Hot off the press as I write this blog post, our recording from our December 2013 Webinar “Awesome Networking, Partnering and Success with Edward Zia & Grant Dempsey” is available on YouTube and in this post. Grant Dempsey (the MD) of 4Networking Australia was amazing in giving us some great advice. After I got wiped out in the GFC and started my business, Grant was one of the fine boys that got me going again in getting my business going.
In this powerhouse Webinar Recording – Grant & I talk through Business Networking from Relationship Building, right through key strategies for Small Business owners to build Channel Partners and Strategic Networks.
We hope you enjoy the recording below and also the transcription of conversation as well if it helps. If you like what you see here as well, make sure you visit my Awesome Marketing Vault for powerhouse Marketing Tips & Strategies.
Thank you again and please see the video below with the transcription right below it! Edward Zia – Small Business Marketing Mentor who built his original business with Networking!
Our Awesome Transcription for those that like the Written Word:
Edward: Good evening everyone and welcome to our next Excellence Above webinar for December 2013. And we’re talking about partnering networking tonight aren’t we, Grant Dempsey?
Grant: That’s right, Ed. It’s great to be here this evening and, ah, have this opportunity just to talk with you tonight.
Edward: And beautiful. We have one amazing turn out. So be it you’re listening to this live or watching this on YouTube afterwards what we do say is tonight is about questions. It’s about you and it’s about improving your understanding. We’re going to give you some amazing content on the house. Why are we giving away all these brilliant ideas on the house front? Are we insane or stupid? What’s the reason for that, Grant?
Grant: (Laughs) Look, Ed, it’s in our interest to help our people to grow and develop in their networking because the more efficient networkers that we have the more value they’re going to be putting into the community and the better for everyone. So, it means that there’s more to go around and the benefit is for everyone.
Edward: Well, so, I couldn’t be better spoken myself. Now a lot of people on the line that I don’t know actually and a few that I knew, a few familiar faces. So, quite a few tonight so please excuse if I don’t say hello to you all. But this is me, I’m the middle on the top left, that’s my cat in the top. He’s running around with a little bell and a recent workshop that we’ve run and really look, what tonight is, is tonight’s an opportunity. And tonight’s an opportunity for you to really understand what networking is, how to network, now not to do it. What are the true tips, what are your objectives, and how can you make it a functional part of your business.
Now, what’s interesting is we have the expert of networking, the managing director of 4Networking Australia, Grant Dempsey. And it’s great to have him here. So, here’s a big thing: we love being hired as well. Grant Dempsey and I love selling our products. So part of our helping you is also proving to you that we know our stuff and it is all our pleasure to have you here. Now, here’s the big thing: we’re going to dump you with a tip truck. We’re going to fill the tip truck up full of plenty of powerful advice and dump it on you.
Now, please don’t worry about overwhelmed. Take one step at a time and we’re out for questions. So you notice that you’ve got a little chat box, so feel free to type in questions and ask us. And the more questions we have the better. And the other thing is, as well, if you’re on YouTube or you’re seeing this afterwards feel free to drop us a line, visit our website, come and email us. Now, here’s the thing, I’ve been in marketing since my early 20s. I’ve actually clocked up 20,000 plus consulting hours now so I better change that. And I worked 7 days a week. In fact, Grant, do you think I’m a complete insane workaholic?
Grant: (Laughs) Ed’s completely nuts so he is probably the hardest working business coach I know. Uh, the great thing about that for you is that he’s learned a lot in a fairly short period of time. Uh, he’s made a lot of mistakes and he’s kicked a lot of goals so you get the benefit of that because he has been a workaholic. Uh, not so good for him but great for you. (Laughs)
Edward: Yeah, no wonder my relationships never work out. Right, Grant? (Laughing) So there you go. So if there’s any pretty girls on the line you know where to find me. (Laughs) Anyway, so where was I? Back to work. It is a big thing. And this is the other thing what I say to a lot of people, oh, missed a slide. A lot of people that come into 4Networking or even work with me as clients usually make quite a few mistakes and a lot of people feel bummed out. So, if you’re feeling that way, please forgive yourself and don’t worry about it.
All our mistakes are part of our educational tapestry. So, I invite you to draw a line in the sand, forgive yourself now and get ready to go to the next level. And the reality is of marketing and business and being an entrepreneur we all make mistakes and what we say is test and measure. So all the stuff that we’re teaching tonight take it on, decide to do something with it, and test and measure. If something works, do more of it. If something doesn’t work tweak it, tweak it, tweak it until it does work.
Now, here’s the big thing. We’re here to talk about business networking tonight. Here’s a photo of Grant Dempsey. Grant Dempsey, my hero. Obviously I’ve got a romance for Grant Dempsey so he’s got to watch his leg so I don’t put my hand on it. Look, the thing all about Grant Dempsey is Grant Dempsey he brought out 4Networking. He’s a New Zealander. You’re a New Zealander aren’t you, Grant?
Edward: Yupper. He’s a New Zealander. He’s like the guy from One were Warriors but now worries, he won’t beat you up. But you’re actually part of the Maori Clan aren’t you?
Grant: Yup, I’m one-eighth.
Edward: Yeah. Grant’s a white guy though for the record (laughing) as far as I’m concerned. Well, that sounded racist. You know I’m not racist. Uh oh, it’s being recorded too. So, look, Grant brought out 4Networking from the UK and he runs it across Australia. So, he’s the managing director and I knew of his wife, Karen Dempsey. And what was amazing about Grant is – I was pretty washed up. During the global financial crisis I got washed up and Grant was an amazing man that took me up under his wing and helped me get my business off the ground. So, I used to be a volunteer at 4Networking and then later on he basically made me a part-time staff member and I helped run the group across Sydney. Entrepreneur and ex-counselor and tell us a bit about that for a second. You worked in high risk situations didn’t you in your old days?
Grant: You know my backgrounds in psychology and counseling so the mass is in psychology and years of counseling experiencing. But one of the things that I noticed was that when people … I had client who were in small business or in business, when they were struggling in their relationships and their business was struggling and vice versa and my role in helping with their relationships would improve their business. So, one of the compelling factors for my wife and I to start 4Networking is we’ve seen, and we’ve also had a small business where we employed up to 30 people in our busy times, we’ve seen and experienced the pressures with managing staff, managing leases, making payroll and all those things. We know the pressures and we’ve seen the pressures on people.
So, we were excited to see a network like 4Networking that’s about helping and supporting local business people. Because it’s just something that … it can be pretty lonely, it can be pretty tough. You can have some great wins in small business but you can have some heavy losses at times too. And so much of it is not dependent on you, it’s dependent upon other influences when you’re small. So, it’s great to be in a community of people who can help you out and you can support and encourage one another. And that’s what we liked about 4Networking and why we brought it out.
Edward: Hmm. So, amazing model and what I want to do is I’m actually going to go very quickly, because again, tonight it’s more about Grant. In my webinars I love partnering with experts but I’m going to go through very quickly my own take on networking and also the channel partner strategies that we teach. Now, business networking and channel partnering, especially channel partnering is one of the strategies I teach and I have a lot of clients right now who previously didn’t have big businesses that are making 10s of thousands and some 100s of thousands of dollars through the channel partnering strategies that I’m going to give away. They’re free to you for now. So, should I give them the free stuff, Grant?
Grant: Yeah, let’s do it.
Edward: Yeah, let’s give it to you. I’m a wealthy man. So, what I’m going to is I’m going to shoot through it quickly. Grant, feel free to jump in with any points. And then I’m just going to let Grant take over. I’m just going to dip in and poke my nose into his fine work. So, first things first. You guys can read. This is what business networking is. And I mean business networking is one of the most important things of running a small business be it you’re it for clients directly or building your own support community. And to me, my own personal take is networking is the commercial practice of building win-win sustainable business relationships where you help each other become wealthy and successful. Now, that’s just in simple terms.
In very simple straight terms you become part of a group, you make lots of friends, and you help each other make lots of money by referring to other business and that type of thing. That’s really what it is. Now, as part of the networking experience, and this is the way I look at it, networking to me … and let’s say you’ve got a networking group that’s 30 people around. It’s about you giving first, becoming part of the community, building a community of people who work with you. And actually they act as your sales force. So let’s say you’ve got friends with 20 people. Those 20 people are constantly looking for business to refer to you. Now, really what it is is that in terms of business networking and the way I look at it is you can go to networking events and get clients directly and one of the important strategies is actually becoming partners with them so they both sell and refer business to each other. Now I’m going to talk about it. So, what’s your quick take on that, Grant, before I hand it over to you?
Grant: You know that’s exactly right, Ed. I think you’ve nailed it when you say that it’s beyond the meeting and that it’s about building relationships outside of meetings. So often people go to meetings and expect to have work placed on the table beside their bacon and it just doesn’t work that way. It’s about building mutually beneficial relationships outside. And we see that. We’ve experienced it. Ed and I have benefitted each other businesses for nearly three years now so we’re kind of living proof of that. And we have so many examples of that where people have been, uh, people have gained so much benefit from their relationships. And it’s not always just about, uh, me giving someone a referral or their giving me a referral, it’s about the opportunities, the connections that we can put each other’s way. And even the non-quantifiable things like just encouraging one another or saying something to someone that needs to be said. Like, you know, you’re business cards are rubbish, mate, you need to get some new ones.
Edward: Which happened to me (laughs).
Grant: Yeah. And what’s really interesting is … because most of us start out without a lot of cash so it’s good to have people who are kind of pulling us along and encouraging us to increase our professionalism, increase our marketing collateral and just look more professional and act more professional and target high value clients. And so it’s great to have partners who are prepared to go along the journey with you.
Edward: Exactly. Very well put. Very, very well put. And so what I’m going to do is before I hand it over to Grant I’m just going to quickly shoot through, myself on channel partnering. And to me this is a very important strategy. So, again, if you’ve got any questions please send them through and, of course, Grant and I love being hired so keep that in mind. If you’re an existing client just give me a call anytime. Don’t give me a call during the webinar of course, give me a call afterwards (laughing).
But what I’m going to do is I’m going to talk about channel partners. Now channel partners and channel partnering is a term from the corporate space. It’s basically a term where companies talk about other parties that aren’t owned by them that help them sell their services. So for example, let’s say you’re JB Hi-Fi, JB Hi-Fi would be channel partners to companies like Dell, Samsung, Apple, for example. Okay? Small business the same. Now, here’s a photo of myself and Jim Gordon. He’s one of my clients. He works from Telstra. He’s a channel partner of mine. We actually refer business to each other and that’s an example, of how we actually do it.
In the next slide that’s coming up this is my colleague Martha. She runs a few of the 4Networking groups.
Grant: That’s the one with the glasses?
Edward: Yeah, yeah (laughs). Yeah, the cat’s Pandy who is right now actually sleeping next to us. Uh, and yeah, we refer, she’s a website person, we refer business to each other as well. And really what channel partnering is great for, the clients I have that have seven figures like a Big Shots, a lot of them use channel partnering to actually build their businesses because, think about it, you don’t need much cash to build relationships with 20 people to refer you business. It might take time but you actually don’t need the cash. That’s one of the cheapest and most powerful referral strategies. Especially if you’re in the small business game, you know, and be it your business to business or business to consumer, there’s all different things.
So, look, and I’m just going to run through 10 quick steps. Of course, I want to hand it over to Grant because it’s not every day that we get Grant here. And here are the 10 step channel partner processes. Processes, oh, that is a typo. Yes, I didn’t get it proofread so you guys went hah, hah, hah. Number 1: network and identify potential partners. So, let’s say you don’t know people to connect with, go out networking. Identify people that you can connect with and usually what it is is that you might be in a totally different industry but you serve the same type of market.
So for example, I’m partnered with copywriters and website people. Whereas being a marketing mentor, that’s a pretty organic feat but I’m also partnered with people, like Jim from Telstra. He’s a Telstra guy. He’s not a marketer. I’m partnered, um, you know, with, um, others! I’m partnered with HR people. Okay. So, step one identify and step two, meet them for coffee or lunch and see how you feel. See if there’s a potential fit and you meet, like, know, and trust in each other and you can work together. Three, after you sort of … isn’t it like a date, isn’t it. You know, you’ve sort of got to date people. What’s your whole approach on getting to know people over business? I think it’s like dating, Grant, what do you think?
Grant: I think it’s exactly like dating, Ed. I think that it’s really, I mean you’ve probably done it and I’ve probably done it where we’ve entered into partnerships with people that we don’t really get along with-
Grant: And it always turns to custard.
Edward: Yeah, yeah. And we like custard but not when our business turns into it. (Laughing) So, what it is; you meet people, make sure there’s a fit, then three after you’ve met the person if there’s some, we say organize a full-up meeting to openly talk about partnering. So, you’re not just … after the first meeting you get to know someone, the second meeting we generally recommend you’re not just there to hang out and drink coffee, you openly say before you meet, “Look, I want to talk to you about partnering. I want to look at how we can refer business to each other.” So people know exactly what it’s about.
Here’s another photo of myself and Chris Stanwell who’s an HR consultant who I’m partnered with. Four is work out an arrangement to suit you both so you both know what you’re after. So, there’s picture of me and Chris Stanwell and in that case Chris Stanwell is an HR consultant so if there’s a good intro for him I’d love to hand it over and if he’s got a good intro for me. So let’s say someone who’s wants a bit of public speaking, a bit of workshop facilitation or a good small business client, Chris sends them my way. So, you’ve got to be clear.
Point five be the first to give an introduction. So if you enter into a relationship with someone be the first to give. So, let’s say you’re a hot Persian guy who’s back on the dating scene. You’ve got to buy the girl that you know first. Is that right Grant?
Grant: (Laughs) It is. Yeah, I’m not so sure about that one.
Edward: (Laughs) Yeah, exactly. Maybe I should just stick to marketing and just die an old maid. But the point being is always be the first. If you’re meeting with someone you’re going to start referring each other business, be the first to give the introduction. And then, of course, once you’ve referred him a business ask him for some in return. It’s got to be a two-way street. Seven, deliver perfect service and thank him. If someone gives you a referral thank him and appreciate it. Eight, regular means to keep up the process. We recommend to a lot of our clients it might take you two to four meetings over a period of two months to get your relationship going. Then meet every month to regularly drive the process. Now, be reasonable with each other. There might be times where you might come up dry for a few months and they come up dry but keep it going.
And ten, enjoy the warm referrals. And this is one of the neat things about the strategy which is what I like, is let’s say you’re chasing corporates at you’re out cold calling. It can be really hard because a lot of corporates get at least 10 phone calls a day. So, like if you’re just cold calling you’re just one of those 10 phone calls a day. Whereas when you’re introduced to them and you get in through the back door you just have a much higher probability of winning that client and getting that result. What’s you’re take on that one, Grant?
Grant: Uh, there’s no doubt about that and I’ll meet people who have … one guy I know was … he had been trying for two years, he’s in the stationary business, to get into a particular corporate company and hadn’t been able to. And in his role in the networking he is involved in running a team in the network and they had a visitor come along to the meeting. He caught up with that person afterwards to see how they got along. They built a bit of a relationship and then that guy said, “Look, …” Oh, they actually met in a café near that building and my guy was saying, “Oh look, I’ve been trying to get into an office there,” and the person knew someone in the office. He managed to get in. So that was just two years of trying himself good and then managed to get in just through a warm referral.
Edward: Yup, and very, very powerful. So that’s why my take on the channel partnering. And, uh, I think it’s absolutely amazing and this is one thing what I love about Grant Dempsey, and before I hand it over to him. Grant Dempsey actually trained me basically in basic networking so the stuff I now teach and make money out of Grant taught me for free. So, thank you, Grant, you know. I appreciate you giving me all your free knowledge.
Grant: (Laughs) That’s fine.
Edward: Another thing was my life, if you know me a few years ago, my life sucked big time. And to me through listening to Grant and learning from him it really got me going. And so now without further ado, Grant Dempsey’s turn. And give him a hand everyone. Yay, go Grant. It’s all yours. Okay, Grant, take it over.
Grant: (Laughs) Thank you. Look, it is interesting because it’s probably about three years ago that Ed and I met. And I was starting out the business 4Networking so I was kind of looking for any warm bodies I could get and Ed came along and we got to know each other and that’s been a really great ride. Uh, Ed’s been able to … he’s a hard worker and the stuff that he’s talking to you about he actually does. A lot of people out there talk about doing stuff, Ed’s actually doing it and so he’s an expert in this stuff. He has met so many people in the last three years and he’s brought so many people together. And so he knows what he’s talking about.
My slide there: Lone Rangers Die. I think it really is … it’s pretty hard these days to go it alone in small business. Not many people can accomplish that. You do get the odd person who is that kind of alpha personality, incredibly focused and driven. And they go out there and they’re able to make a go of it. But they are fairly few and far between and look, I’ve met a few of them and relationship-wise they often struggle in that area. So, you really need to form channel partners to get ahead in small business.
I’ve got a quote there by Richard Branson who says, “If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go together.” And we’ve seen that in 4Networking and I was talking to a guy at our Christmas party just on Friday night and he’s interesting because he joined us for six months and then he had a bit of a gap. We didn’t see him for a while. He had just started his business and then he came back again and now he’s just a 4Networking groupie because he was telling me on Friday night since he’s been in 4Networking for two years and bearing in mind he had a bit of a gap in there, he’s brought in $75,000 worth of business to his business. But more importantly he’s met people who have been able to put him in contact with the people he wants to get in contact with. So, he tried on his own and he couldn’t and now he’s really into it.
The other point there is that big businesses use partnerships all the time. Ed’s mentioned those and that we need to as well. So, as small business people we need to be looking to join forces and move forward. So I’ve got a couple of slides here. Why partner? And that’s that really we want to partner to gain a competitive advantage. Uh, that’s what I see is the key. You can try and do it alone but you’re up … if you’ve got a partnership you’re going to have a competitive advantage over the competition.
Partnerships are the ideal way to build a quality business and networking is the ideal way to do quality partnerships. So, you know, Ed, you’ve been networking for three years. Would you say that networking’s been the main way that you’ve, uh, been introduced and built your partnerships.
Edward: Absolutely. Like, my whole business, excuse me I’m eating a piece of chocolate right now. I didn’t know Grant was going to put me on the spot. Exactly that, Grant. I mean business, I started in a very destitute sort of position after destroying my life during the Global Financial Crisis. For me my original business was built through face-to-face networking and building partners and getting quality referrals. So if I didn’t do that I’d be dead by now quite easily.
Grant: But there are people who spend large amounts of time, energy in manning networking because they use it as a primary form of marketing. So, we know it works. The … some of the benefits of partnerships are, and Ed’s touched on some of these, so cross referrals. I think, and we were talking about this as a group the other day, is that in networking you meet a lot of people and you get along with a lot of people. But when we’re talking about channel partners we’re really talking about people who we’ve made a conscious decision to build a relationship with and advocate for them. So we’re really looking at people who are proactively looking out for potential referrals and, uh, opportunities for us as business.
So I might meet two accountants and one of them I can get along with and one of them I’m going to keep an eye out for and start to get to know them and their business. But the other one I might enter into an agreement with. And with that person when I have my clients come in I’m going to be proactively asking them what are they doing for their accounting. How are they doing in financial forecasts? Are they doing budgeting? So I’m going to be actually proactively looking for clients for this person. And that’s really probably the difference between having a channel partner and just having a network buddy. And that’s a pretty important thing to understand I think.
One of the other benefits is you can provide a greater range of services to your clients. So again, like if you have these channel partners when you have a client come in you can recommend and you can look at parts of their business and, “Look, I can get someone to give you a call see if they can help you in that, give you some ideas in that area.” So you’re actually adding greater value to your clients by offering them quality services with people that are proven and that you trust. Another benefit of having these partnerships is that you can be a peer bigger than you are. So you might be stuck in a small office in your house with just you and your cat and …
Edward: But it’s a cute fluffy cat for the record.
Grant: (Laughs) But you can actually appear bigger because what you’re doing is you have these partners behind you backing you up. So it’s not a fake appearance. You actually can deliver and appear bigger and deliver on that. And you can team up and bid for larger projects. So you might be have an opportunity to, uh, go for a project, a tender or some sort of quote and you don’t provide all the services but with having partners that you can rely on and you know the quality of their work, you can team up and go for those. And you can create virtual organizations.
One of our members, Glen Melack, he talks about this and I’ve really taken this onboard. He’s come from corporate, he’s in financial advice, he’s a financial advisor and he really talks about filling the seats. So when he went into business he knew he needed someone who’s going to do marketing for him. He knew he needed someone to manage his books. He knew he needed all these different roles because that’s what he had in corporate. When he was in his office in corporate he had Mary in Accounts, and he had Bob in Marketing, and he had all these people he could draw on.
And so that’s one of the things that he’s done and I think as a small business owner one of the things that is really useful for you to do is to look at what roles do I need, not my business. What seats do I need to fill? And who can I get to do that? Is that something that you’ve done in your business here? Does that …?
Edward: Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean not only just acquiring clients but in my business I have the services of lots of people. So, Gwen, who’s my financial planner who you just spoke about. Matt Craig for managing my websites. You know, God, I can’t even remember. There’s heaps of people. Let me think, oh, Loren the virtual assistant. There’s Greg Mason the designer. I can’t even remember. You caught me off guard. But I hire about eight different people in my business.
Grant: And I see that we have, Paul Sheaffe on line who’s from, Paul’s Productions, video productions. Paul has a great connection with one of our members in Wungong. So, Paul does a lot of the work. So, he’s just saying hey. He does a lot of the recording work for one of our members, Steve Dixon. And they cross promote each other and I know that Paul’s profile and Steven’s has risen significantly because of that. And Steve gets great video work done. So that’s a real win-win.
Edward: Yes, so I think what Grant’s really touching on is the importance of, you know, having good partners and working with them and really referring each other business. And to me, again, I’d be dead if I didn’t do this strategy. It’s was one of the cornerstone strategies to build my business. Especially if you’re on a shoestring budget because as long as you can pay for the coffee and lunches then, you know, be my guest. So very, very good strategy. I still can’t remember for the life of me who else I hire. Oh, of course, video people and all that sort of thing. So, lots of people.
Grant: And the other thing with that and one of the points that Ed just mentions here is, it enables you to build your business. You can scale quickly when you’ve got great partners because you can just give them more work and you’re not bogged down doing the work that you shouldn’t be doing. One of the key mantras of being successful in the small business is only do the things that only you can do and get everyone else to do the rest. So there are some of the benefits of partnerships.
Edward: Yup. And also as well, please get through your questions. So we’ve got the chat box there. Give us some questions. We love questions and really want to answer your specific questions using the best thing possible. Back to you, Grant.
Grant: (Laughs) So we’ll just work through this one fairly quickly but there’s different types of partnerships and we just kind of need to cover on this. We’re really talking about channel partnerships so there are collaborations which is the most popular and they can be long-term. So that can be like sharing an office like Glenn who I mentioned and one of our other members, George an accountant, they share an office. So they’re sharing the rent. They’re sharing the cost of the phone lines, the internet, they’ve got a shared copier. All those expenses they’ve been able to make more manageable by collaborating. And that’s obviously with a lease, a commercial lease. It’s a longer term option for them.
But you can also do short-term collaborations like putting on an event. You might want to put on an event to target your core customers and you want to put on a high-end event, really good quality. So for you to do that, to get an event, organize it, to do the marketing, to pay for the event, would be thousands and thousands of dollars. If you partner, which we’ve had members do recently, you might partner with a PR firm, with a web designer, with an event manager and if we are sharing not only the cost, but you’re sharing the expertise and you’re providing a much higher quality product than if you just did it by yourself.
So, collaborations are really popular. There’s equity partners. You know, they tend to be more like your lawyers and your accountants where people share a percentage of the profit and the liabilities. And we’re not so much talking about those but that’s one form. And there’re joint ventures. And that’s where you really form, uh, where two people might come together and form a third company. And that’s where you combine the resources, knowledge, and skills. So we’re really looking at this point, and suffice to say that if you’re entering into those sort of agreements you really need legal advice before you go into those.
But with collaboration, some of them, and certainly with going into some of the longer-term ones like sharing an office, you might need some legal advice and all that. Underlining anything we say today was “get your own advice.” Don’t rely on us. We’re not lawyers. (Laughs)
Edward: Yeah, yeah, unless you give us money.
Grant: (Laughs). But, no, I was going to say on the serious side as well, you haven’t been … and this is a bit of a misconception I have is a lot of people run around there talking about, oh, I’m going to do joint ventures, I’m going to do joint ventures. And the first thing I say is for most people in small business joint ventures are actually an overkill or inappropriate.
Edward: Yeah, sure. And the thing is a lot of people sort of get, they sort of get bent up and all worked out of shape saying I’ve got to form joint ventures. Joint ventures is just one form of channel partnering. A form of channel partnering is just simply exchanging referrals with someone. So, the thing is is that you don’t need to run out there and, you know, have a criminal defense lawyer draft your agreement and spend thousands of dollars. It can be just you introducing people to each other and you having a process to manage that. So, please we’re just saying these as options but quite often the most powerful ones that I’ve seen done are just done over a handshake. Have you seen that Grant?
Grant: Exactly, and some people would say, you know, you draw up a document, you put it in the drawer and you ever have to open the drawer basically the partnership’s over.
Edward: Yeah, yeah.
Grant: So. But having said that, you know, certainly when you’re looking at things like equity partnerships and proper joint ventures you do need to get some legal advice.
Grant: And do that. But many of the … and the majority of the collaborations and partnerships that we see are like I’d mentioned. They’re less formal, uh, well, they are formal but they’re not as legalistic as you like. So, some tips for great partnerships is, look, if you’ve got any questions about things just flick them through. But some tips, and Ed mentioned this before about being dirty, you’ve got to make sure that you like the person. You’ve got to start with the end in mind and you need a consensus on the outcome. What is that you want to achieve and even today Ed and my wife, Karen, and I have had a meeting and we’re talking about what do we want to achieve at the end of 2014. Ed does a lot of work with us and, you know, we want to know what he wants to achieve at the end of 2014 so we can help him do that. It’s not just about what he’s doing for us. Uh, we need to be clear on roles and tasks.
You need to have a clear exit strategy and that’s a really important one that people don’t think about. If you’re entering into particularly a formalized one, and if it’s just a handshake it’s a bit different but if you’re entering into a formalized agreement you need to know how do you get out of that. Because it might be something happens to you or someone in your family and you need to get out. Or it might just be that you stopped getting on with your partner and you need to get out. And, look, you might think you’re getting on really well now but, uh, small business history is littered with mates who have gone into business together and end up not talking to each other. So you do need to have a look.
Look, I’d also suggest when you’re looking at forming partnerships that you involve some sort of third party as well particularly if they’re formalized. Such a coach like Ed so that you can just get a third person come in, seek some advice. Because you might go and talk to someone and think this is a great idea and it’s good just to run it by someone else. Obviously if it involves leases and legal things you need to have a talk to a lawyer but if it’s just about referrals it’s good to have a talk to someone else as well. And document things is a good idea. So that’s just some basic tips.
Edward: And a simple way of documenting it is let’s say you meet with someone, you want to start referring each other, all you just simply do is, it’s just straight forward, it just could be an email just saying we’re going to do this.
Edward: And the thing is Paul Sheaffe is doing a great thing. One of his colleagues asked Steve Dixon in Breakthrough for Business out of the Wungong sector, they called their term a strategic alliance. And Paul said this to me before, he says, “Look, I have a strategic alliance with, uh, Breakthrough for Business and we refer work to each other. So, strategic alliance, channel partners, partners, whatever you call them. Generally what I do is I just use the word partners or one of your allies, you know. That’s usually the way that I refer to it out in the street.
Grant: Yeah, for sure. So, you need to … one of the great ways is working out what it is you want to achieve and what do you need to do that. And there’s a bunch of reasons why, uh, partnerships be they at a small informal level or at a formal level fail, and that’s usually because there’s unclear leadership. There’s value in cultural differences. And that’s why you do need to get to know people before you actually go into business with them. Because I don’t know if you’ve ever had … I had a very, very good school friend who we got on really well and then we actually ended up living with them for a week when our kids were very young and their kids were very young. And that’s when we realized that we see the world very differently when we lived with them for a week. And up until then we’d never have thought that that would have been that way.
So you do need to get to know people. Because at a cursory meeting it can seem like you get on. Poor integration and I think that might be spelled wrong. Disagreement on roles, strategy, and policies. No plans, no accountability. And lack of expert advice and documentation. So like Ed said, you can have a drawn up legal agreement or you can have an email just saying, “Hi, Bob, just a review of our discussion the other day. We’re going to agree to work together and to actively promote one another and look for potential clients for each other.” And you need to measure that. Because if you’re sending Bob five good referrals a month and he’s not giving you any over three months, you need to be able to have a look at that and say what am I getting from this and what he is getting. And that might sound a little bit mercenary but this is business and you do need to get a return.
Edward: Yeah, and just so you know we’re keeping our lists. Grant’s wife, Karen Dempsey’s on the line so I think Grant’s going to get all nervous. Are you terrified that you’re wife’s listening in on this webinar, Grant? Are you just panicking now, dude.
Grant: I saw that name come up and thought, “Oops, sh–, yeah.
Edward: Don’t say that about Karen. Karen’s a nice woman, Grant. So there you go. The other thing I’d just like to add to what Grant’s saying there is where I see channel partners in my experience usually tip over, is it’s not win-win. Both people walk in and they’re telling each other how great they are and at the end of the day only one person’s referring. So one of my channel partners who’s a good friend of mine I’ve referred her plenty of business and I don’t really save much back and to me that’s … and I had a chat with her and to me it’s not quite fair. So, look, all the time you’re not going to be able to refer back into business. And my view personally is if you’ve got a channel partner and let’s say they trying their best but they’re having no luck. The way I look at it is always they’re trying.
Edward: I usually don’t really care. As long as they’re putting in the effort it usually doesn’t faze me. Because … what’s you take on that one Grant?
Grant: I think so. I think that there needs to be some mutual benefit and by the same token we’re all about helping each other out. So, but if people are just lazy you need to move on.
Edward: Yeah, and that’s what I’m getting at. It’s not so much the results I’m picking on, it’s more people being lazy. We just don’t like that and it just doesn’t help anyone. So, very good, insight grasp.
Grant: So, finding great partners. Look, of course, networking’s fantastic for this because you really want to try before you buy. And, uh, how do you find great partners? Well, you need to be strategic about it and not opportunistic and that’s what I mentioned before. You need to think what roles do I need to fill in my business? What people do I need to help me achieve what I want to do and to get where I want to go.
So, what is your plan, what do you do, what do you want to achieve. And so just about a month ago Karen and I went away for a couple of days. We had sheets and sheets of butcher’s paper. We were planning for 2014 and the thing that really stuck out to me is, man, we’re never going to achieve a quarter of this if we don’t have people doing that. So we need … now we’ve identified some and we need to kind of start being more proactive about filling these roles. But we need to start looking for channel partners for ourselves or strategic alliances to fill those roles.
So these are the sort of questions in terms of being strategic. What needs to happen for you to get there? What roles do you need to fill? Who do you need? Do you need someone … if you want to run events do you need to form a relationship with someone who’s an events manager? If you’re going to do a lot of marketing, maybe you need to commit with a copywriter or something so you can put out quality copy. And you can’t do it all. So you’ve got to fill those roles and you’ve got to work out am I going to pay or partner. And some of the roles I’m just going to have to pay and that’s okay. But if you’re looking at all these tasks that I need to accomplish and I can’t go and pay for all of them then you’ve got to divvy them up and work out the ones and then be proactively looking for people that you can partner with.
Edward: Yeah, yeah. Now a very good strategy. And Paul, a lot of good questions. And get through your questions everyone else. Paul made a good point, is the value of a referral. So, you know, you might let’s say give one person tons of small referrals but they might give you a big one. So, you want to sort of consider everything quite fairly in that regard.
Grant: Yeah, that’s a good point because you can get 10 referrals, is what Paul’s saying, from one person and they’re a dollar each or one referral from another person that’s $10. So, you need to look at that. And it might be that you have both of those people onboard. And the other thing is recently I was talking to a young guy who’s got a video company and he’s got a client who has a dance school that she’s getting on in years and the dance school has been getting smaller and smaller each year. And he’s starting to think, oh gee, I’m not making so much money because there’s not so many people there buying the DVDs.
But he’s hanging with her because he really likes her and she’s been good to him and she’s stuck with him. So he doesn’t want to flick her off when things are getting tough for her. So he’s hanging with her and he’s organized to do it again this year and he’s going, “I’m not going to make much money out of this one.” But you know what, he was telling me the other day that she gave him a referral that is going to be a very, very big job for him. So, you’ve got to weigh things up. It’s not just about the money.
Edward: Exactly, exactly. So it’s a very, very good point. So, you know as part of finding great partners we always say get out there and meet with lots of people and make sure it works for mutual benefit.
Grant: So, Zig Ziglar says that you can have everything in life you want if you just help other people get what they want. And that’s really what partnering is about. It’s about helping other people get what they want. I think one of the mistakes that people often make is they sit down and they work out what they want and they don’t take into consideration what they can bring to the table to help other people. So, I know in the early days that, when we started 4Networking Ed was out there helping people set up LinkedIn profiles (laughs) which was kind of new and cutting edge for some people (laughs) back then. And he went out and helped a lot of people. He had time on his hands back then because you were transitioning from employment to small business.
Grant: So you were cash-poor and time-rich.
Grant: And, uh, instead of sitting around waiting for the phone to ring he got out there and helped people and it’s come back. It came back. So, I think that’s a really good principle in partnerships. What do you bring to the table? Work out what you want, uh, and what you’re looking for but also work out what you can offer people. What skills you’ve got, what opportunities can you provide to people. So if you live by this and look for others who do the same I think you’ll do well in partnering.
Edward: Absolutely. And be profitable and have fun.
Grant: You’ve got to have fun. You’ve got to have partners that you can have fun with.
Edward: Exactly, exactly. So I’m just going to quickly go back because I’ve had a few good questions about this and a few things come in. And I’m just going to do a quick recap of the 10 points just while we’re here. So, this is the 10 steps, and sort of Grant went over. Whoa, went too far. This is the 10 step super process that I just want to spend a bit of time just sort of going through.
Now, first things first, is get out there, network and identify potential partners. 2. Meet potential partners for coffee or lunch. 3. Organize a follow-up meeting to openly talk about partnering. 4. Work out an arrangement that suits you both. 5. Be the first one to give an introduction. 6. Ask for some in return if you’re not getting any. 7. Deliver perfect service. Meet regularly to drive the process which is 8. 9. Be reasonable and 10. Enjoy the warm referrals. So, that is part of our very, very special process.
And here’s a big thing. We’ve actually come to the end of our webinar so feel free to get your questions through. Grant and I love being hired. So Grant runs 4Networking Australia which is the business community. So if you haven’t been to 4Networking we’d love you to come along. Grant’s also a business relationship expert too. So if you need to talk to him that is great. And make sure you visit my website at www.excellenceabove.com that I use. So that’s it. Our emails are there. Grant@4networking.com.au email@example.com so feel free to contact us. And, Grant, look please get your questions through before we stop recording. Grant, did you just want to say a few words or anything that comes to mind while people do their final wrap-up?
Grant: Yeah, sure. Look, as I mentioned we just had our Christmas party on Friday night and one of the things that really spun my wheels about that is I put up just have fun and be profitable and it was great. Okay, people have had a few drinks, they’re feeling happy and it was great just hearing the stories that the support that I’ve got from the network. And our network is a relationship network. It’s about building partnerships. We just provide some meetings for you to meet people and develop those partnerships. That’s simply the underlying principles of what we do.
And it was just fabulous hearing people come up and say, “Hey, look, thanks. We’ve had a fantastic year. We’ve got some great friends. We’ve got some great business colleagues and we’re loving business.” And I had two or three people who came up and said, “Look, the first six months were hell. I was struggling. I was wondering what I was going to do. The wife was on my case to get back and get a job and now look I’ve got a six figure business and, I’m just enjoying it.” So, build quality partnerships, look for quality people, build quality partnerships and you’ll really enjoy it.
Edward: Beautiful. Thank you. We’ve got some questions through and I think we’re going to answer this. This is part of the recording so please get more through while we answering them. And what we’re going to do is I’m going to say my point first and let Grant speak of it. So, Karen Dempsey which is Grant’s husband, or Grant’s wife, I should say, Grant’s the husband, says, “Excellent stuff.” So I say Grant, what’s your view on your wife being pleased with the webinar? What’s your interpretation there, Grant?
Grant: (Laughs) Look, I guess the ultimate partnership is husband and wife or, like I say, and Karen and I have been married for 20 plus years. That’s what you say when you can’t remember exactly how many, so … And we’ve had a really great partnership and we’ve been in business and we’ve faced tough times and great times together. And when you’ve got a good partner beside you it just makes the tough times easier and the good times even better.
Edward: Oh, there you go. As a single man of 35 years old, there you go. I’ve got a relationship with my cat. So thank you for that. Now, Paul Sheaffe, who’s been a great contributor, Paul has just made a reference to the amount of people that have greatly benefitted his life and basically Paul is making a reference to the amount of friends that he’s made and how it’s really benefitted his life. And I can say the same thing, Paul. Not only me building a six figure business and turning my life around but me making amazing friends which I never really had before. What’s your take on that more personal side of things, Grant, with networking?
Grant: Yeah, look, one of the things that I’m really pushing at the moment with networking is for people to look at what we call the multiple value streams of networking. So … and we’ve mentioned referrals tonight and referral is a very important … I don’t want to underestimate that. But referrals are really the tip of the iceberg. If you think of an iceberg sitting above the water and referrals on top there’s a whole lot of the iceberg underneath. And I think the majority of the benefits of networking are the non-referral aspects. And, look, we have people who just say the main benefit they get from 4Networking is the friendships with other people who say the main benefit that they’ve got is the confidence in being with other business people and presenting.
We have all these people who say that the advice, the collaborations they’ve formed, and that will change. So, for six months the main benefits for one person will be the friendships, the next six months it might be confidence. So, it’s really … there’s all these other benefits and Paul’s touched on that as well. And the underlying point of that is we have lots of people who say I’m a better business person because of all these other things and that means that I sell more, that I’m more confident and I’m delivering better services.
Edward: Yeah, amazing. Very good answer. Thank you, Grant. And got a great question from Louise. So, thank you for that. I’ll just read it out. So Louise is saying, “I’m involved in quite a technical role and I’ve considered value networking. How many hours per week is the best developed networking meeting versus potential partners versus getting the work done?” And before I let Grant answer that one my personal take is, and this is just general. I mean, obviously for personalized advice come see us. But as general advice off the hip, most people that I see do well go to about two networking events a week. And what they do is they go to about two networking events a week and meet two people on average each week.
And two people doesn’t sound like much but realistically speaking even though you’re only meeting two people a week, over 10 weeks that’s like 20 people. So to me that’s a good model. You want to build a certain amount of networking each week. It might be once a week. Let’s say you’re busy in your business, it might be once or twice a week. Or let’s say you’ve got nothing to do like I do when you started your business, you’ve got no money and everyone hates you, you might go five times a week like I did. So, I just had nothing else to do. What’s your take on that one, Grant?
Grant: Look, that’s good advice. And I guess, Louise, it’s really looking at how much time you can slot in for networking and the type of networking that you can do. Because as Ed mentioned right at the start in the presentation it’s not just about the actual event, it’s time following up. So if you’re going to two to three networking events a week but you’re not following up you’re better off going to one and following up. And if it’s a monthly, say you choose … like our meetings are fortnightly, then there’s lots of ways that you can follow up and just keep contact with people. And that can be like through form activity and that can be through Facebook or social activity.
So it’s really about continuing the … Networking groups like ours are really providing you a platform to meet people. It’s then up to you to develop those relationships with the people you choose to outside. So it might be meeting someone for lunch that you meet. So it’s really the followup that’s going to yield you the results, not so much the actual number of meetings you attend. It’s the number of people that you follow up and build relationship with.
Edward: Exactly. And we just found out Karen Dempsey is actually Grant’s daughter Sophia that’s logged in and saying that, “My daddy is so cool.” I think you’re daddy’s cool, Sophia, just to let you know that. Do you think you’re cool, Grant Dempsey?
Grant: (Laughs) I think they’re both online.
Edward: Yeah, so that’s great. So I’ve got a question from Brendon: Does 4Networking encourage business presentation for members? And I’ll answer that. Of course we do. We love presentations and people getting the information out there. And moving on quickly, it’s almost towards the end. Paul Sheaffe, I love your involvement. “Two per week also become exponential.” Exactly. In fact, I reckon you can answer that one. How does networking become exponential, Grant, as time passes?
Grant: We talk about selling through the room rather than the room that people at the networking event are not your market, they’re your route to market. So, if there’s 10 people in a room and you don’t have any business opportunity with any of them then you’re wasting your time but if each of those 10 people know 10 people and they know what you do, they like you, know you, and trust you. Then if they tell 10 people that’s a 100 potential contacts that you’ve got. And that’s the exponential component.
The other thing is we’ve seen now that we’re almost in our third year and we’ve got people who’ve been around for two plus years, those people are starting to be able to track referrals or work that’s coming in that originated from a 4N referral but has then kind of gone, uh, around. So they did a job for one person from a 4N referral and then from that person they’ve got another job. And so if you track it right back then there’s a lot of value in that initial referral.
Edward: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And a very good point. In fact, in the old days my business was basically 100% 4Networking. Now it’s about 60% but then again all those referrals are from the originators of 4Networking so I’d be dead without them. So that’s really good. Thank you, we’ve got a great compliment from one of our members, Drina. “Grant and Edward, enjoyed it. This topic came at the right time for me as I’m formalizing a strategic partnership. Thank you.” Pleasure, Drina, great to have you here.
Grant: Well, I was just going to say when Brendon was saying can we talk about that. Does 4N encourage business presentations for members? And, yes, we certainly do. And that’s one of the things. We’ve actually had a debate on our forum about … we have a 42nd round where people introduce themselves. That’s one presentation, albeit 40 seconds but we had a debate about the value of it. And the consensus is that, uh, it is a very good way for people to refine, uh, their presentation skills. But we also do 15-20 minute presentations at each meeting and each member have the opportunity to do that at any of our meetings. And some members have used that incredibly effectively and basically built their business, uh, on that.
Edward: Yes, now a very, very good point. So I think that’s it. There’s no more questions. Anything else you want to sort of cover off from before we wind this thing up?
Grant: Well, you mentioned Drina. Drina rocks (laughs).
Edward: Yeah, we think Drina’s awesome. Our pleasure Brendon and yeah, yeah. And that’s really good. You’ve done great, Paul. Thank you, Paul. And look I think we’ve done. We’ve gone overtime and, guys, I just want to say, look, please contact us if you’ve got any questions. Uh, the email address is there. If it’s on YouTube and you’re seeing this recording afterwards let us know. And make sure you book into our upcoming webinar. So I just want to say on behalf of me I’m going to stop the recording and we’re going to finish here but thank you from Edward Zia. What do you have to say to the audience, Grant?
Grant: So it’s goodnight from me and it’s goodnight from him. Goodnight.
Edward: Goodnight, guys. See you next time and send us your emails. Bye, guys.