Live Discussion: Building Strong Business Relationships (1) (Audio & Transcript)

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Gary: Hey everybody! It’s Gary, with another edition of BrainStorming Counts with Paul Counts. So you texted me Saturday morning and you said you were in town with Eric who was running in the big earth race, and I came down and we just kind of hung out for a while, grabbed some wings at the Cowboy BBQ on Port Angeles, and that’s on the corner of Lincoln and Front Street. Just in case any of our listeners are ever in town.

Paul: That’s right.

Gary: Really, really good stuff. And we’re just kind of bouncing around some ideas on what to talk about this time on this edition of BrainStorming Counts. And you came up with the subject of relationships. I thought that was a really good idea. I think in general that most entrepreneurs and online marketers are kind of lone wolves in trying to get things started with their own business. I don’t know if you were, but when did you start decide to start branching out and developing more online relationships to help and increase the reach that you have online?

Paul: Yeah, so I started doing — my first live event was really kind of 2007, and you know, that was I’d already been making money online since about 2000 since high school, but then making a little bit here and there, but it was 2007 when I went to my very first internet marketing event. It was at that point that I made a relationship.

I met Jeff Wellman, actually, met several other people. Jeff became a really successful business – big business partner of mine. We have gone on to do a lot of stuff together and kind of grew from there. And then I made several other connections that became my top affiliates later on and I just started going to these live events, then I started going to Clickbank events and meeting everybody from the top to bottom at Clickbank and then getting to know people at jvzoo, because you never know when you can call in or need help and need people’s input. And so, just getting out from behind your computers and meeting people is so vital, so powerful to your business.

And so, I really make it a point to get out and get in front of people, because you’re never going to see the growth in your operation online if you’re not meeting people, because this business as much as it is online it’s a very relational business too, and your chances of closing an affiliate partner are much stronger if they actually have a personal experience with you.

Whether it’s you sharing a meal together, whether they met you through a live event, whether it’s a picture that you took with them and then you tag them in on Facebook. It’s going to automatically help them to recognize who you are and who they’re working with and they’re going to be more apt to work with you as opposed to maybe somebody they don’t have that relationship with.

So when I started getting out from behind the computer I looked for industry events – and this goes for any marketing, I mean, we’re particularly targeting people in the internet marketing space, but if you are…And this is another example too, so I went to down to the San Diego Traffic & Conversions. I didn’t buy my ticket in time for Traffic & Conversions and they already had sold out, but I still went down there because Traffic & Conversions has a huge vendor area where they don’t care if you have a ticket they just want you to browse the booths and everything.

And so, I went in there and met people from ClickBank, I met the JVzoo CEO, I met people at the JVzoo table, which I’m doing a launch right now and they’ve been really beneficial. I’ve met a few marketers that I know that we’re just hanging out in the lobby. And again, that was an event — and I’m not saying you go crash parties. I didn’t buy my ticket in time, but I was still able to make it productive, because they were sold out, you know, TNT sells out about every year. I wasn’t sure timeline wise if I could make it, but I just kind of decided on a whim to go down there. One of the best things I ever did.

That’s the power of networking, that’s the power of getting out and making those connections, because you truly never know who you’re going to be sitting next to, who you’re going to meet. I mean, I met a guy named David Perdew at one of my first events. He and I have gone on to sell. He is been one of my top affiliates. I’ve been a good one for him.

We’ve been great launch partners together, we’ve launched several products together and that was all from relationships we made several years prior, like six / seven years before we even get a lunch together or did stuff together. So there you go, I mean, there is seven, eight years and he still remembers when we first met and that’s the power again of meeting people.

So I can literally pinpoint — this is one of those strategies where somebody say, “Well, Paul, what’s the key to your success?” This is probably one of the number one keys besides, like we’ve talked about, having a sales funnel and list building, building your audience; those two are huge and core, but if I had to put a third in there for success it’s going to be making those relationships.

And I can assure you that I have made millions of dollars in sales because I’m meeting people at live events. I actually met Eric Holmlund at a live event as well in San Francisco. So Eric doesn’t go to a lot of live events, and I met him at an event he was at. So yet again, I mean, literally millions of dollars in my revenue, in my company’s revenue, in my online business revenue is tied directly to me getting out from behind the computer and going and meeting people.
So as much as, this internet business is computer-based it’s literally when you get up from behind that computer and go meet somebody — doesn’t mean you have to be going flying somewhere every week.

If you make it a point to make it to one or two events a year that would be amazing. Maybe in your local community look for meet up events, maybe look at the Facebook calendar and see what happening in your area, see if something fits. You’re going to meet new people, you’re going to get creative ideas.

And I don’t care what market you’re in, if your in the fitness based, search fitness events. I had students of mine she went to a live baseball coaches event. It was for baseball coaches and she went there and recorded a whole info product and made a bunch of connections and had a bunch of them become her affiliate for her product, and that was through a baseball coaches convention.

So I mean, the reality is whatever you’re marketing, there’s anything for it. If you’re targeting baseball coaches, there’s a baseball coaches event and so go there, meet your audience, meet the people you’re trying to target. And I cannot stress enough the value of going out, meeting people.

Paul Evans, we’ve built a relationship through events online, and we actually build a real strong business partnership with because we’ve met online. You and I, Gary, have met before a few times outside of the computer. So there’s just power in meeting people in person.

Gary: Yeah, and that was going to be one of the things I was going to ask you is that having those relations outside of maybe what your primary niche is or whatever, those are very valuable, even if you weren’t doing JVs as business partners or whatever; I think just getting that perspective from somebody outside of your niche can be extremely valuable in your own business.

Paul: Absolutely. I mean, especially those people outside because they’re going to have connections that maybe you don’t have and they’re going to bring people to the table and people that they know and it’s all going to just pinball off each other and just continue to grow.

And that’s the beauty of it, too, is everybody has unique skill sets and so their strength and collaboration it’s important. As much as we want to be kind of more introverted and by ourselves, you still need to make those efforts. And at the very least maybe your meeting people through Skype and you’re doing Skype conversations. You don’t have to start going to these live events. And go to your local meet up events.

There’s local meet up events all the time. I’m in Seattle area, those that are happening. And again, you never know who you’re going to run into, what skill sets they’re going to have, what joint venture could come from a meeting. And I can tell you millions of dollars in joint ventures to me have come from getting out from behind my desk.

Gary: Yeah, because actually I went to Gauher Chaudry’s Digital Sumo seminar in Toronto a couple of weekends ago. And in addition to having some just excellent speakers and presenters those are some really great places, like you said, to meet other like-minded people, and you’re going to meet all kinds of people there, you know, people that are specializing in Facebook ads or other people that are in just some kind of totally unrelated niche from what you’re doing and not necessarily internet marketing. And as you said, great place to meet people.

And you’ve obviously been able to benefit off that as far as developing relationships with other marketers here as well. So you recently had a successful launch, actually, a couple over the last month or so. But when we were talking about the numbers that you guys did on those last one you said that Eric had mentioned – even though it’s a very successful launch – just how different it might have been if it were five years ago.

And that just kind of made me think what an advantage it is to have just somebody else, regardless again, in your niche or not, they bounce back and forth just what’s happening, any changes that are happening or trends that are happening at that time that maybe both of you were seeing.

Paul: Right. Absolutely. I mean, that’s the key thing too is when you’re getting out and meeting people they’re going to have input and insight into stuff that’s happening as far as what changes are going on in the industry.

Like when Eric and I get together it’s just a brain dum, we each have different things that we’re sharing from each other, so he’s noticing stuff happening here, I’m noticing trends over here and we get there and we mastermind and we create those ideas.

So it doesn’t even have to be a full-on business partnership where you could benefit each other, it could just be a mastermind session or weekly call. I know several of my top affiliate and internet marketers who they talk about their call and they have a circle of friends as well.

And so, having those, they’re strength and numbers — and iron sharens iron, it’s a biblical principle too, and it translates into a business as well where if you get around like-minded people with the same goal, same vision you’re going to see that success happen. And so you bounce ideas off each other, you, you make each other stronger, you share insides.
And the reality is I’ve never been one –and the same thing goes for when you’re training your audience as well – I’ve never been one that says, “You know what, I’ve learned this method that works amazingly well. I’m going to keep it to myself,” because at the end of the day, the idea that you think is so special and so unique, I hate to burst bubbles out there, but it probably isn’t and it’s probably not a unique idea, it’s probably not a unique way to get traffic or to make money.

So you may as well share your best insights with certain people that you trust and they’re going to appreciate you for it, then they’re going to share their special successes with you. If you’re sharing it with your customers — I’ve never been one to hold back and say, “You know, I don’t want to share this website, because I just worried that it’s too good of a tip; that people are going to oversaturated it,” because the reality is as soon as I choose not to share something, 10 other people are going to go out there and start sharing it and instead of looking like, “Wow! Paul is amazing, because he’s the first marketer to tell me this tip.”

All of a sudden it looks like people are, like, “Oh, you’re like the 10th person to tell me about this,” and so, I’m all about those relationship. So when you are in those relationships — I’ll bring it back to the personal one-on-one relationships, share your best insights, don’t ever feel like you need to hold back, because there are strength when you give too. When you’re a giver you get a lot more back. That’s always been my experience.

Gary: That’s what I was just going to say. For some people it’s kind of hard to get to that point to where you just become a giver.

Paul: Right.

Gary: Once you get there and then you see the results of what’s coming back to you, then you’ll be a giver for life, you’ll just do it forever.

Paul: No doubt, yeah. It’s going to work out and it’s going to work in your favor for sure. The more value you bring to a relationship, the more value you’re going to get out of it, too. And that goes for any kind of relationship almost, so it does not matter what relationship the more value you bring to the table the more value you’re hopefully going to get back. And 9 times out of 10 that’s the reality, so, yeah.

Gary: So what percentage of your marketing relationships would you say is responsible for your success?

Paul: Yeah, so for me and a big chunk of my success, I mean, I would wager to guess it’s closer to about 90%. If I were to stop here and think and look at all the revenue I’m making and the direct tie into building those relationships — and again, all these relationships, they don’t have to be relationships that I built through life events, that definitely helps, it helps fast track things. I mean, I have a lot of relationships with people that are overseas and they are still my top affiliates because I invested in them, and giving — again, it’s back to that giving, so you give them value, whether that’s sharing a connection that you have, “Hey, I want to introduce you to my PayPal rep, he has helped me through some issues.”

Let’s see how we can help each other, whether it’s introducing them to another affiliate partner, whether it’s adding them to my download page, because I think their offer is great and just kind of surprising them with that. It could be mail for their offer and I become one of their top affiliates, so they want to reciprocate.

Or it’s just you strike up a conversation and you’re a friend to them and you help them. And you just never know what’s going to happened. So yeah, I’d say 90-something percent of my business – it’s a very little relational business – is a direct relation to what I am, you know, those relationships that I’ve built, whether it’s online through Facebook Messenger or Skype or whether it’s in person in getting to know those people or through phone calls and such, but I can directly say over 90% of the income that I make is because of these relationships.

Now, there’s other factors, I mean, you guys are probably saying, “Well, Paul, on other BrainStorming Count sessions you’ve talked about the importance of list building and how that’s number one,” and that is, because without a list you can’t offer any value, you can’t offer to mail to their list to help them out, right.

So you do need to have that email list and it kind of all goes together, but as you build those relationships those people could become your affiliate partners, they can promote a product for you, and no all of a sudden you’ve captured a bunch of new customers to your email list.

So you can see how it kind of goes together. Same thing with sales funnels is without having a product to sell on the frontend, you don’t have an opportunity to have upsells, and so that’s why having partners that send the traffic so that they can actually see the up sells – it’s so vital.

So it’s all works together, but really if you looked at it, the starting point is those relationships and they all kind of gel together because as you establish yourself as a more successful marketer, the deeper relationships you can build. And that sounds funny, but if you focus on making yourself better as well it’s going to help those relationships because you have more value to offer them. So a big, big, big chunk of my business is tied into those relationships that I’ve made.

Gary: Yeah, because you’ve really kind of spread your wings into some really interesting other areas and niches, and that’s kind of amazing what other kind of opportunities are presented themselves to you simply because you had done this, things that you probably would have never otherwise come across.

And I think it’s really important that the listeners realize that there’s opportunities everywhere in niches unrelated to internet marketing. Even if you just find somebody to bounce ideas around with.

Paul: Right, definitely. And here’s another thing that you just mentioned with those other niches; how somebody market in the fitness space could be vastly different from the internet marketing arena and crowd.

And the reality is it doesn’t mean one person is smarter than the other, but you both have a lot to bring to the table. You could also have, for example, a college-educated trained in digital marketing and internet or marketing and copywriting, right, so they are trained in college in marketing, their degree is in marketing.

And then you’ve got a person like myself who ended up not finishing college and I’ve been very successful with my own online business, I’m going to bring a totally different set of – and I’ve had these conversations which is great, because we’ve both help each other – but I’m bringing a totally different mindset and perspective to marketing that they’ve never even thought of and they’re bringing stuff to me that I’ve never even learned and you kind of bring those together, you pull the best things together.

And it doesn’t mean one person is better than the other , but you collaborate those and all of a sudden you’ve got a pretty amazing idea that’s being formed that can help you and then you’ve given them stuff that helps them. I have this conversation with my brother at times who is in more of the business consultants space and it’s fascinating to him that I create these one page website that gets 40% conversion and he’s dealing with a client that wants to get 5% conversion and they’re like, “You get what conversion out of a little landing page, are you kidding?”

And it just totally new concept to these people, because they’ve always been taught you’ve got to have everything dialed into a certain way and Corporate America is different ideals than offline or then people in their own business. So it’s just fascinating.

It’s a very interesting what can happen when you get different relationships. And yeah, how everybody reaches their audience is going to vary by markets to so you can really accelerate your growth by building those relationships and getting to know people.

So I’ve done that too in my business with people that were, you know, when I was selling I was intermediary specialist or – the right word would be a business broker, if you will, – but my title was business intermediary specialist, because they didn’t allow brokers that time. So business intermediary specialist and I was selling a business for a personal friend, so therefore it was illegal.

So I was the go-between for this business deal. And this guy who I was selling it for was about 40 plus years older than me – and brilliant businessman, I mean, he started one of the biggest Pepsi distributorship in the whole Pacific Northwest. I mean, just huge; very successful businessman, car dealerships, his family owned RVs and here I was all internet marketing based and I’m selling this coffee e-commerce business too so he’s got a lot of stuff going on, but I learned a tremendous amount because of his connection and I thought him a tremendous amount because of what I knew.

And so, we each came from totally different ends of the spectrum but we were able to make an amazing thing happen, help each other in both areas and it was a total win-win. So that is how relationships can work and work well.

Gary: Yeah, it’s kind of funny that you mentioned the I guess the booksmart vs. street smart for what they teach in college and what real world stuff like what you’re doing. Because Daniel Levis was one of the speakers at the Digital Sumo event and he was in the corporate world and he had set up a website and he was just killing it for the corporation as far as bringing in new leads and everything.

And they looked at it and they’re like , “You can’t do this,” because they didn’t like how it kind of framed the corporation, even though he was absolutely killing it and bringing in new leads and sales were up and everything. So it’s just kind of interesting the back and forth that you can get with somebody like what you’re talking about with the guy that you sold the business for.

Paul: Oh, absolutely, totally unique, yeah, totally unique perspective. And so, yeah, look for those opportunities, don’t think it just has to be in your space. You could even start by going to go to meetup.com, that’s a great spot to start, that would be a great strategy.

Go to Meetup.com, look for marketing events in your area or local business meetups, join your local Chamber of Commerce. I mean, those are all connections, you never know where that can lead. And you’re not going there with your business card ready to sell, you go there so you make relationships.

And you never know, you could be having coffee with somebody that need your services or they have an idea that they want to bring online or they’ve got some insight to that you don’t have and you just never know what’s going to transpire. So the number one tip that I could give from this session is go out and meet somebody – that’s huge.

Gary: Awesome. Well, I think we’re going to go ahead and close off for this time. This is Gary with Brainstorming Counts, along with Paul Counts and we’ll see you guys next time..

Paul: All right, see you guys. Thank you.