Do You Pitch or Make Relationships? – Matt Ward
“Your referrals are our greatest compliment.” How many times have you heard this phrase before? Yes, referrals are a great way to find more clients, but should you really ask for referrals directly without any context or background? Our today’s guest begs to differ.
Matt Ward is a successful entrepreneur that has been helping other entrepreneurs grow their businesses, gain more clients and improve their bottom line. His entrepreneurship journey began back in 2002 when he started his digital marketing agency. After 16 years of managing and building it, he decided to exit the business and sell it to one of his employees. Currently, he’s a referral consultant that helps service-based business professionals get more referrals in their service-based business. He’s also a host of an insightful podcast called Mass Business Podcast where he provides information on how to grow and scale a small business and in particular with a focus on understanding networking and referrals. Matt is also a book author – his book is coming out in October and it’s called, “The High-Five Effect: How To Do Business With People Who Bring You Joy”.
In this episode of the Think Business With Tyler podcast, we talk about freedom and what it actually means to be free when you’re a business owner. Matt dives deep into referral marketing and shares some phenomenal tips on how to grow your business through referrals. We get into the power of giving, why it’s important to focus on giving rather than taking in business, life, and sales.
If you’re a business owner looking to find more clients, or you simply want to learn more about referral marketing, this episode is perfect for you. Tune in to find out what Matt has to say about referrals.
💡 Name: Matt Ward
💡 What he does: Matt is a referral consultant that helps service-based business professionals get more referrals in their service-based business.
💡 Noteworthy: Matt built, managed, and led a web solutions agency for 16 years. Then, he sold it to an employee and decided to change the course of his career.
💡 Key Quote: “You can choose to work every day. You don’t have to work three days like me. You can choose to work weekends. That’s your choice. That’s what freedom is. It’s about the choice. It’s not about not working. It’s about having the choice to not work or to work.”
Freedom is about choice. When Matt found himself with no free time and zero social life, he decided to sell his agency to his coworker and move on with his career. To this day, he never looked back. Why did he do it, you might ask yourself? As simple as it may sound, he did it to get his freedom back. In this episode, Matt talks about freedom and what it means to be free when you’re a business owner. “As a business owner, you will sell things more for more money and make more money, you will have more time in your business to make decisions. And you will have more freedom to choose what you want to do, which is what freedom is. It’s the choice. You can choose to work every day. You don’t have to work three days like me, right? You can choose to work weekends, right? That’s your choice. That’s what freedom is. It’s about the choice. It’s not about not working. It’s about having the choice to not work or to work.”
Stop asking for referrals. Matt is a professional referral consultant so when he tells you to stop asking around for referrals, you better listen closely to what he has to say. In this episode, he explains why referral marketing is not about asking for referrals. It’s actually about giving, creating connections, and investing in other people. And yes, we know what you’re thinking, that takes a ton of time and work. But if you want to build strong referrals, you need to be prepared to roll up your sleeves. Here are some of Matt’s tips. “We love to buy stuff all the time, but we never want to be sold, which is exactly why you will never answer the question when someone says, Who do you know that you can refer me to? […] So ask for introductions, not referrals. There’s nothing worse than seeing someone’s business card or email signature that says the best compliment you can give me is a referral to your friends and family.”
In sales, it’s all about the other person, not you. As opposed to what you might think, sales is about the other person, not you. Matt and Tyler talk about the importance of giving, rather than taking. It all boils down to waiting it out, building a relationship, and then selling. “What you are doing is caring about them. Now, this is the core component, because if you care about them, and you are not trying to sell them something, your time will come. But are you patient enough to invest in other people so that they can invest in you get in sales, mostly what we think about is making the sale we don’t think about investing in other people? So when it comes to social selling, we have to first be social. And then we can sell. And too often we’re trying to lead with the sales conversation initially.”
No one has ever become poor by giving. Giving is the gold standard in sales, marketing, business, referrals, and life! Throughout this episode, you’ll hear Matt share many useful tips on how to secure referrals for your business. But his most important lifehack is to always give without expecting anything in return. Tune into this episode to hear his emotional childhood story where he understood the power of giving for the first time. “I don’t care how you give, just give. It does not matter if you don’t have the money to give and give your time. I mentor people, I give money, but I give time and I’ve given time many many many times. That’s what I believe is we should give our time.”
“I sold him the company and the next day became a full-time professional speaker, traveling the country talking about referrals. And I felt like I could impact more people that way. […] I couldn’t be happier for them. And I’m super happy for myself because now I live my life by the definition of freedom, I get to do what I want when I want, where I want, how I want. I don’t take clients who aren’t a good fit for me anymore. I don’t take clients for money. If you want to block time in my calendar as part of the arrangement, then we’re not a good fit, and I will refuse your money no matter how much you’re willing to pay me.”
“When you own a company in which you employ people, a lot of people may not realize this who are listening to this, but it comes with a great deal of stress. This stress is that we expect our people to perform and pull their weight and when they don’t, we let them go. […] So you’re responsible for that, you are responsible to ensure that there’s enough cash in the business to pay these people, regardless of whether or not other people are performing their roles.”
“It’s my own intellectual property. And I identified it as the business owner’s evolution of joy. It’s the phases by which we go through as business owners, to get to this point of achieving joy in our business. And in those phases are assess, then value, then identify, strengthen, engage, and there’s five phases. Hence, a high five effect.”
“We grow as business owners through this evolution to get to the point where we’re trying to strive to achieve joy. And when we find that joy in our business, when we find people who we can do business [with], who bring us joy, even surround ourselves with people who bring us joy, we are more joyful ourselves. Part of understanding, it sounds a little bit woo-woo, but think about it for a second. The happier you are by the people you surround yourself with, the happier you become the next day, right? If you surround yourself with people that make you laugh all the time, you are going to be a happier person.”
“The work you do now pays off in six months. It’s just that simple. Otherwise, I don’t know, you don’t wake up out of bed and just get referrals people. That’s not how this works. You also don’t wake up out of bed and just get sales. Why would you expect that the numbers game would exist on the cold calling side but not on the networking side? I tell most of my clients, if you really want to perform well in referrals, what you really need to do is somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 20, 30-minute one-to-ones every single week. You need to stay in touch with people.”
“It’s a true challenge to understand [that you should] give without expectation of getting anything in return. And that that’s a powerful piece of messaging that I think people need to really understand. That’s the biggest sin I see all the time. The second sin is sort of subconscious, it’s around the idea that results should happen immediately.”
Matt Ward 00:01
Let me just read the dedication of the books so that they have it in full context. I dedicate this book to each and every business owner I’ve crossed paths with along the way. You’ve all taught me something. Some of you taught me exactly what it means to have meaningful relationships where we can high five. Some of you taught me about business. Some of you even broke bread, or had a few drinks with me. And some of you. Yeah, I never called you back because you just wanted to pitch me some service you had. And what that really taught me was what not to do.
Welcome to think business with Tyler sharing our methods and strategies for success. Join in on our conversations with business owners. As we highlight their triumphs and detail how they overcame the challenges they faced while continuing to grow and scale their business. It’s time to think life think success, and think business with your host Tyler Martin.
Tyler Martin 00:51
Hey, everyone, we’re back with another episode of The think business with Tyler podcast show. Today’s guest is Matt ward. Matt is a successful business owner that has been helping other entrepreneurs grow their business, gain more clients, and improve their bottom line. Matt began his journey of owning businesses back in 2002, when he started his own digital marketing agency. And after 16 years of managing and building it, he decided to exit the business and sell it to one of his employees. Now Matt is a speaker and author with his latest book, The High Five effect, how to do business people who bring you joy. In this episode, we chat about what freedom really means to business owners, how most screw up the referral process, what Matt calls a pitch slap, and why it doesn’t work. And why giving is the right mindset for business relationships. You’re gonna learn a lot here from Matt, and you’re gonna laugh to along the way. So let’s get going. Hey, Matt, thanks so much for being on the think business with Tyler podcast show. How are you doing today?
Matt Ward 01:54
I am great. Tyler, thank you so much for having me. I’m so happy to be here. Yeah, I’m
Tyler Martin 01:59
excited to have you. I’ve got a bunch of exciting questions to learn more about you and learn from you. Where I’d like to start with Matt is tell us what you do now.
Matt Ward 02:07
I’m a business coach effectively. But really, what I like to tell people is I’m a referral consultant. So what is that I help service based business professionals get more referrals in their service based business. So I help them build better relationships with people, more deeper, more meaningful relationships, so that they, as a business owner, are thought about and get referrals from their entire contact database on a consistent and regular basis?
Tyler Martin 02:33
Yeah, that’s such an important topic. Before we get into that in detail, I’d love to talk about you had an agency business, love to hear the story behind it, you ultimately sold it. As I understand it, it wasn’t really fulfilling you. Can we get into that story? Can you share it share the story behind it?
Matt Ward 02:50
Yeah, absolutely. So I started a web design agency back in 2002. Part time, I got laid off in 2004, took a contract job with lycos.com. For whatever actually, that was laid off in 2003. I took a contract job with Lycos stay there a little over a year. And then in January 2005, took my company full time, and thought it was going to be everything I could ever want need, I thought I was gonna have more money, more time and more freedom. And I got none of those things, right. And so I started to grow and add employees, and we scaled up and then pulled back in the 2008 economy. We rebranded in 2010 and then grew from there, to the point of 2018 were sold. And the reason you know, there are always challenges, right? You’re always chasing the next website. And I had modified the business in quite a way where the majority of the revenue was coming in as recurring, which was amazing. And I had an amazing team, I had no problems with my team whatsoever. I didn’t dislike working with my staff at all, what I disliked was that the business had a hold on, right. It’s one of those things where you talk to a lot of small business owners and and you’re married to your business, you’re tied to your business. It basically is your identity. And that’s a huge issue. For many small business owners. It does a lot to the relationships of their family relationships and their friendships and things like that. And what I found was the majority of my friends were other business owners who I was hanging out with in networking worlds and things like that. And so I got to the point in 2018, where I just kind of had had enough and I wanted to do something different. I wanted to sort of impact more people. And so I sold the agency to one of my employees who I happen to have met in a networking event. years ago, a networking group. He had joined me and worked for me for I don’t know, maybe seven or so years, I guess or maybe even longer. I sold him the company and the next day became a full time professional speaker traveling the country talking about referrals and I felt like I could impact more people that way. And I didn’t need a big staff and I didn’t need the big salary, you know the big numbers of revenue coming in every year. A month to make payroll and all these other things. And, you know, and it was just, it was just a different life. And it’s something that I really desired I didn’t, I grew something that was this at this infancy. And it turned into something so great, it blossomed and, and you know, the company’s doing better than ever, now that I’m not there, which is very much what happens with business owners a lot of times, right, and I couldn’t be happier for them. And I’m super happy for myself, because now I live my life, by the definition of freedom, I get to do what I want, when I want, where I want how I want, I don’t take clients who aren’t a good fit for me anymore. I don’t take clients for money. If you want to block time in my calendar as part of the arrangement, then we’re not a good fit, and I will refuse your money no matter how much you’re willing to pay me. I just, it’s just Nope. interest to me. And open availability, my calendar is the most important thing to me these days. And so I think that’s what I didn’t have before. And to be honest with you, Tyler, at the end of the agency run in 2018, I was only working three days a week, people would looking at me saying I want to know how to do that. And I was very good at implementing that. And now as a solopreneur, doing it all by myself with some back office help. I still have those challenges of partitioning my time off freedom days, I call them to ensure that that I’m not allowing my calendar to get out of control, you know, because if you leave it open, and people can schedule in your calendar, it’s amazing what will happen. So yeah, that’s that’s the story of the agency and sort of why I wasn’t fulfilled as much as because I just it was controlling me more than I was controlling it. I feel like,
Tyler Martin 06:41
wow, there’s so much to unpack there. I want to start with, you mentioned this a little bit, or I caught it. You sold your business and you created something from nothing. When you actually sold it to you was there like a euphoric feeling of like creating something then having value and actually selling it? I’m curious if you had that feeling?
Matt Ward 07:01
You know? Yes, I would say yes, is the answer. I’ve also been asked if I ever regret it. And I say no, not a single day. It’s one of those things where made the decision fairly quickly. Actually, I think I made the decision within four weeks to sell it to one of my employees. And I had kind of done a lot of thinking before that. But you know, people asked me, if I missed it, if I had this sort of separation anxiety type of thing I did not. And it was a refreshing feeling, it was a lot of stress. So when you own a company in which you employ people, a lot of people may not realize this, were listening to this, but it comes with a great deal of stress. This stress is that every you know, we expect our people to perform and pull their weight. And when they don’t we let them go. But on the other hand, we don’t always let them go early enough. Or we don’t always have the right people or as Jim Collins said, we don’t have the right people on the bus are the right people in the right seats. And so you’re responsible for that, you are responsible to ensure that these people that there’s enough cash in the business to pay these people, regardless of whether or not other people are performing their roles, right, because you have production people in your sales people. And as salespeople always struggled in our business, and and you hear that a lot with a lot of small business owners is that nobody will sell as great as them. And that’s 100% True. But oftentimes we expect them to and the ramp up times are different. We think that they’re shorter, and they’re really longer, you know. And so there’s just a lot of stress around the financial aspects of running a business with staffing that I no longer had. And so it was a euphoric feeling. And I can look back, and I can say, you know, I didn’t sell a company that was in distress. That was where people were going to lose their jobs, because the company was going to come in and cut this or cut that I sold it to an internal employee, where everybody was working together, they feel comfortable, and they’re still all together. And so I think that’s a great thing. They’re thriving, and it’s a very, very powerful thing. It’s kind of like, it’s hard to give this analogy because I don’t have kids of my own. But I imagine it’s like raising your kids and then having them leave the nest, right. You do get a euphoric feeling. You get excited feeling that night. Now you’re an empty nester, but on the other hand, that you’ve done well that you’ve performed well that you got them to the point where they can live on their own. And that’s kind of what this was like. And it was really great. And then there was obviously a value attached to that. Unlike when your kids leave the nest where there might be attacks. You don’t get that money back. Yeah.
Tyler Martin 09:44
You know, I’m curious you and I know your thing is really heavy on networking relationships. So before I get there, something you said caught my attention. You really talk about being responsible for employees and that that heavy burden of just being able to provide payroll providing for your employees as if they were a family member. I get that a lot with business owners like that often is just a stress. I mean, I have clients that I told them, I was only getting part time hours, but I feel guilty. I’m not giving them more hours. And there’s just all these burdens related to having their staff. In your opinion, what’s the way to deal with that? Like, how do you reduce that burden for companies that are going to have employees, I mean, it’s inevitable, they’re gonna grow, they’re gonna need staff and to get that freedom in their business staff is usually part of the equation, you have any thoughts or it always
Matt Ward 10:33
And at the end of the day, the way you release the burden is by having enough cash in the business in the bank. So that there is no burden if you had so early on, we were always a paycheck to paycheck type of company, right? Many small businesses are, you might have a paycheck, a payroll and a half, let’s say, in the bank, so you can make this week’s payroll and then, you know, you’re collecting accounts receivable the next couple of weeks to make the next payroll. And what we learned somewhere along the way between my GM Mark and myself, John Mark is now the owner is that we need to plan ahead better. And one of the ways we did that was we started swiping, I want to say it was like 10%. So we rounded up our payroll, and then 10%, we would swipe every single week, and over 10 weeks, we would have an extra payroll. So what we did was we put this into a payroll savings account, because we paid every other week. Well, when you pay every other week, twice a year, you get hit with that third payroll, right? And so you become immediately cash poor, or you pull from your line of credit and backfill that. And so that was what the stress was. And so what we started to do when we had that sort of light bulb moment was we pulled 10% for 10 weeks. Now we had an extra payroll. And then what we did, we stopped it and I as I recall, we stopped this was many years ago. But But then eventually we had a conversation said, You know what, let’s just keep this going. Right? Let’s just kind of build this up, so that we’re never not and then the idea was to get two to three payrolls ahead in the payroll account, right? So you want to have enough cushion. And any person who’s on, you know, of any financial mindset will be thinking about this and telling you about this, but I was not. I was not good with that. And so I just, I just avoided numbers, because I like the pictures of numbers better than the numbers themselves, you know. So I want to see a bar chart, with the numbers going up in the account, not so much the actual numbers in the account.
Tyler Martin 12:42
I get it. No, that’s super creative. I love to hear how you built your operating capital to get get comfortable in meeting your payroll not having that stress. What a creative way of dealing with it. I do want to segue now. This is your second book. I believe it’s releasing it releasing this month or next.
Matt Ward 12:58
Yeah, yeah, a release is released October 26. Awesome. It’s on Amazon. It’s called the High Five effect. Yeah, yeah, the
Tyler Martin 13:05
high five effect. But I love the the tagline to more money, more time, more freedom.
Matt Ward 13:10
So it’s, it’s here’s the subtitle, how to do business with people who bring you joy. And the idea is that you will get more money more time a more freedom from that. Absolutely.
Tyler Martin 13:20
Yeah. That’s great. That’s great. Can we get into that? Since you brought up joy? Yeah, in the book, I hope I’m using the right terminology. But you have a framework for business owners related to joy, can we talk a little bit about that framework, I thought it was just really amazing. I loved it.
Matt Ward 13:34
So I’ve created what’s referred to as a contextual model. It’s my own intellectual property. And it’s this, I identified it as the business owner’s evolution of joy, right? It’s the phases by which we go through as business owners, to get to this point of achieving joy in our business. And in those phases are assess, then value, then identify, strengthen, and engage. And there’s five phases. Hence, a high five effect right? Now, the high five effect has multiple meanings inside the book, right? We can talk about the presence of a high five, and what that does for an individual and how the high five has an effect on joy. But also these five phases that are inside the book, in really the first one is assessing, he really just digs into where are you now? And where do you want to go? When we get to the second phase of value is about valuing yourself and what you offer to the world. And once you stand in that presence, and in that power, you really start to bring forward better ideas or creative solutions start to dig into what I call, you know, inside the identify phase is the client acquisition hierarchy of needs, which is a spin off of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. And you know, often times you know, as busy there were such a we’re such a work in progress Tyler, right. And that’s what these folks phases are all about when you’re strengthening phase four, you’re strengthening everything about yourself, everything about your business, everything about your team. So you’re just constantly looking at different angles on how to strengthen the weak points in everything. And then when you’re engaging, you are really truly engaging with the process with the people with yourself with your team. It’s this whole cyclical effect. And we grow as business owners through this evolution, to get to the point where we’re trying to strive to achieve joy. And when we find that joy in our business, when we find people who we can do business, who bring us joy, even surround ourselves with people who bring us joy, we are more joyful ourselves. Part of understanding, it sounds a little bit woowoo. But think about it for a second, the happier you are by the people you surround yourself with, the happier you become the next day, right? If you’re surrounding yourself with people that make you laugh all the time, you are going to be a happier person, right. And when you’re a happier person, you’re not questioning who you are, as a business owner, you’re having fun, when you’re not questioning who you are, as a business owner, you will sell things more for more money and make more money, you will have more time in your business to make decisions. And you will have more freedom to choose what you want to do, which is what freedom is, is the choice. You can choose to work every day, you don’t have to work three days like me, right? You can choose to work weekends, right? That’s your choice. That’s what freedom is. It’s about the choice. It’s not about not working. It’s about having the choice to not work or to work, or to some people like to work on nights and weekends or holidays. Okay, that’s your choice. It’s not my choice, but it’s a choice. That’s what freedom is all about.
Tyler Martin 16:48
Yeah, no, I totally agree with you. In fact, I’m always fascinated that word freedom, when I’m talking with clients, one client might be freedom to your point three days a week, to another client, it’s like spending all their time doing their trade or whatever they’re really good at, and doing it for more hours a week because they love it so much. But not getting caught up in numbers or not getting caught up in hiring people and firing people. So to your point, it’s a great way of saying it is a choice of what you want to do. Where you’re empowered in making that choice. Would you add a quote in the book as in the beginning of the book, and by the way, you gave me the manuscript, I’m so appreciative. I felt so important. You gave me an advance copy. There was a quote in there, and it said, and some of you, yeah, I never called you back, because you just wanted to pitch me some service you had. And what that really taught me was that’s not what to do. Can you talk about that a little bit, I just love that quote.
Matt Ward 17:38
So let me put that in context. For the listeners that the dedication of the book, you know, let me just read the dedication of the book so that they have it in full context, I dedicate this book to each and every business owner I’ve crossed paths with along the way. You’ve all taught me something, some of you taught me exactly what it means to have meaningful relationships where we can high five, some of you taught me about business. Some of you even broke bread, or had a few drinks with me. And some of you, yeah, I never called you back, because you just wanted to pitch me some service you had. And what that really taught me was what not to do love it. There is something so gross above that. This is ridiculous. I call it on LinkedIn, the pitch slap, right? It’s just gross. And it’s not relationship driven at all. And so sometimes I go into networking events, or I go into networking, Zoom calls. And within minutes, people are like, how can we help each other? And I’m like, I don’t know, let’s discover that. And then they’re like, Yeah, who? Who do you have for contacts in the restaurant world? I’m like, whoa, whoa, that’s not where I’m going. I did a 30 minute one to one call with a guy one time learning all about his business, his water filtration business, he had to say, these, these oxidizer tanks or something that like in your house for like, well pumps, and I have one in my house, and I was explaining how I had one I just kind of I just had to replace one. And he’s just like, gets more of the minerals out. Okay. And at the end of the call, I was asking me, okay, who’s I’d go, it’s like plumbers. Plumbers are great. You know, well, companies are great. And I said, yeah, it’s been great learning. He said, Well, I just have one question for you before we go. And I was like, what’s that? And he says, When would you be available for me to come out and talk to you about your water filter system? I said, I don’t understand. He said, Well, you said you had a water filter system. I said, Yeah. When can we set up a time to come out and talk about maybe put one of mine and I said Never. He said who are saying you said you had one? And I said yeah, but it’s not broke. I don’t need what you have. Right? Like there’s something so wrong with that. Yeah. And I get this mentality that sales is a numbers game. But none of us want to be sold to. This is the one thing I tell everybody. Stop asking for referrals. Stop it right at the end of the day. We love to buy. We love to buy stuff all the time, but we never want to be sold, which is exactly why you will never, you will never answer the question when someone says, Who do you know that you can refer me to? You will never give them a name. Because you don’t want them selling your contact database to people. But if they said, Hey, I’m Tyler, I’m looking for an introduction to so and so. And that so and so was not their client, but their potential referral partner, you’d introduce them all day, because now you know, they’re not going to sell this referral partner, you’re going to build a relationship, right? And so as for introductions, not referrals, there’s nothing worse than seeing someone’s business card or email signature that says, The best compliment you can give me as a referral to your friends and family. It’s not Tyler, I think the best compliment you can give me is that I’m sexy.
Tyler Martin 20:54
Work on that one. Why is it you know?
Matt Ward 20:56
Are you smell like bacon?
Tyler Martin 21:00
Now you’re, now you’re hitting on something. Yeah. But you know, why is it that it’s cringy? No doubt when you go to like these tip groups. And you know, I’m not going to name names, but you go to these groups. And you can almost see like, the juice is off people’s lips in terms of lead possibilities. They’re just ready to buy, right? And it feels cringy. But why is it even LinkedIn? It’s like Tenex, cringy, when someone sends you an opening, email or message that says, I love what you’re about, I love everything you do, can I connect with you, and you connect with them? And then the next message is set up a 10 minute meeting with me because I want to sell you this. And it is like we don’t do that in real life. Like you would never I hope we don’t do
Matt Ward 21:41
the thing about that Tyler’s those are automated. I do know that they’re using automated tools to do the numbers game. When you connect them they send a message, I just disconnect.
Tyler Martin 21:50
But why do people think that works? I guess is my Is it is it really just that
Matt Ward 21:54
they don’t think it works? They just think it’s a numbers game. Okay. And there are many people in this world who work for other people that require the numbers. Good point. And this is the thing I’ve always said, if you work for your employer, and they require you to do certain things, do those things for the first few years. Do what I tell you to do on nights and weekends for the first two years. And you’ll never have to do what your employer tells you to do ever again. Love that, because the relationship building aspect will take some time. And employers who have numbers based metrics will not wait that time. Right? Just Won’t they want results immediately. We were talking a few minutes ago about small business ownership and the comparison between sales and production and sales isn’t producing enough. Well, I gotta cover production. That’s where these small business owners mindset is. So they don’t give the sales professionals enough time to develop the relationships. And it takes time. I just had a client the other day asked me, you know, I did a one to one. And then the next month I reached out and followed up and then I don’t hear anything from them. And I don’t get referrals. I’m like you talk to him twice. That’s like standing on a par five 485 yards, hitting two shots with your club and expecting the ball to go in the hole. It doesn’t work like that. This is these are small trust deposits over time. And over time. You know, the work you do now pays off in six months. Tyler, right. It’s just that simple. Otherwise, I don’t know you don’t wake up out of bed and just get referrals people know how this works. You also don’t wake up out of bed and just get sales. Like why you would you expect that the numbers game would exist on the cold calling side but not on the networking side. Right? I tell most of my clients if you really want to perform well. And in referrals, what you really need to do is somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 2030 minute one to ones every single week. You need to stay in touch with people. The first book I wrote was all about 45 different tips and tricks on how to stay in touch with other people. If you don’t stay in touch with other people, you’re not going to get any business. it real simple. Tyler How do you outrun a bear?
Tyler Martin 24:02
Probably an automobile. I don’t know.
Matt Ward 24:04
You don’t you won’t run your friend. Ah ha. That’s a good one. And in business, you outrun your competition, right. And the way you are run them is just by staying in touch. It’s why you do email marketing. It’s why you do social media marketing. It’s why you do paid Google ads, because you want to be top of mind. Well, I would argue that if you stay in touch, send messages on LinkedIn send text messages, send personalized emails and phone calls. And and by the way, the hard written handwritten card massive amounts of those, you will stand out and you will get referrals. That’s how this works. Yeah, that’s great wisdom not to care about other people. I everybody says that it’s the know like and trust factor. I believe it’s no like trust and care about. It’s the care component that has to exist in order for you to get referrals. If you care about other people in a way that is meaningful, that you care about their success. And you keep showing up in ways to help them They’ll show up for you in the success of your business. That’s what this whole thing is about. And at the end of the day, don’t we want those people around us that’s the joy part right? That’s surrounding yourself with the people are like minded like Jim Rohn said, it’s basic stuff, right? It’s easy to understand, but not so simple to implement.
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Matt Ward 25:50
And at the end of the day, don’t we want those people around us? That’s the joy part, right? That’s surrounding yourself with the people who are like minded, like Jim Rohn said, it’s basic stuff, right? It’s easy to understand, but not so simple to implement.
Tyler Martin 26:01
Yeah, I love the way you articulate it, though. I mean, it’s so logical. I even love the part you say hate to do it the bad way for two years, and do it the right way on weekends. And then you’ll never have to do it again. Because that really resonates. And I do agree a lot of those are automated tools. But I think sadly, I think sometimes it’s actually people doing it with non automated tools to because they think it works or they do believe it’s a numbers game. And it’s just weird, because we just don’t do that. And face to face relationships is the other thing.
Matt Ward 26:29
So here’s what I just decided. Yeah, right now where you were explained to that, yeah, I used to just disconnect and I would like replied gross. And then just disconnect from LinkedIn right? Now I’m gonna say, did you say pizza? Question mark? love pizza? Did you say pizza question mark, see what they say?
Tyler Martin 26:49
You’re hilarious. So it’s bacon pizza in and calling you sexy? Or it seemed to be like the three triggers with you. So I’ll just keep that in my back pocket. Those I don’t. This is going downhill fast. Hey, so going a little bit more into like, social selling LinkedIn. You know, one thing I struggle with? And the question I have for you, is conversation starters are engaging that conversation so you don’t come off like you’re trying to sell someone something and you’re genuinely interested in them? Do you have some tips around developing online conversation starters? And what are some good tactics and methods?
Matt Ward 27:25
So first of all, let me just give you the very first easiest social selling tip of all that no one uses, you need to have a calendar scheduling tool for this to work. So it’s acuity or book like a boss or, or Calendly, or whatever, right? So once you have one of those tools, this works perfectly. You just go to LinkedIn Messenger, and you send messages to people that are active, right? So on the feed, they’re posting or commenting or liking something, you send them messages, and you say, Hey, I’ve got some changes in my business that just happened. I’d love to share them with you. And I’d love to hear what you’re up to do you have 15 or 20 minutes next week to schedule a zoom chat. When I sold the agency, that’s the exact message I sent out. I sent out to 50 people and I got 46 meetings. Wow. short minutes. I didn’t tell him nothing. I was just wanting to tell him what I was up to. Super simple. And of the few people that question whether or not there was a sales pitch share, I was like, No, this is I’m just want to update you what I’m doing. I made some changes. And we haven’t talked in a while I’d love to hear what you’re doing. You would love to talk about themselves. Tyler? Yeah. That’s why you have a podcast. Yeah. Right. So that’s the easiest thing. So I just encourage you to do that. If you have a calendar scheduling tool, there’s a very simple way of booking people on your calendar. Second thing. Rather than create a conversation about you engage in the conversation and flip it into a Zoom meeting. So you go where someone’s posting, you comment authentically about what they posted about, then you move over to messenger and say, Hey, I saw your post, I commented there, I was really intrigued by what you were writing. And I’d love to learn more about that service you’re offering. I’m not sure I’m a customer for it. But maybe I know some people who are either a customers or be business partners that could help refer you. So what you’re doing is you’re asking to help them, right? You’re not selling them anything. And really as I translate that what you are doing is caring about them. Now this is the core component, Tyler because if you care about them and you are not trying to sell them something, your time will come. But Are you patient enough to invest in other people so that they can invest in you. Yet in sales, mostly what we think about is making the sale we don’t think about investing in other people. So when it comes to social selling, we have to first be social then we can sell. And too often we’re trying to lead with the sales conversation initially. Right? Just engage gauging the platform’s have a real conversation.
Tyler Martin 30:10
Yeah, throw away the what’s in it for me type mentality, and more about who you’re talking to, and how, you know what they’re about. I think you just to paraphrase what I’m hearing you say, Yeah, well,
Matt Ward 30:20
my mentor, Bruce, or Cal wrote a great book years ago called all about you. And he was a marketing and branding guy. But the reality is in sales, it is all about you, it’s all about the other person. And if I can focus my efforts on that, then I am going to be more successful in the long run. But can I wait? Can I be patient, that’s going to be the key.
Tyler Martin 30:41
So it’s clear, you have just a wealth of knowledge and networking and developing relationships. I’ve seen you talk about the seven sins of networking. And I think a little bit you’ve talked about it here. I’d be curious, are there some other mistakes, you see a networking that people make, that we can avoid?
Matt Ward 30:58
Absolutely. So let me just give you one of my biggest pet peeves, which we haven’t seen in, you know, roughly two years through the pandemic. But you go to an event, an in person event, and you meet the guy or gal in the room, who before you even get your name out has their business card out to give to you. I refer to this person as the Pez dispenser. They literally are trying to get rid of every business card they have, because that’s the game. And I had it happen to me once I went to a trade show as a as a web company, was walking the floor, and a guy walked out his name was Shawn stepped out of his booth and attempted to hand me a card. And I knew Shawn was because he was competition. So I said, Thanks, I’m all set. And he said, you don’t want my car? And I said, No, I’m good. And he said, Well, surely you know, someone that does websites, and I looked at him, as someone that needs websites, I looked at him. And then I pointed to my embroidered shirt. It said Central Mass web design on it. He was so clueless that he didn’t even look at the attire I was wearing. And I talked about this in my book that you have to listen not just with your ears, but also with your eyes. Yeah, pay attention. And so people like that really hurt their own brand, in situations like this, right? Because it’s a true challenge to to understand it’s just give without the expectation of getting anything in return. And that that’s a powerful piece of messaging that I think people need to really understand. That’s the biggest sin I see all the time. The second sin is sort of subconscious, right, it’s the round the idea that results should happen immediately. I’ve talked a little bit about that already. This entitlement aspect of networking, that if I go to this event, I’ll get an opportunity. And I might close a deal. And if I go to enough events, I’ll get enough opportunities, and I’ll make my numbers. But that’s not how this works. The problem is that most people are looking for their clients at these events. Clients were for one to three people a year, partner Centers of Influence refer, excuse me, one to three people over lifetime partners or in centers of influence for for one to three people a year. Big difference. Most people think their clients refer, but the partners are the ones that really refer. And so what you need to be doing is going to these events and not even looking for clients looking for your sources of referrals, your your centers of influence. Those are the people you want to be building relationships with at these networking events. Because why wouldn’t you go to the well, yeah, see, most people think clients refer but they’re not in a position to refer. And frankly, Tyler, they want to keep you to themselves. Right? Subconsciously, they they don’t want to share you
Tyler Martin 33:39
been there done that. Yeah. Right. So
Matt Ward 33:41
on the partner side, you go to the well, they want to refer you and they’re talking to the decision maker that you talked to all the time. It makes the most sense. So build out your so those are two core of the seven deadly sins that people do all the time. It’s
Tyler Martin 33:56
good stuff. Hey, I’ve got two fun questions before we wrap up. One is in regards to books that either you’ve read or you’re reading, can you give us one just that you’ve enjoyed or you’re enjoying?
Matt Ward 34:07
Sure, well, I’m gonna throw in to the first of which is Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. And I just sort of mentioned briefly just a minute ago, what I took away from that book that was the ability to give without the expectation of getting anything in return. Highly recommend it. Love that one. And I have dozens and dozens of copies of that book that I give out to friends. It’s a fantastic book. So every loan by Keith Ferrazzi The second book is profit first by Mike McCalla wits. That book will change the game on how you actually earn revenue. But really what it does is change the game of your mindset of how you think about money. And I have incorporated Profit First Book, like sort of in my personal life so Mike wrote this book he’s, I don’t know how you want to describe it, but to me is a bit of the Dave Ramsey on the personal side because the envelopes pay down your debt type of thing. Mike took some of those principles. You know, modify them for business. And they really started really flipping this idea of money upside down in a business. And when I implemented it in 2017, I made the most profit I had ever made in my agency. As a solopreneur. I practice Profit First, every single month. And I can’t wait to get my profit first check from my quarterly distribution account for myself, because it’s spend it on anything I want, other than my business. I love it. And shameless self promotion on there. Mike has endorsed my new book, I saw that Yeah, so I was super excited about that. Because he’s, you know, he’s all about small business success. And big time, someday, I’ll have to come back on the podcast and tell you how I built a relationship with Mike to be a first name basis, in a way that’s so unique, so dramatic, that he’ll never forget who I am. What a hook. I did it with gifts. And it was amazing. And it worked. And now, you know, cell phones. I have a cell phone number, right? Yes. Cool. So cool. Yeah, he’s a great dude,
Tyler Martin 36:08
I saw on your web page that he was one of the people that write about your book. And I gotta be honest, the first thing I thought is, wow, you know, this guy. That’s pretty impressive. And when you you know, it’s funny when you’re talking about the 10% on payroll, it clicked in my mind, I got I am like, this has got a profit, first type theme to it. And I was about to say that when you were talking about it earlier in the show, so it all makes sense. Now I I’m dying to hear your gift thing. I’ll definitely save it for our next discussion. Or
Matt Ward 36:35
maybe, or maybe we save it for the after show.
Tyler Martin 36:39
That’s good. Good. Hey. So I want to wrap up with one last thing is, do you have some type of life tip or business tip that you could share with us that we can apply and an actual bull type tip that comes to mind? If you haven’t, you’ve already shared a ton of them. But I’d love to wrap up with one.
Matt Ward 36:55
So I think this is basic. I mentioned it before, but I want to bring it full circle, right? Sure to give to other people. And let me explain why that matters. In 1909, Milton Hershey, the guy, the benefactor of the chocolate bar, decided he and his wife couldn’t have kids. So they took their entire fortune and put it in a school for disadvantaged kids and orphans in Hershey, Pennsylvania, most people have never heard of the school, and it’s called the Milton Hershey School. And most people just know Hershey for the chocolate. What they don’t realize is that when they buy chocolate, the profits from the Church of chocolate company, feed into the trust because the majority shareholder of the company is the trust, the trust that controls the school, and all the amusement and hotels in town. That school is a private tuition, free boarding school for disadvantaged kids kindergarten through 12th grade, and I was lucky enough to go to that school. I’m the youngest of three boys, the first to graduate high school, and the only one not to go to prison. That school changed my life. And while I was there, I learned about community service and service to others and giving and what Milton Hershey did for so many kids, over 11,000 Kids have attended that school now, since 1909. It’s changed the trajectory of many many kids in Pennsylvania and even farther and I learned about giving I don’t care how you give just give it does not if you don’t have the money to give that give your time. Right I mentor people I give money, but I give time and I’ve given time many many many times. That’s what I believe is we should give our time
Tyler Martin 38:41
Yeah, that’s great one that’s powerful. Yeah powerful story that stories in the book too or at least Yeah, the part about her she that got you started. Hey, so I will put your new book website is high five effect. And five is spelled out. It’s not the number high five affect e FF e c t.com. I’ll put it in the show notes. Is there anywhere else where people should be going in terms to
Matt Ward 39:02
reach out so they can go to Matt Ward speaks comm that would be great. They could reach out to me I’m network speaks on just about every social channel out there. I’m on Instagram. I’m on Facebook. I spend most my time on Facebook. I’m on LinkedIn, you can find me over there. Yeah, and that’s pretty much where I am. You know, Tyler, I am. I really, really enjoyed being on your podcast, man. You’re a blast. It’s a lot of fun. And I love your questions. You’re fully prepared. I appreciate you reading the book. I’m honored, as I like to say. So I do all these videos every week right just on networking tips and stuff. It’s a total total blast. But I like to say at the end of every video don’t forget to live happy. smile a lot. And high five. Everyone around.
Tyler Martin 39:46
Hi Fi Okay, that’s great. And bacon. I guess we’ll throw in there too, right? Maybe pizza too. Okay. Hey, I can’t thank you enough Matt. love having you on you definitely gonna be back. Maybe after the book becomes a best seller which I think I’ll probably Take a month or two, you can circle back and we can have another conversation.
Matt Ward 40:03
Awesome. I appreciate it. Thanks, man.
That’s all for this episode of Think business with Tyler. But we have plenty more resources to help you in your pursuit of business excellence on our website at think tyler.com. If you’d like to be featured in a future episode of the show, feel free to reach out to us on social media at think underscore Tyler, we look forward to helping you think life think success and think business