EPISODE 220 Master the Art of Connecting with Lou Diamond

EPISODE 220   Master the Art of Connecting with Lou Diamond

Shift into an attitude of gratitude
Welcome to The Millionaire Woman Show where we’ll be discussing leadership
business human potential inspiring you to live rich from the inside out unlock
your creativity stretch out of your comfort zone break through your barriers
take inspired action and achieve epic results now here’s your host
three-time best-selling author speaker and certified executive coach Debra
Kasowski hello everyone and welcome to another show of the millionaire woman
show we bring you fabulous guests all across the globe doing amazing things in
the world so that you can live rich from the inside out
today my guest I met at the New Media Summit that Steve Olsher put on and it
was a phenomenal event where my guest was also an icon of influence and we
were able to connect there Lou Diamond is a dynamic speaker master connector
who will energize and motivate your organization to explode your sales
retain your clients and build a thriving culture for over 25 years he has been a
top sales performer keynote speaker and performance mentor he is also the CEO of
thrive a company focused on helping brands become more amazing through the
power of connecting when he isn’t speaking or working at top-rated thrive
loud podcast which I’m super excited that I get to be a guest on as well he
is watching his kids grow up too fast obsessing about how bad his sports teams
are listening to country music and playing with some not-so-great golf
best-selling author podcaster and former club DJ Lou Diamond welcome to our show
Debra thank you so much for having me that was an impressive introduction
there that I can’t wait to hear more about this guy who is this guy that’s
coming up pretty spectacular and let me tell you it took a little bit of
twisting his arm to come on the show so I’m really grateful that you’re here Lou
oh that’s not true come on I I would do anything for Debra cos asking you
got an amazing platform and I am honored to be speaking to your audience well
let’s jump into our form of questioning and I’d love to put you on the spot
because we decided we weren’t going with any questions today so tell us about how
you got started in your business and how thrive became to be so it’s important to
give a little bit of the backstory I won’t go back all the way to the womb
I’ll just go to kind of my business career I did a tremendous amount of
consulting when I started undergrad and that led to the birth of the internet so
when the internet came out I was actually working in a professional
digital services firm so I got to consult and work with companies I got to
deal with cool emerging technologies and then on top of it I specifically worked
on Wall Street and Wall Street was where I got a chance to work for a really long
time with a lot of great financial service institutions banks insurance
companies and stuff like that so I have like the client facing
salesperson I was the person that you put in front of the client to try to
connect them and it seemed that that was something I’ve been able to do my whole
career and I’ve always had very good revenue numbers next to my name I’ve
always been very good at closing and I never actually realized that the way
that I did things was unique onto its own there are a lot of great salespeople
out there there are a lot of people of all these methodologies and I kind of
weaved and created my own way of doing things and I didn’t know that what I was
doing was things that other people were not doing and it was this kind of unique
ability to combine connecting and helping to draw out your voice and in so
doing when you would understand what your client really needed what they
really needed I actually was really good at getting to that very fast and after
working on Wall Street for a long period of time a lot of colleagues and friends
of mine needed help with their businesses smaller companies startups
mid-sized companies and I would actually consult and work with them and many of
them said you need to write down what you do because this is different and
that’s what I did and I wrote master the art of connecting as I had started my
consulting company which is thrive because we learn that we want people
moving onward and upward each and every day and the way you go about doing that
is really harnessing the power of how you connect so that’s kind of how thrive
all got started and it’s something that I continue to do to this very day
helping really amazing businesses and top performers take it to the next level
and expand how they connect so have you been dubbed as mr. connector I’ve been
dubbed the master connector the mr. connector connecting guy I I I’d say
I’ve even the Thrive guy has been a good thing and and I I know I’ve always been
that person when I walk into a room odds are I know somebody in the room it
really happens really fast but I’m more interested in meeting new people all the
time I love to connect with people I say this Deborah that I don’t think that
networking is that exciting everyone goes to networking events they
go there to meet people and greet people and put themselves in positions
networking is fine but what we really want is to connect work together we want
to connect at the networking meeting alright since we’re on the topic of
networking very cool that I was going to go Asian ships regardless if there’s
good networking events that I’ve gone to where people are handing out their
business cards like we’re playing a game of blackjack and twenty-one yeah in
those moments it’s like okay file 13 you know I don’t want to connect with people
who are just handing me their card saying you need to know me I want to
know your why behind what you do I want to know what gets you excited about
jumping out of bed in the morning to go after your dreams and goals
so I want you to share one of the greatest networking
nuances that you have noticed that people are doing that one of the biggest
mistakes that people are doing that they need to stop well great question there’s
two things that I’m seeing in networking environments new people what they do I
know this sounds really weird but we’re tired of being told anything these days
we’re tired being told how to do something when someone tells us
something in a very forward way about this is what I do and this is who I am
it becomes nothing about you what we do love to do is to kind of be asked what
to do or to ask really good questions so often someone will literally as you said
that you know blackjack roulette of business cards people will come into a
networking situation and be like here let me tell you why I’m gonna be the
greatest thing you’ve ever seen in my entire life let me tell you why you
should hire me no that’s not what what we want is to start a conversation in a
connection and that starts from asking people what they need what their
problems are why are they at the event you’re gonna start building
relationships and starting conversations that are gonna grow into really good
business so that’s the first part without a doubt the ability to people to
tell the other thing I cannot stand at networking events is the lack of focus
and attention so you can go to an event and there might be honor fifty sixty a
hundred people in the room and will be wearing name badges or nametags or
whatever it might be or hopefully that’s the case because that does help by the
way and we’ll see what the person’s name is and we’ll look at them and sometimes
you’ll see like you’ll start talking to someone like I’m looking at you through
the video right now and then looking over your shoulder and I’m looking
elsewhere I’m really not engaged one-to-one with one person the hardest
part about a networking event is that you are spread out with all these other
opportunities try to connect with that one person in that moment each with them
and they are the center of the world everything else around you should go
numb almost doesn’t even matter what’s happening to them focus on that one
individual you’ll learn a lot in a faster amount of
time and then you can move on naturally because you know you’re there to meet a
lot of people but be focused in the moment when you’re there don’t do the
squirrel thing you know it’s well like looking around ok we get up and down
trying to find the next cool activity that’s around you focus on who you’re
connecting with so those two things the lack of attention and glaring around and
people telling you what they do and one of the things that I notice is that
people tend to hang out with the same people that they come with they don’t
branch out they’re only selective with the people they already know and there’s
our roomful of people this opportunity exists with in and I’m like no no let’s
go see this person see what they’re up to but that really does a disservice for
anyone else knowing about who you are episode oh my goodness you just have to
cut it go right in but you know we should keep this part in just ask the
question again it’ll be good so I find when we go to networking
events that there’s individuals who connect with the same people we might on
have seen them in a couple weeks but they’re at every networking event they
click together and there’s a whole room of people waiting to meet them and when
they stay with the same individuals I find that they’re not gonna increase
those opportunities totally get out and meet as many people as you can why why
would you go to meet new people and just stay with the same people what you can
do if you feel maybe that’s your comfort zone you like clinging with those people
because you feel safe hey let go but what I did say is go out and bring those
people into the people that you do know go meet new people and introduce them to
them and show them the power of doing that because when you do that you grow
your world you’re bringing more people into your world so do that if these are
the people you hang out with all the time expand your network go out bring
new people in and meet them and and don’t be that unapproachable when you
stay in that clique it’s kind of like what was the purpose if you’re going
there in the first place go meet new people and something I want to talk
about that you mentioned earlier when you’re connecting with that person
versus this world here and there I want people to
really think about is I made our laugh I made our laugh listeners it’s really
about making that person that you’re talking to the most important person to
world because when you make someone feel like that they’re gonna want you to be
introduced to everyone they know totally I want you to share your best networking
experience oh do I have one I think I think I have one that I know I could
tell you today I’ll go back to that first situation where I went to a trade
show where I was hired with a client who was set out to really do business at
that event so he knew lots of the people at that event but I really knew nobody
so this was like an open playing field for me and I was there to help grow his
business and what I will tell you it was when I learned the most powerful
question that you could ask in any networking meeting when you go to meet
somebody okay I literally will say forget all the pleasantries let’s just
cut right to the chase how can I help you at this conference tell me what
you’re looking for here so maybe I can connect you now I want to make this
clear you go to these conferences there’s hundreds of people like what’s
the main thing you want to do the minute you stop making it about yourself and
you ask someone else how they how you can help them what was the main person
you want to meet what are you trying to get out of this event because maybe I’m
gonna be one to do that for you what do you think is gonna happen to that person
if you do facilitate and help understand what that is what do you think’s gonna
happen to them I’m asking you Deborah Wow they’re going to feel amazing
excited that they can actually meet that person and say okay let’s do this what
they’re going to do is when you’ve helped that person out initially they’re
then gonna come back and know that they feel I’d love to be able to figure out
how to return the favor you’re going to find the people that you mean you’re
gonna find out what they learn and by the way when they learn I’m looking for
certain partners or technology folks that that could help my business I’m
looking for investors I’m looking for new sales
opportunities I’m looking for marketing partners I’m looking for alliances that
I couldn’t find anywhere else if you start out the conversation asking what
they want you might be the answer by the way but you also will be able to help
them because the more people do that that’s true connect working at its best
Deborah get them engaged and this is how you do that you facilitate it and you
create and generate business opportunities right then in there and
reciprocity takes over absolutely naturally because you want to help that
person who helped you you always do and it could be as simple as when you
follow up it could be an article yep a magazine that you send them maybe even
your book that if you are there in a place of service people are going to
want to do the same for you in return absolutely and that’s in anytime you’re
trying to grow your world you’re a coach and you work with top
performers all over the place and people are trying to figure out how they can
grow their business sometimes if you’re too much stuck on them me and you forgot
about the Wii you’re not really big the world the word world has a W in it for a
reason it is about Wii it’s about bringing us together it’s not just about
me others first by doing that we’re growing ourselves and growing somebody
else at the same time that’s more powerful that’s the type of company we
like to be around and that’s the type of things you’d love to see even at a at a
networking event to be able to use that opportunity to truly grow so do you
think people should go to networking events on a regular basis and how should
they target the ones that they go to that is a great question I think you’re
supposed to go to certain events that are within your industry often
unfortunately we always call them the necessary evils everybody’s got to go to
certain events but making the most of those events is what your goal is you
should be almost excited to it that each time you go you up the ante and what you
do do you should also explore going to things that are completely outside of
your realm totally not in your industry that you might understand where you you
your world and your knowledge of what you can learn but you’re also trying to
grow your network just like you said people go to the same networking events
or conferences often I like to look at the calendar and try to pick there are
certain core things that make sense for my business I want to find something
that’s going to be good to help grow me as an individual as a human being and I
want to do something that’s completely ad-hoc that’s like out of the the realm
of normality for me something a little bit different I done this in the past
this is actually how I ended up getting involved with National Speakers
Association I actually started going to a speaker event before I was even
involved in NSA it’s how I got involved in this technology products and
consulting world it was an area that I didn’t do as much of when I was in
financial services and that’s what I did stretch myself into new environments
that’s what you have to do to grow there’s only so many of them you can go
to but I else would sighs you shouldn’t go to the massive 150,000 person ones
all the time those can be too much you should balance small medium and
large sometimes those 100-200 person events are incredible you and I were at
an event with just under 200 people that was probably the ideal sweet spot size
to learn something connect with really great people and grow that type of size
of an event is something you should look at those are the ideal size because the
experience that being able to connect with a core of probably about 20 people
that really had it for the three days I would say is maybe 20 to 40 because of
all the icons to really get to know a little bit more about each one of them
on a personal level was fantastic and I know people will say you know I’m going
for the content or I’m going for this programming or I’m going to be seen as a
celebrity or whatever it is it’s 50% is the people in the room 50% is the
content that you’re gonna learn so you don’t be able to leverage those
opportunities to really build meaningful connections with people I’ve used to
have this theory bed and if it’s a one day conference you’re going to make one
great connection so in a three-day conference you’re
gonna have probably three solid connections within there there will be
other ones that will grow from it don’t mind you but I’m talking about the ones
where business gets done real true opportunities real strong relationships
are built it’s only fair to think that in those environments you have you want
to go meet as many people but making that connection and remember it’s a
two-way street I want to see into your world you want to see into mine and you
have to enable yourself to be connectable likable and the other person
kind of has to do the same so you meet people usually you end up gelling with
one and when you have that strong connection Debra oh my god you’re know
going in it’s not like I’m going to this conference I have to go meet ten people
I got to add 20 people to my pipeline no no no you’re gonna grow your pipeline
from that but we’re gonna find that one core person who you helped and they
helped you that’s going to be this reciprocal relationship that will be
multiplicative more than those twenty and thirty people that you said I have
to go meet and that is one of the best perspectives I can give for true connect
working so it’s truly not about the quantity of connections that you form
it’s the quality of the connections that you form without a doubt and and that
think of it as that focus when you when you make great contact with somebody
you’re a coach that whole listening level to you know focused listening
really understand what someone’s about here well there that you can understand
how you can help them in just a short period of time you could have a
two-minute conversation and you can truly connect with someone so when you
have that moment you establish a bond in a relationship and you start to break
through those barriers to build trust it’s hard to do that if you’re spreading
yourself out so much of these events and this is true by the way in your own
company in your own business with your own clients think about if you’re trying
to do too much in one day with all these different clients that you have you
might not make that good connection but if you focused and laser down with one
particular client in that day just think how much work you could get done how
much faster everything will happen with you because
you now know how you both gel when you build a strong connection that’s the
power of what connecting and bring you so what is the key to your follow up
after connecting of great questions man you’re good you have to set
accountability from when you’re at the networking event it is fair to literally
end your conversation with someone that you meet with and say I really enjoyed
meeting with you I want to continue this conversation
can we put something on the calendar on a respective time and literally give a
concrete time and work it out right then and there so that you get all the noise
and distraction of the event away and you can continue that powerful
conversation that you had with that person then there’s the ones that you
didn’t quite get to connect with and that’s actually also good for these
events to say listen I really didn’t get the time I needed to spend with you can
we do an off-site meeting can we have a one hour block that we could share off
can we can we just grab ten minutes or coffee if it’s someplace that you can be
in person with with that individual it’s important to set just as many
accountability actions after the conference that you’ve been to they come
in they set up certain meetings which is great there’s also the reality of it you
might meet somebody else that you never expected to I actually booked off when I
go to a conference open window this is the window that I’m looking to grow my
network and try and make more connections and when you think of it in
that way you’re actually making a concrete agenda of what you need to do
at a conference I really love that because I think people don’t go with an
intention that they’re going to meet one two three key people when they go to
event what is the intention or they are they only there for gross
are they there to serve or are they there to be the connector to other
people you look at social media today and you know you used to say the six
degrees of separation but you and I started talking at lunch
and I can found out we knew the same person when I was like you live in New
York I live in Canada Western Canada and it’s
and I have never met this person which you have but we’re friends on
social media and I was like how cool is that I think what’s great about all
these tools that we have these devices to connect us is that they speed up the
way that we can do it I want to make it really clear that it doesn’t substitute
that one-on-one focus connection you can make when you meet somebody face-to-face
or video to video as long as you see the person are actually able to look at them
because of the fact that those things are great because they can help bring
people together it’s also important to recognize that people can get a little
lazy and just use their emails or just use their social media or just use their
text and not actually have a conversation my biggest complaint about
email all these years and even texting and you know that you feel like you’re
talking to them but the reality is it’s still one-way
communication there isn’t a conversation there isn’t a way of feeding off of each
other for the viewers and the listeners we’ve had some video troubles in this
particular thing but we’re looking at each other and we’re speaking and we’re
listening we’re interacting with each other Debra and I on having that strong
connection that’s needed to establish a relationship that’s what podcasting is
great for by the way which is why I love hosting podcasts because I get to
connect in the same way and just be listening like you are right now so to
utilize all these forms of social media is great it enhances it still doesn’t
substitute that personal connection that you need to establish so what would be
the number one tip you would give someone if they were new to the
networking world and the number one tip great show two step which is how to
navigate through a trade show but those are my tips my number one tip would be
to be as authentic as you can and don’t try to put on some kind of act on what
you think you’re supposed to be I learned this a long time ago from a
gentleman who was looking to raise funds and he had this limiting belief that
because he was a new company that he needed to maybe embellish or make
himself seem a little bit bigger than he already was for his business and what
happened was he missed out on people that wanted to invest in exactly the
real business opportunity that he really was but because he made himself seem so
much more than he was two things probably happened one II didn’t come off
as authentic and likable maybe to others because something that isn’t as large as
you are and I’m not interested in doing that going with whatever your real
intention is if you’re going there to learn let them know I’m here to learn
and and grow myself as an individual if you’re going there to grow your sales
business opportunities you could say I’m looking for opportunities I’m actually
trying to figure out how to curl my business and if you’re also looking for
partnerships alliances or maybe even to get more dug into the space that you’re
in let people know this the more real you are in these shows the more true
your real results will come out afterwards so I want to know because I’m
a curious lady I want to know who the coolest unpredictable person that you’ve
ever met was anywhere or at a conference anywhere could be a restaurant could be
next washroom wherever that might be okay a most uh oh my goodness that’s if
that’s a really loaded question I don’t know if I know the answer to this um
uh I think I got one I got to meet I got to meet the wife of a former of a former
US Senator so I’m at the dinner party situated next to this wonderful woman uh
her husband had since passed she’s in her 90s and the first thing that was
amazing was that she was a billionaire you never would have noticed this she
was very nicely dressed but nothing so ostentatious and very grounded in real
and just a good person to talk to the second was that she lived in Washington
DC for over 40 years this conference was in DC and she made
it seem like you know because he was new to certain things and yet she had been
there for a very long time but the third was she wanted to figure out how she
could help me and why I was out this particular event it was it was all
inspiring and and someone who obviously had been in politics or been right next
to politics for a very long time and what got me about her was how real
she was how purposeful she wanted to be and how curious she needed to be and I
thought that those traits being authentic purposeful and embracing
curiosity make for great connecting and I remembered that woman still to this
day and it was it was about 10 15 years ago I know she has passed on however at
that moment I remembered thinking that literally anything I wanted this woman
was going to be able to try to figure out how to help me with was a wonderful
feeling and something that I hope to continue to find as I keep connecting
with many more people that is super cool so let me see here got me thinking about
some other questions who is one of your mentors and what quality do they have
that you want to aspire to great question can I give more than one sure okay I
have three mentors and they’re all in the different areas of what I do so as a
speaker I I kinda he’s good he’s gonna hear this and he’s gonna feel like oh my
god my speaker mentor is Phil M Jones who is a very good speaker his very good
friend of mine and on stage is one of the most well rounded presenters you’ll
see plus he has better hair and a much nicer British accent but aside from that
it’s the way that he interacts with the audience and the way that he shows his
brilliance is to be commended and I always look up to him so and he is him
and he’s a friend and a true mentor who’s held me in even how I develop my
own business as a consultant I I’ve actually looked towards other
consultants who have dealt with in my life
one particular is this woman who was my first partner that I worked with at
Deloitte way way way back when her name is Jocelyn Cunningham she’s now retired
but Jocelyn who is Australian and delightful and always told me how to be
in a room in fact I always tried to represent the way that she walked into a
room when she went into a client situation and how to act still to this
day I have that image of her as someone that I looked to in mentoring and then
the final part is an entrepreneur because that is something that I’m doing
all the time and there are so many entrepreneurs there’s one guy that is
gonna stick out here there are many but there’s one I’m gonna give him a little
bit of a shout out his name is Ramon ray Ramon is a speaker and an entrepreneur
and event guy but you have never seen a man with an energy level like he does
it’s like they’re 910 in a car it’s just like jubes right ahead
till 100 mile an hour all right start again at Ramon the last one would be
Ramon ray Ramon ray is it’s got a level of energy inspiration and he starts off
in fifth gear forget one through four he just zooms right to 100 miles an hour
right out of the gate and that level of passion as an entrepreneur he sold many
businesses continue to innovate himself he’s also a
speaker and an author I look at Ramon as somebody who has managed to take this
skill of entrepreneurship and want to share it and grow with it and he’s
someone that I look up to so so those three would be the people I put on my
list thank you for sharing that so my final question for you because we have
to wrap this up is what is your favorite I guess I should give you more than one
what’s your favorite in New York minute my favorite New York minute what is it
what’s your favorite thing about New York that you can just even sorb the
moment because you’re there uh for those who go to New York go to the top of the
Freedom Tower stand all the way up there and walk all around the floor and get
the whole view it’s a magnificent city and yet from all the way up there it
still seems so small so I think it’s a good perspective gauge I love I’ve been
up there several times actually climbed the stairs of the Freedom Tower I’m
gonna do it again next year 106 flights of stairs it’s crazy yeah I’m gonna do
it again for a very good cause for a whole foundation that’s around 9/11 so
that would be my New York minute is if you get there get up there just take
that view all right Lou Diamond how can people stay in touch with you
the best way they could find me is anywhere at thrive loud either thrive
allowed calm the website or app thrive loud everywhere in social media you can
go listen to our popular podcast which will definitely be featuring the amazing
Debra kosowski and then not-too-distant future
so you should come in and listen to those that are thriving in their lives
their businesses and their passions and learn how we connect people with their
voice thank you so much Lou so my final question for you to wrap this interview
up is how do you live rich from the inside out give to others first there is
no better feeling than helping somebody else out or caring about somebody else
before yourself I somehow feel it’s strengthens it I know they always said
you got to take care of yourself first yeah you gotta brush your teeth wash
your top self up and make yourself look okay you got to do those
things but if you’re focused on somebody else before you it’s way more powerful
and way more meaningful because that’s the world we want to be in that’s where
thrivers really stand out and helping to get other people to do the same thank
you so much for your fabulous words of wisdom networking artist extraordinaire
and for all of you who tuned in thank you for joining us on the millionaire
woman’s show we’d love for you to go over to iTunes or your favorite podcast
player give us a five star high five write us a review send some comments we
would love to hear from you and tell us about what stood out for you the most in
this interview oz Mohammed Grande said be the change you wish to see in the
world and Lou and I are hoping that you’re having a fabulous day take care
everyone you

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