Note: This article is mainly written for those that are Bonvera Associates; however the information and principles can be adapted for building any sort of community, business, etc.
I decided to take a bit of time to write down what I’ve found to be the most effective way to meet new people and continually grow my names list. If you’ve been building your Bonvera community for any length of time you have likely run into someone that’s new to the area and “doesn’t know anyone.” Maybe you feel that way yourself. I know, because when I moved to Colorado Springs, I felt like I didn’t know anyone. I’ve also ran into many people in Colorado Springs that are new to the area. Neither situation need be an excuse for inaction in growing your community.
Thankfully we all have access to the XO Training System. I’m going to lay out some specific techniques for meeting new people, but know that it is all based off of what I’ve learned from the training system. Here’s a great book that you’ll want to dig into to understand the principles behind what I’m about to teach.
- How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People – Les Giblin (particularly chapter 8 on how to strike up a conversation).
Another principle that helped me become effective with meeting new people comes from Chris Mattis. In one of his CDs (I can’t remember which one) he mentions that people have a much higher level of trust the second time we see them, even if it is only a little while after the first time. If one of you can remember which CD it is, let me know in the comments and I’ll update this.
One of the best resources you have available for learning how to do this is your moving on upline. Chances are if they have a couple of big teams that they’ve gotten good at some form of what I’m going to share with you. Make sure to run things by them and get their wisdom!
Before I head into the details of what I do, here are a few rules of thumb that I like to stick to when I’m meeting new people.
1. Relax. Don’t be too anxious.
2. The goal is to make a friend, not get a number so you can build your business.
3. In conversation, if someone asks what you do, it is not an invitation to bury them in details and chase them down. Come up with a simple answer or question. Turn the conversation back to the other person. If they keep asking more about it, say something simple like, “Now isn’t really the time and place, but why don’t you give me your number and we can meet up at a better time and discuss it.” There are many things you can say here. Remember, it’s not the exact words as much as it is your posture.
4. You have nothing to lose when meeting new people. Even if they ultimately don’t ever become a customer or associate in Bonvera, you may just make a great new friend. In fact, it has happened to Kait and me a few times.
Ok, let’s get into some of the specifics of how to meet some new people. There are basically two different ways that I routinely meet new people. I’ll order them based on the frequency in which they produce plans.
The first and main way that Kait and I meet new people and grow our names list is just by being a friendly customer. We are out-and-about a lot. Lately, we’ve found ourselves in jewelry stores quite a bit because I like watches and want to find one that I really like. In the process we’ve met a handful of people, a couple of which have become associates in Bonvera. Want to know the secret? It’s simple: be a good customer! You’re not there to recruit them or tell them about Bonvera. I’m interested in watches, so I ask about watches. In the process of trying some different watches on I might throw in a question like, “So how long have you been working in jewelry?” There is not any specific technique to this. You’re not playing 20 questions. You’re not trying to steer the conversation. You’re merely engaging in small talk and discussion about whatever you’re looking at. In this example it happened to be watches. If I’m done looking, I’ll thank the person for their time and ask if they have a card. If you know you’re at a store of some sort that doesn’t utilize business cards, simply remember their name. That’s it. Just be a nice, friendly customer that hopefully brightened their day and put a smile on their face.
Now, I get cards like that a lot. I don’t call all of them. But when I do, here’s how I’ll get in touch with them to book a plan. Usually, I’ll call them the next day or two after I met them, otherwise they may have completely forgotten all about you. Call the number on their card or the store number if they didn’t have a card and you remembered their name. Ask for them. If they’re not working, try again a different time/day. Once I have them on the phone I do a few things. First, I remind them of who I am and when I was in. Second, I sincerely compliment them on something they did. Third, I ask if they’re open to doing anything different. Fourth, I book a plan and get their personal number. Here’s an example:
Them: “Hi, this is Fred.”
Me: “Hi Fred! This is Clint. I was in your store yesterday looking at that sweet Invicta watch with my wife and kids.”
Them: “Yeah! I remember! How are you? What can I do for you?”
Me: “I’m doing great! There are actually a couple reasons I wanted to get in touch with you. First, I just wanted to thank you for your service. You are one of the most helpful and knowledgeable people I’ve met in a jewelry store. I could tell that you put in considerable time into learning your product and picking out the best fit for what a customer wants!
Them: “Thank you!”
Me: “You’re welcome. That actually leads to the other reason I wanted to get in touch with you. It’s rare that I run into people like yourself and I was going to kick myself if I didn’t at least call and ask, are you married to your job, or do you keep your options open for doing anything different?
Them: “Well yeah, what do you do?”
Me: “I work with a couple guys that are launching a next-generation Amazon. We’re expanding right now and looking for some sharp people. I can’t promise anything, but why don’t we grab a coffee, discuss some of the details and see if it’s a fit?”
Them: “Yeah, that sounds great!”
From there, book a time and place like any other plan and make sure to get their personal number. If they aren’t open to doing anything different say something simple like “Ok cool. I just had to ask! Again, I appreciate all your help and wish you the best. Have a great day!”
I promise you that if you get good at this, you will never have to worry about not having a growing names list. In the process you’ll meet many great people, some of which will join your community and others that won’t, but will still become great friends. Just have fun with it!
The second main way that I meet people is very similar to the first, but with one main tweak. In this case, instead of calling them after I leave the store, I go back into the store and contact them face to face. This one works very well and is based off of the concept shared by Chris Mattis that I mentioned above. The first time I meet someone when I’m out-and-about I don’t try to get their number. I’m just a friendly, smiling customer. After I leave the store, I may go to a different one, to my car, whatever. But usually I leave the store for at least a few minutes. After that, I’ll head back into wherever I met the person and walk up to them and say something like the following,
Me: “Hey Fred! I was going to kick myself if I didn’t come back in here to ask you a question.”
Them: “What’s that?”
Me: “Well, you have been one of the most helpful people I’ve ever worked with. You listened to what I said I wanted and helped me find something that would fit rather than what you liked. I appreciate that. It’s rare that I run into people like yourself. I’m working with a few guys that are launching a new startup, basically a next generation Amazon, and we’re looking for some sharp people, so I have to ask – are you married to your job, or are you open to doing anything different?”
Me: “Well I can’t promise anything, but give me your number and I’ll give you a call sometime and we can get a coffee and discuss some of the details.”
Hopefully you’re catching the principles behind what I’m doing with these methods. The wording may change based on the situation, but the principles won’t. I just took the principles taught in the XO Training System and books above and found some wording that works and that I’m comfortable with. It took me a lot of practice to be able to do it with posture and without thinking about every word that I say. It will take some time for you too.
Understand that this post is not meant to be a replacement to the information in those CDs. If you go out and try to use techniques with people to get their numbers without the right heart and principles, you will fall on your face. Be genuine. Be friendly. Focus on the other person. Brighten their day. If you do those things you may find someone that wants to be a part of your community. Even better, you may find someone that becomes a lifelong friend.
I’m sure some of you reading this have some great stories or methods on how you meet new people. I’d love to hear about them. Share them down below in the comments!
I hope this helps!