Marketing podcast, PreneurCast, is for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. Each week, author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.
Hot on the heels of Pete’s recent conversations with Robert Greene and Tim Ferriss, Pete and Dom discuss a core part of mastering any skill — eliciting the help of a mentor. Specifically, they discuss how best to first approach a potential mentor.
Pete and Dom discuss that the best way to master a skill is to elicit a mentor
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Approaching a Mentor
Dom Goucher: Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s PreneurCast with me, Dom, and him, Pete.
Pete Williams: Hey buddy, how’s things?
Dom: Good, good, good—I’m glad to be all back home, as I’m sure you are.
Pete: And this is the first episode we’re going to be recording from my new home office.
Pete: It’s cool.
Dom: Yeah, yeah—that’s awesome. Also, it’s the first episode back together. It seems strange to have not been chatting with you on the episodes the last couple of weeks.
Pete: It’s very strange, because I’ve spent more time with you in the last month than we have for quite a while, being in Florida together for the Profit Hacks launch. Yet we haven’t spoken in terms of a podcast, which is very ironic and weird.
Dom: Yeah, so I’m glad to be back on, back on form with that one. Although I have to say, I don’t mind being deposed by people like Robert Greene and Tim Ferriss. If you’re going to get pushed out, you may as well get pushed out by somebody that’s a bit of a name there.
And kudos to you, kudos to you for getting those people, having those conversations. If anyone hasn’t listened yet, please do go back either on iTunes, on your subscription, or on PreneurMedia.tv and go and have a listen to Pete’s conversations with Robert Greene and Tim Ferriss.
They’re, above and beyond, the normal go-buy-my-thing, whatever-I’m-promoting-this-month thing that you might have come across. Pete has a bit of a way about him of asking some pretty deep questions and pretty interesting questions to get more information out of these people than just, “what’s in your new book?” So, credit where credit’s due, Pete.
Pete: Appreciate that one, mate.
Dom: But something I picked up from those conversations, and something I wanted to ask you about, which I think is a good start back to our partnership in conversation again, is that both Robert Greene’s new book, Mastery, and Tim Ferriss’ book, The 4-Hour Chef (if you ever read it, by the way, isn’t anything about being a chef), they both make a really, really powerful point.
They’re both talking about expertise, and part of the root to expertise, the mastery of things is of mentorship, some apprenticeship or mentoring with somebody. As well as those two books. I’ve been re-reading Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.
And in there, he’s big on experience, also building also a mastermind group or a peer group or some mentoring relationship with people. He’s always talking about looking for people with skills you don’t have, people with a higher amount of knowledge than you.
Now, what struck me is something that I had an issue with time and time again, years ago, and something that you have clearly overcome in the fact that you are now talking to people like Robert Greene and Tim Ferriss; and that is: how on earth do you approach these people for just even answering one of your questions, let alone being a mentor, becoming more of a conversation with you?
Because the idea of talking to somebody above your station, whether it’s approaching a speaker at an event that you’re at or whether it’s approaching someone, just a name in your industry or just somebody higher up the organization than you; it can be quite daunting for people. So, Pete, I wonder if you’ve got some feedback on that. As always, I’ll be taking notes on this, even though I do have you to speak to.
Pete: Yeah, absolutely. I think there’s a lot to be said about finding mentors and things like that. And for the context of this conversation, too, it’s important to stress the point that a mentor-mentee type relationship, in the general context of the word, can be over weeks or months, or years.
You have that mentor who’s sort of that adviser for a period of time. But I think everything we’re going to talk about in today’s episode specifically is definitely applicable, if not more so, to people who just want to pick a mentor’s brain for a small piece of advice.
I get e-mails pretty much every single day, and I’ve got truckloads in the last couple of weeks since the exposure of Preneur and what we do here, and myself, off the back of the Profit Hacks launch. We had 10,000 people register for the live stream we did during that promotion, which was insane.
So, there’s a lot more people now approaching me for a piece of my time, for some free advice, or getting over a friction point and things like that—which is great. I really enjoy people reaching out and asking questions, but I only have a finite amount of time available.
I’ve got a baby on the way, I’ve got telco and I’ve got the finger food company I’m involved with, and we’ve got the e-commerce sites, and now in the retail or outdoor space we’re doing stuff there. My time is very, very valuable to me, and with all the Preneur stuff we do. So, it makes it hard for me to answer everyone’s question.
I think if people approached not only myself but other people they’re trying to get advice from, or if they’re trying to find a mentor on an ongoing basis in a non-financial relationship perspective, some of the stuff we’re going to talk about is really important. Does that make sense?
Dom: Yeah, it’s a great place to start. Because if you were just to flat-out go to somebody and say, “Oh, mentor me,” a mentorship is really a relationship. That’s how it’s talked about in the various things that I’ve referenced. It’s an ongoing relationship. It doesn’t have to be a full-time thing, as you said; it can be a bit here, a bit there.
But it’s still a relationship, and it’s something that you really want to grow into. So, starting with the question, not only from the idea of making sure it’s the right relationship for you, but also it’s an easy step. Asking somebody a question and getting an answer from them, a helpful answer for you and your business or yourself, your own personal progress, is a great start.
Pete: You get questions as well, now, off your present exposure through this and things like. You get a lot of technical-mechanical type questions there, in the same sort of context.
Dom: Well, that’s it. Yeah, I was about to say exactly that. But I’ve seen a growth in questions both directly to you through the Profit Hacks Community that we’ve built up since the recent launch, but also things like your Facebook page. You get a lot of questions—not just direct e-mail ones, but through all those routes.
And I’m starting to get more and more as well. And yeah, I’ve got things that I can’t say; I can’t say I have the things to do that you have to do, but nonetheless, my time is valuable to me as well. What have you got for people to be able to help them to reach out and ask that first question?
Pete: You touched on a word that’s really important—that is, your time is valuable—the “valuable” word. And I think that’s why I offer my time in a consulting perspective. If someone wants a decent chunk of my time, they can invest in some consulting with me, and I make myself available between my other projects and things like that.
We have certain avenues where we make ourselves available; and most mentors do have that ability to do the formal, financial consulting, which is great. I think if you can go down that path, that is definitely the best path to go because you have a lot more control over the situation as the mentee in that you pay for that time, you can control that.
Whereas, if you’re asking for free advice and free time, the economics of that transaction and that mentoring is always going to be different because it’s very much skewed towards the mentor giving up his valuable time. If you’re going to ask someone for their advice, you’re wanting their advice because of their experience, their expertise in what they’re doing.
Their time is extremely valuable; otherwise, you wouldn’t be asking them for advice. So, you have to understand, they’re giving something up to give to you, to give you advice and give you some of their time. They’re giving up an opportunity cost—and that is something that a lot of people don’t really consider.
They think that because someone’s successful in any area, no matter what it is, that they now have all this freedom and flexibility to give back and give advice, which is true to a certain extent. But there’s still an opportunity cost there for people, and that’s why the majority of consulting sessions are financially remunerated.
But I understand, for so many people out there, when you’re starting out, whether you’re young or you’ve got a full-time job, or your business is just in its infancy, you don’t have that free cash flow to approach the mentors and do that. It is understandable. So how do you go about this?
How do you show you care, show you appreciate and value their time, and still get what you require out of it in terms of some advice and some mentoring? Well, the general approach people take is the ego approach in that you see an e-mail come through or you might’ve written an e-mail yourself saying, “Hi, Michael Jordan.
I really love your stuff. Congratulations on all your championship rings. Can you just give me some advice on how to shoot a free throw?” Okay, really? Is buttering up and playing to his ego that you love him really going to get him to respond? I think his ego is big enough.
His bank balance is big enough. He has enough other people around him even paying for his time, telling him that he’s awesome. So is ego play really a good economical transaction there? And realistically, when you look at it and take a step back, you’ll agree that it’s not.
Yet, so many people, that is the only card that they seem to feel like they have up their sleeve that they can play. So, they go for the ego, “I really love your stuff, you’re awesome. I’d buy your stuff if I had the money, but I don’t. So can you give me your time for free?”
And that’s a very poor starting point to come from. Particularly if you’ve are in the entrepreneurial space because you’re showing that you’re not really entrepreneurial and creative of ways to make deals. That’s a very big red herring or red flag. Is that making sense so far, Dom?
Dom: Yeah, I like that point. That’s what was creeping into the back of my mind. In the entrepreneurial space—I’ll come back to that point, but the first point is—if you approach somebody with an ego stroke, as we call it in whatever way you want, you basically just say, “You are awesome!”
These people are going to hear that. They’re going to hear it and it’s going to get filed with everything else. You’re not going to stand out as somebody who’s possibly even worthwhile responding to—however much that person might want to. Everyone’s time is valuable to them.
You don’t have to be an owner of five real-world businesses plus, plus, plus, like yourself. You could be a relatively ordinary guy like me, but what I do with my time is important to me, whether I apply it to my business or whether I apply it to my family.
I’ve decided what I was doing with that time and so, with the best will in the world, unless I’ve allocated time to respond to people, it’s an interruption to me to respond to a non-expected inquiry. Which is really one of the other reasons why both you and I do these coaching arrangements, the paid arrangement.
One of the reasons we do that is because we allocate that time. We’ve made that transaction in your minds, and we’ve allocated the time on a weekly basis to make sure we’re available to those people and they get the best of our response. But the thing that was interesting to me was that entrepreneurial point that you made.
If, as a free-thinking, forward-thinking, dynamic, entrepreneurial type who’s really wanting to move up in the world, the best you can do is come up with, “You’re awesome,” then it’s not a great reflection on your entrepreneurial abilities, is it?
Pete: No, exactly right.
Dom: So, what can people do?
Pete: I think that the thing they’ve got to realize is—I alluded to it, earlier—there is a transaction taking place. It is a transaction when somebody gives up their time for you. That is a transaction. In the general sense of economics, it’s not a financial transaction, but it’s still an economical transaction.
You have to think of it like this: in any other transaction, if you go to a local strip mall and you go into the store and you want to purchase something, how does the transaction go? You find out what you want, you go up to the counter, you give them your money first. And then in exchange, they give you what you want back in exchange for that.
So, you give money first, you get afterwards. Most transactions, when you’re the person who has the wanting, you have to transact first. In a advising, mentoring- type position, you might have the cash to buy coaching—and that’s what this conversation’s all about.
How do you go about giving first before you get? Because it’s still a transaction; and hopefully, people’s light bulbs have just gone on really quickly then, saying, “Okay, it’s a transaction here. I have to give before I get,” and it doesn’t have to be money.
So, there are three or four things that you can give and offer value in this transaction to get the mentoring advice back, rather than just doing a pitch of ego. So, the first thing that I really suggest people think of is their skill-set. Value your skill-set and offer your skill-set.
For example, if it’s a mentor you want to work with and you’ve got some experience in that, say, hypothetically, local business marketing. You’re an internet marketer whose service or the business you’re trying to grow in local marketing, doing Google map listings or AdWords campaigns, or a bit of article marketing.
Or maybe you’re a musician and you enjoy playing guitar—you have some skills; you have a trade, no matter what you’ve done. You have a passion, you have a hobby, you have some skills in that area. You have a vocation, you have skills in that area.
How can you package that up and offer that to the mentor first in exchange for his time and his advice? For example, you can go to the mentor and say, “I was looking at one of your businesses’ websites and I noticed you don’t have a Google listing,” or, “There are some things missing on your Google listing.
Can I help you out—completely free, no expectations right now? I just want to help you out because I really love the free content you give out.” I’ll give you one example. Maybe you’ve read a blog post where they’ve talked about wanting to learn to play the guitar. “I notice you’re wanting to learn to play the guitar.
I’ve been playing in a band for six years. If you ever want to jam on a Sunday afternoon, I’ll open you up a six-pack and I’ll show you how to play a couple of chords.” So, you’re offering value first, and you’re not doing it in a cheese and whiskers way where you’re sort of saying, “I want your time for free—will you exchange it for guitar lessons?”
Because anybody worth their salt you’re going after, if they really wanted that transaction, they would just go and spend their money on guitar lessons. You have to do it in a (hope I get this word right) altruistic manner. I hope I pronounced that right.
Dom: I’ll let you off. We English people would say “altruistic,” but yeah.
Pete: Altruistic? There you go. Terrible, terrible. If anybody has English lessons, let me know. So you’re going and giving your skill first, and you’re offering that skill; and you build a relationship up off the back of that skill. After you’ve given, then you receive.
You’ve got to think of this in more than a transactional effect—and this is the problem that I see with a lot of people; whether they’re trying to start an internet business or any sort of business just to make money (leave that for another episode), it’s all about the transaction today.
It’s not about the mid or long-term output. So if you go to somebody and say, “Here’s a question, give me an answer,” the person’s going to give you an answer and sort of say, “Go away because I’ve got no value out of this.” But if you give to them first, they’re going to feel in debt.
It’s the influence factor that Cialdini takes about in the book Influence, and we’ve spoken about that on this show so often. It’s the reciprocity. Play to that reciprocity, influence, and persuasion factor. That’s the very first thing. Literally, take a moment right now, get a pen and paper and just list down what assets you have as a person.
What are the skills and assets you have? Whether you can use this today, tomorrow, or next week, you need to have that arsenal either handy on a pen or paper or at least verbalized internally by sitting down and writing out what your asset skill list is.
Dom: That’s a good tip. It is interesting. There’s two things there. One that I’m going to push to another episode, because it’s a huge topic. And the other one that I think is worth talking about now—and the one that’s worth investigating more deeply in another episode is this now economy. This, everything-has-to-happen-now.
So you want your answer now, so you ask your question now, rather than a little bit of forethought and planning and leading up to things, which usually leads to much better, well, everything really. But the point that’s relevant here, to this conversation is that whole idea of valuing yourself. Everybody, as you say, has something of value. They may not see it, but it’s there.
I think it’s more difficult for people who are talking to people in exactly the same business or exactly the same industry, just looking at somebody slightly more successful. But even there, there are a million little things, both business and personal, that we all need to get done. We’re all human.
Even someone such as yourself has things that you want to get done, maybe projects that are just getting started or things that you’re interested in but don’t want to allocate your own resources to right now, etc., etc. If someone wants to come to you and say, “I’ve noticed this about that. I’m happy to fill in that gap for you.”
Well, if you don’t have to allocate a resource to it, this person is volunteering to help you out, you’re going to take them up on it—whether it’s designing a new logo, laying out an eBook, submitting something to a service. Whatever it might be—everybody, literally everybody has got a value that they can offer to somebody somewhere.
Pete: And even if you hypothetically have a rubbish-removal business, and you already have a real-world business, why don’t you bank up this IOU bank and say to people that you follow, that you admire, that you learn from, “Hey, I’ve got a rubbish-removal business. If you ever need some stuff removed, hit me up.
I’d love to help you out and say thanks for the free stuff you give away.” Or you hear they’re moving house, it’s like, “Hey, I heard you’re moving house. I offer a rubbish-removal service. If you want my services, I’ll give them to you for free, no questions asked because I’ve always liked what you do.”
Whatever it might be, and just have that bank of IOUs you can call on later. So, no matter what you have, it doesn’t have to be your own personal skill set, it can be of an asset you have, for example. That’s the first thing I would think.
Dom: Before you jump on it, I just want to pick up on something that you said there, because there is a really interesting way to approach that offer that you just made. You made it in an offhand way, but I want to pick up on it because I think it might help people.
That is, instead of just coming out of the blue and saying, “Here, I can do this,” what you said there was—let’s put it into some concrete form. Let’s say that it was a listener to the PreneurCast, wanting to offer something to you to start building that bank up of IOUs.
If they were to approach you and say, “I have this thing, I can do this thing, I have this asset,” and just go, “Here, catch!” It would sound a little bit incongruous. But if they were to say, “Look, I’ve listened to all 80-odd episodes of PreneurCast, I’ve got an amazing amount of value from it and to say thank-you, I want to offer something back.
I don’t have much, but I have this, I have this service. So please, if I can help you in return for the help you’ve given me…” So it’s not the same as an ego stroke. It’s a thank-you; it’s a genuine thank-you that somebody’s got value from the free material that you and I put out there every week in our PreneurCast.
And they’re recognizing it—which is very different from an ego stroke. They’re recognizing and saying thank you,” and then they’re offering something of theirs as a token, as a way to say thank you. And I think that’s a very clean way to approach that. You slid it along there, but I just wanted to pick up on it because it might help some people.
Pete: Yeah, and this is clearly not a call-out for people.
Dom: Oh, yeah—sorry. No, no, no.
Pete: But our listeners have, we still have the context here. The second thing is offering skills you already have. The other thing you can offer is your advice, which is different to skill, but is almost a substitute for skill. Let’s say, for example, that you have listened to this show for a while and you’re now understanding some core marketing concepts.
You understand some 7 Levers things, you may understand, the Preneur Hierarchy framework, you understand direct response; whatever sort of skills you’ve developed hypothetically from listening to our show or reading a series of books or buying a training course. You might now have an education about marketing.
And this is a conversation a lot of people have in their own minds is, “Ah, this idea, this concept, this tactic, this strategy would work really, really well. But unfortunately, I’m not Tim Ferriss, and I don’t have the pull or the database to make it happen.”
Or, “I’m not Mark Cuban. I can’t go and implement this, unfortunately, right now. It’d be really cool for him if he could do it. But I’m not him, so it won’t work for me.” Well, why don’t you take that idea and offer it to that person, that potential mentor you want to work with?
Say, “Hey, I had this really cool idea. I’m not doing it in my business, but I can see it fitting really, really well with your business. Here it is. If you’re interested, I can help project-manage it for you.” You don’t necessarily have to have the skills of implementation; you just give them the idea and the actual project management skills.
I’ve seen this work exceptionally well for people who wanted to learn from various people. I’m almost positive this is (don’t quote me on it), but I’m pretty sure this is the story of how Charlie Hoehn started working with Tim Ferriss. Charlie has written a great eBook called Recession-Proof Graduate and is working with Tim on a number of his books now.
He saw some stuff with Tim early on and said, “Hey Tim, I think you should really be doing this in your marketing. If you want me to coordinate it for you, I can make it happen. And this is why it’s not working for you, this is the benefit you’ll get. Can I implement this split-test for you?”
Fundamentally, now, that’s not exactly how it happened, but hopefully it gives the context enough for people. And of course, Tim’s going to go, “Well, why would I not say yes to someone else implementing a split-test that makes perfect sense of helping me grow my business and my bottom line?”
So, the person doesn’t have to go and do the task; just offer the idea. This is a conversation people are having in their head every single day. It’s like, “This would be really cool if… This would be awesome if…” If you’re ever had an idea or a thought—and every time you do from now on, think, “That’d be really cool if I was this person,” “That’d be awesome if I had this sort of resource.”
Well, find the person that has that, and offer it for free. That’s the way you cold-approach for an apprenticeship. That person’s going to see and it will show that you are hugely resourceful, very entrepreneurial, willing to do what it takes, and that reciprocity there is going to be huge for you when they’re going to give you advice. They’re going to support you on the back of that.
Dom: Yeah, I’ve seen lots of examples of that, and a mixture of the two where people have some skill in something. If you were somebody starting out in, say, my industry, for example, and you had the equipment or the skill or the knowledge to be able to film the live event, offering to film that live event is a huge weight off of an organizer’s shoulders.
Especially if they’re not already planning to film it. That’s a massive thing. That’s a tangible example, but this idea of offering the advice, going to somebody and saying, “Not only can I tell you what to do, but I’ll help you run it.” It makes a big, big difference, because it really is taking that weight off their shoulders.
You’re giving them something, literally for free, because they don’t even have to allocate resource or thought time to it. They just look at it and go, “Yeah, that’d be a really good idea,” and, “Somebody else is going to do it for me? Sure, I’m going to go ahead.”
And the side benefit of that, by the way, is connected to a PreneurCast we did on doing joint ventures. By working with that person and associating yourself with them, if the project becomes known to people, you become associated with that person, you become associated with that success, of that project and that technique; and you can go from there.
It may be the thing you need to boost your business alone, without their actual input or advice; but by helping them out and offering to help them out, you are also building that relationship with that person for a potential mentorship in the future. So, that’s a great suggestion.
Pete: Yeah, and this is something that people should do as well. If you’ve got that dream wish list of people to have dinner with, or have a beer with, or want to learn from, write that out, post it on a desk or a wall next to your desk. And then every time you’re learning and educating, not only think about how you could apply this in your business today and tomorrow, but think about if you were that person, how would you apply that in your shoes?
Not only will it help you think grander, think bigger, and get more value out of the content because you’re seeing and thinking how you can apply that in various formats; you now have an idea that you can take and run with and offer to that person. And it doesn’t have to be a business relationship.
Just, “here’s an idea,” because that’s something very, very key. That’s the second thing. The third thing is just offer your time and be just blatant about it. Say, “Hi Mr. Guru, Mr. Adviser, I really like your stuff. I really want to learn from you but I don’t have money and I don’t have a lot of skills yet, but I have time.
I have three hours a week on Thursday nights which I’d love to give to you, doing whatever you want to start with. If it’s simply proofreading your articles and your blog posts before they go out, that’d be great. Maybe you have a blog that you love, and I can be articulate.
I’ll turn that blog into a podcast every single week. I will just voice your blog post and turn it into an audio for you at no charge. I just want to work with you, I want to give value first because I understand that’s how the relationship should have to work. And hopefully, you accept my offer of free time.” Just give your time to them, and you’ll build up a relationship and in turn.
You’ll get so much value back if their integrity is right and they’re the right type of person you want to mentor under. Then that’s the sort of thing, just give your time, be open and honest and transparent. You don’t have to go in there and blow your own tires up bigger than they are. You’re better off going in there and being under-selling yourself and then over-performing after the fact.
Dom: That’s it—it’s all about, as we say over here, getting your foot in the door one way or another. Getting in front of that person and letting them know that you have some value, so it’s worth their while spending time with you, helping you in return, if you ever need it.
And it’s a huge contrast, I think, just to pull back to that point, of the economic exchange. So many people go in there with just a nothing a long-time listener-type approach, “Oh, you are awesome,” thing. And then “Hey, can you answer my question?” And sometimes these questions can get quite long and involved as well. Just reading, it might take five or 10 minutes.
There’s no real understanding of the necessary value exchange. So, it is still about this idea of all the things that you said really do roll up. Think about who you would want to approach, think about the value you can offer to them, think about how, what, where they might use the thing that you have, even if it is your time, and go in with that.
Go in, again, with the approach of either, “Hey, I get a lot of value from you already, can I give you some value back,” or just as you said just then, “Look, I understand that your time is valuable, so I want to make sure that you realize that I appreciate that as an exchange of value—so I want to give you some value up front.
Be as straight as you want. But all these things are just ways of getting you, getting these people to be aware of you and to not ignore you—because they see that you appreciate the value exchange and they see some value in potentially working with you.
Pete: Yep, exactly right. And I think there’s still one final way to approach first in this sort of economic exchange of mentorship and mentoring, and that is being a connecter. This is a little bit new age; a lot of people talking about this as a way to build up a network and things these days, is you be a connector. You cold-connect people.
What that means is hypothetically, you know Seth Godin and you think that Mark Cuban should know Seth Godin. You just do an e-mail to both parties cold and say, “Hey guys, I really think you should connect. I love both your work. This is the stuff I see you guys being, overlapping on thoughts and processes on.
I hope you guys can make some magic together. I love you both. Enjoy.“ That can work in certain circumstances. I think you need to have a strong relationship, at least with one of those parties to make that work, definitely. It’s worth trying, but I do think that is really the last avenue prior to begging for their time for free and blowing up their tires, and going that ego pitch.
Dom: One thing I want to say to that, connecting somebody with somebody else that they see to be of value is a value exchange, definitely. But one thing I would say, and it’s the thing that on a slightly lower level that I have a preference for; if you know one of these people better than the other (and this can work just for general business referrals, regardless) one of the things I like to do is if I’m going to refer somebody to somebody or connect them, as you said it, I would approach the person I knew best first and say, “Hey, would you mind?”
Pete: Exactly, absolutely.
Dom: Because otherwise, suddenly you wake up one morning and your inbox has this awkward introduction in it that’s like, “Hey, Dom. You should know this guy. And this guy, you should know Dom. Bye!”
Pete: Yeah, that is true.
Dom: And you’re left there with this e-mail going, “Okay, now I really have to respond to that and I’m a bit busy right now. I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do with it.”
Pete: You’ve got to give a suggestion. And I’ll offer this one for us, and I’m going to use us as an example, again, purely because it’s the world we know the best. Hypothetically, you want to connect with me and you know someone who would make an awesome guest for our show. That’s a perfect connection.
You can e-mail us to the support e-mail address and say, “Hey guys, I really love your show, been listening for a while. I’m really good friends with or have had business connections with person ABC, who I think would make a great guest on the show because of these three quick reasons.
Hope you guys connect, hope you guys make it on the show because I know it’d be great—Bill.” And obviously, if we feel there’s a connection, we’re going to reach back out to Bill and say, “Thanks for the show suggestion, keep in touch. What do you do?” Find a little bit more about Bill, conversation starts, he can ask for some advice.
Now, again, this isn’t a cold pitch to get guests, because we have them lined up. But if you have someone awesome, we won’t say ‘no’ to the e-mail, but that’s the thing you have to look at. How can this other person support the person you want to connect with?
How can you make their life easier through a connection? So rather than your own time, how do you literally give someone else’s time away that makes you look good? If you can’t give away your own time and skill, advice, or just blatant time—pick someone else out.
Get someone else to give their time up that’s mutually beneficial for them and for the person you’re approaching, and you get that connection and that door opened without doing any actual investment of major time yourself. But it’s still part of the value exchange. It still adds up to this economics of mentoring we’re talking about here. There’s still a value exchanged.
Dom: Absolutely. And in a way, this is a mixture of that offering advice point that you made earlier. You’re approaching somebody and saying, “Okay, I have this, I know this person,” or, “I’m aware of this person in this space and I’m aware of you and what you do. And if you were to talk to this person about this thing, I think it would add value to you or add value to your business.”
You’re giving them the idea. We talked about this in offering advice—you’re giving them the idea and you’re offering to facilitate it if you can by connecting those two people. Again, a lot of people are going to see a lot of value in that. So for example, if somebody were to come to us or come to anybody with any podcast or media outlet, and offer a valuable guest with some valuable insight in a particular marketplace, then you’re going to be appreciative of it.
Yes, personally, we have guests lined up and people approach us all the time now to be on the show. But if somebody came up with a really great idea for a guest or a really great idea for a slot, we’re not going to turn it down. We’ll put it into our publishing calendar and try and fit that in.
And it’s going to be valuable to us. It’s going to be valuable to anybody. So, that’s a great way of, again, approaching somebody and adding value. And in that case, it’s not even you that has a direct value. The value you’re bringing there is the connection, being the connector as you said.
Pete: Exactly. Awesome. I think that’s hitting the time limit for our show. I like that we’ve given away four really good avenues that people can use. That they can swipe and deploy in their lives, in their businesses, in their journey right now to get a much higher response rate and conversion rate (essentially what it is) from their cold approaches for advice.
You have to give first, show some value; and then you can, on the back of that, have that relationship which the person will give their advice to their friends, connectors and people who’ve helped them out. That’s hopefully four things: skill, advice, time and connection that people can give away.
Dom: Awesome. And yeah, I think that was pretty valuable. I think it would help a lot of people to overcome this idea that either they can’t approach people because the distance between them is too great, or they don’t have; if they’re already aware that it’s a value exchange, they may think that they don’t have that value to offer.
We’ve given four different, but also overlapping in connected ways, that you can both approach somebody and, as you say, improve your conversion. Because we love conversion here at PreneurCast.
Dom: Great one, mate. Great one. We’re close to time. It’s time to say thanks everybody for listening, as always. Do check out those recent conversations between Pete and Robert Greene, and Tim Ferriss. There’s a lot of value in there for everybody and a lot of things to pick up from two very well-known figures in the marketplace.
Pete: See you next week, guys!
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