Podcast-Frank (1).jpg

Episode 14: How To Build Relationships That Net Results

BIO: Frank Agin, Founder and President of AmSpirit Business Connections

Frank Agin's AmSpirit Business Connections is an organization that empowers entrepreneurs, sales representatives and professionals to become more successful through networking. 

As AmSpirit Business Connections has grown, Frank has established himself as an authority on professionals networking and business relationship development. He has written various articles on professional networking, is a sought after presenter on this topic and consults with companies and organizations on how to make a more effective use of business relationships. 

Finally, Frank is the author (or co-author) of various books, including…

John Sheeran: [00:00:01] B2B marketing and sales can be tough to master sales cycles can be long. And buyers are notoriously difficult to close. That's why you need minds on at your side where a B2B marketing and digital agency that's helped more than 200 clients evolve their brands win more business and succeed more often.

John Sheeran: [00:00:20] And we're ready to help you. Visit www.MindsOn.com today to schedule your no obligation consultation. Now onto today's program. [00:00:30]

Dan Harris: [00:00:32] I'm your host Dan Harris. And welcome back to another episode of minds on B2B. Thank you so much everyone for clicking subscribing sharing downloading. And of course listening to our podcast this is a weekly show dedicated to helping busy B2B executives marketers and sales professionals. Stay informed. Learn something new and perhaps apply a lesson learned or run with an idea shared by our guests as we say minds on all of our minds together are [00:01:00] better than any one mind alone.

Dan Harris: [00:01:02] Who knows. He just might like what you hear.

Dan Harris: [00:01:04] Connect and network with us. [00:01:09] All right everyone welcome back to this episode of Minds On B2B and I'm thrilled. I am seriously thrilled today longtime relationship with this gentleman Mr. Frank Agin. He is the founder and president of AM spirit. Business connections and we are going to talk about relationships and networking and I've known Frank for a while I've [00:01:30] read his books. I think you're going to learn a lot from this episode. It's 20 minutes of pure gold. So welcome to the show Frank. Thanks that kind of puts the pressure on right here. Yeah well I can just tell you I've been a part of AM spirit met a lot of people there good connections you and I. Yeah I think are we love networking. Yep. We love building relationships and we've helped one another which is something I hope people walk away from this show just embracing and learning. Yeah we could have done a whole show before the show just talking [00:02:00] about what we were going to talk about. All right. You're right you're right. So we're going to talk about. this relationship idea as it pertains to networking and I'm going to ask you this question if you could give any advice to your younger self.

Frank Agin: [00:02:17] What would it be. You know I think that answer is It is simple get out there and start building relationships sooner. I think we all go off to college and we try and take a coursework that's [00:02:30] going to make us smart. That's going to get us all the right classes and what we realize are we. What we fail to realize when we get out in the working world is everybody that we're competing against for jobs for clients they've all had the right classes. They've all done those things and what the really successful people learn early on is that it is all about the relationships. And so if I were to be able to travel back in time and go and talk to myself and I have kids who are in college so I'm [00:03:00] pounding them with this now. Of course nobody wants to listen to Dad but, you know, develop relationships get to know people during college. My daughter goes to Dennison and hey reach out to people that are out in the working world who. went to Dennis and or reach out to the people who are on campus and start to develop these relationships because they will they will pay back down the line. Yeah. And it's interesting you think about when we were younger how easy it was to walk up and say hey would you be my friend right [00:03:30] now.

Dan Harris: [00:03:30] Right. Do you want to play. I mean it was so easy. But as we got older we. got really tied into these young groups of people and we stopped really networking and being open to the opportunity so yeah I think I think you're onto something if I were if I were my younger self I definitely would say find out what you're passionate about and get involved and understand not only just your age group but people that are in the work that you [00:04:00] do or in the charity that you work in right or the church that you're in and find out how to get involved and how to be a part of it. It's so important.

Frank Agin: [00:04:08] Yeah in kids these days I sound like an old man saying that kids these days really have an advantage because they have social media you know with with Linked In. I mean you can you can find people. I tell people that LinkedIn is it's like a it's like a business after hours that goes 24/7 365 [00:04:30] days a year. You get on LinkedIn on Christmas Day. There are things happening. And so there are people you can search and find out about and you know those things weren't around 20 years ago.

Dan Harris: [00:04:42] No not at all. You had to join a group association.

Dan Harris: [00:04:46] Right. It was at church it was some sports or you know something you had to you actually had to join something to actually have that kind of connection. So it's interesting that you said LinkedIn and I know a lot of the people that I. know [00:05:00] work like and trust they're on that network but they're also on Facebook and they're also on Twitter, LinkedIn Instagram they're on all these social platforms. But, what would you tell somebody if I mean you can join those network. But how important is it that when you're building relations and networking that you actually meet and you have conversations versus just.

Frank Agin: [00:05:21] Back and forth text messages. Oh I think it's vitally important and I don't know that we need to necessarily meet face to face. There are one of the books that I've written [00:05:30] called The Champion and not to plug the book which is to talk about it. It was a gentleman who reached out to me on LinkedIn saw that I'd written a couple of other books and said I would love to co-author a book with you. We had a lot of phone conversations. We certainly communicated via email. I have never yet. I've yet to meet the man. Oh wow never. But we have this relationship and I feel like OK I know him and just like I'm sitting across the table with you talking right now. So it is certainly you know having that ability to kind [00:06:00] of communicate with people as much as technology has changed things. Things are still the same. We still really need relationships we still that that hasn't changed. It's not going to change in the next I don't know ten thousand years a hundred thousand years it's taken us that long to get to this point just because somebody comes up with a computer program that we can reach people on the other side of the planet isn't going to change those basic primitive things that are and are developed [00:06:30] in our brains.

Dan Harris: [00:06:30] Yeah yeah no that makes total sense. We talked about your younger self. We talked about some of the kids and how old we are. Right. Yeah. When's the best time to start. I mean how young and what are three things they should do just to get started.

Frank Agin: [00:06:46] You know that that question reminds me of of a story that somebody told me years ago a story of a couple that came upon a farm house and there's a beautiful oak tree in the front yard and they stopped and they really admired this oak tree. [00:07:00] And the gentleman who owned the house was out there and they came out and they're like wow we really love your oak tree. When's the best time to plan an oak tree like that. And he responded 40 years ago. How true. Yeah. And they said well when's the second best time. And they were trying to get a time of the year and what not and he said today and I think that applies to networking and if you're out there you know start now. And it's really kind of a simple thing. A lot of times people think well [00:07:30] I gotta get my business cards going to do this I've got to get a resumé I have to all this I have to have my LinkedIn profile looking great. No just you know just get out there and start talking to people going to networking functions. And that's when the other things that to bring up is that really anything is a networking function going to a tailgate party and talking to people that you don't know is networking talking to people that you do know and deepening that relationship is networking. It's not just those things that people dub [00:08:00] networking air quotes networking events but you start now and start to start develop relationships with people.

Dan Harris: [00:08:06] It doesn't even have to be third parties it can be your family reunion. Absolutely. Don't you don't realize how many people your relatives know and the jobs they're in. So I think you know for me. I love going to family unions and meeting new people and just learning you know so what do you do. How did you get there? Who do you work with? Who do you know? And those kind of questions. [00:08:30] Everybody loves it when you ask questions and you're interested in them. So that would be one tip I would say as you start to network and get out there is be a listener. be curious Absolutely and ask as many questions as you can because it kind of goes back to my next question for you. When you think about building relationships what are the three most important things for anybody. as you start to as you start to get out in the market. What what do they have to know [00:09:00] about you or require to be able to come become somebody that you have a relationship with.

Frank Agin: [00:09:06] I do a lot of speaking do less speaking on networking and whenever I talk I tell people early on in the presentation. I say you know if you need to live if you need to leave. or if you want to tune me out for whatever reason just. Listen to this one thing I'm going to tell you three things three things but one thing. But yeah right. People do business with people associate with. those [00:09:30] that they know they like and they trust. And that's something that has been inbred in us. It's it's just it's part of who we are. You look back through history we dealt with people we know we like. And we trust and those are the three things that people need to think about as they're out there networking with people so you know how do you get people to know you. How do you get people to like you how do you get people to trust you. There are certainly a little tips and tricks to those sorts of things. [00:10:00] I think the number one way that you can get people to know you like you and trust you is find ways to help other people. And I'm not talking about pulling out money or a credit card and paying people but doing things for people encouraging people. Looking at somebody's resumé there's hope. There's lots of different things that we can do volunteering. You know people look and they see us doing these things and. It's hard not to like somebody who's really trying to be a contributor [00:10:30] to society. They might not even know you but they know they like you and they sense they can trust you at that point.

Dan Harris: [00:10:37] Yeah yeah. And I think when you think about know like and trust the no part is I think number one you have to you have to be able to introduce yourself and describe for them who you are what you care about and you can do that through conversation. And I think going back to that listening topic people love people who will listen. Absolutely. And if you're [00:11:00] listening truly listening listening to listen I think you will hear what people care about and that's all that goes back to your point how do you help them. Well I think which is so cool.

Dan Harris: [00:11:09] Well you are helping them when you're listening because you're giving them your time. Yeah. And that's one of the biggest questions I get during Q and A when I'm speaking is. OK. How do you make small talk? I don't not to make small talk and I see small talk is easy. It's about getting them talking. You talked earlier about curiosity being curious about people if you're curious about other people you [00:11:30] know they're gonna they're gonna talk. They're gonna tell you their story and they're gonna come away from that conversation thinking you are the most interesting person in the world and you probably didn't say anything. Yeah. They don't know why.

Dan Harris: [00:11:41] Yeah it's human nature. Yeah I think the other thing too when you set about helping people if you go into this idea of a relationship don't think about what you're gonna get out of it and even ask the question What can I do for you? Because everybody I think when you start these business conversations or career conversations they're [00:12:00] anticipating that you want something from them. Right. Right. But I think this idea that you said is brilliant and just say even asking them. So what can I do for you at the end of the conversation. I think it'll open up again a whole other level of respect for you. And it kind of goes back to this idea of. People will help you because you help them. It's reciprocal right. You know we talk a little bit about that preshow. Yeah.

Frank Agin: [00:12:22] Well it's interesting you can take that a step further you can ask somebody hey what can I do for you. And that's great. [00:12:30] To do that but you can even be better if because when you ask somebody hey what can I do for you. You kind of put the onus on them to come up with something in the book. Oh I don't know. Yeah. You know they're just kind of struggling you're putting them on the spot. And a lot of times if I do that I'll tell somebody just think about it and get back to me. But something that I have discovered that you can do is almost come up to them and suggest some things. Hey would it be helpful if I were to introduce you to these sorts of people. Yeah. Because that kind of gets their mind thinking yeah. That that would be or wouldn't [00:13:00] be but I would like to meet these sorts of people and that helps take the onus off of them as to how you might help them.

Dan Harris: [00:13:07] Right. Right. That's your M.O. because the first thing you walked in in the studio here you go. Ok. Dan who can I introduce you to. Do you know this person. Right. Right. And I've taken you up on that as well. And I think it's one of the things reciprocal. It's super beneficial. And I think it goes back to these things that we talk about. You start to like people who are helping you out. And I think that that last element of trust [00:13:30] I don't think that's something that's given quickly. It's got to be built over time. So you just can't go out and listen to somebody and offer help. It has to be almost a part of who you are over time so they get to know who you are and can build a trust with you.

Frank Agin: [00:13:47] Right. I mean it you're absolutely right. Trust is built over time and in it it grows at different levels for different people depending upon who they are and what they do. I mean let's face it if you're if you're buying flowers you're you're [00:14:00] you're willing to take a chance on ordering flowers. Right. You know that's an easy trust. But if you're looking to refer grandma and her nest egg to a financial adviser that's a that's a big thing. Yeah. You know and so it's you know trust is not one size fits all necessarily but people tend to think they tend to rush it you know well nobody's given me a chance. If they don't give me a chance how can I earn their trust it's actually earn your trust. Every day you know being [00:14:30] on time doing the things you say you're going to do. Listening to them truly listening to them. Those are little things that build trust.

Dan Harris: [00:14:37] Yeah. Follow up. If you say you're gonna do something do it and it is it's a it's a process of repetition that establishes the relationship initially what we're talking about how do you establish it and grow it right and then trust comes because of your actions and your behaviors as you go through this process. So it's fantastic and I've heard no like [00:15:00] interest but I've never had somebody actually say well here's how you do it. So I think that's beneficial for this audience to understand it and I want to kind of wrap this up from a standpoint of this topic and we'll obviously do some more topics on this because it's such a big big thing. If you could offer one thing to the audience that they could do tomorrow. What would you suggest that they do.

Frank Agin: [00:15:25] Oh that's an easy one. Create a triad and create triads and what's a try it triads [00:15:30] or simply this introduce somebody you know. To somebody else you know and those two people don't know each other. That's that is a powerful thing. It doesn't cost anything but the the benefits of that are are lasting. You have two people out there that have benefited from that introduction. They're getting together they're singing your praises wasn't that a great thing that Dan did for us and brought us together. And those two people have a sense of reciprocity towards you and they're going to be doing things in return. [00:16:00] And what I tell people with respect to creating triads is there's really no end to it. Because if you meet somebody new let's say you have let's say of 20 people in your network and you meet somebody new. You can. introduce that person to 20 people and it's 20 great things for that one person and one nice thing for all these people. Right. But if you have a network of 20 people and none of those people know anybody if you stop and do the math there's 190 different introductions that you can make. So [00:16:30] it's it's such a powerful thing and when to get out and work with groups and the like well I don't know what I can give I don't know what I can do for people it's like you if you have a network you are armed you have your armed to the teeth with everything you need to do to be successful and you you don't have to wait till tomorrow you get on LinkedIn and do it now do it tonight. Yeah do it tonight.

Dan Harris: [00:16:50] That's fantastic. Thank you so much. If anyone listening wants to get a hold of you. Talk to you more about relationships and networking or purchase your book. How [00:17:00] would they go about doing that.

Frank Agin: [00:17:01] Well I think the simple way a couple simple ways one LinkedIn them is a great place to find me. Initially Frank Agin last name is spelled a g i n I have a Web site. I have a Web site for my business but I have a personal Web site as well. www.frankagin.com. The third way is you shoot me an e-mail. FrankEgan@AmSpirit.com all one word. AMSpirit is spelled A M S P I R I T dot [00:17:30] com.

Dan Harris: [00:17:31] Fantastic. So people who who don't know anything about a m spirit Tell me a little bit about it. I think it's a credible organization.

Frank Agin: [00:17:38] What we do is we help entrepreneurs sales reps and professionals become more successful through getting together on a weekly basis learning about each other developing relationships and exchanging referrals. It's a it's a weekly program that these people subscribe to and they develop these relationships and they really want to help one another. It's the essence of networking and [00:18:00] it's to a lot of people it sounds foreign to do this. I have people who have been involved in this since I joke about this since the Bush administration. I'm talking the first Bush before Bill Clinton. People I've been around since the early 90s and this is just how they build their business. And so it's a membership based organization that people will develop relationships and learn to help.

Dan Harris: [00:18:23] Well, number one Thanks for building that out number two. Thanks for sharing your time with us today. Again I just want to [00:18:30] say if you are interested in the idea of networking or being a part of a spirit please please search it out. Contact Frank if you want to reach out to me I can also connect you internally and what we did today Frank was we created a much bigger triad with this opportunity on this podcast I look forward to many many more.

Dan Harris: [00:18:52] Thank you. All right thanks everyone. Have a great day.

John Sheeran: [00:18:56] Thanks for listening to today's minds on B to be podcast if you'd like what [00:19:00] you heard today. Please subscribe. Also feel free to share this episode with your peers and colleagues so we can keep bringing you quality content from the best minds in B2B. Until next time from all of us have minds on have a great week.

Let’s talk over coffeeThe pot’s always on.

Our digital marketing agency loves coffee! But we love digital marketing more. It is our passion. Let's meet over a cup of joe and talk about you and your marketing challenges. The coffee's on us.

Meet With Us