Patrick: Welcome to the Business Spotlight. I’m your host, Patrick Dougher. We have a fabulous show today. We’re going to be talking about a subject that for business owners, in my opinion, may be one of the best tools that you’ve ever heard on this show, and that is how to attract lucrative clients in a referral based method.
My guest today is an expert at that. She’s been doing it for more than a few years. Over 20 years she has created over $230 million worth of business in her networking groups, the CEO Network Partners in the Dallas and Houston area. I have to tell you, I’ve been so thrilled to have her on the show and for her to be sharing through the show tips, tools, and techniques that you could implement in your business right now to create what looks to me like an endless supply of referrals for your business. Genie, thank you so much for being on the show.
Genie: Well, thank you for inviting me, Pat. I just love being here.
Patrick: Thank you. I want to get into your story. I always like to start with that. Tell us how you got to where you’re at and. Where did this whole networking thing begin?
Genie: I was a certified financial planner here in Dallas and I wanted to generate more business for my financial planning practice. I was not allowed to join a network group so I decided to start my own. Over a ten-year period I actually started six different network groups because I would start one and then build a culture and I’d get an idea to make it more productive. Finally in February of 1988, I did it as a business and it’s called CEO Network Partners.
It has spread nationally in 1992 because a financial advisor with one of the leading national wire houses joined my group and within three years from starting she was where someone should’ve been in five years. So that firm sent a camera crew to Dallas to do a training on how you use a network group for a financial advisor, financial planner. I was launched national. I had a national organization for a while.
Patrick: That is awesome. You have actually developed a system for maximizing the networking experience. In the Dallas, Fort Worth area especially – and I know it’s everywhere else – but here a lot of times the people that join networking groups don’t have enough business to keep themselves busy. But you created networking groups that were high impact, high influence. You were attracting the best people, so to speak. How did you do that? What were the principles that you created this thing with?
Genie: Before I get to the principles, this financial advisor came to me and her clients had to have half a million of investible assets. So we looked at who served that community and we invited those professions to join us. We looked to get the top ones in the city to do that, and that’s what we’re doing in Houston as well.
We have four basic principles and the first three a lot of network groups use, but I think the fourth one is the kicker. I’ll give you the first three first.
The first one is the rule of 250. Everybody has approximately 250 in their sphere of influence.
The second one I call the rule of specific targeting and it’s very counter-intuitive, but the more specific you are, the better it is to get a referral right now.
The third one is what I call the rule of equal exchange. By putting something out, you motivate someone, you inspire someone, to give something back to you. Most network groups – the successful ones – use those. But I think the kicker is the rule of emotional impact. When you can get your message out so they get it emotionally and they’re turned on, they kind of feel vicariously like a client felt. Then they go on automatic for you. It’s dynamite.
Patrick: That is really excellent. So the four principles again. One is?
Genie: The rule of 250. Know that people have a sphere of influence.
Genie: The rule of specific targeting. Be very specific in who you want to meet.
Genie: The rule of equal exchange. Do something for the other person. It could be give a referral. It could be help them in any way so they are motivated to give back to you.
Patrick: And the fourth one is?
Genie: The rule of emotional impact. Tell your story with a lot of emotion so they get it.
Patrick: This is actually something you even train groups on and whole organizations where you’ll go in and work with their leaders, mid-level and up management typically, and train them to teach their frontline guys and gals to really create something that it attracts an endless supply of referrals.
We’ll talk about it as we go into the next segment. We’re going to talk about how valuable the referral is in comparison to the dialing for dollars, cold call, un-funness that most of us have to deal with. As we’re coming to the end of this segment, next time what we will be taking about is what to do what you do to create the success you’re having. We’ll be right back.
Patrick: Welcome back to the Business Spotlight, Patrick Dougher here. We’ve got Genie Fuller in the room today and we are talking about ways to create an endless supply of referrals for you and your business. Genie, thanks again for being here.
Genie: Thank you.
Patrick: I want to get into more about what you’re doing to create the success that you’re having because I know you’re doing a great deal of training, speaking and presenting around the country to organizations that have a sales force – typically a fairly significant sales force –that they need to know how to get out of the old, in a sense, dialing for dollars, “Oh my God, please stop this. This is a rat race that’s just isn’t fun.” You said you had one client that within three years was able to do what most people couldn’t do in five.
Genie: That’s correct.
Genie: I’d like to tell you a story, Pat. I was training in one of the financial investment firms in Rochester, New York. This gentleman who walked in who was very tall, had hair the color of mine. He had been around a while.
Patrick: He must have been around a while.
Genie: Yeah, I know! He said, “I hope this is going to be different.” And I’m going, “Oh my gosh.” So I’m up there putting all the energy – and I like gestures anyway. When I got through I found out from the regional VP that he had been in the firm for 33 years and he ranked number five out of 14,000 people.
Genie: Well, in a couple of weeks he gave me a call and he said, “Genie, this stuff works. It really works!” I’m going, “Good, because I’m staking my life on it.”
His first client that morning had been Steve and he used my principles. The first thing when Steve came in he said, “Steve, before we get into today’s work, I just want to know what’s going on. What’s going on at the plant? What’s happening for you?”
He found a need, a problem that Steve was facing and stop the interview and called the other advisor and got that all set up. Then he highlighted what he had done for Steve over ten years. Then he made a few suggestions. Steve took his suggestions.
As Steve is leaving, he walked him to the door, he turned around and he said, “Well, I really appreciate you taking those few moments when I first came in and calling that other advisor. I’m going to call him when I get back to the plant. Is there anything at all I could do for you?”
Lyle says, “Well, as a matter of fact, there is. Even though I’ve been very successful, I’m still looking for more clients.” He said, “I’m looking for somebody about 52, 53 years old, probably lives on the north side of town, kids are in college, may own a manufacturing plant, and I really like to deal with macho kind of guys. It’s the kind of guy who would drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee, he’s probably a hunter and he’s got a golden retriever in the backseat.”
The guy came up with three referrals right then, and this was a guy using all the training his firm had given him for ten years and never came up with anyone. When Lyle walked him to the elevator and we he got on held out the door and said, “Listen, Lyle, as soon as we get you those three, I’ll take you to my trade association. There are 28 more guys over there. They all have more assets than I do and I’ll help you get those as well.” 31 referrals.
Patrick: Sweet. Very nice.
Genie: There are three elements and that’s what I teach. The first one I say is inspire. He inspired Steve to give him a referral by doing something for him.
The second thing is he taught him how to recognize a prospect with 52 years old, golden retriever, Jeep Grand Cherokee, very specific.
The third one, he really gave him the message. He taught him how to recommend by going over the highlights of what they’ve accomplished in ten years.
It’s inspire, recognize, and recommend. They all pull together to give you control over getting referrals.
Patrick: With that system, they finally got it and they were able to open the doors. It sounds like one of the things that’s really significant is that you’re training people to send referrals the right way with their influence brought to their not just, “Oh, call Bob. He’s a good guy.”
Genie: No. No names and phone numbers. It’s person to person. Some of my people, I take to lunch. Or they might give them a phone call or they’re just talking with them and something comes up and they say, “Have you had Pat Dougher? Let me tell you about Pat.” That’ where that emotional impact thing comes in. It’s really cool.
Patrick: I’ve been really excited. I’m a member of the Dallas CEO Partners group and I’ve loved it. Great people, they really get it, they understand exactly how to give a referral and it’s never just, “Hey, so and so.” It’s, “Oh, just a second. Let me get one on the line. Hey, Bob. This is ____. Okay, you need to meet my friend. Here, let me give you the phone and they’ll make the introduction right then.”
It’s an excellent concept. It’s a great training. When we get into this next segment, we’re going to talk about who the ideal client is for you. I want our audience to know how to find the right people for you to talk to and for you to share this message with.
You want to be back with us, so stay tuned. We’ll be right back. It’s the Business Spotlight.
Patrick: Welcome back to the Business Spotlight. I’m Patrick Dougher. My guest today is Genie Fuller. Genie is a master at helping you, if you’re a business owner, understand how to attract an endless stream of referrals. I don’t know about you, but if you had your friends selling for you to their friends, does anybody go, “Oh my God, that’s the perfect answer to a business solution?” Yeah. Genie, thank you.
Genie: You’re welcome.
Patrick: You speak to a lot of groups and you are trying to get the message out – look, guys, you don’t have to do it the old fashion way. You also need to realize a personal element because technology is fun and there’s a lot of what I call Gen-Xers or Millennials – and if you’re in that group you know your name. Anybody that’s 45 and below is Gen-X to 35, and below 30ish are the Millenials. The thing is everybody needs the personal touch and the personal introduction. Who are you trying to reach and how would we identify that person for you?
Genie: Most people like to say the whole world, but being very specific targeting, I’ve traditionally worked a lot with financial advisors and financial planners. I really enjoy meeting the branch manager or the regional person. I have video training now that they can use in their meetings and then I go periodically to help with the implementation.
I also trained in law firms and accounting firms. They have to do referrals. Our method is very low key schmooze. Sometimes they ask me what I do. I’d say, “I can help you schmooze your way to business.”
That works really well with me and I like to preferably see the managing partner who wants to increase business. Actually, a managing partner after I did an accounting firm said, “After you’ve been here, marketing doesn’t look like marketing anymore. It’s part of the way we do business.”
Patrick: That’s exactly right.
Genie: That’s the key.
Patrick: A good friend of mine always uses the phrase “Everything is marketing and marketing is everything.” If you can get people to raise their hand and say, “Tell me more,” that’s 90% of the battle. What you’re doing is you’re training your people to introduce each other to their best.
Genie: That’s right.
Patrick: You’re giving them the keys to the kingdom. In fact, I’ve described it earlier when we were talking about this. This is kind of a skeleton key – a master key – that unlocks this endless flood of referrals that with the right people. I remember we’re talking about some research you did on valuable a referral is versus a cold call.
Genie: I was talking with one of my clients and he said that he had taken a list of all of his clients and that he put a list over here of the ones he enjoyed working with and here were the ones he didn’t like working with. Everything was just about the same.
Then he realized that all the ones he enjoyed came from a referral, a real live endorsement, recommendation. And the ones over here that he didn’t like all came from cold prospecting. Isn’t that amazing? They come in with a trust level.
Patrick: That’s such a key. You just hit it. You said one came in with the endorsement and the trust factor of “My good friend, Bob, recommended you. If he says you’re one of the good guys, then you must be one of the good guys because he says there’s only a few of them left.”
In your training, you’re actually giving them those keys. Aren’t you?
Genie: I am.
Patrick: When they’re coming in, they’re finding the ways to really attract the right people to them. Do you want to speak at conventions? The size of the corporation that you typically like to work for is how many sales people normally?
Genie: I like to work with big national ones, but where I really shine I believe is in their branch offices with about 50 people.
Patrick: So 50 at a time, but typically a branch office might have 2,000 or 3,000 sales reps around the country. But you would be able to mentor each of the mid-level management.
Genie: I’ve learned over the years that I just don’t go in and do a seminar. I can’t change behavior. We’ll do the workshop, but it’s got to follow up with implementation. I give them some things they can do in-house and then I come back and do another program to keep the implementation going. I like at least a 90-day commitment. Most of them are about six months.
Patrick: I wouldn’t doubt that because I’ve seen that model over and over in the past. Somebody comes in and they say, “Here’s a training,” and they throw it out there to the group. Only about 15% of what they say actually shows up is implemented.
What that means is, by doing the follow up, you’re able to internalize a big portion of what somebody is as hired or essentially purchased in the way of training. They’ve purchased that training from you, now they’re finally getting it in their people.
As we come back from the break, we’re going to talk about how to connect to Genie, how to get her material and really begin the process of internalizing it in your group. This is the Business Spotlight, I’m Pat Dougher. We’ll be right back.
Patrick: Welcome to the Business Spotlight. This is Pat Dougher. Genie Fuller is my guest today. We’re talking about ways to create more referrals. In fact, I’d even say fire hydrant type – well, maybe not quite the fire hydrant. But what if we’re able to do three, four, five extra referrals a month by training you how to train your people?
Genie, thank you so much. I want to get into how people can connect to you. Where do you want them to go?
Genie: I would love for them to come to my new website where I’m giving away a free e-book. The title of the e-book is “How to Sidestep the 7 Costly Networking Mistakes and Attract Lucrative Prospects.” That website is www.7NetworkingMistakes.com.
Patrick: Very good. It’s on the screen, so they can read it there. They’ve got your phone number. Your phone number is the 713 number?
Patrick: They’re going to get the e-book. That will get them started. That will also give you the opportunity to touch base with them afterwards. It’s a great book. When I looked at that I sit there and all I could see was “lucrative.”
Genie: That’s a good word.
Patrick: Lucrative referrals – I’ll connect those two in my mind. It’s just about lucrative referrals. But it is, isn’t it?
Genie: Yes. It’s establishing influence in order to increase affluence.
Patrick: I’ve heard that before. I don’t know where.
Genie: I think we talked about that before.
Patrick: We did talk about that before. But it is. You increase influence. You’ll increase affluence. It’s a byproduct, isn’t it?
Genie: It is.
Patrick: When people begin to get engaged with you, what are the pieces to that puzzle that you want to make sure that they get? They get your training, they get the book. What else do you want to give them?
Genie: I didn’t mention that I wrote a book several years ago and it’s called “Winning the Referral Game.” Recently when I ran out of books, I reread it thinking I would have to rewrite it to have it printed again and I liked it so much.
Patrick: It was still good.
Genie: I think that’s amazing when it’s been a few years. “Winning the Referral Game” I have available. I’m putting little video modules that people can sign up for and have a subscription so they can use maybe one a week – 37 minutes a week – and do a little lesson and go along. If they order the e-book, then we’ll lead them to the video. I am also putting videos for a branch manager in a company to train new people so that they’ve got a short, little video and materials of what to talk about before the video, worksheets and all of that.
Patrick: The one key that you’re doing that is so important, Genie, is that you’re imparting the information. You’re not just dispensing information.
Genie: My distinction over the years has probably been my biggest goal was to help them get it emotionally, because if they’ve got it – and I don’t know how better to say that – then they implement. If they just understand it, it goes right through.
I had one branch manager who want me to do a 20-minute sales meeting and that was it. I said, “If the goal is to change behavior, forget it.” I think I can do a pretty good job but I can’t do that.
Patrick: But isn’t that like somebody given one vitamin. “Here’s one a day, but you’re going to take one. Period.”
Genie: One what for something.
Patrick: Hello. It’s got to be something that is line upon line. You’re instilling this stuff in the people. What’s cool is that you’re doing it to the leaders first.
Genie: Yes. The other thing that I am just rolling out is I want to help all the network groups that are out there and they’re trying so hard. So I’m preparing video lessons for the leaders in how to run the network group and what makes it successful, and then a series teaching six different skill sets to the members. They can buy the package and get their network group off and maybe they can give me a little challenge on this 230 million in sales.
Patrick: I think that would be awesome. I know that when I look at what you’ve created in Dallas and Houston, and then nationwide, is a really a great piece of training. If you’re not strategic, which you started off with, we picked who we wanted to target.
Patrick: Then you tend to troll, is what it’s called. Right?
Patrick: Let me just review. The four principles again?
Genie: Rule of 250, rule of specific targeting, rule of equal exchange, and the rule of emotional impact.
Patrick: And they can get your e-book at?
Genie: www.7NetworkingMistakes.com. We’ll teach them how to sidestep those networking mistakes.
Patrick: And really turn on the faucet.
Genie: One other little thing is for networking is just a sequence. I think they have to establish intrigue rather than explain what they do. Once the person is intrigued and says, “Tell me more,” then they intensify their value. Now they’re getting more into the explanation, hopefully a story, and then finally the person ends up inspired to meet with them.
Patrick: That is awesome. I will tell you, that is a great tool, Genie. I know that anybody watching this is going to gain a great deal of real understanding on how to create an endless supply of referrals. The Business Spotlight is really about giving business owners the opportunity to tell their story, to let their audience – their prospects – see who they are to know what they can do for them.
Genie, thank you again.
Genie: Thank you.
Patrick: Folks, we’ll be back next time with more of the Business Spotlight. I’m Pat Dougher. We’ll talk to you next time.
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