The Value of Networking

The Value of Networking

I sit down for virtual coffee with LeTip CEO, Kim Marie Branch-Petit to discuss the value of networking. If I could point to one piece of advice that I would give to any business, entrepreneur, salesperson, student – or anyone who wants to further their career, it’s to build a network. Your personal network is like a tree, and you’ll never know where the branches will lead until you look back. You realize that you don;t become successful on your own. I can attribute many factors of my success to people that helped and guided me along the way.

I can still talk regularly with a beloved boss i had more than 25 years ago – he taught me how to sell and how to negotiate. Even more, he taught me how to be a mentor to others.

My first big-stage speaking gig, and subsequent career, is because Heather Lloyd-Martin and Jill Whalen recommended me as a speaker for the Search Engine Strategies conference. They trusted me because of prior conversations online and offline.

I have many friends from the conferences, and we recommend each other all of the time. It’s a relationship that is built on years of networked friendships and trust. Many of those friends have been on the podcast over the years.

Networking – probably the biggest factor in growing your career.

Show Notes


[00:00:00] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: So, I’ve been able to watch several generations come by and come up. They, they all are different. And when we take the time to listen and learn what floats their boat, so to speak, now you’re being able to reach them in a way that they haven’t been reached before. So many of the younger generation, I’m talking 20’s to 25 today, they want to hold 2 or 3 jobs. The money is very important to them.

But they want the face-to-face. And I tell them, “Face-to-face is phenomenal, but be careful you don’t get sick. If you can’t do it face-to-face, do it virtually like this on Zoom so that you really see the body language, the nuances, you get to hear, see the expressions in someone’s face.” That is in Selling 101.

[00:00:49] Bumper Intro-Outro: Welcome to Endless Coffee Cup, a regular discussion of marketing news, culture, and media for our complex digital lifestyle. Join Matt Bailey as he engages in conversation to find insights beyond the latest headlines and deeper understanding for those involved in marketing. Grab a cup of coffee, have a seat, and thanks for joining.

[00:01:11] Matt Bailey: Well, hello and welcome. I’m your host, Matt Bailey, and thanks again for joining me. I hope you’ve got a good strong cup of coffee because this is going to be a great discussion, and one, regardless of whether you are a new business owner, an existing business owner, or let’s even get into if you are an employee within a company, we’re going to talk about the value of networking.

And honestly, I could not have landed a better guest for this. And I would like to introduce you to Kim Marie Branch-Pettid. Kim, would you introduce yourself and give me a little slice of your history and what got you into LeTip?

[00:01:53] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Absolutely. Good morning. I’m Kim Marie Branch-Pettid, as you said, the CEO and owner of LeTip. And I started in LeTip as a member. I was a banker of 30 years and decided that I needed to learn how to network. So, I joined because they didn’t want me as part of rotary. We had too many Rotarians already in the bank. I joined the very first day that I went.

Unfortunately, it took them 6 weeks to vote me in, I wasn’t sure why, but in the long run I, I spent the first 7 months almost being fired 7 times and almost quit 7 times. And I realized that networking is a, a, a work. It’s not netplay. And I learned how to do it. I did very well, and LeTip came to me and asked me if I would go to work for them.

So, I did, and it was kind of with tongue and cheek I asked the only other owner at the time why he wasn’t hiring me as his company president, he could see my resume and what I had done. He thought I was pretty cheeky. He laughed and said, “I have someone coming from the East Coast that’s been part of LeTip for a while.” I said, “Good for you. How long do you think he’ll be here?” He said, “About 5 years.” I said, “This is the deal. I’ll be happy to take the position and the job, but you have to know that I would like to be your company president within 5 years, and then I’m going to own your company.”

He laughed and he laughed and he laughed. His wife laughed, but I do have to say that I came to work and within 4.5 years I was the company president. And then 2008, I purchased the company from him.

[00:03:20] Matt Bailey: Wow.

[00:03:22] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: So, I love what it can do. It does help small business. That’s my passion. That’s who I am. I’m the mother of 5 and a grandmother of 10 and family relationships is everything to me.

[00:03:35] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. I, so I was asked by a client a couple of months ago, I had done a training for, it, it was, it’s a company that has multiple branch offices and they’re, some are independent, some are part of the main company. But I was asked by a branch owner, and I thought it was one of the best questions I’d ever received, and it was, “If you were starting a local business tomorrow, what would be the first things you would do?”

Again, probably one of the best questions I had gotten. I told him, “Well, #1, get your Google Business, get your Google Business account up so people know you’re there and know how to find you.” And, you know, that, that was the course was on Google My Business and getting that out there. I said, “The #2 thing I would do, is I would spend more time networking. I would join a lead group. I would join The Chamber. I would join any organization that’s nearby where you are networking with other professionals. And I would spend more time doing that than I would spend on any social media platform.”

And that shocked and surprised the audience that was on the call. And I was surprised that they were surprised. But, and then it became really relating, “Here’s the power of networking. This is what it does.” And I don’t think people realize the value and importance of developing a network. What is the value and importance of that, Kim Marie?

[00:05:08] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: It’s lifelong relationships. Relationships build trust, relationships build, um, business. Without relationships people don’t use you, or they’ll use you one time and loyalty’s not built. So, it truly is important to network. But I will say, there are a lot of people who flit from network to network and think that’s what’s going to work. You need to find something that’s solid, that you belong to, that you feel like family. That is truly what LeTip stands for.

And I’m not bragging about me. You can make it in any kind of networking, as long as they’re the same people every week that you’re teaching, building relationships with, talking to, truly getting to know each other. That’s when you exchange great business ideas, that’s when people get to know what you’re, where you’re hurting in your business, what you need, and how they can possibly help you. If I asked you right now, Matt, to help me, what would you say?

[00:06:03] Matt Bailey: Well, at this point, I’d still, I’d say yes, absolutely. We’ve, we’ve gotten to know each other. What do you need?

[00:06:09] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: A little bit, but you have no idea what I’m asking for. That’s the human nature, especially when you’re building relationships and you see each other aft-, over and over, we don’t care what you need. Just ask us for the help, and we’ll deliver. And that’s what people just don’t understand. If you’re out on the street with a sign, there are benevolent people like my husband and I, when, we’ll hand you a bag with water and a granola bar in it and wish you luck. We won’t give you money, but we will try to help you.

Anybody who asks for help usually will receive help from some place. So, most people don’t know how to do that. They show up and they throw up over, all over everybody about what they do, what they want, how you can give them business. They never stop to think what the other side needs or how to build the rapport between the two to create that business.

[00:06:57] Matt Bailey: Wow. So, what you described is exactly experience, experiences that I have had in a lead group, that there is a, a, a, you know, let’s just start with, with the mentality that there are people that show up and they just expect that, “I, being a member, I’m going to get business.” And you learn very quickly that that’s not the way this works. You have to, as you said, it’s building relationships and it’s investing. Just showing up and giving your spiel is not going to do anything.

And I learned this as well. I mean, this was, I look back on my career and I’m where I am because of the investment of time and building relationships. And it’s interesting, when I, I, I opened up an office. I needed office equipment. I went back to someone that I was in a lead group with 15 years prior, and that’s who I called because I knew them. I understood what they were doing and, you know, I felt bad at the time, I couldn’t use their business personally, but now I need it. And that’s first in my mind because we built that relationship. I think that’s the first obstacle people have is the mentality of joining a lead group or an organization, that it’s not magical.

[00:08:18] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: No.

[00:08:19] Matt Bailey: It’s not going to immediately increase your business. It’s relationships.

[00:08:24] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: It is, and it’s built over time. You said 15 years later, and they probably put a nice chunk of change in their pocket because of what you did with them. But you remembered them because of the trust, like, and know factor, and that doesn’t happen overnight. Now, in every group, you’re going to find a clown, and even the clowns are getting business if they’re really building the relationships. But a lot of people come in and they say the same thing every week, expecting a different result. And we all know the definition of that, right?

So, I teach people, you have to be ready with 12 different kinds of commercials, your elevator pitch so to speak, so that it’s different, so that you’re hitting pain points that members have, and they may not have it ’cause really, we don’t want to come in and throw up on somebody. And when I say that, tell you everything about our business and expect you to give us the business.

I expect you to learn what I do and go out and talk to other people about my business. I want you to sell me to others. You work as my sales force when you have that ability. So, I need to approach you in a lot of different styles, which is why we brought BANK to LeTip. BANK is part of what we do. It’s, it’s a 90 second assessment of how you buy, and it stands for Blueprint, Action, Nurture, Knowledge.

[00:10:00] When I am in action nurture, and I stand up and I speak to a group of people, I speak really fast, I make quick decisions, I’m running through the room making a high five, but if I’m talking to a knowledge person, they want to know all the ins and outs. Every single detail. So, if you put me with a knowledge person in a meeting, if, if I’m a guest, I’m running out the door as quick as I can when it’s over. If you put me with another action person or a knowle-, a nurturing person, I’m going to build a relationship instantly because we’re so like-minded.

That’s what it takes. It’s work, not netplay. So, learning how to creatively create the information that will visually in your brain teach someone what you do, building the relationship so that they trust you, and then finding out how to speak in their code language, so-to-speak, really gets them to be a raving fan. Most of us come in and we get a quarter of the business that we really could use.

If you learn how to speak in a, in a different language like BANK, now you can get 100% of the business. And like Cheri Tree who owns Codebreaker Technology says, “You can increase your business up to 300%.” So, for me, it was very valuable. I’ve become a paid trainer for them. I don’t work for them, I work for myself, but it allows me to train my LeTip members and give them another added tool to their toolbox so they really can go forward prepared to build those relationships in a different way.

[00:11:11] Matt Bailey: Well, I think you bring up a great, great point and that is the training aspect, that showing up to a lead group and what’s funny is when you talked about the prepared pitch, I could repeat to you a pitch that someone gave every week for at least 3 years that I was a member of this group that we were both in it because they were, I’m going to do it. They were a digital services firm that did A to Z, soup to nuts. And that was their pitch. And he said it so many times and I still don’t know what he did. I still don’t know.

But like you said, it’s that pain point that you have maybe 20 people around a table, and you need to find what are they, what are you going to ask them? What are you going to connect with them about that they’re going to remember? That when they’re talking to a prospect of their own, they hear a word, they hear a phrase, and, “You know what? Matt said something about that.” And now, I’m part of the conversation without even being there.

And so, I love what your, your emphasis on this training that yeah, you can attend a lead group, but are you also learning how to improve your pitch? How to immediately read a room? How to respond, how to connect and learn that language that other people are speaking and build that? That, it’s not, it’s not natural for a lot of people. We do need education. We do need to learn how to be a, a good member.

[00:12:43] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: You’re right. It doesn’t come naturally. Doesn’t come naturally to me, but it does allow you to think differently. It allows you to become a better public speaker. It just allows for the thought process to change. And then when you can do things that will allow them to ask questions, it’s phenomenal what happens.

So, I tell people in today’s society, we have 2 ears and 1 mouth, more to listen than to speak, right? But most of the time, even in a meeting, when someone stands up to give their commercial or their pitch, we’re all sidebarring, looking at our, our telephones, texting, we think no one’s noticing, but that’s not true. Everybody notices, right? So, I tell them, get everyone’s attention, grab their attention, snap your fingers, sing a song, rap a rhyme, get them to stop for 30 seconds and really pay attention to what you’re saying. Give a 20 second commercial. That’s all your brain is going to remember. And in that commercial, tell them exactly what you need.

And when you close, ask for the business. It’s a call to action. What do you need from me? You need 10 new clients. Be realistic. If you’re a realtor, you’re not going to get 10 new clients from me this week. But if you educate me and you tell me who I’m looking for, maybe they’re first home buy, first time home buyers, I’m going to be thinking about that for quite a while until I see you the next week. If I’m thinking about you 24/7, I’m giving you business 24/7. If I don’t think about you again until I see you at the next meeting, you’re not getting business. So, the guy from A to Z and nuts to bolts, unfortunately, I bet he didn’t stay or get much business because people didn’t know how to sell him to others.

[00:14:26] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:14:26] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: I want you to be my sales force, Matt. I want you to learn enough about me and LeTip that you’ll tell everybody this is a great place to go for themselves. Not to grow LeTip, but to grow their own, um, opportunity to be better at business, better at what they do, better at getting business, and creating a sales force they don’t have to pay for.

[00:14:48] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. I, so, out of university, I, I, this is like a traditional podcast phrase that I, I throw out a little bit of experience what, I got out of university with a journalism degree, and it taught me that I didn’t want to do journalism. Until I figured out what I wanted to do, I went into real estate because I had a, a great mentor, great salesperson, I learned so much about sales from him. And he said, “You’re a natural salesperson.” And then he guided me into, “Here’s a couple of lead groups. I want you to go and present.”

And, you know, at, at, at 20s, young 20s, I’m learning how to sell. And, and I look like a kid compared to everybody else in this lead group, and I’ve got to hold my own with them and then instill in them confidence that I can be a good realtor. So, I had to learn on the job, training very quickly, what works, what doesn’t work, how do we do this?

And I developed a, a great following, and one of the things I did was as I was in this group, I would collect the business cards. I would tell people, “I’m going to add you to my email list.” And I would, and I started looking at where people lived and sending them emails about, “Hey, this house just sold in your neighborhood for this much.” Not asking for business, but just giving them some valuable information. And, “If you want to know what your house is worth, let me know.”

And that just grew from there developing those communications. And that’s why I tell now, if you’re going to start a business, get a network of people, get them into an email list, and start communicating, giving them valuable information. Don’t always have to ask to get the business.

[00:16:37] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Right. Give them tips that can help them as well as you.

[00:16:41] Matt Bailey: Right. Right.

[00:16:41] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: What tip can you give today that will help someone in the group that you may not have thought of before? As a real estate agent, you know the prices in different communities, you know what that looks like. You work with a mortgage lender, the mortgage lender is feeding you business a little bit, but you’re feeding the mortgage lender a lot of business. The property and casualty agent.

That’s the other thing, you can walk into a group and there could be 30, 40, 50 people, but if you don’t have your own power partners, and that’s what I call them, people who, not in a like-minded business, but can do business with me, whether I give them business or they give me business. Those are people that I need to surround myself with. So, when I join something, I bring people to the table. I educate members to bring their own power partners. If you have 4 of them, you’re going to be doing very well. 2 to give business to and 2 to get business from. And as they grow their power partner groups, it just gets stronger and bigger.

But if you’re a, I talked today, for instance, to a lady in Minnesota. We’re not in Minnesota right now, but she left the corporate world to start a doggy daycare for people who are busy and working. So, she’s got this business and she was in LeTip here in Arizona in the 80s. I didn’t even know they were here in the 80s. I didn’t come here until ’98, but I congratulated her on taking that leap of faith and doing something for herself and explained to her that if you really want to do LeTip, I’ll help you start a Chapter.

But we won’t start a Chapter with a realtor and a mortgage lender. We’re going to start it with a veterinarian and a shampoo, dog shampoo person, and a doggie pooper scooper. And as those people start moving out, we bring in the insurance, as well. And eventually we get to the realtor and the mortgage lender. So, it’s really thinking, “Who’s here? Who do I need to bring to the table to grow my business?” And every time you invite, at least in LeTip, it should selfishly be about you. Everything else, there’s no selfish anywhere, but when inviting, it better be about you and your business, or your business is not going to grow.

[00:18:44] Matt Bailey: Wow. Wow. Very, very true. I, I think about, now, as I think back and, you know, I transitioned out of real estate and into digital marketing and website development and I think about now, how that, yeah. That there’s a natural progression of, and you would see almost not cliques of people, but there would be very dynamic groups of people who just naturally, I’m trying to think of, if someone was opening a new office or buying new office space, there was someone who had office space, there was the phone system, there was the furniture.

[00:19:19] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Furniture guy.

[00:19:19] Matt Bailey: They all worked together. I mean, it was natural for them that as soon as I’m working with someone, “Here you go. Here’s 4 people to contact that you’re going to need.” And they just, there was just this synchronicity with them. They were just constantly working together and, and it’s interesting how the other groups would lick in on that and, “Wow. I wish I had that.” And it’s something that only grows over time.

[00:19:43] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: It does. And if they realize it and they’re looking at it, if, they’re not lucky, they’re not different, they’ve just built that group for themselves. Uh, I tell people even today, if you come and visit a LeTip Chapter and it doesn’t feel like home, if you don’t feel like you belong, run. Run as fast as you can. Because why waste your time?

[00:20:00] I’ve gone into so many different networking organizations, chambers. I don’t belong to 50 chambers. I belong to one. And that one chamber I feel very close to and very connected to and I do business with a lot of the people there. But the first one I went into made me feel like a stepchild and I thought, “Oh no, this is not for me.” They didn’t do it on purpose. They don’t even realize what they’re doing, but think about it. I’m so sorry. I have a little frog in my throat.

[00:20:29] Matt Bailey: I, I do too. It’s that time of the year.

[00:20:31] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: So, any time that you go to something, if you don’t feel like you fit in, it’s not a good use of your time. It’s really a waste of your time. Think about it.

[00:20:42] Matt Bailey: That is very, very true, ’cause I look back and I think out of the groups that I’ve been a part of, I think there was only one group where I just felt like there’s just no, it doesn’t sink. And I felt like, it, it, for some people it was more of just, “Hey, I’m showing up and having breakfast.” And, and I think the structure was a little off, but yet there were other groups that were just dynamic and, and part of it was I enjoyed, you, you know, I think back to the one, it was a Wednesday morning at 7 o’clock at a local independent restaurant. I just looked forward to going. It wasn’t so much about getting the leads. I enjoyed being with those people. I enjoyed the discussions. I enjoyed just kind of hanging out and, you know, we did our thing, but it became a group of friends that you just look forward to seeing.

[00:21:31] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: That’s what it is. If you think about it, people come and join you because of how you make them feel, and they stay because of how you make them feel. So, when a group gets together and it starts falling apart, someone quit making people feel important there. That, and that is so true. It doesn’t matter what it is.

We’re a 45-year-old company. We’re still here. We have a few Chapters that are as old as we are, but not as many as I would like to see, because again, the board changes positions, we get new people coming in, differences of opinions, the same old feeling’s not there, but if people would really look at it and do to, you know, in this day and age, we need to help each other as much as possible. So, if they would treat everybody with respect and kindness, yes, they might be new in their business, but they’re trying just like you, so reach out and help them. Make them feel wanted, needed, teach them right from wrong.

And now you have a group that, like in Freehold, New Jersey, 99 members. It’s a large group. It’s tough to hold them all together. But when they’re done with their meeting, they go and have breakfast together. So, they’re there for 3 hours on a, on a…

[00:22:41] Matt Bailey: Wow.

[00:22:41] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: …Thursday morning or Friday morning, you know, that’s a long time to spend with people, but they truly like and, and enjoy each other like you said. That’s the whole thing. It isn’t netplay, it’s network. So, you need to learn to do it, but if you’re not having fun, why are you going?

[00:22:58] Matt Bailey: That is a great, great example. I, I find also that that experience of developing what I would call offline relationships and offline networking, it really enabled me to transition the skill into an online. I mean, 99% of what I do is online until I’m face-to-face with an audience and doing my training.

But up until that point, it’s all online. But I feel like that offline experience gave me the confidence to make that pitch, approach people, really make a pitch to someone I don’t even know. And because I’ve done it here offline, I know I can do it online and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything, because I think it’s prepared me for this, this more of an online, I would say relationship building, approaching people, developing friendships that way.

[00:23:55] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: And, you know, you’re pretty young. I’m not. I’m a little, uh, long in the tooth, so to speak. So, I’ve been able to watch several generations come by and come up. They, they all are different. And when we take the time to listen and learn what floats their boat, so to speak, now you’re being able to reach them in a way that they haven’t been reached before.

So many of the younger generation, I’m talking 20’s to 25 today, they want to hold 2 or 3 jobs. The money’s very important to them, but they want the face-to-face. And I tell them, “Face-to-face is phenomenal, but be careful you don’t get sick. If you can’t do it face-to-face, do it virtually like this on Zoom so that you really see the body language, the nuances, you get to hear, see the expressions in someone’s face.” That is in Selling 101.

When we meet in person and you’re sitting down at the table and you want to speak from where you’re sit, sitting, do not expect to get business from the people at either end of the table. They can’t see you. So, it’s imperative that people present and be present. If they’re on virtual meeting, or if they’re meeting in person, you need to stand and address the room. You’re a professional. So, show your professional abilities and include everyone.

It means to me, when you’re sitting down and presenting where half the room can’t see you, that you’re being rude. That you don’t care. It’s not important to you. And if you want this to work, then you need to make it important for everyone to know that it’s important, and you give respect, and then you receive respect.

[00:25:28] Matt Bailey: You know, what you bring up, I think is something that is being talked about more and more. And in fact, there’s been a number of surveys of HR managers, companies, where they are looking for, and, and there’s a, I hesitate to call it soft skills because, it, I, someone called it human skills, and I love that better.

Human skills of being able to present yourself competently, verbally, in, in writing, but being able to persuasively talk to people and have that ability to present yourself, the content that you’re delivering, and connect with people. That companies are finding that those skills are more valuable than the actual hard skills that they’re hiring for in a specific position. And I’ve always felt that way, that if someone can prove, handle themselves in front of a client, I’ll teach them what they need to know. Because…

[00:26:27] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Right.

[00:26:27] Matt Bailey: …they can already communicate well, I’ll just teach you what to communicate. But what you’re describing that these networking groups, it builds those invaluable soft skills that are so hard to quantify.

[00:26:40] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: It does. And it gives them a safe place to do it. We may laugh at you and with you, both, but we do it with love. And pretty soon you learn, you become more confident, like you. You could present to anyone now. I was the world’s worst speaker. I’m, I don’t think I’m a good speaker even today, but because of my love for what I do, it genuinely shines through, and I think people get me. It may not be the correct grammar, it might not be the, the best language, who knows. But it’s all important because when you’re believable, people have a tendency to trust you more and believe in you. They will sell you to others in a heartbeat.

But if you can’t do that, and, and that’s again, the body language. I’m so sorry. When I use BANK, it really teaches people to pay attention to the body language. If I walk up to you in a room and you step back from me, there’s something wrong. I’ve invaded your space. What does that make you? Does that make you a nurture, a blueprint, a knowledge? Knowing what those are, and the differences is huge.

A blueprint person wants a, a professional handshake. They’re willing to face you face-to-face, but they’re a little old fashioned and they hate change. So, if you go to them and you tell them, “Oh, this is going to change your life,” guarantee you’re not going to make the sale.

If you go to an action person, they want it to be fun. They want to be the center of attention. They want to have loud colors like I’m wearing today, bright yellow. They want to be noticed by people. If you tell them, “This is really structured, it’s going to start and end on time,” they’re going to run for the door. But those people bring the energy that the whole group needs, right?

[00:28:20] Matt Bailey: Oh, yes.

[00:28:21] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: The nurturer is amazing. They hug everybody. They love everyone. That’s your mom or your dad. They just keep us all together. But when we irritate them, and they want a hug, by the way, they don’t care about COVID. They want that hug. I’m wearing a mask and letting them hug me, but I’m worried. It’s important because when you make them upset, their whole community, and they always bring a community with them, their community starts leaving, as well. So, it’s important to keep them happy.

And the knowledge person, I come to you close like this and you’re backing off. They have their own space. They don’t want to shake hands. They don’t want to high five. They will fist bump if they have to, they’d rather you put your business card into their hand. And that’s okay because that’s knowing their space.

And when you can pick up the little nuances like that, which is just naturally part of LeTip, we provide it for our members, you get to stand up in your, um, meeting every week and talk to someone different. And when they hear that message in their own language and your body language is truly trying to share with them, they’re going to say, “You know, Matt’s pretty cool. I think I have a couple of people in mind that I could turn him on to and give him some business.”

[00:30:00] That’s why I said earlier, it’s so important with the body language and learning how to do it in person, being present on a Zoom call, a lot of people come in and you see their name. You never see their face. To me, that’s being absent. You have to be present. You can’t be looking down doing something else. You can’t be sitting here typing on your computer and have people not know that you are. We’re not stupid. We can see that. So, you need to be present, one to one, and building that type of relationship lasts a lifetime. It’s called respect.

[00:30:04] Matt Bailey: Well, it reminds me of what my, my, my mentor taught me. He says, “When people buy from you, they’re buying you.” They are doing, like you said, they like, they know, they trust you. And it’s you that they’re buying. And, and the product is, they wouldn’t have bought that anyway, but the reason why they’re buying this is because of you and it’s, it’s so personality driven when people make decisions.

And I even see that in the online world, I see how companies respond when you subscribe or sign up or something, and what’s that response like? Is it programmed? Is it very impersonal or are there some personal touches going on with it? What’s happening? What are they doing to make you feel special? And that’s really what it comes down to is the, the reason why they like, know, and trust you, it’s because they feel like you like, know, and trust them and…

[00:31:01] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Correct.

[00:31:01] Matt Bailey: …like them genuinely, and that’s what’s going to cause them to do business with you.

[00:31:06] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Another little point is energy. People come to the table with so little energy today. They’re apathetic about everything, they’re not sure if it’s even a good day, “Why did I get up this morning?” But when you present that way, guess where we’re going. We’re running to the person who does exactly what you do but has the energy and the passion for their business. So, passion is critical in that same success.

And when you get up in a meeting or if you’re looking at a newsletter, if it hits me, what, that it’s got energy and it’s something that’s interesting and it wowed me, I’m subscribing. If not, I’m getting out of it as quickly as I can, because I don’t need the mundane day-to-day same old rhetoric. I want it to be energy filled. Teach me something new. What do I not know? That’s what everyone has to bring to the table.

Now, you’ve gotten to know me a little bit, so you know that I’m over the top. I am an action person first, but what’s really important to know is that every single person and personality can still have that same energy and passion. Passion equals energy, energy equals business. Without it, you have no business. They’re going to the guy that has the energy.

So, we better learn how to create that. And when they create their commercials, I tell them, “Make it visual.” As a realtor, you could show pictures, right? “Here’s a picture of what you want to live in and what you don’t want to live in.” But even without an actual picture, if you can create the vision in someone’s mind about what it is so that they can see it, feel it, smell it, now they know how to sell you to someone else.

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[00:34:32] Matt Bailey: That is exactly it. I, wow. What a way to quantify it. And, so, another bit, so when I transitioned from real estate into web development and, and digital, one of the things that I would do as part of my presentation, as you said, to make it visible, I’d bring my laptop and I would show, “Hey, here’s one of the newest websites that we just launched. And by the way, their contacts and sales went up, you know, 40%, which is a difference of $200,000 over the past 3 months.”

That, when I started doing that, it transformed everything because now I’m not some web guy showing up, you know, “Give me your website.” Now I’m showing them business and, “Here’s the results of it,” and that made such an, an impact. Later…

[00:35:17] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Absolutely.

[00:35:18] Matt Bailey: …later on, working for this company, they had a sales competition of whoever sells the most in the next quarter got this prize. And all the rest of the salespeople were doing cold calls. And I, I was like, “I don’t want that list.” I went to my email list, and I went to my lead group and I went after that list. And I ended up winning the competition by a large margin. But what was frustrating in that company is they were angry that I didn’t do cold calls. And, and I’m trying to say, “But I just proved that cold calls weren’t effective.”

[00:35:53] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Yeah.

[00:35:53] Matt Bailey: And, and this was, this, this was kind of a, a, you know, a, a kind of a split that happened with, with me and, and the company is I just proved it’s not effective. Why am I being, you know, ridiculed? Why am I being demoted here because I didn’t cold call? I just handily won the competition by utilizing the networks that I have. And that’s not going over well. And that, that was surprising to me.

[00:36:19] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Yeah, that’s too bad. I guarantee you told your group that you network with that you were in a contest…

[00:36:25] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:36:25] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: …and that you needed their help and their support. Most of us have goals that we never talk about. So, when I…

[00:36:32] Matt Bailey: Wow.

[00:36:32] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: …teach people in a Chapter, um, how to give their commercials, I tell them once you show up and throw up on us because we need to know as much information as possible as quickly as possible, don’t do it more than 2 weeks in a row. Start target marketing your audience. Are you selling to young or old, men or women, a process, a service, a product? What is it that you’re doing? Then start getting down to the nitty gritty. What are your goals? I had to have 11 consumer loans in a month in order to meet my goals.

[00:37:02] Matt Bailey: Oh.

[00:37:02] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: So, I created a visual board that looked like a thermometer. And when we filled it in and it exploded every single month after month, in 2 years I missed the goal by 2, 2 times by 1 loan.

[00:37:13] Matt Bailey: Oh…

[00:37:14] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: That’s pretty good.

[00:37:15] Matt Bailey: Wow.

[00:37:15] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Most of the time, it was 15 to 16 loans in a month when I needed only 11. So, it’s the visualization, it’s telling them what you need, it’s being upfront and being vulnerable. Most people don’t want to be, be vulnerable just with an email list, but when you’re in a group that you can trust and they have your back, you can be as vulnerable as, as you need to be. And it helps.

[00:37:40] Matt Bailey: That is great. I, I love that visual with the thermometer and, and yeah, you let everyone know, “Here’s what I have to produce in a month.” And that’s, that’s fantastic. I, I, I want to switch a little bit, maybe change gears because I want to go back to the conversation I had with the client earlier when they were asking, you know, “What would you do to build your business?”

One of the conversations I had multiple times with some of the businesses and, and offices in this industry, they were telling me that, “You know, we do a lot on Facebook. We’re, we’re, and, and how much time and money should we spend on Facebook, and should we spend on Instagram?” And I heard this numerous times where they were saying, “We got some business off of Facebook, but reality, it was business, it was someone that I had met at a lead group, and I had talk, I had been talking with them, but they came through Facebook.”

And I had to, and I, I couldn’t believe I was doing this, but I’d tell them, I’m like, “No, you are the source of that business. You, your, your connection, your relationship, your nurturing them through that lead group is what made that sale. It wasn’t Facebook. Facebook was just how they contacted you. You don’t attribute something to the phone when, when someone calls that you know of that you’ve met before. That was you personally.”

And I was interested that I had heard this story so many times that people weren’t ascribing the value to themselves, to their own ability to network. Rather they were saying, “Well, it was Facebook that did this.” And, and I’m, I’m kind of confused by that.

[00:39:21] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: In a way, they are correct. Facebook didn’t do it, but Facebook allowed them to be seen more and heard more, so they remembered to call, right?

[00:39:32] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:39:32] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: They remembered to make contact. I tell Chapters, we can’t get rid of, of social media. It’s here to stay, unfortunately, so we should get into it and actually use it and utilize it. But it’s only as good as the people that you’re sending it to. If they just look at it and don’t pay attention to it, it doesn’t help anyone. If you, in a group, in a leads group, send out a Facebook notification and, or an ad or whatever you’re doing, and they notice it, they should share it and like it every single time. Now it goes to 10 or 20 more, it’s in a ripple effect, like an ocean wave.

[00:40:00] And that’s just for notification. That is being seen and heard more often. It’s not changing your business at the moment, but it’s allowing people to see you and know where you’re from or where you’re, you’re going. That’s the only way they know, know you, because you’re only seen in one little group. Now, in LeTip we try to get all of our Chapters to like each other from the East Coast to the West Coast. We ask them to post through us, which is seen by lots more people, because we’re just national and international.

It’s also being, having the ability to be posting information about yourself, your picture, your profile, your business profile, video about your business. Those all come with being in a membership, right? Of LeTip and I would assume others. It, because you work on a website, if that’s there, when someone comes to look for a specific type of business and they see it all filled in, they see a video of you, they’re immediately touched and say, “Wow, this guy is sharp. He’s got his act together. I’m going to give him a shot and do business with him.”

But so many people don’t do that. Then they, uh, an outsider will come in to use their services, they see nothing there, they say, “Oh, this is a wash.” Not only do they not use that individual, they don’t come back to see others who’ve done it. So, it’s so important any time you have an opportunity through social media to be seen by other people, LinkedIn, fill out your profile, what do you do? What do you look like? What do you like? People, that’s a very professional organization for us to find each other in one profession to another. It has to be filled out correctly and it can’t be blank or old, old information. It has to be updated.

Today, people want results like this, right? And if you’re not doing that, you’re not going to get the results. Now, there a couple of social media things that I don’t agree with, but we’re using. Instagram. I don’t get it. They now want reels, not just pictures. So, you have to do a whole reel, and most of them to me don’t make much sense. It’s supposed to be enjoyable. I like LinkedIn.

[00:42:12] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:42:12] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: The other one is Tik Tok. It has, to me, such a bad reputation I don’t want my name associated, but it is. And we use Tik Tok. We’re growing there. YouTube. You do a great commercial in a Chapter. We tell you, “Have someone videotape it and let us put it on our YouTube station.” Now people can see you lots more. In fact, we’ve connected everyone through our own service called LeTip Wired so that you can be seen by everyone, but it ports over to so the world can find you. So, if you want outside business and you’re not getting all you want from your group, make sure your profile information is as many places as possible so that people can find you.

[00:42:54] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. I cannot, I, I cannot stress that enough and agree there because what happens if someone recommends you and, you know, gives you that lead or, or just recommends you to somebody, like, as you said, they’re going to go try and find you. Your website, I, I, I think your LinkedIn profile, I, I would, it, as a business, as a professional, I put about 85% of everything I do into LinkedIn. LinkedIn, and, or direct thing, things that I own, like my email list, my, the podcast, things like that where I’m in control of the entire platform.

But yeah, I, Instagram I think is good for a lot of things, business networking, I’m still eh. Put, but put it this way, in, I do a lot of work in the Middle East. It’s phenomenal in the Middle East for business development and networking because that’s what they all use. So, it, it’s knowing where your audience is and, and how you’re trying to reach them. There are some people that are saying, uh, you know, Tik Tok I’m still kind of, I, I understand where you’re at with the security thing and, and all of that. I’m, I, I’m letting other people play in that, that realm.

But yeah, having that presence ready for when people go to look and probably one of my biggest pet peeves about LinkedIn is the profile picture. If your profile picture is not sharp, clear, professional, it can’t be taken from your car. It can’t be taken, you know, it, it can’t be a picture from a party that, where you look good.

[00:44:21] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Right.

[00:44:21] Matt Bailey: It’s got to be a professional, I, get a professional headshot. That is my biggest, biggest pet peeve on LinkedIn is I want to see you at your best on LinkedIn, and I want to see a great picture because that, I think in itself, does a lot to build that credibility…

[00:44:38] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Correct.

[00:44:38] Matt Bailey: …behind, behind the name.

[00:44:41] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: So, I’m a professional. I think I look and dress professionally, right? So, it’s, it’s stunning to me when I go to LinkedIn and I find someone I’m interested in meeting, building a relationship with, giving them business or whatever, and they’re in a tank top. And I think, “Oh my goodness,” but when I get to meet them, that truly is their personality. They’ll get the job done. They’re very professional.

So, I really have learned not to prejudge. I don’t judge anybody, a book by its cover. I want to read the information about them, ’cause they may have been in a corporate world for 80 years and then decided, “This is not for me. I want to enjoy my life,” and they bring so much more to the table. So, I agree with you. I’m so used to wanting that professional picture. It does, it does give you, uh, an edge over certain people, but I’ve really learned that you can’t judge a book by its cover. You have to get and read the pages.

[00:45:31] Matt Bailey: I don’t mind if they wear a tank top. I just want it to be a clear, good picture.

[00:45:36] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: There you go.

[00:45:36] Matt Bailey: And that captures your personality. That’s what I want. I don’t, I don’t want the fuzzy, out of focus or anything like that.

[00:45:43] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: I agree with you, there. I have people who put up profile pictures of their animals. I’m like…

[00:45:48] Matt Bailey: Yes.

[00:45:48] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: …avatars or an animal or a logo is not going to build a relationship.

[00:45:53] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:45:54] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Do you have blue eyes or brown? Are they green? What do you look like? And again, not judging. I want to know you’re a real person.

[00:46:02] Matt Bailey: Yes.

[00:46:02] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: And with so many scams today, you can’t tell with an avatar or a dog picture or, you know, a logo.

[00:46:09] Matt Bailey: Absolutely.

[00:46:09] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: So, you have a great logo. What do you look like?

[00:46:12] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. Yeah. It’s interesting how the, the social aspect has become another facet of the offline networking groups that this is, this is now your business card is your LinkedIn profile, your website, wherever people can land to learn more about you. I, I, now that I’m no longer in a lead group, I, I look over, I have a drawer full of business cards. I can’t remember the last time I ordered business cards, but I’ve got a ton of them, but the, you know, LinkedIn has almost replaced that and moved on, but I still find when I go and speak at an event, if you want, getting the business card is still one of my number one ways of growing my email list, staying in contact with people, and, and developing relationships. That business card is still, you know, a vital part of doing business.

[00:47:06] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: It is, but it kind of freaks me out today because now we can use our phones.

[00:47:10] Matt Bailey: Yes.

[00:47:10] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: He says, “Let me tap your phone and I’ll give you my business card.”

[00:47:13] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:47:13] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Okay. And, and I’m handing him an old-fashioned paper card, right? LeTip realized a long time ago that that needed to change. So, through LeTip Wired, what you, we have a free app for members and when you open it up, your entire roster and all their information is right there.

[00:47:29] Matt Bailey: Wow.

[00:47:29] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: So, we still give away a card caddy ’cause I carry a card caddy with me. I want to hand someone I’m talking about to, uh, an individual, a prospect. I want to make sure that they have it in their hand. And I don’t have everybody’s card in my phone. So, I do carry a card caddy and, and they’re still valuable, somewhat, but the phone has made it so easy today to be connected, to give great information, and to share, if you have an Apple phone, it works everywhere, right? I’m even paying now with a swipe or showing them the front of my card. I don’t have to use a credit card.

How much plastic will we save? How much paper do we save? So, it’s trying to be relevant and staying up with the times. Are you relevant in your business? Do you know what’s going on around you? Do you appear to be a green person that’s helping the, the environment or are you just stuck in, in the old days? I’m stuck in the old days, but I think about it often and I try to be as relevant as possible because I think that’s what attracts people to you.

Now, we’ve typically been at an average age of 50 to 65, that’s what our members were. Today they’re 20 to 30. Those are the ones coming to the table saying, “I want to learn more. How do I do this? Can I be part of you?” We attract all kinds and all ages. And I think that’s really important because we really learn from each other.

The younger members want it now, want it as fast as possible. The rest of us are like, “No, it takes you 4 weeks to get involved.” Baloney sauce. If we do it right, you can come and join, be inspected, uh, because we do vet everybody that comes in so it can’t just be overnight, but pretty close. And now they’re vetted, they’re part of us, and we go forward, and we grow.

Younger people don’t want to wait for a week. They want immediate gratification. So, how do we change business to give them that type of gratification, including making money? ‘Cause we tell you when you join for any networking group, “Don’t expect it to come right away.” But if the group itself wants to grow, they better be looking at the prospect they’re bringing in and saying, “What can we do to immediately give this person business, so they’ll stay and grow with us?”

[00:49:40] Matt Bailey: That’s great. That’s great. Yeah, absolutely. That was, I, I, I knew going into it, you know, especially when I started in real estate, I knew going in, “I have to establish credibility. I’m this kid out of university. I, you know, everyone’s going to look at me as the young kid.” And so, I knew, “I’m probably looking at least a year before I establish enough credibility and that someone’s going to trust me enough.”

[00:50:00] And so, that, I think was just instilled in me and taught me through sales training that just don’t expect that. Now, I was surprised when it finally started coming in and started working. But yeah, I, I, that’s one, I think probably the biggest piece of advice I would give to someone is join a networking group, but don’t expect it to happen right away.

[00:50:27] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Correct.

[00:50:27] Matt Bailey: Have, and then the caveat to that is, but how much are you investing anyway? It’s going to be hard because you know you need to develop credibility. You need to build relationships. And so, the natural inclination of someone is going to be to pull back, that, “I don’t want to invest my time and I don’t want to invest my, all this energy in something that’s not going to pay off for another 6 months to a year, or maybe longer.”

And that’s, I think, the education of a networking group is, “Oh, but when it does. Oh, but when it starts to pay off, if you’ve invested the energy, the time, this is going to sustain your business past the 3 year, 5 year, 10 year mark.” And, you know, from my example, I can, I, I’ve got a list of people that I went back to, at least 10 years old, of people that I had been in lead groups with, and when I needed the service or when I knew someone, I was still giving leads, even though I hadn’t been a part of the group for years.

[00:51:31] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: That’s the relationships that are built in a leads group. Truly. That’s what the value of LeTip is. It’s not just immediate, it’s not over time, it’s over a long time. Whether you’re in the group or out, without the group, the relationships that you build are a lifetime of business.

But you have to cultivate them. “Hey, I heard it was your birthday. Happy birthday. I haven’t been around for 5 years, but I remembered.” Don’t you know that that’s going to give you more business down the road? “Wow, Matt remembered my birthday. That’s amazing.” And the next thing you know, you’re getting business from me because you made me feel so good. I told you in the beginning, the way we make them feel is why they come. The way we make them feel is why they stay. So, we really have to make people feel special.

And again, if a group itself is already there, they’ve already been doing business for a while to each, with each other, they know and like and trust each other, the newcomer is at a disadvantage. It takes time, but if the group really wants them to stay and they really like them, they better work hard to give them business. Not tons, but at least trust them enough to start giving them the little crumbs that, immediately, that they’re looking for so they can see the value over time, because most people come in and leave within the first year, 6 months even.

[00:52:52] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:52:52] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Why would you pay that and then leave without knowing, hey, we tell you, “There are no refunds. We want you to stay the year so you can get the value out of it. And if you’re seeing value, make it work.” But most of us will not even tell someone if we’re struggling. That’s what I tell members. You have a board for a reason. If you’re not making money, you should be putting 0 down every month that you didn’t make any money, so that the board as a whole can see the health of their Chapter and “Hey, wait, Matt hasn’t made any money in 3 months, but he comes to the meetings, he brings guests, he passes tips. We need to pay attention to Matt. And everybody’s either going to give him 5 bucks next week, or they’re going to give him a piece of business, your choice.”

Either way, you feel wanted and needed. You get a little cash, you get some business you hadn’t had before. Most people won’t ask for help. No one will stand up and say, “Hey, your commercial sucked.” We’re more polite than that, right? But it happens a lot, just like your A to Z, nuts to bolts. If someone had cared enough about him to sit down and say, “Hey, Matt, I, I know you do A to Z and nuts to bolts, but could you break it down into bite sized pieces so we could understand what you’re talking about?”

Now he would have had a, a really swell tip that didn’t make him money then, but because he did what you said and broke it down, now he’s getting business from a lot of people. So, it’s really about caring and sharing and trying to help each other, not stab you in the back, not be, uh, disrespectful in any way, but being upfront, being truthful. What you see with me is what you get, and sometimes it’s too much for people, but I tell you, “You don’t have to be me. You just need to be yourself and share with someone else if it’s not working. Why is it working?” And then I tell them, “Look in the mirror because that’s where it starts.”

[00:54:38] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. Absolutely.

[00:54:41] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Sorry.

[00:54:42] Matt Bailey: That’s alright. That’s why I have an editor. What you’re describing is a high level of vulnerability. And what I think is so good about that is you only get to that level of vulnerability when you have a relationship. And it’s that vulnerability, I, I love what you were saying, that awareness that, “You know what? They’ve not been getting any leads. They can’t track any sales.” So, there’s the awareness of the organization, number one, to be vulnerable in our accountability. That, “We’re here as an organization to make you money. You’re not making money.”

So, there’s that vulnerability of honesty that this is what we’re about, and we’re going to do something about it. But it’s also, what you were saying, is the vulnerability of people within the lead group, within the networking group to say, “I’m not, it’s not happening. I don’t understand. What am I doing?” And, and, or being open to feedback about the commercial, about your presentation. That only happens when there’s trust and relationships, and that’s what an ideal healthy lead group does.

[00:55:48] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Yep. And, you know, today we give business because somebody says, “Oh, I needed some website information.” “Oh, I got a great guy, Matt.” So, I tell Matt, “Hey, Peggy down the street wants to talk to you.” You call Peggy and she goes, “Kim Marie who?” That wasn’t a warm lead.

[00:56:04] Matt Bailey: Right. Right.

[00:56:04] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: We teach people it has to be warm and open and ready. Now, if you can’t sell it once I open the door, that’s on you. But I gave a good, uh, good tip, a good lead. It was expected that you could come in and close it. You do that 2 or 3 times, pretty soon you’re thinking I can’t give you good leads. I find out that you can’t close. So, we, again, communicate, come together, teach you how to be a better closer. ‘Cause I can’t do it for you, but I can find out what’s not working, where a lot of people will think that is somebody giving me bogus business, right?

[00:56:38] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:56:39] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: And that’s not the case.

[00:56:41] Matt Bailey: Well, I think that’s something to define right up, uh, we should’ve defined this upfront. The difference between a warm lead and a cold lead, because I, I will say the group that, I would call it a bit dysfunctional, it was, “So-and-so is starting construction on a building down the street. You might want to give them a call.” That is a terrible lead. That’s not even a lead.

[00:57:03] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: No, it’s not. It’s not. Let me tell you why it’s not. If you’re the cabler, the guy who comes in and puts all the wiring in for the phones, he has to know before they start laying ground. So, it’s his responsibility to stand up and say, “While it’s a cold lead to you, that is a hot lead for me because I can’t be all around town. So, the minute you see that this business is coming, if you will tell me so I can make contact with them, that is a warm, hot lead for me.” Do you see…

[00:57:32] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:57:32] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: …the difference? Because yes, a lot of times there are cold leads and we think, “Wow, that’s just a stupid lead. Who would ever do that?” But that’s the person who’s giving the, the getting the lead that has to say, “This is why it’s warm for me. It’s hot. It’s red hot when you give it to me. I’ll go close it now, but I need that when you see that sign.”

[00:57:52] Matt Bailey: So, it’s partly, I have to educate everyone else in the group what is a hot lead and…

[00:57:57] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Yes.

[00:57:58] Matt Bailey: …what is a cold lead.

[00:57:58] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Correct.

[00:57:59] Matt Bailey: That’s on me to do that, but then you started describing a hot lead, a hot lead is one, like you said, I’m just walking in and closing, which means they’re expecting my call.

[00:58:10] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Yep.

[00:58:10] Matt Bailey: You’ve already built me up…

[00:58:12] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Correct.

[00:58:12] Matt Bailey: …and they just need me to show up and, and explain it in a way they understand and make them feel good, and we’re going to close. That’s a…

[00:58:20] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Cor-…

[00:58:21] Matt Bailey: …a hot lead.

[00:58:22] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Correct. Yes. That’s me pre-selling you to someone else. That’s what a lead is. A lead is not, “Oh, I saw someone in the grocery store. They think they might need your services.” That’s not a hot lead. It’s if I sat down and really explained to them what you could do, and they said yes, and I go to the nth degree. I tell people, find out what day and time is best for them to be called. And, “Oh, by the way, if you need this attorney, he can’t call you. So, what’s a good day and time for him, for you to call him? He meets on Thursdays with clients at 2:00 for a phone session for an hour.”

Right? You have to get the information and know what everybody wants. A lot of people think an attorney can call a client and the client can call an attorney and it, it’s equal. But in most cases, the attorney cannot call the client. The client has to call him and it’s hard to get ahold of an attorney. So, I always pin them down. “Give me one day a week, one hour a day on that day that you will receive calls and I will send you the business.”

So, it’s have, it’s having to be specific, it’s teaching them all aspects of your business without expecting them to have taken the bar. And when I do that, now they’ve got, they’ve got business, right? Especially injury attorneys. Slip and falls, you see them all the time. Who do we send them to? If they call and they can’t get through to you, they’re already done. They’re looking up the next number. So, we just like to give them a specific, specific day and time that they can reach the office and actually talk to someone.

[00:59:51] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Yeah. I think the magic of networking is I think inherently, humanly, we love to give referrals. We love if we have a great experience with somebody. I, I’ll say, so we have an electrician who, over the years, I met him because he was referred to me from someone in my lead group who later became my accountant for 20 years.

[01:00:00] But she referred him. He has, he has done all of our electrical work. We have referred him out numerous times. And, and when we moved into a new house that needed an extensive amount of work, he was there doing it. He has become a family friend. My, my daughters call him Uncle Larry because we do things together now. And so, whenever anyone needs an electrician, I have sold him to the point where you’d be silly not to call this guy. And that’s, and, and, and, but I love giving that referral because…

[01:00:53] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Right.

[01:00:53] Matt Bailey: …I know he does quality work. And I think that’s the other side of it is, you need to also demonstrate that when people work with you, they love you. And they’re going to be so happy to refer you because it’s quality work done well. And, or, you know, I even think for my, my insurance company, they care about us. They demonstrate that they care. And so, I have no problem referring that business to anybody else.

[01:01:21] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: You know, in a leads group, that’s really important message, as well. If you don’t trust someone to work with, or there’s some reason that you wouldn’t give them business, don’t just shy them off. Sit down and have a conversation. It can be painful, but I always tell people, be carefrontational, not confrontational. “I care enough about you and our relationship that I want to let you know why I’m not sending you business. If this changes, I would be happy to.”

I always used a roster, and I didn’t have 3 people on my roster out of 46 that were in my group. And they’d ask me, “Why am I not on there?” And I very nicely explained why, and 2 of them changed, got on the roster, but to this day, 1 stayed off of that roster forever. I would not give my clients that service because I didn’t think he would perform to the standards of which I would want them to expect. So, it was being open and upfront. We got along great. We’re still friends today, but I’ve never given him any business.

[01:02:20] Matt Bailey: Wow. Wow.

[01:02:21] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: And when you come into a group, you know, you have a property and casualty agent, let’s say. You’ve been with him for 30 years. You don’t want to leave that person and go to someone else because you’ve built a relationship. So, the PNC guy in your Chapter, what he wants is for you to find him outside business. I tell people, and it’s pretty descriptive, I’ll apologize, but when you’re sharing leads back and forth with each other, inside business, it’s like kissing or swapping spit. We’re just growing each other’s business, right? I mean, growing, trying each other out. We’re not trading equal dollars.

[01:02:54] Matt Bailey: Right.

[01:02:54] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: So, 80% of your business in a group should be looking, you should be looking to get 80% of your business in a group from outside people you couldn’t meet on your own.

[01:03:03] Matt Bailey: Right.

[01:03:03] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: You could only be introduced through someone in your group. That’s where it really starts to change, when people understand that. And like saying what a good lead is, it’s the same with saying chicken tips. “I’m a, I’m a PNC agent. You pay me 12 times a year. That’s not 12 tips a year. That’s 1 tip, and what I would like is for you to go find me other business besides yourself.”

[01:03:26] Matt Bailey: Right.

[01:03:26] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: “Now, if you’re adding something on, you add your boat, you add your, um, skis, your jewelry, whatever, those are extra pieces of business outside of your normal policy. And yes, that’s an extra tip. Otherwise, it’s 1 tip for the year, even though you pay me 12 times.”

So, it’s hard to get people to be, um, upfront and say it is a good tip or not. And I would tell my tip master, “Don’t count this. It’s a bogus tip. We’re going to sit down and talk about it, but this is not, I’m, not a tip I’m going to accept.” So, it’s being carefrontational every time, and by doing that, they, they liked me more. They worked harder to get me business and I always bent over backwards to find them business.

You know, we have 5 reasons to join, and it should be similar in any organization you go to, in my opinion, for networking. The number one reason is to put dollars in your pocket. That’s what you come for. It’s very self-serving. We know why you’re here, and we need to make that work. The second reason you join is you become a better public speaker. There’s no secrets about it. You get to get up and address the group in many different ways that gives you the confidence to speak in public.

The third reason is the loyalty of doing business with each other. Not just within your local Chapter, but let’s say you didn’t have a florist. You could go online in LeTip Wired and use a florist anywhere in the country that’s FTD or Teleflora and give them LeTip business. That’s the loyalty of doing business with each other. And I tell them, “When you can’t give someone in your Chapter business personally, you need to find a way to give them exceptional outside business.” That’s true loyalty of, of being together.

The fourth reason is you become a referral source for your clientele. Most people do not know how to tell their clients who they’re working with. So, we teach that to new members as they come in and they’re astounded at how easy it is to get tips for other members.

The last one is psychic income. People laugh because it’s like “woohoo” stuff, but it isn’t. It’s what I think should be first. It’s the warm feeling you get for helping someone else. Like you said earlier in this broadcast, it’s people like giving leads to each other. It makes them feel good. And why do something if you don’t feel good about it? Those are the 5 reasons that you join LeTip and nothing else.

There’s no hidden secrets. We’re not a, a cult. You know, we’re very close knit. We’re a family oriented. That’s what you’re looking for. Something where you feel at home. So, everybody listening to this podcast, find something you can get involved in and feel at home, but find LeTip. We’ll really make you feel at home.

[01:06:11] Matt Bailey: I love it. I love how you sum that up, Kim Marie, that was beautiful. Because I, my, I think my wrap-up would be, “Join a group.”

[01:06:20] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Yes.

[01:06:21] Matt Bailey: Let’s start there, and yeah. Join, join your local chamber. They probably have some groups. And, and the chamber we’ll say for a purpose, but there is also something to joining a structured national/international group.

[01:06:36] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Correct.

[01:06:36] Matt Bailey: Uh, as you said, you have members all over the world, you have members, so even though your chamber group may not have something, here we can go national. And, and most of your chamber groups, they have some structure, but I love the accountability and what you’ve presented of what LeTip offers. And I am such, such an advocate of these lead groups, these, these referral groups, they are going to build your business and it is worth the time and investment of your energy to get in there, learn to be a better presenter. It will pay off. It absolutely does. There are so many intangibles beyond that 5 point list that you gave. There’s more intangibles beyond that, but I do love that, that list. That is so perfect and a great, great reason to join a group.

[01:07:26] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Well, you know, in closing, or at least from my end, we’re in troubled times. Small businesses are struggling everywhere. It’s not rocket science. You don’t have to have gone, you, you don’t need to have gone to school for years and years and have a PhD to run a business.

A lot of people are starting out as entrepreneurs. They’re tired of the rat race. They want something different. It’s great to do it and be on your own, but you don’t have to do it alone. When joining a networking group, you create the family feeling and they have your back. The more people we can help now, the better it will be for the economy across the country. Because if we lose our foothold with small business, our America changes. We will never be the same.

So, it’s my personal goal to try to talk to a small business every single day, to get them involved with a chamber, with my networking organization, with anybody out there. If they don’t like LeTip, try BNI, try Ali Lassen, try anything that will work for you.

But again, if it doesn’t feel like home when you go in, run and then make your time valuable. This is worth probably $5,000 a month in marketing dollars. So, if you’re not spending that on your business now, this will give that to you without you even trying. It’s pretty good way to keep, um, each other afloat.

[01:08:46] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. I, I love everything you said. I can’t agree more. And, and that side benefit that tangibility is you’re developing skills while you’re selling your business. And those skills are going to enable you, as you said, not only to be a better speaker, to be a better salesperson. To learn how to communicate better, how to find the pain points and, and get to those sales quicker. And so, it’s not just the, the networking, it’s, it’s the skill of networking. And I don’t think people realize there is.

[01:09:22] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: You know, every month I do training for new members, and it is open to the public. There’s no charge for it. Anybody who would want to come can call our office and get a, a link. We would love to invite people who just want to learn how to network to join us. So, feel free.

[01:09:40] Matt Bailey: That is awesome, Kim Marie. Thank you for offering that to our listeners. I, I am, dear listener, do it. Alright? Do it. Kim Marie, this has been an amazing conversation. Thank you so much for your time.

[01:09:54] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Thank you, Matt. You’re a wonderful person. Keep doing what you’re doing. We all need to hear your podcasts.

[01:10:00] Matt Bailey: Oh, I really, really appreciate that. Dear listener, I hope that this has been an exciting and motivating podcast for you. And if you have not already, I challenge you, look for LeTip. As, as, as Kimberly said, anyone, join a group and join a group that’s going to help you become a better businessperson, a better salesperson, and, and, and develop those networking skills because that will pay off decades down the line. I think Kim and I could probably give many, many stories of how that has benefited our careers by developing those networking skills. Kim, again, thank you so much.

[01:10:38] Kim Marie Branch-Pettid: Thank you, Matt. Have a great day.

[01:10:39] Matt Bailey: Alright. Thank you. And dear listener, we’ll look to see you again on another episode of the Endless Coffee Cup.

[01:10:52] Bumper Intro-Outro: This podcast is heard along the Marketing Podcast Network. For more great marketing podcasts, visit

Featured Guest:

Kim Marie Branch-Pettid

Owner & CEO, LeTip International, Inc.

Company website: LeTip International, Inc.

Twitter: LeTip International | Twitter

LinkedIn: Kim Marie Branch-Pettid | LinkedIn