almost rude to decline someone who wants to promote your brand. Out of the entire paragraph, the thing you should spend most of your time articulating is what’s in it for them.

Be clever and write something like “I saw you have a new book coming out in a few weeks, and I would love to line up our interview in line with that so we can promote the book and help get you more readers.” The key is to tie the interview into something they are doing that’s important to them. They may not necessarily be selling something; it could be simply helping them to get exposure for a charity they work with. You then finish the paragraph with “let me know if this is possible and I look forward to your response.”

In your email signature, you must clearly list your full name, email address, direct phone number and ideally a link to your website or Linkedin page to give some further credibility. Write the message a few times and get a friend or partner to look over it for you to make sure it reads well.

Tell them why you do what you do and what inspires you

Throughout all your communication with a person of influence, it’s important to articulate why you do what you do and what inspires you. If a person of influence believes that you just want to talk to them because they are famous or so you can promote yourself, they probably won’t be that interested.

 

2. Your first reply needs to have the detail

In your first reply you can be a lot more detailed with your response. Often at this stage, your request may have been forwarded to a PR person or marketing firm so you have to communicate with that in mind. Highlight again the benefits in more detail and send more of your previous work.

The purpose of this second message is to secure a topic for the interview. I will usually put forward three topic ideas and then ask if they like any of mine or whether they had one they were keen to do. Ultimately, it’s important that you make the final decision on the topic. Tell them that the wording of the headline might change later but the topic won’t.

You then want to end this second message with a request for a date and time to do the interview. Make sure you find out where they will be on the date in case the local time is different to yours. There are lots of websites that will convert the time for you to your local time.

Tell them the means in which you will do the interview (phone, Skype, Facetime etc) and request for their contact information. The moment you get their contact details make sure you save them in your phone so that you are pre-prepared for the interview and not looking around at the last minute to find their details. Some of the people you contact might be a bit more old school and expect a face to face interview, so consider doing this if they are local to you.

 

3. Your second reply is the interview confirmation

Now that you have your final reply from the person with a topic and time, send them back a third and final message thanking them for doing the interview and make sure you reconfirm the time. It’s a good idea to send them a calendar invite as well so they don’t forget about your interview. A day or two before the interview, you can choose to send them another message to reconfirm the time. I generally don’t do this but if they are really famous, it’s a good idea.

It’s good to consider telling them what they need to do on the day of the interview. I tell them that I must call them so that the conversation is recorded and that they need to be in a quiet area with a strong Internet connection. While talking about Internet, mention that it’s always best to be hardwired rather than use wireless, to get the best possible quality audio.

4. Send them the questions in advance

You will still need to send one final message to them with the questions that you want to ask. This is quite important because it helps give them some background on what you will be talking about. I find that when you send the questions before hand you get much better responses. The other reason you need to do this is that depending on how famous they are the questions may need to be checked with a marketing or PR team beforehand.

The other reason you need to do this is that depending on how famous they are the questions may need to be checked with a marketing or PR team beforehand.

5. Use the right tools

To conduct interviews Joel taught me to use these tools:

– Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype or Facetime
– A lightweight laptop so you can do interviews on the fly
– A Blue Snowball Microphone
– A pair of comfortable headphones so you can hear the other person
– A quality internet connection with a major provider

One tip that I will give you after doing lots of these interviews now is that Facetime quality is a lot better than Skype, and it’s much less likely to drop out. Always try and use Facetime if you can.

 

6. Be prepared on the day

Make sure on the day of the interview you are prepared. Have your laptop battery charged, do a sound check, make sure you have their contact details and know exactly which quiet spot you are going to be doing the call from. It’s also critical to be on time to the interview so be ready to hit record five minutes beforehand.

Have a bottle of water with you in case you get something in your throat, you don’t want coughing to end the interview – this happened to me once before.

7. Research beforehand

It almost goes without saying that you need to research the person before the interview. What you want to find out is the basis of their story so that the person does not have to tell you the basics, which they will expect you to know already.

I like to listen to other interviews that they have done so that I can try to cover things that haven’t been mentioned before. There is nothing worse than an interview that covers exactly the same ground as previous interviews.

 

8. Ask great questions

I usually have three paragraphs of questions. The first lot of questions is about them and the massive success they have achieved in their field, the second is the questions for the topic, the next lot are questions around the particular thing they want to plug and then finally, I ask them their favourite book and their favourite quote.

Joel taught me to have one final killer question that is the best question you will ask. His is “if you were to deliver your last 30-second speech to the world, what would that last 30 seconds sound like?” Try to narrow your questions down to a few gems rather than lots of short questions that are not interesting. Keep them as open as possible so the person you’re interviewing has a chance to direct their response in their way.

David Letterman Interviewing Conan O'Brien
 

 

9. Think on the fly

Joel taught me that the best interviews are the one’s that occur on the fly. There is nothing worse than a pre-rehearsed interview. Even though I have the questions ready beforehand I always change them on the day and think of a few on the fly. You will also find that sometimes more than one of your questions gets answered in a response, so nothing ever goes to plan. It’s this spontaneity that makes the interview interesting.

10. Keep the interview on time

As the interview is occurring make sure you keep an eye on the time. If you find that you’re halfway through and haven’t even got onto to the topic questions, politely get things back on track. Assume that if the person has told you that you only have 45 minutes that you must stick to this.

If you get some bonus time at the end, that’s great but often they will have another meeting straight after so be conscious of the time otherwise you will have no good content at the end.

inspiration
 

11. Try and get one light bulb moment

During every interview I aim to get one light bulb moment. Some that I have had so far are – when the person I was interviewing didn’t know their age, when I learnt that you had to be truly dedicated to social media for it to work and respond in real time, to when Andrew Morello taught me that sales is even more human than I thought it was. When you have found the light bulb moment in the interview, it’s best to highlight this later when you write your article and perhaps put it as your first, most important point.

“The key to good interviews is to try to think of yourself as a gold miner looking for golden nuggets that you can bring back to your audience”

The interview should be a reflection of what you have learned. I often like to ask things that I know the audience will be interested in or even just information that people haven’t had presented in a logical way before.

 

12. Request the interviewee to post on social media

Get Influential People To Post Your Interview On Social MediaAt the conclusion of your interview you should ask the interviewee to share the final result on all of their social media platforms. One piece of advice I will give you is make sure that you double check they actually post it as sometimes they can forget. The other thing I have found is that sometimes they only post it on one social media platform or the one that doesn’t haven’t a very large following.

It’s important to insist when you’re setting up the interview that you get them to agree to post on their company page, not just their personal page.

 

13. Ask for original photos

To top off an excellent interview you need to have great visuals to complement the article. At the end of the interview ask the person how you would go about getting photos of them that haven’t been used before. If you want to be really bold, ask them if it’s possible to get a photo of yourself with them (if they live locally to you) to use with the article. A photo with you in it makes the content just that little bit more original and shareable.

I usually ask for a few photos of the interviewee, a photo of their office and one more photo of a proud moment in their life. The last thing I do after asking them for photos is to end the interview with, “is there anything you want to ask me?” Sometimes they will be dying to ask a few questions about you so make sure you let them do that if they choose and then say thank you and let them move on.

 

14. Send them a first draft

I don’t do this for every interview but if they are someone that is well known and have a very high profile brand, you are really best to send them a draft copy of the interview before you release anything. It’s very easy to get a few things wrong about their life, and you want to give them a chance to remove anything they don’t like. Surprisingly, I would be lucky to get more than three changes on the times that I have had to send a first draft.

 

***Final note – what I get out of it

I wanted to share with you the best part about interviewing other people. What I have found is that you get to learn things that you would never of known. By the end of the interview, you find that you have a bond and a permanent connection with the person.

The interview also helps you to believe that things that you thought were impossible are actually possible. Unconsciously you start to pick up new ideas and new beliefs, and it begins to change you as a person. You start to find the roadmap to success, and you now have references to back up your new beliefs.

If you would like to read the result of some of my interviews visit my Facebook Page and please Retweet this article.

 

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Esther

    Jul 9, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you Tim for paying it forward what you learned from Joel. There are some principles in it that we can all use, even if we do not want to conduct interviews. My key takeaway is that let the outreach be about them, what they could benefit from the interaction.

    What I see is that people often are held back by limiting beliefs from reaching out to influencers. They often do not see themselves as valuable and do not think they can offer something.

    What is your take on that? How can someone find out what to offer to an influencer?

    Thank you,

    Esther

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 11, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Esther always happy to pay it forward and I’m sure you will do the same. Everyone has something offer. Think to yourself all of the things that people tell you you’re good at and whether any of them might be relevant to the influencer. As well as that, think to yourself about the community around you and people that you might know in common or that could be valuable to the influencer. If all else fails, just reach out, nine times out of ten the influencer is dying to give their advice and happy to help others. You just need to believe that you have something valuable to offer everyone. Hope that helps.

      • Esther

        Jul 11, 2015 at 1:06 pm

        Tim,

        Thank you so much for your answer. It makes absolute sense. You write
        “You just need to believe that you have something valuable to offer everyone.” This doesn’t happen automatically for everyone. It depends greatly on the narrative we tell us about ourselves. I help people to change that narrative so that they can finally take action. Like implement the action steps you gave us with your article.

        Keep up the good work!

        Esther

  2. Tim Denning

    Jul 4, 2015 at 2:21 am

    Thanks Lawrence. I agree that the sharing of value between two people is the best way to secure an interview with someone influential.

  3. Lawrence Berry

    Jun 24, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    These are truly some great tips that can help someone who is podcasting, doing a youtube show, or just recording an interview with an influential person. The key things that you mentioned that stood out to me was to first find some leverage between you and the person you want to interview. This sounds very logical and like a very good idea because cold-calling rarely works with anyone. You have to have some leverage and trust built up and using someone you both know who can introduce you is a great tactic, but can be hard if you dont have a common individual in mind. Also, providing value for both you and the interviewee is the key to this whole thing. Great post will be coming back to read often.

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Success Advice

The 3 P’s of Irresistible Leadership: Passion, Persistence, and Panache

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If any of you reading this have ever studied the theoretical underpinnings of leadership, you will have come across several theories such as the great man theory and charismatic leadership theory. Over the decades, leadership has evolved more from an art of telling people what to do to that of subtle influence, suggestion, and rendering by example.

In my new e-book “High-Octane Leadership: Pole Position Performance,” I mentioned that the goal of the manager is to create followers, but the goal of a leader is to create new leaders! This is a relatively new concept in leadership! There are many new and emerging micro theories of leadership that can be expounded upon and useful to individuals looking to assimilate a leadership style.

Here are the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership:

1. Passion

No great achievements, no illustrious undertakings, and no works of genius have ever occurred without the infusion of passion. Passion creates connections where none existed before.

Passion heightens the desire in the individuals who have opted to follow, and it has moved individuals forward toward a common vision. Leaders such as Steve Jobs, have to demonstrate a sense of passion in everything. Although his passion could be somewhat subdued, there is no doubt that when it came to any Apple products, he was the number one salesperson, champion, and evangelist.

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz

2. Persistence

For years when I was in direct sales, I had an 8.5 x 11 sheet with a cartoon on it hanging over my desk. It was a crane (that’s the bird, not the machine) who had a frog in his rather ample bill. However, the frog’s arms came out of the side of the crane’s mouth and were clutching the crane by the throat so that he (the crane) couldn’t swallow the frog. Underneath this caption where the words, “never, ever give up!

Leaders persist! They understand that there is always a way to solve the problem. Following this understanding, there must be subsequent action that follows, and this can lead to enthusiasm and optimism!

3. Panache

Leaders are self-confident people. They have systematically developed confidence over the years. In situations where they don’t feel confident, they make themselves feel confident. Confidence is learned. It’s a mental model and a cognitive mindset of how we approach problems.

Leaders understand and know that they will solve the problem before them; it’s not a matter of guessing, it’s a matter of knowing.

“Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself.” – Khalid

If you buy the notion of passion, persistence, and panache as attributes of irresistible leadership, the question before us now turns on how do we develop those skills?

Here are a few behaviors that leaders use on a consistent basis to develop new skills:

  • Awareness – Great leaders and irresistible leaders always have their antennae up. They are always looking for ways to improve. They understand that self-improvement is a never-ending process to be embraced, even if the execution of the new behavior is difficult!
  • Repetition – Irresistible leaders practice their new skills. They will practice them in front of their subordinates, their family, and in front of themselves while staring at their face in a bathroom mirror! They understand the way to install a new habit of behavior is like with any habit, repeating it over and over again.
  • Feedback – Irresistible leaders are not afraid to ask how they are doing. And, they are not afraid to hear the answer. They understand that the best answer is that they are doing well but the next best answer is that they are not doing well, instead of not being told about their potential flaw. They understand that input in terms of behavioral awareness is one of the singular most important things one can attribute to leadership performance and style.

Try this: take an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and draw three columns. Atop each column write passion, persistence, and panache. On the left-hand side in the margin of the page, write awareness and 1/3 of the page down, write repetition, and then at the bottom one third the word feedback.

Writing solidifies thought, and it is that solid thought that motivates us into action. You will find yourself becoming more aware of opportunities to develop in each of the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership. Document them! Then jot down ideas down about how you can repeat those new behaviors. Finally solicit feedback and document what you’ve heard.

In the span of several weeks you will have developed new and exciting leadership attributes. Continue this new and exciting habit for other leadership development opportunities.

Which one of the 3 P’s do you need to work on most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

It’s The 50 Things You Do Beforehand That Lead To Your Ultimate Success.

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Oh great, another tricky, dicky headline from that knob jock blogger Tim.”

That’s what you’re thinking, I know.

Well, I love sharing the truth and a lot of the time it doesn’t look pretty. There’s a vision we all have to do something incredible even if we don’t admit that publicly. Incredible, by the way, could just mean raising a family of beautiful children.

The thing is that not having the answers to what that end goal looks like is the best part. Let me explain.

Right now what you see is my blogging career. Before today there were 50 other things that look totally unrelated on the surface.

Here’s how I got to now:

  • Started out swimming as a child then quit
  • Played the flute and then quit
  • Joined a choir, then my voice broke, then I quit
  • Began playing drums then quit
  • Became a DJ then quit
  • Started producing other peoples music then quit
  • Became a successful entrepreneur then quit
  • Trained to be a fitness freak and then quit
  • Became a finance professional then quit
  • Mastered the world of tech and then partially quit
  • Wrote 400+ articles for a blog called Addicted2Success and didn’t quit
  • Published more than 500+ articles on Medium and didn’t quit
  • Published content on LinkedIn every day for a year and didn’t quit

Here’s my point: those last three dot points are what you see now but what you can’t see is everything that came before I started blogging.


Everything you do plays a part in the end result.

While singing in a choir might seem totally unrelated to blogging it’s not. Just like djing and swimming are not unrelated either.

Swimming taught me to overcome my fear of deep water.

Being in a choir taught me what it was like to be on stage in front of people.

Djing taught me artistry and creativity.

The 50 things I did prior that you didn’t see allowed me to do what you see me doing now in the form of blogging.

No matter what you start and stop in life, it will play a part in the 1–2 things that you end up being successful at and hopefully become known for.

Don’t discredit anything that transpires in your life. Every day is contributing something valuable to your future success even if it doesn’t look like it”


Not having the answers is what makes it fun.

If I could tell you right now how you’d get to your ultimate success, it would take away all the fun.

Never in a million years did I expect to become a blogger but here we are.

Getting here has been a load of fun and I still have no idea where this will all lead. Maybe, like Tim Ferriss, blogging could lead me to podcasting. I’ll never know if blogging is my ultimate version of success and that’s the best part.

All of us (including me) are just taking steps forward and learning as we go.

Quit trying to have all the answers because it’s not going to make any difference in the long run.

You can’t predict success all you can do is work your way towards it and earn it for yourself.


Don’t underestimate the ‘art of doing’

I’m obsessed with the doing because it’s the only thing I can control.

I’m reminded daily about the ‘art of doing’ by people who reach out and want to also be known for blogging.

Many of these wannabe bloggers write something but never publish it because it’s not perfect.

Then they finally get the courage to hit publish and the world doesn’t stop and notice their Harry Potter, chart-topping piece of writing. It’s an anti-climax for them which makes them spiral further down the black hole of disappointment.

What these wannabe bloggers underestimate (without sounding too cocky) is that if they repeated the habit of publishing something every day for a year that’d be able to see where blogging could lead.

Hitting publish once is not enough and the first time you do it, it will probably suck.

The only trick for the record that I’ve ever used to accelerate my success in blogging is hitting publish as often as I can and being disconnected from the result. JonWestenberg taught me this.

Even if you fail at something like blogging it will lead you to the next thing and the next thing and so on. Eventually, you’ll find what it is that lights you up and helps you to achieve your own version of success.

Nobody (including me) can predict what that one thing will be. My advice is the opposite of many people out there. Change around your hobbies/passions as much as you like.

Learn something from one field and then move on. While you experiment and switch paths, you’ll eventually find what you’re looking for. I hope you can see that to be true through the story I’ve just shared.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Capitalize on the 80% of Business That You Are Missing Out on Right Now With This Method

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Most of us are aware of Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 20% of the input gives us 80% of the output. The top 20% of your salespeople account for 80% of your business. The top 20% skills you have, account for 80% of your success. The top 20% of our customers will give us 80% of business. When we use this principle it allows us to narrow in and focus on the most important clients who are in our target market.

You’ll find that most people tell you to focus on your top 20%. Here’s the big question: What do you do with the other 80% of people who you do not work with?

Most of us let this 80% of potential business fall to the wayside because they are not our target market and we have no system set up to still do some form of business with them. However, this is not the case for Tim Johnson.

Just last year, he generated $11 million dollars from REFERRALS! He is the master of building a referral based business. By sending clients that he cannot work with to his friends and referral partners, he is able to receive commission for the introduction and new business.

Imagine having the potential to make money from EVERY business conversation! Tim speaks to about 3,000 people per year, and if he cannot help them personally, he knows someone in his Global Renegade network who can.

The thing is, we can all do this if we are intentional about it. As Tim puts it, “We need to date our referral partners. We put so much time and effort into people that do nothing for our business, yet we do not build strong relationships and invest time into our referral partners.”

Tim is a speaker, author, real estate developer, and business coach who is well known around the world. He starts each business conversation by saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during this conversation I realize that I am not the right fit for you, I introduce you to someone in my network who is?”

Each time he is met with a resounding YES! Who would say no to this offer? This strong referral network has built Tim a net worth of over $4 million dollars. Tim uses a framework called SOLD and if you use this framework you can build a strong referral network as well.

Below, is the exact SOLD framework Tim uses:

Strategy

According to Tim, everything is mathematical. He approaches each conversation looking to learn and serve. When you approach conversations in this way, you focus on relationship building instead of feeling like you have an agenda to do business.

Ask great questions here and give the person you’re speaking with an opportunity to share their situation and what they are going through. Tim always asks, “What do you need and how can I serve you?” This is a powerful question that most people neglect and it’s the reason they are not experiencing as much sales success as Tim.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Objections = Opportunities

As the old wise quote states, “We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This means we need to speak less and listen more.

Too often, people pitch and become salesy instead of being human and having a conversation where they are listening to the person they are sitting with. When you are listening, you give yourself the opportunity to learn their problems, obstacles, and needs in order to identify new opportunities.

Leverage referral partners

As you are gathering information you will identify if you are able to provide the solution that your prospect needs. If you cannot, it is time to leverage your referral partners and make the introduction.

By starting out the conversation saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during our conversation I realize that I am not the right fit that I introduce you to someone who is?” you have already pre-framed yourself appropriately to leverage your referral network if you cannot provide a solution that is needed.

Your prospect will be very appreciative for your honesty and will trust your judgement. You get a lot of brownie points when you have the integrity to say that you are not the right fit, but let me introduce you to someone who is.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Duplicate

Rinse and repeat this process. Having conversations in this way will enable you to work with the top 20% of people you speak with, and still provide value to the other 80%. In this way, every conversation opens up the opportunity for new business.

SOLD is business growth through asking great questions, active listening, and leveraging referral partners. Start to capitalize on the 80% of business that you are missing out on by referring these people to other service providers in your network.

If you think about providing value in service of others first, then you can leverage the SOLD framework for increased revenue in your business by simply being a connector and receiving commissions of 10%-25%.

Do you have referral partners in your business? Would love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

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The 3 P’s of Irresistible Leadership: Passion, Persistence, and Panache

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leadership
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If any of you reading this have ever studied the theoretical underpinnings of leadership, you will have come across several theories such as the great man theory and charismatic leadership theory. Over the decades, leadership has evolved more from an art of telling people what to do to that of subtle influence, suggestion, and rendering by example. (more…)

Biagio Sciacca, known to his friends as Bill, was a lifelong resident of Pittston, PA. He is the owner of Intelligent Motivation, Inc. a global consulting and training firm specializing in management and leadership training as well as psychological assessment for hiring and staff development. He is the author of several books relating to goal setting, and his third book, Provocative Leadership, is publishing soon. Now residing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, he divides his time between his international coaching and training clients, writing his next book and wandering aimlessly on the beach. Feel free to contact Bill at bill@intelligentmotivationinc.com or schedule a call with him by going to www.intelligentmotivationinc.com and clicking on the “set up a call” tab.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Esther

    Jul 9, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you Tim for paying it forward what you learned from Joel. There are some principles in it that we can all use, even if we do not want to conduct interviews. My key takeaway is that let the outreach be about them, what they could benefit from the interaction.

    What I see is that people often are held back by limiting beliefs from reaching out to influencers. They often do not see themselves as valuable and do not think they can offer something.

    What is your take on that? How can someone find out what to offer to an influencer?

    Thank you,

    Esther

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 11, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Esther always happy to pay it forward and I’m sure you will do the same. Everyone has something offer. Think to yourself all of the things that people tell you you’re good at and whether any of them might be relevant to the influencer. As well as that, think to yourself about the community around you and people that you might know in common or that could be valuable to the influencer. If all else fails, just reach out, nine times out of ten the influencer is dying to give their advice and happy to help others. You just need to believe that you have something valuable to offer everyone. Hope that helps.

      • Esther

        Jul 11, 2015 at 1:06 pm

        Tim,

        Thank you so much for your answer. It makes absolute sense. You write
        “You just need to believe that you have something valuable to offer everyone.” This doesn’t happen automatically for everyone. It depends greatly on the narrative we tell us about ourselves. I help people to change that narrative so that they can finally take action. Like implement the action steps you gave us with your article.

        Keep up the good work!

        Esther

  2. Tim Denning

    Jul 4, 2015 at 2:21 am

    Thanks Lawrence. I agree that the sharing of value between two people is the best way to secure an interview with someone influential.

  3. Lawrence Berry

    Jun 24, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    These are truly some great tips that can help someone who is podcasting, doing a youtube show, or just recording an interview with an influential person. The key things that you mentioned that stood out to me was to first find some leverage between you and the person you want to interview. This sounds very logical and like a very good idea because cold-calling rarely works with anyone. You have to have some leverage and trust built up and using someone you both know who can introduce you is a great tactic, but can be hard if you dont have a common individual in mind. Also, providing value for both you and the interviewee is the key to this whole thing. Great post will be coming back to read often.

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Success Advice

The 3 P’s of Irresistible Leadership: Passion, Persistence, and Panache

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leadership
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If any of you reading this have ever studied the theoretical underpinnings of leadership, you will have come across several theories such as the great man theory and charismatic leadership theory. Over the decades, leadership has evolved more from an art of telling people what to do to that of subtle influence, suggestion, and rendering by example.

In my new e-book “High-Octane Leadership: Pole Position Performance,” I mentioned that the goal of the manager is to create followers, but the goal of a leader is to create new leaders! This is a relatively new concept in leadership! There are many new and emerging micro theories of leadership that can be expounded upon and useful to individuals looking to assimilate a leadership style.

Here are the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership:

1. Passion

No great achievements, no illustrious undertakings, and no works of genius have ever occurred without the infusion of passion. Passion creates connections where none existed before.

Passion heightens the desire in the individuals who have opted to follow, and it has moved individuals forward toward a common vision. Leaders such as Steve Jobs, have to demonstrate a sense of passion in everything. Although his passion could be somewhat subdued, there is no doubt that when it came to any Apple products, he was the number one salesperson, champion, and evangelist.

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz

2. Persistence

For years when I was in direct sales, I had an 8.5 x 11 sheet with a cartoon on it hanging over my desk. It was a crane (that’s the bird, not the machine) who had a frog in his rather ample bill. However, the frog’s arms came out of the side of the crane’s mouth and were clutching the crane by the throat so that he (the crane) couldn’t swallow the frog. Underneath this caption where the words, “never, ever give up!

Leaders persist! They understand that there is always a way to solve the problem. Following this understanding, there must be subsequent action that follows, and this can lead to enthusiasm and optimism!

3. Panache

Leaders are self-confident people. They have systematically developed confidence over the years. In situations where they don’t feel confident, they make themselves feel confident. Confidence is learned. It’s a mental model and a cognitive mindset of how we approach problems.

Leaders understand and know that they will solve the problem before them; it’s not a matter of guessing, it’s a matter of knowing.

“Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself.” – Khalid

If you buy the notion of passion, persistence, and panache as attributes of irresistible leadership, the question before us now turns on how do we develop those skills?

Here are a few behaviors that leaders use on a consistent basis to develop new skills:

  • Awareness – Great leaders and irresistible leaders always have their antennae up. They are always looking for ways to improve. They understand that self-improvement is a never-ending process to be embraced, even if the execution of the new behavior is difficult!
  • Repetition – Irresistible leaders practice their new skills. They will practice them in front of their subordinates, their family, and in front of themselves while staring at their face in a bathroom mirror! They understand the way to install a new habit of behavior is like with any habit, repeating it over and over again.
  • Feedback – Irresistible leaders are not afraid to ask how they are doing. And, they are not afraid to hear the answer. They understand that the best answer is that they are doing well but the next best answer is that they are not doing well, instead of not being told about their potential flaw. They understand that input in terms of behavioral awareness is one of the singular most important things one can attribute to leadership performance and style.

Try this: take an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and draw three columns. Atop each column write passion, persistence, and panache. On the left-hand side in the margin of the page, write awareness and 1/3 of the page down, write repetition, and then at the bottom one third the word feedback.

Writing solidifies thought, and it is that solid thought that motivates us into action. You will find yourself becoming more aware of opportunities to develop in each of the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership. Document them! Then jot down ideas down about how you can repeat those new behaviors. Finally solicit feedback and document what you’ve heard.

In the span of several weeks you will have developed new and exciting leadership attributes. Continue this new and exciting habit for other leadership development opportunities.

Which one of the 3 P’s do you need to work on most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

It’s The 50 Things You Do Beforehand That Lead To Your Ultimate Success.

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Oh great, another tricky, dicky headline from that knob jock blogger Tim.”

That’s what you’re thinking, I know.

Well, I love sharing the truth and a lot of the time it doesn’t look pretty. There’s a vision we all have to do something incredible even if we don’t admit that publicly. Incredible, by the way, could just mean raising a family of beautiful children.

The thing is that not having the answers to what that end goal looks like is the best part. Let me explain.

Right now what you see is my blogging career. Before today there were 50 other things that look totally unrelated on the surface.

Here’s how I got to now:

  • Started out swimming as a child then quit
  • Played the flute and then quit
  • Joined a choir, then my voice broke, then I quit
  • Began playing drums then quit
  • Became a DJ then quit
  • Started producing other peoples music then quit
  • Became a successful entrepreneur then quit
  • Trained to be a fitness freak and then quit
  • Became a finance professional then quit
  • Mastered the world of tech and then partially quit
  • Wrote 400+ articles for a blog called Addicted2Success and didn’t quit
  • Published more than 500+ articles on Medium and didn’t quit
  • Published content on LinkedIn every day for a year and didn’t quit

Here’s my point: those last three dot points are what you see now but what you can’t see is everything that came before I started blogging.


Everything you do plays a part in the end result.

While singing in a choir might seem totally unrelated to blogging it’s not. Just like djing and swimming are not unrelated either.

Swimming taught me to overcome my fear of deep water.

Being in a choir taught me what it was like to be on stage in front of people.

Djing taught me artistry and creativity.

The 50 things I did prior that you didn’t see allowed me to do what you see me doing now in the form of blogging.

No matter what you start and stop in life, it will play a part in the 1–2 things that you end up being successful at and hopefully become known for.

Don’t discredit anything that transpires in your life. Every day is contributing something valuable to your future success even if it doesn’t look like it”


Not having the answers is what makes it fun.

If I could tell you right now how you’d get to your ultimate success, it would take away all the fun.

Never in a million years did I expect to become a blogger but here we are.

Getting here has been a load of fun and I still have no idea where this will all lead. Maybe, like Tim Ferriss, blogging could lead me to podcasting. I’ll never know if blogging is my ultimate version of success and that’s the best part.

All of us (including me) are just taking steps forward and learning as we go.

Quit trying to have all the answers because it’s not going to make any difference in the long run.

You can’t predict success all you can do is work your way towards it and earn it for yourself.


Don’t underestimate the ‘art of doing’

I’m obsessed with the doing because it’s the only thing I can control.

I’m reminded daily about the ‘art of doing’ by people who reach out and want to also be known for blogging.

Many of these wannabe bloggers write something but never publish it because it’s not perfect.

Then they finally get the courage to hit publish and the world doesn’t stop and notice their Harry Potter, chart-topping piece of writing. It’s an anti-climax for them which makes them spiral further down the black hole of disappointment.

What these wannabe bloggers underestimate (without sounding too cocky) is that if they repeated the habit of publishing something every day for a year that’d be able to see where blogging could lead.

Hitting publish once is not enough and the first time you do it, it will probably suck.

The only trick for the record that I’ve ever used to accelerate my success in blogging is hitting publish as often as I can and being disconnected from the result. JonWestenberg taught me this.

Even if you fail at something like blogging it will lead you to the next thing and the next thing and so on. Eventually, you’ll find what it is that lights you up and helps you to achieve your own version of success.

Nobody (including me) can predict what that one thing will be. My advice is the opposite of many people out there. Change around your hobbies/passions as much as you like.

Learn something from one field and then move on. While you experiment and switch paths, you’ll eventually find what you’re looking for. I hope you can see that to be true through the story I’ve just shared.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Capitalize on the 80% of Business That You Are Missing Out on Right Now With This Method

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Most of us are aware of Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 20% of the input gives us 80% of the output. The top 20% of your salespeople account for 80% of your business. The top 20% skills you have, account for 80% of your success. The top 20% of our customers will give us 80% of business. When we use this principle it allows us to narrow in and focus on the most important clients who are in our target market.

You’ll find that most people tell you to focus on your top 20%. Here’s the big question: What do you do with the other 80% of people who you do not work with?

Most of us let this 80% of potential business fall to the wayside because they are not our target market and we have no system set up to still do some form of business with them. However, this is not the case for Tim Johnson.

Just last year, he generated $11 million dollars from REFERRALS! He is the master of building a referral based business. By sending clients that he cannot work with to his friends and referral partners, he is able to receive commission for the introduction and new business.

Imagine having the potential to make money from EVERY business conversation! Tim speaks to about 3,000 people per year, and if he cannot help them personally, he knows someone in his Global Renegade network who can.

The thing is, we can all do this if we are intentional about it. As Tim puts it, “We need to date our referral partners. We put so much time and effort into people that do nothing for our business, yet we do not build strong relationships and invest time into our referral partners.”

Tim is a speaker, author, real estate developer, and business coach who is well known around the world. He starts each business conversation by saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during this conversation I realize that I am not the right fit for you, I introduce you to someone in my network who is?”

Each time he is met with a resounding YES! Who would say no to this offer? This strong referral network has built Tim a net worth of over $4 million dollars. Tim uses a framework called SOLD and if you use this framework you can build a strong referral network as well.

Below, is the exact SOLD framework Tim uses:

Strategy

According to Tim, everything is mathematical. He approaches each conversation looking to learn and serve. When you approach conversations in this way, you focus on relationship building instead of feeling like you have an agenda to do business.

Ask great questions here and give the person you’re speaking with an opportunity to share their situation and what they are going through. Tim always asks, “What do you need and how can I serve you?” This is a powerful question that most people neglect and it’s the reason they are not experiencing as much sales success as Tim.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Objections = Opportunities

As the old wise quote states, “We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This means we need to speak less and listen more.

Too often, people pitch and become salesy instead of being human and having a conversation where they are listening to the person they are sitting with. When you are listening, you give yourself the opportunity to learn their problems, obstacles, and needs in order to identify new opportunities.

Leverage referral partners

As you are gathering information you will identify if you are able to provide the solution that your prospect needs. If you cannot, it is time to leverage your referral partners and make the introduction.

By starting out the conversation saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during our conversation I realize that I am not the right fit that I introduce you to someone who is?” you have already pre-framed yourself appropriately to leverage your referral network if you cannot provide a solution that is needed.

Your prospect will be very appreciative for your honesty and will trust your judgement. You get a lot of brownie points when you have the integrity to say that you are not the right fit, but let me introduce you to someone who is.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Duplicate

Rinse and repeat this process. Having conversations in this way will enable you to work with the top 20% of people you speak with, and still provide value to the other 80%. In this way, every conversation opens up the opportunity for new business.

SOLD is business growth through asking great questions, active listening, and leveraging referral partners. Start to capitalize on the 80% of business that you are missing out on by referring these people to other service providers in your network.

If you think about providing value in service of others first, then you can leverage the SOLD framework for increased revenue in your business by simply being a connector and receiving commissions of 10%-25%.

Do you have referral partners in your business? Would love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

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