In episode 93, host Eric Dickmann interviews Matthew Pollard. Matthew is a growth marketing expert, keynote speaker, award-winning blogger and podcaster, and best-selling author of "The Introvert’s Edge." Forbes calls him “the real deal,” but Matthew is better known as “The Rapid Growth Guy.” By the age of 30, he was responsible for five multi-million dollar business success stories. Pollard has worked with companies such as Electrolux, Oracle, and Microsoft, providing training, keynotes, and workshops from Thailand to Las Vegas. The hundreds of stages he has appeared on, and the impeccable ratings Matthew has received, have earned him a CSP designation, the highest certification awarded by the National Speakers Association.
Throughout the course of Matthew’s career, he was able to transform thousands of struggling or plateaued small businesses into momentum and growth. In addition to working with clients one-on-one through his signature intensive and his Rapid Growth Academy, Matthew founded Small Business Festival, ranked by Inc as a Top-3 business conference, providing hundreds of free events across the nation each year.
In this episode, we discuss Matthew's latest book, "The Introvert’s Edge to Networking."
For show notes and a list of resources mentioned in this episode, please visit:
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Welcome to The Virtual CMO podcast. I'm your host, Eric Dickmann. In this podcast, we have conversations with marketing professionals who share the strategies, tactics, and mindset you can use to improve the effectiveness of your marketing activities and grow your business. Hey, Matthew. Welcome to The Virtual CMO podcast. I'm so glad you could be here today.Matthew Pollard:
Thank you mate. I'm ecstatic to be here.. I love that warm up music, that was quite impressive.Eric Dickmann:
Gives a little beat, little energy before we get going here. And I noticed in the preview picture, you're holding up a little rocket, which is very timely for this week, right? Richard Branson just went into space a couple of days ago. It's crazy.Matthew Pollard:
it is impressive. I was watching the live stream. So you know, just something everyone does these days, right?Eric Dickmann:
Well, that's right or will soon, right? If you have a spare$250,000 sitting around or whatever it costs.Matthew Pollard:
Absolutely. It's not a million. So you know, that's actually within a lot of people's reach. I remember when everyone was like, oh, I want to make a million dollars, I want to make a million dollars. And it's like, oh, well, if you make a million dollars, that actually hasn't got you set for life anymore. So you know, it's actually within reach.Eric Dickmann:
It really doesn't, does it? Yeah. A million dollar doesn't go as far as it used to at all.Matthew Pollard:
Not at all.Eric Dickmann:
Hey, Matthew. I'm so glad you're on the show today. As an introvert myself, I've been very interested in your work over the years. And I bought the The Introvert's Edge to networking the other day and I just plowed through it over the course of a weekend. I thought it was really practical. And I was so glad that you accepted the invitation to be a guest on the show. What sort of inspired you to write this followup book to your first one?Matthew Pollard:
You know, it's interesting. I mean for those people that don't know my backstory, you know I had a reading state of a sixth grader in late high school. So writing a book is definitely not something that I look forward to doing. It's just I do it when I feel the need to do something like that. And I work with a great ghost writer who's amazing. But the thing that I'll tell you is the first one really came from, I keep saying somebody needs to write a book on introverted selling and everyone's said Matt, no one's going to buy a book on selling for introverts. I'm like, how is there thousands of books for extroverts, but there's not one for introverts? And people think that nobody will want it. Well, eventually I gave up and I said, you know what? I'll work on it myself. And gosh, it's in 15 languages now and sold 55,000 copies.Eric Dickmann:
That's amazing!Matthew Pollard:
So it's just, you know, it's exploded and it's been amazing to see people like Tom Ziglar out, his dad, Zig Ziglar is an introvert, Jeb Blunt out himself as an introvert. But with the new book, it was interesting, we were getting a lot of people reach out and say, Matt, we're closing a lot more deals now we just don't have enough leads. And we're not getting in front of enough people, you know, can you teach us how to network? And so that would've been, I guess a good reason, but it wasn't enough to motivate me to write the book, but it was actually this kid out of Buffalo, New York who, you know, his father reported it to me, the story. He said, you know, Derek and I both interviewed him to find out more about the story, but he said, you know, my son found this book, The Introvert's Edge to sales sitting on the coffee table at home. And he's always been interested in business books because his dad's really interested in business. And he said that he picked the book up and he read it cover to cover. And then he started carrying around, literally carrying it around in his arm. I can't imagine a kid doing this, carrying around his arm at school because he decided that if I could systemize the process of selling, which was obviously something that, you know, most people think that you have to have a natural gift or ability, he decided that you could probably systemize the process of making friends. And I went, you know what? We need to see more books in this Introvert's Edge series because it's a series. It will, you know continue on well beyond me, hopefully. Cause there's definitely gonna be topics that I won't be covering. But you know, I just saw that networking was the next one, because the truth is that networking the way we see it, you've got that transactional network that just walks, now do you wanna buy it for me now? What about you? What about you? What about you? Nobody wants to be that person. Sometimes we're desperate when we feel like we have to be, but then the rest of the time we go, oh, you know what, I need to go to a networking event. And we get there and we do what I call aimless networking, right? We try to talk ourselves out of going in before we get there. And then eventually we walk into the room and you know somebody asks us what we do and you know, we're trying to downplay ourselves, right? Because we don't want to come across as salesy. So we kind of just say, oh, you know, my day job is this or whatever. And then you know, we do a really bad job of explaining what we do, and sometimes we get the opportunity to help. So we offer some free advice and we walk out with a bunch of business cards with people that we've classified now as friends. Of course, we don't have time to catch up with our current friends. So why would we ever call them?Eric Dickmann:
That's so so true.Matthew Pollard:
Well, let's see. I mean, then we tell ourselves, right? That you know, people, if they call us, then we'll work with them, of course they never do. So we believe networking doesn't work. So I just went, you know what, the reason why this needs to be the next one is because most people need more leads, they don't like networking, but the truth is networking does work, they're just doing it wrong. And I wanted to introduce the concept of what I call strategic networking, which just works so, so well, but it also makes it not awkward. And I think introverts are the best at it actually.Eric Dickmann:
Well, I thought that was an interesting point that you made in the book. I think oftentimes introverts look at extroverts and say, wow, I wish I could be more like them. I wish I had those social skills, but you make the case that introverts are actually better networkers than extroverts.Matthew Pollard:
Yeah, I think there's a couple of things there. It's actually funny. My friend BNI, my friend Ivan Meisner, he is the founder of BNI. And, you know I mean, it's the world's largest networking group and he did a survey of BNI members. And it turns out the qualities of the person that are more likely extroverted qualities, actually, things people listen like in networkers and things that, the qualities that you would assume a lot of introverts have are actually the qualities that people appreciate most. So why is it that we think extroverts make the best network as well. Firstly, they're the loudest, right? They're talking loud and we all wish we could be like them if especially, and it's true, like they're doing better than a lot of us. If they're, if we're the aimless networkers. Cause at least they're trying right now, a lot of extroverts don't even want to be that transactional networker.But at least, you know, the better angles because they've got that gift of gab I guess. The thing is that the statistics highlight that introverts have deeper relationships with a smaller number of people. Extroverts have a wider relationship circle, but they don't have very deep relationships. Well, the truth is when an introvert adopts a system for creating relationships, because once we get over that Achilles heel at the beginning, and we look at a system, a methodical process, there's not uncomfortable that can make it, allow us to feel congruent. Then all of a sudden we can create more relationships, but we can also foster deeper ones because someone said it extroverts aren't the best listeners. That's not the most empathetic in the world and introverts. And we have that in spades. So for me, the things that make an introvert successful is the fact that we're willing to adopt the system because without it we're terrible at networking, we plan and prepare as long as we're not trying to put it away from our mind, because we don't want to think about networking. And then once we channel that system, we channel that empathy, we channel our ability to actively listen, and therefore we become amazing networkers. Now I will say that does, I mean this isn't extrovert hating here at all. It doesn't mean that extroverts can't learn a system as well. It's just that they're tending, you know, when they get a system they're like, yeah, but I like to wing it, right? So because of that, they're more likely to move away from the system. And that's why you see a lot of extroverts that do well at networking, but never can reach the heights that a lot of introverts can. Now they can learn active listening, they can learn empathy, and the thing that always surprises me is they believe that they can learn those things and they might go to some form of emotional intelligence class to learn those things. The thing that kills me is extroverts believe that they can't do it. So because of that, they don't look to learn a system. And that's why I spend my life helping people realize introverts aren't second class citizens. Their path to success is just different. And when they learn a strategy and methodical process for succeeding in sales, succeeding in networking, public speaking leadership, all of a sudden they realize they're actually not just okay at this, they're actually better than the extroverts. And they start to look at some of the things that the extroverts do and go, why would you do that? That makes no sense. But the truth is when you weed things, sometimes things go wrong. It's just you doing it more often, that things go a little bit more right than what an introvert does when they're not trying at all.Eric Dickmann:
Well, I think that's one of the things that I really appreciated about your book is it is a system, it's a process. And I think for introverts having a process like that really helps. But one of the other comments that you made about extroverts is that oftentimes introverts try to copy that behavior, they try to copy what they see some of their extroverted friends doing, and that's sort of a recipe for disaster, right?Matthew Pollard:
Oh, it's horrible. Actually, funnily enough, I. But firstly, no one should copy an extrovert at selling or networking. Plus if you ask them to show you what to do, they go, it's easy. You just do this. Well it's not easy for us. But a lot of times, and this is really interesting. A lot of times when people see me now and they're like, oh yeah, it's just easy for you. You've got that gift of gab, people do it to me now all the time even though I talk about introversion. And they're like, there's no way you're an introvert. And I'm like, you're right. Cause introverts are just gonna be hiding under a bridge, hoping no one right? Nevermind, Ivan Meisner, the founder of BNI, the world's largest networking group in the world is an introvert. Nevermind that Zig Ziglar, the probably the most well-known sales trainer no longer with us, unfortunately was an introvert. Tom Ziglar. His son is an introvert. Jeb Blount, one of the most well-known sales trainers in the world. Also an introvert Oprah Winfrey, the person who is just amazing at small talk, also an introvert. Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, need I go on?. The problem is we project extroversion on everyone that's successful. So if you happen to be copying someone that you believe is an extrovert, you might be wrong. There might be an introvert in which case you're going to do just fine. But if you try to copy an extrovert, no, we can't do that. It feels inauthentic. It feels uncomfortable. I remember when I was first learning to start, I speak from stage. I remember my first ever speaking event, you know, I spoke at Sales 3.0 conference in Philadelphia, and I watched this guy, Dan Wolf Schmidt, and he was sensational. And I remember going, oh my gosh, one day I hope to be this kind of speaker. And then I immediately thought, well, actually can't do that because you know, he's probably an extrovert and I can't, I can't do that. And this, I knew. What was interesting is afterwards, I got chatting with him and he's like, Matt, I'm an introvert. And I started to look at some of the strategies that he used, but also I could not be that kind of speaker anyway. You know, I am methodical and structured in my conversations, I'm empathetic, and I give everything about the audience. You know Dan is an explosive kind of speaker, you know, it's funny when we looked at building my sizzle reel for speaking, you know, I showed him a couple of examples and of course, Dan was in there to the person that designed it is Matt, we can't play music like that for you because. Because you're in the moment, you're extreme, but you're not that extreme. So again, you've got to find what's natural and comfortable for you. So I think one of the things that I try and highlight for people is that the sales process you've got to find a sales process and networking processes, speaking from stage of leadership process that will allow you to feel congruent. But what I've learned is there's a series of steps. And if you graduate through those steps, the steps are the same, the way you do them will be slightly different based on your own personal style. But as an introvert, if you don't graduate through the steps and you just wing it, well that's just a disaster.Eric Dickmann:
Well, one of the things that you talked about right at the top of this interview as well, is that oftentimes I think when inner introverts introduce themselves, extroverts do this too. They don't have a story. It's they go right to, so what do you do? Where do you live? But there's nothing memorable, there's nothing that really captures a lot of attention or interest. And you talk a lot in the book about this idea of really creating a compelling kind of personal brand story. Did it take you a while to really develop your own.Matthew Pollard:
You know, it's interesting. I think it always takes you longer to do your own than it takes you to help other people You know, I see this all the time. As a matter of fact, I just finished an interview where we was talking about just this. And it was like a lot of people, you know, they're like, but I know lots of stuff, I don't want to just do one thing. And then you know, so they go to networking events and you hear a couple of things, you know, what is it that you do? Oh, it's complicated because everybody wants to hear that, right? Oh my gosh, here we go, right? As all, they'll say, you know, I can say, oh, I'm a sales trainer and people go, oh, I had a really bad experience with a sales trainer. Oh, I'm an introvert, I can never learn sales and I've got to learn. Oh no, I'm different. I've got magic ruby slippers. Well, that's uncomfortable. Or I can say, well, I'm in marketing and they say, oh, we need a marketer. How much do you cost? And now I'm talking about price. This is why it goes wrong. And this is what happened. People say, what is it you do? And people then put you in this box. What they're looking for is saying, oh, okay. You fit in this box, I hate you. Okay, you fit in this box, I need something like that, how much do you. cost? And the goal for successful networking is really about not fitting in the box at all, right? You've got to say something that really gets people to go, Oh my gosh. That's really interesting. Tell me more. Now of course you should be all about them first. Be interested before being interesting. But the truth is that what you really need to do is you need to create what I call a unified message. Now this leads to then talking about your passion and mission for serving. For instance, you know, I'm passionate about helping introverts realize they're not second class citizens. Their path to success is just different, you know? And I'm on a mission to help introverted service providers create rapid growth businesses that they love, that don't revolve around them, their family and their lives. Sorry, the do revolve around them, their family and the right lives, not the other way around. And then I go into a story, right? But the thing is that a lot of people, the person's decision has been made by the time you introduce yourself by your functional scale. I don't need you, I'm not interested. I'm interested, but straight into cost. So what you really have to do is you have to create something that takes you from I'm shoving something down somebody's throat that they didn't ask for to they really trying to draw that information out of you. And this is what I call a unified message. Now, I mean I can give you an example. I worked with the language coach out of California. I mean she taught kids in adults Mandarin, and she charged 50 to$80 an hour successfully for like a decade. But all these people were moving into California charging 30 to$40 an hour. And you know, so she was struggling to compete on price. Also, there were people in China willing to do it for$8 to$12 an hour advertising to do it on Craigslist. Thanks to our friends in Silicon Valley, there was technologies. Now, Eric I'll teach you Mandarin. You teach me English. We just want to charge anyone anything. So now she's competing against free. So she comes to me, she's like, teach me some sales techniques to close more deals, teach me some networking techniques so I can get more leads. I'm like, no, we have to first avoid the battle altogether, because if we introduced that functional skill, you've already lost. So, what I did is I started to look at all the things that she did outside the scope of a functional skill for a client. What I realized is for two people, she helped them with much more. The first thing she helped them understand was the difference in the rapport relationship in China. For instance, you know, in the Western world, Eric, if I was trying to sell you something and I was really bad at sales, at the end of 45 minutes, I might say something horrible like, so do you want to move forward? And you'll say, Yes, No, what's everyone's favorite? Let me think about Well, a week from now, if you still say you want to think about it, I know I'm not going to get that sale. Well in China, they're going to probably want to meet with you four or five, six times. They're probably gonna want to see you drunk over karaoke once or twice. It's just who they are. But they're talking about you know, 25, 30, 40, 50 year deals, not transactional relationships like we do here. So she helped them understand that, she helped them understand the difference between e-commerce in China and the Western world, and the importance of respect, like learning the languages isn't enough, you've got to reduce your accent, how to handle a business card, and why it matters so much. And when you are doing so much more for these people than just language? What are you doing? They are just a few things. You know, I'm just trying to help. Everybody is doing things that they don't tell their clients up front, that their clients appreciate them for. Otherwise, there's no reason why they wouldn't go with someone cheaper and that they sing your praises. And I'm like, Wendy, you're stuck in your functional skill. Is it fair to assume as a result of the assistance you're giving these people, they're going to be more successful when they go to China. She's like, Well, I mean, yeah, I mean, that's the point, right? I said, great, let's call you the China success coach then. Forget about talking about Mandarin for a second. When you meet people, let's talk about that. And what we did is we ended up creating what we call the China Success Intensive, which was a five week program, worked with executive, the spouse, and any children being relocated across the China. Now she liked the idea, but she's like, well, who do I sell it to? Because in networking events, It doesn't matter if we got the best net message in the world, if we're saying it to the wrong people, what's the point, right?Eric Dickmann:
That's true.Matthew Pollard:
So I said, what do you think your ideal clients are? And she's like, well, obviously it's the executive. That makes sense. I mean, I moved from Australia to the US and I was terrified. Imagine going to a place that doesn't even speak the same language. I just don't think it's your ideal client. Well, the companies will pay. I mean, yeah, they have millions of dollars sometimes riding on the executive being successful. I said, I still don't think it's your ideal client. She was like who then? I said, I think your ideal client is the immigration attorney. She's like, What? Let's see, what do you think they made maybe$7,000,$5,000 to do all the paperwork, all the bureaucracy, they got to get the client to organize the visa, they've got staff to pay for office space. They are gonna be lucky to make$3,000. Well, just offer them$3,000 for a successful introduction. So she started going to networking events with immigration attorneys, where she introduced herself as the China success coach, and she offered them a way of doubling their income by a simple introduction. They love the idea. They're like, what do I have to say? And she said, oh, you've got to do is say, Congratulations, you've now got your visa. I just want to go and check your is ready to, as you think you are to go to China and they'd be like, well, yeah, I think we're set. We've got our visa now. Thank you. We got to play sort of learning language. Kids are getting pretty good at it too. I think we're good to go. And they just respond with, well, there's a lot more to it than that. I think you need to speak to the China success coach. When do they get on the phone with the easiest sell in the world that we're terrified to go, the organization was motivated to pay, and they're recommended by their attorney. And she got to charge$30,000 for this minus a$3,000 commission. She made 27,000 for the easiest sell in the world. So here's what you need to do, you need to say, well, what are the things I do outside the scope of my functional skill? And then, so what is the high level benefit of that? For Wendy, the high level benefit was China's success. For me, I'm a branding expert,. I'm a social media strategist, I'm a sales systemization expert, I'm a master of NLP, I'm a business coach. Who cares?. Firstly, nobody cares that. They don't care how hard it was for me to learn these things, how long it took me to learn them. But when I say I'm the rapid growth guy, I work exclusively with introverted service providers to help them obtain rapid growth within their business. The simplicity of that message is what gets me heard in a crowded marketplace. So when somebody asks me at a networking event, what is it that I do? I say, oh, I'm the rapid growth guy. And then brain almost has an aneurysm. What is that? I've never heard of that before. I can't put you in a bucket. So I need to ask you what that is because I want to either disqualify you or work out if this is a new thing that I haven't heard of before. And then I go into my passion and mission for helping introverts. And then I might tell the Wendy story. Again, in a conversational setting, but they're now inquiring with me because they're interested as opposed to me feeling like I've got to shove something down their throat that they did not ask for.Eric Dickmann:
Hey, it's Eric here and we'll be right back to the podcast. But first, are you ready to grow, scale, and take your marketing to the next level? If so, The Five Echelon Group's Virtual CMO consulting service may be a great fit for you. We can help build a strategic marketing plan for your business and manage its execution, step-by-step. We'll focus on areas like how to attract more leads. How to create compelling messaging that resonates with your ideal customers. How to strategically package and position your products and services. How to increase lead conversion, improve your margins, and scale your business. To find out more about our consulting offerings and schedule a consultation, go to fiveechelon.com and click on Services. Now back to the podcast. I love that. I really love that story because it shows the potential of really identifying your target market, really seeing what unique services that you can provide, and then branding yourself in such a way that people get it. And you know, you're a busy guy. I don't know if you've had a chance to experiment much on Lunch Club, which has become kind of a thing, but you know, everybody gets to present themselves in a profile, put their picture up there, say a couple things that they're interested in, and I'm amazed how many people you look at it and you say, I have no interest in talking to this person because there's nothing compelling here, there's nothing that they're saying, putting out there in the world that makes it interesting. And you know, we've gone through this pandemic now though, in-person networking events have dried up, they're starting back up, but they've dried up for over a year. And things like Lunch Club are a new way of digital networking. And when I look at that and I listened to some of the things that you say, and reading the book, you can see where people are really missing an opportunity to set themselves apart from a crowded field. Oh, look, you're a hundred percent, right. I mean in truth, if you can't successfully articulate the value of what you provide, when someone's politely listening for three minutes in a face-to-face networking event, you have no chance online. I mean I talked about this in the last chapter in my book that you know, while I built five multi-million dollar success stories from the ground up, which for an introverted kid who had no idea what he wanted to do with his life and you know had this whole feeling of feeling like the slow kid growing up. You know, that was an achievement I guess. But when I got to the US I went, you know, what, if I'm going to start a business here, I mean my family's in Australia, like what if somebody got sick? I have to get home. So I went, you know what? I'm going to have to start an online business, which by the way, I didn't know how to change the word dot to the word they on a website, the whole idea me. But I was determined I'm not going to be that person taking a photo of my donut for something to say online, like that is not what I want. But what I realized is that the same thing goes on in the networking room goes on online. Because they can't articulate their value, they've got this vanilla message, which means they feel like they've got to post on social media every 10 seconds. They've got a blog post every day, they've got to do a podcast every day, because if you can't be the clearest, you best be the loudest, right? That's right.Matthew Pollard:
Why wouldn't I just be the clearest? So for me, you know, when you go to my profile, check me out on LinkedIn. You know, I share a ton of free videos there as well, but I call myself The Rapid Growth Guy. I talk about my unique passion and mission, I talk about my stories, and the thing is that that allows me to get heard in the crowded market. You know, a lot of people push really hard to get podcast interviews. This was even before the books, but I mean, Eric, you reached out to me. I didn't reach out to you. it happens all the time because I'm different. Like if you're scrolling through that Lunch Club rolodex of completely vanilla messages and you see The Rapid Growth Guy, I've never heard of that before, click. China success coach, what's that? Click. And it happens as well like BX Network, BNI Online, all of these ones give you little intros to demographics of people. And if you get on and go, yes, so I'm in marketing, people are, oh, I know what that is. Yeah, I'm interested in that. How much does it cost? You know, how can we work together? Oh, I'm The Rapid Growth Guy, oh, passion, mission, story. Now, all of a sudden I'm having a real dialogue and the great thing is people feel like they're connected with me, especially if you talk about your passionate mission, by the way. It drives me nuts how many people talk about, you know, I really want you as a client because I'm trying to buy a new car and you really help with. And that's how they come across on their profiles. So for me, I talk about rapid growth, I talk about my passion and mission for helping people because I really care. So if you're not in something you really care about, that's a problem. The truth is you picked this. So I'm going to test you on that, you know? There's a story in my book in Chapter Two, where I talk about this insurance person and he said, you know the problem is, I go to a networking room and every time I do. You know, I can really interested in, well, firstly, you shouldn't act, you should be interested. He said, but when I get to the point where they asked me what I do, I say, I'm in insurance and I watched their eyes go, and then you know, they freak out and they're like, how do I get away from this person? I don't want to buy insurance. And I said, well, you know, we need to create this message and we need to focus it on passion. I said, so what are you passionate about? And he said, well, I'm just really want to help people. I said, sure you do. Do you want to help someone as much that earns 50,000 as much as you want to help someone with that makes 250. He said, well, no, the 250, because they can afford to buy more. There we go, we're back to buying a new car. I said, so let's separate this out for a second. I said, do you want to help someone that perhaps, you know, hustle every day to get into the right high school, then going into the right university, maybe graduated from Harvard and then moved into a single level executive job. They make 250, and they've got a whole team of people they're responsible for, or somebody who maybe even dropped out of school. You know, saved up a bunch of money, started their own business, and now they make 250, and they've got a team working for them. And he said, well, obviously the small business owner. Why? I mean, the guy graduated from Harvard, that's pretty cool. And he's, well, I just feel like they deserve it more. Tell me about that. You said, well, I had a grandfather that hustled every day to save up money, to start a business, he started a farm, and then he always looked after his team and he said he got to the point he never prioritized himself, and then he got sick. And he couldn't be there every day so we have to sell the farm to focus on getting well. He said, I just watched my grandfather lost 10 years of his life literally fade away in front of a television in a tiny little apartment. He said, I just never want to see that happen to anyone else. I'm like, oh, now we're getting into some passion. But you sell insurance. I mean, how could you help with that? I mean, he didn't die. He said, well, there's these really cool things, like when I was studying insurance, I discovered these policies where you could stuff cash into an insurance policy, get a high yield interest rate because a lot of business owners have high cash flow businesses, my grandfather did. And that would have allowed them to spin that extra interest into other things like property and shares, and things like that. I said, so how would it feel to wake up every day to help what I would call the hustlers of the world that creates something out of nothing you know, make sure they don't end up in second class retirements like your grandfather? He said, oh, that would be amazing. I said, well, great. So why don't we do this? Why don't we call you the Hustle Lifeguard. Now in Australia, in my accent with the word lifeguard is always a little bit tough. I mean the people that sit at the beach to make sure no one else drowns. So the Hustle Lifeguard. And when people, when you say that people go, well, what exactly is that? Then talk about your passion and mission for helping this demographic of people. And then just tell them about your grandfather and then in the future, tell them about a client. Everything transformed. The entire business change. As a matter of fact, even people that didn't run their own business. They're like, I'm a Harvard educated grad, I work for a major employer, but I love your passion. Is it possible to borrow that for what I do? He actually got people outside his niche more, you know, as much as he got people inside his niche, because truthfully, when you see someone that's actually passionate about what they're doing, you want to work with them, regardless of what it is that they specialize in. And everyone knows specialists have a better generalist knowledge anyway, right? So it works out for everyone. But the truth is you have to show passion, you have to show mission. And when you do that online, it becomes so easy because everybody else is like, oh, I'm an insurance sales person. Oh, I'm a marketing. I mean, the number of marketers that just say I'm a marketer, no wonder they're on Upwork trying to work for 30,$40 an hour. They don't understand marketing. You have to differentiate, right? People that run businesses, especially in this virtual world. If you have a vanilla message, if you don't know who specifically you specialize in helping, and if you don't have stories that are designed to invoke interest and embed you with the only logical choice while business is going to be tough for you. So networking's not just an offline strategy, it's an online strategy, it's a business strategy. The truth is that most people are so focused on the tactics of getting on Lunch Club and doing LinkedIn, and doing Facebook ads, and running to the next networking event. Gosh, they just stopped, you know, I did a session at the National Freelance Conference a couple of years ago. And literally at the end of the session, we did a workshop where I give away a five step template where people can create their unified message, their version of the China success coach, The Rapid Growth Guy, and discover their niche of willing to buy clients. And at the end of it, I said you know, put your hand up if you now believe you have a message that will excite and inspire, you've identified your niche and willing to buy clients. And like 97% of the room put their hands up. By the way, you can access this template at matthewpollard.com/growth. You don't need to hire me for that. You'll be able to download the template there and just do it with someone else that's not part of your functional skill, otherwise you'll be stuck in that commoditized thinking loop of you know, thinking what you do is too complicated to explain, right? I say put your hand up. And 97% of the room put their hands up. And then it says, you know, do me a favor. Keep your hand up if this is the most time you spent on marketing in your business, since you started your business. The whole session was 45 minutes long and 85% of the room kept their hands up. So the truth is this works if you spend the time doing it and it works in networking rooms, it works in online activities. Well, some podcast interviews like this, I mean I've just called myself The Rapid Growth Guy, we've just talked about my niche, and I just shared a story, which is designed by the way, stories are designed to educate and inspire while embedding you as the only logical choice. The thing I love about stories specifically for introverts though, is there's this study out of Princeton that highlights that when we tell a story, it activates the reticular activating system of our brain that actually gets our brains to synchronize. It's why when I first go on stage, the first thing I tell is a story, because I'm terrified and then uncomfortable. I mean I would never be one of the Top 10 sales speakers in the world without. leading with a story when I got on stage. But also people remember 22 times more information would embed into a story. And here's the fun thing, people always worried about over explaining what they do, so they spit out jargon. It always ends up sounding like it lasts forever. And they're always worried about telling stories because they're trying to be mindful of a person's time. Well, when you tell a story, it short-circuits the logical brain, which is the part of the brain going. I don't have time for this, or you know, that'll work for me that won't work for me. And it literally speaks directly to the emotional part of the brain, which has got to story time and listens. But as soon as all the detail on the story is factual and it just listens for the moral. So the moral is I worked with someone just like you who want to what you want. And we got them to an amazing outcome. They're gonna be like, wow, I need that. How do I get what Wendy has? How do I get what this person had? Well, that person had. And the thing for you is stories are going to be amazing hinge point, you can use them on videos, you can use them on podcasts. You know, I tell three stories for stage. I used to speak for free on stage to get five figures worth of clients every time I did. Now, I get paid five figures to share the same three stories that still get me quiet at the end of the day, right? So the thing is that these are powerful things, but you have to realize if you can't be the clearest, you have to be the loudest. So be the clearest. Know that people like to work with people that want to make a difference in the world, not just want to buy a new car. And then, so you need to talk about passion and mission and then share what you do as a story, not as a rolodex of jargon, which will just feel like they're getting information out of a fire hose, and therefore they'll say we've all heard it right. I'll let me just apply what you've just shared with me and then I'll come back. I'll definitely hire you. Of course, they're not, right? They're not even going to apply, they're going to stop. Maybe if you're lucky and go, oh, that was too complicated. I'm never going to hire him because he made my life harder, not easier.Eric Dickmann:
No, I love that. And you're talking to a marketing guy, so I'm absolutely on board with the power of story. I mean it's something we work with clients on all the time, but you know, I think a lot of people do forget about it in their own personal life and creating those kinds of stories. And you know, Matthew, I can't let you go without talking a little bit about your whole concept of champions, momentum partners, and prospects because I think one of the biggest failures with networking is following up with people and knowing what to do once you've connected with them, once you've connected with them on LinkedIn, you've received their business card. What do you do with these people and how do you make that relationship real? So I would love it if you could just talk a little bit about that concept of categorizing people and then what you suggest people do in terms of making good followup to actually make those connections real?Matthew Pollard:
Yeah, sure. So there are a couple of things there. So firstly, it's really important for you to know that when you're in a networking room, the person that's the most unimportant for you to meet and now if you're in that feast and famine desperation of living off referrals and you really need a client today then yeah maybe you're going to have to worry about them because prospects is kind of what you need right now, right? Prospects to sell to. But the truth is you should never wait to go to a networking room until you're in that kind of desperation. So for me, prospects, well, they're nice when I meet them. And if they asked to buy from me, you know, I'm going to set up a follow-up meeting. You should never sell it a networking room. Right now you can explain what that looks like in a second, but there are actually two other much more important demographics of people that I want to meet that are really about getting out of that hamster wheel of hustling every day to struggle, to find interest in prospects, set myself apart and make the sale, right? And you know, the first one, the second category of people, if you like is actually a called momentum partners. Now momentum partners is not somebody I signed the agreement with to say, Hey, you know, Eric, I will promote you if you promote me. If you introduced me to three podcasts, I'll introduce you to three podcasts. If you introduce me to your best friend, Joe, I'll introduce you to my best friend, Sarah. That's not how it works. Cause that is, what was stressful is the easiest way to put it The truth is it's momentum partners are when you meet someone in a networking room and you're like, you know what? I really am aligned with this person. I really feel like their product or service adds value. I can see that they are a giver. I can see that their passion and mission is in alignment with what I do. And I really like to recommend them to people that I know. And they feel the same way about you. Now you can co-create that by going to events, like being an IBX networks and meeting people that way, that, you know, part of that process is about pushing that out and actually doing that, right? But, you know, for me, Judy Robinett, you know she reached out to me and she was really reaching out as a prospect. I mean, she was one of them. For those people that don't know Judy Robinett, she's listed as one of the most connected people in the world. And she reached out because she'd lifted a high place, corporate job. And you know, she wrote a book called How to Be a Power Connector and you know her book, it sold a lot of copies and she kept getting asked to speak, and she'd get into this dialogue with people and then they'd ask how much she costs, and then she'd say a price tag, which was way below what people should charge as a speaker, because in her mind, it's only an hour's work, right? And I'm like, well, let me explain. But I gave her a strategy to literally ask a question instead of waiting for them to say, what's your price, which is uncomfortable, to lead it into a conversation, and then ask them a question where they were actually like, oh you know, I know you probably charge more than this, but you know, um, we only have this as a budget. By the way that exact script is literally in the foreword of my first book. And again, I think that's available in the first chapter download, which you can download for free at the theintrovertsedge.com. But that transformation was a little bit of advice and what happened is I just gave it to her and why did I give it to her? Because I'm like, I can tell who she is and I want a faster, stronger relationship with her. So yes, I could make a tiny little bit of money for sales training, but I gave her this advice. Well, as soon as she got off, she started introducing me to some of the people that she knew. And I then started to reciprocate by introducing her to some of the people that I knew we had no official agreement. I think I can date back maybe 50, 60 podcasts to her introducing me. And some of them are like entrepreneur on fire. You know, John Lee Dumas like amazing big show. I've been on there many times now, right? Now, the reason for that, you know, And you know, introduced her to The Eventual Millionaire and you know, she got to be on that. Jen was actually a massive fan of a book anyway, so it wasn't a hard introduction, but still helpful. But the thing is that those momentum partnerships are powerful because every time she does something, she's like, oh, you got to meet Matthew Pollard. When every time I do something like this podcast, I'm, oh you got to meet Judy Robinett. So it becomes this power relationship where you get a third party endorsement, but also it means that every connection I have is hers and vice versa. Those relationships mean that, you know, I mean, if she introduced me to a podcast, I could speak to thousands of people, I don't have to go networking when that happens, right? Now, that's the power of a momentum partnership. Now, if you worry about you know, checks and balances, it's not going to go well. I've had a couple of people that are big deal people, and I've started to do a couple of introductions and they've replied with, you sent me two introductions. So here are two for you. And I'm like, oh no this is not going to work for me because it's uncomfortable. What if they send me a third one and I don't respond back straight away, right? So it's got to be comfortable. And then the next group of people is what I called the champions. And these are huge. These are people that give your work credibility, like Ivan Meisner, the founder of BNI. You know, he's endorsed my book. You know, he shared, I think on social media, well, too many times, actually called him. I think you got a bit of trouble with the social team, that how much he posted about my book during the launch of my book. But you know, he supports all of my work. Jim Cathcart, one of the most award-winning speakers in the world is one of my champions. These are people that I've met that you're following enough. They're not looking for anything but a real relationship. And if they, you know, it's funny, the amount of people that I've talked to Ivan about this that reach out to him and they're like, oh, it's great to meet you. Here's what I want to sell you. Why? You've got this opportunity to make this amazing relationship that can pay dividends forever. See how you can help them, offer them your friendship, it should be exciting for them. I mean, you know, with Ivan, I shared a story of my mother and how she literally wouldn't be here. You know, what would not be here, but she wouldn't have made the money that literally allowed me to pay for my school fees. You know, unless it was for BNI. Now that story allowed us to foster a really great friendship. And he leveraged that story a couple of times, I share it all the time and he shares about me and my work all the time. And that relationship is strong. You know with Jim Cathcart, you know, what can I offer this guy who's won a lot of these speaking awards. Well, he's kind of an old school guy and he's not that great online. So I showed him how to leverage his content online, just through an automated social strategy, which helped him. But he also did a load to help me right now. Again, not checks and balances. I mean, Jim's a great friend of mine, ivan's a great friend of mine. I mean, I pick up Jim's laundry if he asked me to. You know, the truth is that, you know, we just have a great respect for each other. These are the types of relationships that you actually want because when you have momentum partners that get you into areas that allow you to create relationships at scale. And you had champion relationships that allow you to leverage credibility at scale. All of a sudden, you don't have to go to networking rooms anymore. And all of a sudden you get customers that chase you. And that's what happens. People all over the world chase after me and my work is. This was before I had books, just because of the relationships that I have, you know, Global Guru Listen is the number three sales professional in the world. And I guarantee it has nothing to do though with the relationships that I fostered, it had everything to do with the credibility that champions gave me and the momentum partners that got me in front of people that got my message out to the world. So when you think about who you're meeting in the networking room, of course, you know, if they're just the average person, sure, there may be a prospect. But the chances are you're going to run into these kinds of people. And in truth, if you do your research first, you always talk about, you know, the number of people that go to networking rooms and they forget that there's like this thing called internet and they can hop online and actually scout. You know, I go profile shopping when I go to a conference, I go to profile shopping when I go to a networking room, and I'll be like, oh yep, Eric, he could be a great momentum partner, so I'll make sure I run into him and I'll connect with you beforehand. And I'll, I'll share my passion and mission of helping small business. I'll be like, Eric, is this a great event to come to? He'd be like, yeah, come along. Make sure you come say hi. Well now I've got like a whole bunch of preplanned meetings. Now, of course, I've also scouted that person sells insurance. Probably don't want to meet that person, this person's got an MLM product, don't want to be sold Herbalife. So I can kind of scout out the people that I want to talk to, the people I don't want to talk to. And by doing that, I can go to a networking room and I had momentum partner and champion conversations.Eric Dickmann:
All right. That's amazing. And you inside the book, you listed some great. I think you've even got some templates in there. You know, the talk about the kind of emails that you can use to follow up with these people, or you can try to connect with people. I thought there were so many practical pieces of advice that you offered people as the waves to really create these momentum partners, try to find champions in your network. So I thought it was great. There's a lot of good information there. And Matthew, I think we could go on for hours talking about this stuff, because there was so much great value that you offered in the book. But I want to give you a chance to let people know where they can find you online, download some of these free assets that you're talking about, and get themselves a copy of the book as well. Yeah, absolutely. I think one thing that for people that are listening, right, of course you don't have to buy my books. My publisher hates me when I say that, but you definitely do not have to buy my books. You know, you can get the first chapter of The Introvert's Edge to Networking at the introvertsedge.com/networking. You can get the first chapter of my first book, the Introvert's Edge at theintrovertsedge.com. And you know there you'll be able to download in both books actually, the first chapter will help you overcome you believe you can sell and you can network and it'll outline the full process that you need to follow. If you do nothing more than grab what you currently say and put it under those steps, you realize there's some gaping holes, you'll realize this and things out of order. Fill those gaps, fix the things that are out of order, and they will realize there's some things that you just shouldn't be saying to clients because it doesn't fit. Roll that out. You do that you'll easily, massively improve your sales and networking abilities. You know, you can also go to matthewpollard.com/growth, and that'll allow you to get that template to really help you create you a unified message and discover your niche of willing to buy clients. But you know, connect with me on social media everywhere. You know, I put a ton of videos out to really help people. You know, because my mission in life is to help people realize that they can do this. And you know there's a ton of great free content that allows you to do it, including how to figure out that you're an introvert, you know, short secret, it's where you draw your energy from. It doesn't mean you're a second class citizen, it doesn't mean that it's a bad thing. If you just draw your energy from being with people, you're an extrovert. If you throw your energy from being by yourself, then you're probably an introvert. Again, it doesn't really matter. Still benefit from the system.Matthew Pollard:
it's a super exclusive club.Eric Dickmann:
It is right. Gated community. It's a gated community. No, that's great, Matthew, I will make sure that we have links to all of that in the show notes so that people can find you. You know as you mentioned during the show, I actually reached out to you after reading the book. Tried to follow some of those same steps, although you were such a generous responder that we connected right away. And I'm so glad that we had a chance to do this interview today, because like I said, I found tremendous value in the book and I think other people will too, even if you're an extrovert and want to understand how other people in your life may think and operate, I think there's a lot of great tools that are in here. So we'll make sure to have all that linked up and thank you so much for being a guest on the show today.Matthew Pollard:
It was my absolute pleasure. Thank you for having me on.Eric Dickmann:
Thank you for joining us on this episode of The Virtual CMO podcast. For more episodes, go to fiveechelon.com/podcast to subscribe through your podcast player of choice. And if you'd like to develop consistent lead flow and a highly effective marketing strategy, visit fiveechelon.com to learn more about our Virtual CMO consulting services.