EPISODE 515: Powerful Sales Networking Strategies for Success with Jake Kelfer

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the Sales Game Changers virtual learning session sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales on September 12, 2020, featuring elite basketball performance coach Jake Kelfer. He is a motivational speaker and 3x best-selling author.]

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JAKE’S TIP: “Identify your #1 networking objective in your life or in your business. Attach it to something that you already to every single day and see how easily you can start to add that as a normal habit, as part of your day-to-day routine. It’s so fascinating how we each structure our day and the results that come from doing this one little action.”


Fred Diamond: Thank you for joining us, it’s the Optimal Sales Mindset webinar, we’re talking today to Jake Kelfer. The topic today is networking. Jake, we used to be doing events all the time, obviously we’re doing today’s show in the middle of September, I don’t know of anybody who’s been to a networking event in the last six months. If you’re listening to this in the future, you probably haven’t been to one either, for obvious reasons people aren’t meeting in large groups especially indoors, but hopefully at some point they will. Relationships and networking is still a critical part of the sales process, you’ve worked with so many high performing athletes, high performing business leaders, you’re an elite performance coach, you’re in LA, I’m in Washington DC, we’re interested in getting some of your insights. First of all, it’s great to meet you, you’re also a close friend of one of the good friends of the Institute, the great Alan Stein Jr., we’ve had him speak before, we’ve also done a couple of podcasts with him. It’s great to see you, everyone’s online here, we’re very excited to get your tips for networking during challenging times when most people aren’t going to events, so let’s get going.

Jake Kelfer: Fred the Legend, what a great introduction, I appreciate you and I’m pumped to be here. We’ll just jump right into it and a little bit about me for everyone that’s listening is I am a two-time author, I’ve written two books called Elevate Beyond and Elevate Your Network that has allowed me to travel the world as a motivational speaker. I’ve been to China, I’ve been all over the world as a speaker and I’m also the founder of the Professional Basketball Combine which has helped over 70 NBA prospects sign their first pro contract. We’ve had players end up making millions of dollars off the deal that they’ve gotten after coming to our event and today we’re going to dive into a few great topics. We’re going to really dive into some of the mistakes we make when connecting especially in a time where it’s all digital, we’re going to talk about how to get in front of and how to increase our response rates and then we’re going to wrap it up with how you make networking a habit even when we don’t want to prioritize it, even when we see it more as something that we just have to do versus something that we get to do.

We’re going to focus on how to really build all those things out so let’s just jump right into these concepts here. I got some questions for everybody to start thinking about because I believe and everything that I’ve learned in business is that we are in the business of people, and if we don’t have people we don’t have a business. Fred, have you ever made a deal without another partner? No. Have you ever grown your business without customers? No. Have you ever sold something that didn’t involve another person? No.

These are so simple but we often don’t think about this. As a matter of fact, especially when we’re working in selling our product we’re so focused on what we’re selling that we sometime forget who to get in front of and that we need to take more care of the people that are surrounding us – our teams, our prospects, our current customers, our partners – than we need to worry about the actual product itself. Everyone that’s listening to this, you have a great product and you work for a company with a great product, that is already brilliant and it’s going to keep getting brilliant but what we need to focus on as sales professionals is focusing exactly on the who in the business.

The first thing we’re going to talk about here is some of the biggest connection mistakes. These connection mistakes have been from a variety of industries, these connection mistakes are also very intentional and focused on today’s economy because we’re not connecting the way we used to. As a matter of fact, we’re connecting only virtually, you said in the intro. Anyone that’s listening to this, we haven’t been to a live event in months and for some people, it’s really changed how we have to network not necessarily making it harder or easier but changing the way and making it different. I truly believe that when we follow everything we talk about, networking becomes exponentially easier than it’s ever had, it takes less time and our results are through the roof. That’s what the opportunity is possessing for us right now.

A few of the big mistakes that I see happening over and over again after talking with people is the first mistake is a lack of intention. A lack of intention when reaching out, meaning we’re just trying to reach out to whomever, whenever for the sake of connecting where instead, we need to have a connection game plan. A connection game plan states, “Who do you need to be connecting with? Why do you need to be connecting with them? How are you going to specifically connect with them and what are you willing to do to make that interaction happen? What are you willing to do to get on the phone with someone?” We’re in the business of sales, we know we’ve got to bring the heat and we’re going to have to follow up, that’s just the name of the game. Having a clear connection game plan is going to save you time and increase your convergence because you’re going to go after the right people through the right channels that meets them where they’re at, not where you want them to be. That’s something that’s really important in the virtual economy when it comes to networking, to go where people are living, not where we want to communicate with them best.

Second, most people are focused on the short-term right now. Why? Because we’re panicking, we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, there’s a lot of uncertainty, more than ever before so we’re focused on getting short-term wins. While this is great, we know that in sales the best business comes from our repeat customers, those are the easiest people to sell again. It’s really important that right now we build a “we is greater than me” mentality focusing on what can we really do for each other versus what can you do for me or how can I use you to get to where I want to go. This is a mindset shift that a lot of us will never think about but we have to have, is often times when we’re in sales and we’re looking at our partners, we’re looking at people that are competing for the same opportunities, our competitors, we get mad when they succeed. We start to have this internal jealousy of saying, “Why am I not doing this? Why are they succeeding?” when instead, we should generally root for their success as a motivator to inspire us to do more and to be better. That’s when you can really have that mindset shift to shift short-term to long-term.

The third mistake here is never following up. The beautiful thing about this is everyone here is a salesperson and the reason I say this is because sometimes we need to be reminded more than we need to be taught. One of the biggest mistakes virtually is that we are sending so many outreaches because it’s easier and we have more time and it’s easier to click those buttons to connect, but we’re not tracking it as efficiently as previously. We’re not making it as intentional going back to this and following our connection game plan. I always recommend the 4-1-30 approach. This is 4 touch points, 1 person, 30 days. This is what we’ve found to work for prospects and this is what we’ve found to work for potential collaborators as well to do brand deals and do partnerships which is what I’m going to share with you in just a second here. The four touch points: the first is our initial email, the initial outreach, the initial DM, whatever it may be. The second is your follow up, each follow up is seven days consecutively. Follow up one, confirming the message, follow up two, checking in to make sure, things happen, you’re not the most important person in someone else’s life so just remember that. Then the third follow up is really just re-engaging but leaving the loop open for future communication because a lot of times, we may have to re-engage two to four times before we even get that initial point of contact.

The last mistake is we don’t ask for help. As sales professionals – and I’m guilty of this too – we want to do it all on our own and we want to hit the big numbers. One of the things that I see in people right now especially is we’re not asking for help, but now more than ever everybody wants to help you because we’re all starting to see that we need to lift each other up in times of adversity, in times of struggle. So don’t be afraid to ask for help, ask your current customers for referrals, tell your prospects even in the prospecting phase that you’re going to be asking for referrals. Ask anyone that you’re working with for referrals, let people know what you do so that they can help you much easier. I’ll flip it over for a quick question, I think there are some coming in so let’s hear it before we keep rolling.

Fred Diamond: A couple people have chimed in here, Joe says, “I forgot about my plan.” It’s interesting, bullet point #1, lack of intention. Again, at the Institute for Excellence in Sales prior to the pandemic we talked about your prospecting plan, your networking plan, your account touch plan, all those things and then the pandemic kicks in and then all the plans went away because we all had to spend three months of figuring things out. Then we had to spend a couple of months in the summer figuring out, “When are we going to go back to the office?” and all of those things. Now we really are here and a lot of people have recognized that a lot of their plans have gotten forgotten, specifically the connection plan. It goes back to the 4-1-30 plan that you have right there. I really like your second point about, “It’s not about me.” Cliff reminded us here – Cliff actually attends a lot of our webinars, Cliff, it’s good to see you – we frequently talk about how sales is not about you, it’s about the others and that’s a huge theme that has come up time and time again that sales has always been about service, but particularly now it’s been about service.

The whole networking world has changed. I see some people who are on the line here, we have people all over the world and I know some of these people are world-class networkers who have huge networkers, are involved with chambers and things like that. Networking is something that we’re struggling with right now because again, how do we do it effectively via Zoom? How often do we use Zoom? Is it right to ask people when everybody’s going through the same challenges? You say that it’s definitely okay for us to be asking our friends, peers and people who can help us build our business to help build our business.

Jake Kelfer: If we think about it, right now if somebody asked us for help we’re more inclined than ever before to want to help them even if we are all about service and impact. We are more than likely right now being willing to do additional favors for other people because we know that everyone is going through and being affected in different ways. Therefore – and that’s what we call ‘flip the script’ – you can flip the script and ask them that question because we know that when the script is flipped, if they were to ask you for help you’d be more likely to do it. Those are some of the things that we can really keep on diving into and here’s something that I want to mention here. Every single person that’s listening to this knows that networking is important, every single person here knows how to be a good networker but what we are going to be doing is we are going to differentiate ourselves from everyone else so we can spend less time and increase more conversions. I don’t know about you, but I’m not in the business of working 18 hours a day just to close the same as I could potentially close in 9 hours a day. That’s what we’re going to really focus on, adding that intentionality and diving deeper.

We’re in a time now where we’re connecting from our homes, we’re seeing social media attendance go through the roof, we’re seeing people spending more and more hours on their smartphones and what I want to share here is a four-step script that can help anybody and anytime connect with more prospects, connect with partners, connect with what we call one-two steppers that will continue to build networking into your life to increase those calls and prospects. The first step – and this is one that if you’re seeing this, you’re going to be like, “Jake, are you kidding me for including this?” and if you’re listening to it, #1 is address the person by the correct name. The amount of emails that I’m receiving right now because people are so focused on the copy and paste to get a hundred out versus 10 custom emails, I’m getting Jeff, Jack, and I’m like, “All you had to do was pay a little bit of attention, my name is right in front of you.” It’s an immediate turn-off. Again, we need to be reminded more than we need to be taught and this is one of those important key elements. #2, in reaching out to someone for the first time what’s really effective especially using social media is finding a commonality, a compliment or how you found them. For me, one of the first things I think about when someone reaches out to me is, “How the heck did you find me?” I want to test are my marketing efforts working? Which ones are working?

But I’m also curious because I don’t know who you are, how in the world did you come across me? Because I’m likely going to want to replicate that or I’m going to want to figure out, “Okay, you found me through this, I need to unsubscribe” or, “I need to make sure that I’m doing this more so that more people reach out to me.” We call this the fun fact frenzy and the fun fact frenzy really focuses on having you do a quick 3-5 minute research of the person you’re reaching out to before reaching out to them. The beautiful thing about Instagram, LinkedIn or any of the platforms that you’re going to reach out to is everybody’s putting so much information about their personal lives on social media now, which is great because you can take that personal reflection of who they are, find a commonality, find something you can complement them on, find something that’s relatable to you and use that to break the ice and increase your response rates exponentially.

This is something that I find has drastically changed the game and when someone reaches out to me and they’re like, “I know you love Taco Bell, what’s your Taco Bell order?” that person and me are going to be friends. It’s just going to happen and I’m going to want to answer whatever question they have which is #3. When reaching out, ask a quick-hitter qualifying question. We’re going to talk about how to ask great questions in just a second, but a lot of times we send out a general question. If you’re prospecting tons of people, they’re probably getting hit by the same people in your competitors and everyone’s asking the same basic question. What you want to do is reword that question into a unique way that also qualifies them as a potential buyer, as somebody who actually may be able to take seriously. A quick-hitter question, if you wanted to just do it very simply and you’re trying to reach out to someone to get advice, most people are going to be like, “What’s your best piece of advice?” but if you reframe that and say, “What’s the one thing that if you knew when first starting your business would have changed your path to success?” Similar question but you’re adding a different format into it which makes that person reflect on a personal story which brings the emotion, which elicits the response. The final step of our initial outreach connection is express gratitude. Whether or not they’re going to be a client or anything, always express gratitude and leave it open for a response, never close off a response because just like the 4-1-30 approach, we’re going to want to go back and hit these people up over and over again. We’re going to go for the 4-1-30 approach and then if we haven’t heard from them in three months from now, we’re going to come back to them and we’re going to re-target them based off of that initial reaction, change what didn’t work, find a new commonality and repeat the cycle. That’s the script that you can take and implement it right now to generate new prospects from wherever you’re at and to build an incredible network especially when it comes to people that you want to partner with or people that you’re looking to level up your network with. This is the script that’s been able to use and I did an experiment, I sent thousands of DMs out over the course of Coronavirus and what we found was that this script was the one that had the highest response rates to the highest level of people.

Fred Diamond: A couple quick points here. I’m curious if you’re watching today’s webinar and someone emails you if you frequently get emailed the wrong name. My name is Fred, I get Frank all the time and I can’t stand that. Someone actually chimed in, “My name is Daniel, it’s not Danny.” I want to recommend to people here, we’re sending out so many more emails right now because everybody’s in front of their screen. Take the time to proofread your email twice to make sure that you put the person’s right name, I see so many typos on emails. One of my good friends, Vince is actually watching today’s webinar, he and I talk about this all the time. If you’re a young sales professional out there, take the time to proofread your email, make sure that your grammar is in place, make sure that you have the right person’s name so it’s not in context. I go back to #2 and #3, the communication quest has to be valid and it’s not something like, “Are you looking to solve business problems?” or, “Are you looking to grow your business?” Yes, everybody’s looking to grow their business but you really have to be specific especially if you’re going to be reaching out to somebody who’s been in business for a while or who’s more senior. There’s no time to parse out what you’re trying to say, so good suggestions there.

I’m interested to hear more about the 4-1-30, a couple of people have asked to get a little deeper into that so I know we’re going to it in a little bit.

Jake Kelfer: We’ll dive deeper into that and I’ll keep coming back to that because that’s where the money is. In sales, we know the follow up is where the money is so we’ll dive into that because I’ve used that approach to generate thousands of dollars in our business during this time with new clients. Here’s something that I wanted to dive into which are three of the skills that are incredibly important that I learned work in business but also we’ve learned this from what separates NBA players who are on the fringe to getting that initial roster spot. A lot of the work that we do at the Combine is we help guys who are outside of maybe the top 60-70 guys and we help them get on a roster spot, get a summer league deal, sign their first contract and these are some of the things that work in sports at the highest level but also in business at the highest level. None of these are things you’ve never heard before, that’s what’s really powerful here. One of the most important things – and Alan Stein Jr. talks about this – is the best master the fundamentals. The same principles are going to apply here and you’ll see exactly what I mean when we go through these three pieces.

#1, how do you crush connecting? You ask great questions. Great questions mean that you’re doing something beyond what everyone else is doing, a great question is hearing what someone says and responding based off their answer. Asking a great question is not just about asking a question that gives you the answer you’re looking for, it’s about asking a question that gives you the answer you need in that very moment. We ask questions to gain information, the better questions, the better information. The better information we have, the easier it is to give them what they want and to sell them the thing that’s going to bring our business to the top. That’s why asking great questions is so important and when you compare that to sports, you look at these players. The ones that ask questions when they make a mistake or they ask questions and say, “Coach, what can I do here? How’s my footwork?” and they make the adjustments based off those questions, those players start to develop that relationship with the coach. When push comes to shove, if it’s one or the other, they’re going to go with the person who asked the right questions because they were committed to bettering their craft.

#2 is genuinely listen. Most people, especially ambitious people – and most salespeople are ambitious people – we tend to focus on what we’re going to say next that’s going to wow our potential customer versus genuinely listening to what they’re saying and then reframing our response based off their communication. What I mean by this is more often than not we listen with the intent to respond rather than listening with the intent to understand and validate. It doesn’t mean you have to agree, but it does mean that you have to give the non-verbal cues, the head nod, the eyebrow raises, the hand gestures, to really signify and show that you are understanding what they’re saying and that you’re making them feel heard. That’s all people really want, they want to feel that you’re hearing them, that you understand their concerns and that you can provide their solution. They wouldn’t have been on the phone with you and you wouldn’t be on the phone with them if you didn’t believe you could change their life. Therefore, listening to what they say will help you make that sale even easier. When I talk to a potential customer or a potential prospect, if I know what they’re struggling with and then they tell me, I repeat it back to them and then formulate what I offer in their own language, they are exponentially more likely to sign with me than someone else. When you’re working with players at the NBA level, players ask questions, players get told things, you have to be coachable and listen to what other people say because that’s how you’ll grow and that’s how you’ll differentiate yourself.

We had a player who comes to our program and I’m not going to be using any names but before he came to our program, people had doubts about him because they said he wasn’t a good teammate, he never listened, he wasn’t coachable. That’s why he ended up coming to our program, because he should have been much more highly recruited, much more highly rated in the draft. He came to our Combine, showed everyone that he actually did listen, that he was listening to their feedback, made the adjustments and ended up having an incredible career and has made millions of dollars playing professional basketball.

The third point here is there is nobody better than you than you to sell whatever it is you’re selling. You are amazing [laughs] let me put it to you that way. You truly are special and you wouldn’t be in the position you are if someone else didn’t believe it, but you have to believe it yourself and you have to own it. Don’t apologize for your quirkiness, for your weirdness, for your energy, for how fast you talk. Be you and dominate you the best that you possibly can and people will respect you for that. If they don’t love you, they will still know you and that’s such a key element to having success. Those are some of the things because at the end of the day, no matter what we’re going through in our life, in challenging times or whatever, people are waiting for you to sell them. People are waiting for you to sell them because you can change their life. The question is, are you going to ask the right questions? Are you going to listen to what they’re saying and are you going to be unapologetically you? Because that’s how you’re going to have more fun and more success.

Fred Diamond: I have a question here that comes from Rich, Rich is in Maryland. Rich wants to know, “What are some of the small things that NBA players do that we may not know?” I’m going to frame that in a sales question. I’m not going to say if it’s ask questions or listen but we talk about sales, it’s like proofreading a great email, thank-you notes, being a great listener, follow up. All of the people who have achieved great things in sales, they do all of those little things. They also have courage, they also have some innate skills, they also are analytical. But in basketball, tell us what are some of the hidden things that we may not know? Of course, I’m not saying like the three-point shooters, we know about the Steph Curry’s can shoot from three but what are the little things that the layman may not see that leads to an elite basketball player?

Jake Kelfer: Rich, great question on this front and Fred, thank you for explaining that. A couple really important things here is you create the experience you want someone else to have. When we have guys coming to our event it’s are you the first one in the door? Are you showing up and then when you’re there, are you going straight to the three-point line or are you shooting form shots? It’s the same fundamental pieces as when you were young, dribble around, get your stretching, are you going to stretch and take care of your body? What kind of foods are you eating? Who are you talking to and what words are you using to the people around you? When you start and you finish your workout, do you give fist-bumps to all the scouts who just spent their time to watch you? Just like a follow up, just like a thank-you note. These are the little things that help our players differentiate themselves when they go into their interviews. Do they have questions prepared? Have they done their research? When they’re actually on the court, what is their non-verbal language talking when they don’t have the basketball? Remember, these guys are competing for a final roster spot. How are you going to separate yourself from someone else? It’s by creating an experience that people want to be around, it’s by generating the right emotions in someone else that’s lifting somebody to their highest form of themselves, that’s what a great leader does and that’s what a great salesman does and that’s what great NBA athletes do. Those are some of the things that people may not always think about but those are the things that people look for when they’re recruiting players as well as when players are trying to impress other scouts and executives. These are some of the things that they’re constantly doing to make sure they’re leaving their best mark and impression on somebody else.

Fred Diamond: I once was on the court with a guy who was a 12th player on an NBA bench and you think, “It’s the 12th guy on the bench, I could play with him”? No, the 12th player on the worst team in the NBA is one of the top 400 basketball players on the planet, the skills just to get to the NBA, it’s unbelievable and those little things that you just said to be a professional, that’s one of the key themes of the Sales Game Changers webcast and podcast that we hear all the time, “You are a professional.” I love the way you answered that question, are you there early? Do you acknowledge the scouts who showed up to watch you? And I got to go back to follow up, that’s such a brilliant point. We had a guy named Steve Richard on the show a number of months ago, his company analyzes sales calls. They’ve analyzed millions of sales calls and I asked him, “What’s the one thing you notice is a commonality?” He said, “Nobody asks for follow up. So few people say, ‘Can I call you Tuesday at 2:45?’ an odd hour or something.” So few make the next steps with follow up and we know where most people are going to be now, they’re probably going to be at home, they’re probably going to be working from 9 to 5 in front of their computer in the basement or wherever they might be. Not everybody is going back to offices right now, few people are. So follow up, that’s such a brilliant point and I loved your answer about just to get to the NBA, people think it’s just talent. It isn’t just talent, it’s all those other things. Same thing with sales, I’m seeing some of our guests here work for elite companies like Amazon and Salesforce, Hilton Hotels, you just don’t get to work for those companies because you got charisma or you have a certain grade of intelligence. All those little things add up to the big things so keep going. I could talk to Jake for four hours on all these little nuance things.

Jake Kelfer: I want to give two more things based on what you talked about. One of the things that the elite players do is they invest in themselves. LeBron James spends over a million dollars a year on making sure he takes care of his body, his trainers, everything. A lot of us, how are we investing in ourselves? Are we getting a coach that’s going to push us? Just like if you want to be a top-performing athlete, you have to do the same things and value it the same way. The second part is when you think about the follow up again, this is going to be like the theme of this conversation. You go to a conference, you go to a webinar, there’s a hundred people there, everybody gets the same knowledge, everybody’s just as excited. Six months go by and there’s 10 people doing the same thing that they actually learned in the conference. A year goes by, there’s one person doing what they said they were going to do at that conference. That one person is going to be the one that works for the elite companies, that becomes the leading salesperson, that changes the game, it’s about doing the work and learning from people that are incredible and then following up with those people to continue your growth.

Let’s keep going because now it’s time to really focus on how we take networking, this thing that we know is so important, and how do we turn it into a legitimate habit that we can add at different parts of our day based off our objectives and what it is that we’re trying to achieve? It’s going to be a 5-step process here and then I’m going to give you some examples of how to incorporate it into your daily life without having to factor in tons of additional time to execute on this front.

Step #1 here is we need to get clear on who you want to connect with. This seems so obvious but it shows so vital. Are you targeting the right leads? There’s an example of this and I think it’s in Chet Holmes’ book, The Ultimate Sales Machine, where he talks about how he was trying to make all these sales and he wasn’t doing it and he was like, “There’s a certain amount of companies that spend the most amount of money on people like me. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get those people my customers and once I get one, the dominoes are going to fall.” Go after the people that are going to spend money, are the customers you’re going after the ones that are going to spend money? Are the customers that you’re going after the ones that want to hear from you? Are they the ones that are ready and able to buy? First and foremost, we have to understand who we want to connect with.

Second, do we understand our numbers? This is something that too often we don’t take into account or we don’t track often enough, we don’t update. What we have to figure out is based on the right leads, how many of those leads do we need to reach out to, how many calls do we need to set up with and how many sales are converted and at what rates? This will eliminate everything that we have to worry about so that if we know it’s 50 people, we know 10 per week, we know we’re going to close this much and then we expedite and speed up the process as we get more specific.

#3, figure out your outreach strategy. How long does it take to reach out to a qualified prospect on average? How long does it take to go after the right leads? What is the process? Are you researching them in advance? Is that three minutes, is that five minutes? Getting this down to the minute will drastically change your efforts as you move forward as a networker, as a salesperson.

#4, schedule time on your calendar. Based on your numbers and based on how you’re going to utilize your outreach, how long that takes you, make time on the calendar just as you would for your sales meeting, put it on the calendar and schedule it. I don’t know about you, but I want to close more and more sales and I want to makes sure that that is part of my daily to-do’s, that is the most important thing for me to do if I’m going to be bringing customers into my business. Because otherwise, people are not going to buy from me, they’re going to buy from my competitors who are getting in front of them at all times. Put it in your calendar and value that time as sacred as your 9 to 10 a.m. meeting. That time will be exponentially more valuable.

Lastly, stack your networking, stack your sales outreach with another activity. Where does it fit best? What should it come after that makes it easiest to do? Because when it comes to habits we need to make it easy, we need to make it obvious, we need to make it attractive. We need to do something that even if our motivation isn’t high, we can still execute on it or even if it’s really hard but we’re motivated, we can do it, we need to meet it in the middle. These are the 5-step process that I recommend that you can incorporate for any type of networking whether it’s sales prospecting, whether it’s general prospecting, whether it’s partnership collaboration. You can use this same process over and over again and schedule it in and then track it and you’ll have everything you need to move forward.

Fred Diamond: Excellent, keep going. It’s good stuff.

Jake Kelfer: One of the things that I like to do to get people going when they see this coming to me like, “It sounds great, I want to make this a habit, I know I need to connect with more people. What do you recommend, Jake? Because I always try this and I go for a week and I’m crushing it and then the next week I’m burnt out, I’m exhausted or I do it and then I just never see the progress. What do you do?” We do what’s called the rule of three. The rule of three is based on one prospect, one current customer and one one-two stepper. A one-two stepper is someone who’s a potential partner, someone who’s one or two steps above you, someone that’s going to elevate your game. What we recommend is that you decide on how long you want to do this and how frequently you want to implement this based on your numbers and your quotas. Let’s just say you knew that it took you five calls to make a sale, you’re going to do the rule of three on a daily basis because you’re going to hit five prospects, five current customers, five one-two steppers. What this is, is the prospects are going to follow your prospect sequence. The customers are going to continue to build the relationship with then so that they will be a future buyer, a repeat buyer or they’re going to be a referral, they’re going to be someone that generates you exponential business. Those two things are really important and then third is your one-two stepper. Who are you connecting with that is in your space that you might be able to share ideas with, that you might be able to learn from, that you can partner with? This is what we call the rule of three: one prospect, one customer, one one-two stepper and if you execute on this based on your numbers, your quota and what your goals are, you’re going to be able to implement it more easily because you’re like, “I’ve got to do the rule of three once a week.” Maybe it’s 25 prospects a week so you break it down, “I’m going to do five prospects Monday through Friday.” Let’s say you only have a certain amount of customers and you want to limit that, maybe you do three customers a day. You can tailor the numbers of each one of these based off it but what this does is you get in the habit of, “I’m going to reach out to prospects and then immediately I reach out to current customers, then I reach out to one-two steppers. I can check it off the list and go onto the next thing.” That’s what the rule of three is all about and how to start implementing it as a habit in your outreach.

Fred Diamond: We’re coming down to the end here and we keep getting a bunch of questions. I know you have one or two more slides and then of course we’re going to ask you for your final thought. The key thing here is you’ve got to get back to making networking and relationship building a part of your process. Everyone’s been thrown in a loop because of the situation and we took our eyes off it for a couple of months just figuring things out. Now that we’re getting back to quasi-normal, whatever that means, we need to get back into putting our networking programs into play and we’ve got to be processing them and thinking them through.

Jake Kelfer: I’m going to wrap it up here on this next slide, I’m just going to put everything we talked about together today which is what’s called habit stacking and bundling. This is now how we actually are going to implement this to make it repeatable and replicable in our business for ourselves or for our sales teams. A lot of times we may get the concepts but then when we go to distribute it, sometimes things get lost in translation. This makes it very easy to make everybody be able to be on the same page. Habit stacking is when you choose to do this right after something you already do. For example, “After a team sales meeting I will do X”, “After I check my email every morning I will do X”, “After I finish my morning coffee I will do X.” Let’s say you want to reach out to five prospects every day, “After I finish my morning coffee I reach out to five prospects. It’s automatic to associate it with a habit that you already have ingrained into your daily life and then you add the new habit. It makes it much easier to do that because you can start to stack these things on top of each other. Here’s where it gets really exciting, you really want to find an activity where it’s simply available to attach it to. If you want to send out outreach and you shower in the morning, you’re not going to say, “After I shower I’ll send outreach.” That’s not going to make sense, it’s going to make it very hard because then you’re going to have to dry off, then you’re going to have to go to your computer, log on, do it and then go do the rest of the things. It’s very important to do it right after.

The second part is bundling, do what you need to do before what you want to do. I love checking social media, we all check social media and we know that typically after an hour of hard work or 30 minutes of hard work after a sales meeting, we do that. Before, we finish up the next thing that we want to do, we go down the rabbit hole. You know how it goes, we’ve all been there especially from home. An example of this is, “I’m going to make three calls, then check Instagram.” You start to now do the habit you want or the habit you need to do and then the habit you want to do almost as a reward for executing on it. If you put these two things together, you could have your team sales meeting which is what starts the habit, then you make your three sales calls and then you check your Instagram, that closes the cycle. Imagine that in an hour and a half, you get the sales meeting done in an hour, three sales calls in 30 minutes, then you check your Instagram, you’ve now completed your initial cycle and your productivity and your progress is exponentially bigger. That’s what I got for you on turning it into a habit and keeping it. Of course, there’s a lot that goes into this but these are some things that you can start to think about for you own benefit.

Fred Diamond: Jake, how can people reach out to you?

Jake Kelfer: The best way to reach out to me is on Instagram, LinkedIn or my website. All my social media platforms are @jakekelfer or jakekelfer.com and if you’re listening to this, you can get a free copy of my book, Elevate Your Network. Just go to my website, go to my Instagram, click the link and we’ll get it sent out to you right away.

Fred Diamond: AJ says, “Excellent productivity hacks and great nuggets”, Steven says, “This was fantastic”, Michael says, “Nice job, Jake.” Jake, as we always do on our webcast, give us one final thought, one action step. You’ve given us tons, but give us something to leave today’s webinar as people move onto their day, something actionable they can do today.

Jake Kelfer: The biggest thing I’ll say to tie everything together is identify your #1 networking objective in your life or in your business. Attach it to something that you already to every single day and see how easily you can start to add that as a normal habit, as part of your day-to-day routine. I would love to hear what you guys choose to do because it’s so fascinating how we each structure our day and the results that come from doing this one little action.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

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