Success Stories

Relationship Marketing With Kody B: Meridith Elliott Powell

Customer Relations built with existing customers is crucial for success in a world of uncertainty. Uncertainty in the business world is much more prominent today than say 10 or 15 years ago.

Basically, we’re living in a time when the majority of things that could impact your business are outside of your control. I mean think about it, if an election goes one way or another, if gas prices go up, if there’s a layoff, the continued growth, and evolving internet. I mean whatever it is, things can greatly impact your ability to be successful.

Hence, this is where the importance of customer relations comes in. It’s an ever-growing fact that customers don’t have to do business with you. Your Uber or your Airbnb (so to speak) could enter the marketplace at any given moment in time, and take your customers.

No one understands that “Thriving in Uncertainty is not about whether the economy is up or down” then Meridith Elliott Powell…

On this week’s Relationship Marketing With Kody B, Kody interviews the amazing Ms. Meridith Elliott Powell!

Kody Bateman: Hey, everybody. This is Kody Bateman. Welcome to a new feature of our Relationship Marketing Podcast. I’m very excited as usual to put on the show today. We got a very special guest. But before we get to her, I just want to reach out to all of our listeners. Thank you for your commitment to listen in and hopefully we are providing some good content for you. We got a lot of great feedback on the show. We have incredible guests that have come on week after week, known sales professional, consultants, people from all different industries, relationship marketing experts, authors, and speakers.

And today, we have an incredible, incredible guest, one of those famous author, speaker ladies. And we are really excited. We have Meridith Elliott Powell on with us today. Meridith, how are you?

Meridith Elliott Powell: I’m great. I’m so excited to be here.

Kody Bateman: Now, for all of you that are going to view this on YouTube, you are seeing that Meridith is in a beautiful cabin setting it looks like in North Carolina. Is that right?

Meridith Elliott Powell: That’s exactly right. I live in Asheville, North Carolina. And my backyard, I’m looking at deer and some turkey right now.

 

Kody Bateman: Oh, wow! Oh, that’s fantastic. Well, we need to get through this podcast so you can go out and feed the deer, how does that sound?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: They are eating my plants as we speak.

 

Kody Bateman: Right. Right. All right. Well, let’s get started. I do want to let our audience know a little bit about who you are and then we will kind of jump right in. Meridith has got a lot of really rich content, a lot of really stuff pertinent to today’s economy and marketplace and I want to get to that as quick as we can.

 

She is the author of six books including Winning in the Trust and Value Economy, a finalist in the US Today Best Book Awards. Her latest book is titled Own It. For those of us on YouTube, I got a copy of Own It right here. And I have not yet read the book but I’m excited to jump into it. So here’s a copy of Own It. Where do they get the Own It book? Just on Amazon or …?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: They can find it on Amazon or they can find it on my website at ValueSpeaker.com.

 

Kody Bateman: ValueSpeaker.com or on Amazon. Just look up Meridith on Amazon. I highly recommend that you get your hands on whatever she is doing because there’s some really good content that she has also, stories of power, freedom, and purpose, named Top 50 Sales Book for 2018. It’s about how to build cultures to inspire ownership at every level to create profits at every turn. Her seventh book, the best sales book ever sends sales through the roof. I’m excited for that. I love the title. I guess that’s to go out next month. Is that right?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Yeah. Yeah, I’m hoping it will come out before OutBound.

 

Kody Bateman: Yes. And also speaking of OutBound, you will be a featured speaker at the OutBound Conference, April 23rd through the 26th. Incredible lineup of speakers. I actually just learned that I’m a speaker there.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: I know. I’m excited to see you there. That’s going to be a great program.

 

Kody Bateman: Yeah, it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re excited for that. It’s April 23rd through the 26th in Atlanta, Georgia. So make sure you reach out. Hopefully if any of our listeners can get to that OutBound Conference, you might want to try to do that.

 

Your resume though, it’s really long. I mean we could sit here and talk all day about your accomplishments but they’re a bunch, named Top 15 Business Expert to Watch, named Top 40 Motivational Speakers to Energize Any Sales Team, Master Certified Business Strategist, Executive Coach, and Keynote Speaker.

 

  1. Enough of that. Enough of that.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Enough of that.

 

Kody Bateman: Well, enough about you but now, we are going to get into your head a little bit and let’s talk. So you kind of take on – first of all, how are you?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: I’m good. Thank you.

 

Kody Bateman: Yeah, this is cool.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: I mean I’m in a log cabin, how much better could life get? Talking to you, life is good.

 

Kody Bateman: Like I said in the pre-show, we got – for those on YouTube, you could see Meridith’s cabin there. I have a cabin sitting very to that. In fact, I’ve conducted many podcasts from my balcony in my cabin, very similar to what you’re seeing. So it’s kind of cool.

 

Let’s jump in. There are three key words and I want to jump right in to this because the words themselves get me interested. It kind of pulls me in. And hopefully, it pulls our audience in, thriving in uncertainty.

 

So in today’s business world, that has got to get everybody’s attention. It certainly gets mine because there is lots of uncertainty in today’s business world. And you talk a lot about thriving in that uncertainty. So the floor is yours, Meridith. Talk to us. What does that even mean?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Well, you know, it’s – my passion is sales and business growth. But honestly, since 2008, 2010, we’ve been on this path of everybody waiting whether the economy is up or it’s down or it’s up or it’s down. Pretty much I watch the news all the time and that’s all everybody is talking about is what the economy is going to do.

 

But when you really think about it, it isn’t about the economy being up or down. What we have to embrace is that as salespeople, as business professionals, we are living in uncertainty. We know there’s going to be change but we don’t know what that change is going to be or when it’s going to happen. And it paralyzes most people.

 

I mean as I talk to most organizations that I work with or places that I’m speaking, there were becoming paralyzed by it. And I just started to look for organizations that were starting to use it as a competitive advantage. And that is the soapbox I am on right now. It is the world we are living in. So if it is paralyzing your competitors, how do you use it as your competitive advantage?

 

Kody Bateman: So when you talk about uncertainty, is the uncertainty in the business world a lot more today than say 10 years ago or 15 years ago? Is the uncertainty bigger?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: I think it is. I think it is far bigger.

 

Kody Bateman: And why? What makes it bigger?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Well, because think about it. I mean I’m old enough that when I was growing up, I mean the competition was the guy down the street. And pretty much, if your little world was OK, you were going to be OK from a business perspective.

 

But now, we’re living in a time when the majority of things that could impact your business are outside of your control. I mean think about it. If an election goes one way or another, if gas prices go up, if there’s a layoff, if Europe doesn’t – if England doesn’t get Brexit passed, I mean whatever it is, things can greatly impact your ability to be successful.

 

And customers don’t have to do business with you. Your Uber or your Airbnb could enter the marketplace at any moment. And so, there is so much that is uncertain it can be difficult to strategize to grow your business.

 

Kody Bateman: So tell me a little bit about your client base. I mean who is your primary target audience? Because I know you do some consulting as well as you’re speaking and whatnot, so who are you out there consulting?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: So I am mainly focused on financial service providers. So anybody who is insurance, wealth management, banks, credit unions. And then I also do a lot of work in the manufacturing space.

 

Kody Bateman: OK. So how does the internet and social media, how has that changed those industries?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: It has been a huge impact on both of those industries. First of all, for my financial service providers, now, they are dealing with competitors that are one hundred online. They are dealing in a price war where they have to get their people to go from being order takers to truly being sales professionals because they are dealing with competitor sites such as LendingTree, such as GEICO, a whole new world for them.

 

Then you look over at manufacturing and their biggest challenge is finding qualified employees because the manufacturing space used to be a very entry level position. Now, you need people with high tech training in order to really be able to take those roles.

 

Add to it the third world pressure that they feel on pricing and things has really transformed that business and how – and what people need to do to compete.

 

Kody Bateman: OK. So the traditional financial institution or insurance institution used to doing things a certain way, old school or whatever you want to call it, internet comes along, social media comes along, all of these new people come along to compete with you in different ways. You get to come in to those organizations and teach them to thrive in this new unfamiliar, uncertain world. So I mean how do you consult that person? What do you tell him to do?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Yeah. The first thing that you got to do is get them comfortable with uncertainty and that is that embracing the fact of the biggest challenge that I see that organizations have right now is that the fact they are using strategies that were designed for a different marketplace. They were designed for a time when we could predict change.

 

So the first thing that they’ve got to do is really accept the fact that everything around them has changed and they need to be open to doing things differently. And that kind of sounds simple but it’s a big leap for people to meet because even if what we’re doing isn’t working, we can still – it’s still comfortable for us to do it the same old way we’ve always done it.

 

And so, that’s really the first big step is to get them to understand that their marketplace is very different. And once they embrace the fact that the marketplace is different, it’s a matter of putting in the strategies that are going to help them be successful.

 

And there are things like dividing what they can control and what they can’t control and focusing on the things that they have control over and making those things better such as building the reputation in the marketplace, making the customer experience so incredible the customers really feel they can’t live without them, taking incredible care of their existing customers, understanding that growth happens inside out, we need to sell to existing customer base, how to change up the whole sales strategy so you’re not selling on price anymore, you’re really understanding how to build that connection and truly become a resource and adding value to everything from building contingency plans and contingency strategies for their businesses.

 

Kody Bateman: Wow! There’s a whole bunch of smart language going on there. That’s good stuff. I love it. You’re starting to move into my area of expertise. I have the book, The Power of Human Connection.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Yeah.

 

Kody Bateman: The book is specifically about relationship marketing, how relationship marketing is transforming the right people to succeed. So a lot of what you just talked about was getting into a mode where your service, how you serve you customer has to go to a new level. And you just talked about that. You got provide impeccable service. And service is a big part of creating relationship.

 

And so, what we talk about on this show and in the books and everything else, in fact, I’ve got a grand summit that I’m hosting coming up in August in Salt Lake City all about relationship marketing.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Nice.

 

Kody Bateman: So, you’re kind of going into that direction now where you’re talking more about creating relationship with the customer base. And of course, service is a big part of that. You already talked it. What other things do you encourage your clients to do in today’s world to create better relationship?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: I always say it isn’t what you do in this economy, it’s how you do it because there is no product that you sell that your competitors don’t sell, can’t sell, or would not sell. And that’s a mind shift change for people because we get so hung up on how amazing our product is. But to the average consumer, they believe they can buy it anywhere. They believe they can sit at home in their underwear and Google it and buy it.

 

So if you want people to do business with you, it is all about the relationship. It’s my favorite thing about this high tech economy is that we can do – I mean literally, I could sit in this house and probably do anything I want to do. I could have food delivered here. I could have a party. I could chat with people. I could probably get married and divorced without ever changing my clothes.

 

[Laughter]

 

But at the time when we are so high tech, what we are missing from our society is connection, is relationship, is experience. So I caution people that when we talk about customer service, it’s not like we’ve been talking about customer service in the past. This is customer service, customer experience in steroids. You got to create an experience that is so amazing I don’t believe I can find it anywhere else.

 

And then once I become your customer, you have to proactively add value radically so that I don’t think I can live without you. I have to see you different than I see anybody else who sells the exact same thing that you do because the moment that you’re even with your competitors, there’s no reason for me to darken your doors.

 

Kody Bateman: OK. So you mentioned some of your clients financial sector and also did you say insurance as well?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Yeah, I do a lot of insurance.

 

Kody Bateman: A lot of insurance, OK. So I’m just going to go into consumer mode now. So I buy insurance. My wife and I buy insurance. In fact, we’re dealing with a whole bunch of insurance stuff right now. And it is – today, we are in the GEICO world. You hear about GEICO all the time and this and that, the other, whatever and you can call it and get customer support and whatever.

 

We have the traditional insurance agent. And I’m assuming some of those are your clients. So the traditional insurance agent is the one that’s supposed to go out and shop the companies for you and take care of you. So what does that insurance agent need to do today in addition to everything you just said, but what do they need to do today to separate themselves from all of this noise that’s coming in so they could feel comfortable in the – what do you call it, in the uncertainty?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Yeah.

 

Kody Bateman: See, to me, part of being – part of gaining comfort in uncertainty is kind of knowing what to do.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Sure. Absolutely.

 

Kody Bateman: Know precisely what to do. And you mentioned a lot of it. But now, I’m the insurance agent and my experience has been I don’t hear from uncertain agent unless I have a need. And when I have a need, I call the insurance agent and they are going to typically put Johnny on the spot once I contact them. But I might go a year or two years without ever talking to them. They never talk to me. They never reach out to me.

 

Quite honestly, I don’t feel overly appreciated by my insurance agent. And when you get into that mode and a new insurance agent comes along and tries to get your business, you have a tendency to listen because you don’t feel overly appreciated by – it’s not like they eve did anything wrong. It’s just that they never reached out. It’s like listen, everybody wants to feel appreciated.

 

So talk to us a little bit about that. What does insurance agent need to be doing?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Well, the first thing that – I have a set of steps and they go in order and I’m going to shrink it to three for time sake. Number one is, you said something so powerful and that is that it’s white noise. Always tell people that buying anything and let’s just say insurance, is like shopping at the cereal aisle of the grocery store, right? I mean there is that aisle with everything any human being could ever think of to possibly do with a cornflake. And to you, all those cornflakes look the same.

 

Well, it’s the same for insurance. It all looks vanilla. So you got to pop off the shell. As a business owner, let’s just say it’s insurance, you got to work on building your reputation in the marketplace. You’ve got to work on getting above the white noise and stand out from the competition. You’ve got to give me a reason to have heard of you and about you before you ever call on me.

 

Right now, before you and I buy anything, if I invited you to Asheville, North Carolina to visit me and I said, “We’re going to stay at the Grove Park Inn and we’re going to go to Limones to dinner, what’s the very first thing that you would do? You Google it.

 

Kody Bateman: Right.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Right.

 

Kody Bateman: Right.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Because you want to know what everybody else is saying about the Grove Park Inn and Limones. So people verify us before they do business with us.

 

So you’ve got to create buzz about yourself in the marketplace. You’ve got to get people talking about you and you’ve got to learn to brag about yourself. If you just won an award, you need to send all your customers a thank you note saying, “I could never win that award without customers like you.”

 

And so, that’s the first thing. You’ve got to realize that in your industry, it all looks vanilla to the consumer. So what makes you stand out?

 

The second piece is your expertise, Kody. You got to switch up the whole sales process and you got to focus it one hundred percent on relationship because you got to understand I can buy that product anywhere. The only reason I’m doing business with you is because I like you.

 

And in an uncertain economy, every other insurance professional is coming on like a bat out of you know where and they are pushing you to buy that product. So if I differentiate myself by backing up and I’m going to ask you questions, I’m going to listen, I’m going to focus on what’s important to you, that experience is going to feel different and you’re going to be drawn to me simply because I got to know you as a person.

 

But most importantly is this last piece that you’re talking about, and that is for anybody listening to this, if you have a customer base, you better radically proactively be reaching out to ask them what is going on in their lives because if you are not taking care of your existing customers, don’t even bother making a sales call because if I call on Kody to buy insurance, I need to understand Kody may love me but he is going to ask one of my other customers, at the very least, he is going to read my Google reviews. And if there is not positive information in the atmosphere about me, he is going to move on to the next person.

 

And every single one of us do that. Watch yourself get a hotel and you look down and if there isn’t positive reviews, you move on to the next hotel. It’s just the way the consumer. You got to understand the mindset of the consumer today. And you are not growing your business, your existing customers are.

 

Kody Bateman: Yeah. So there are a lot of tools today that help you do that as far as leveraging and embracing technology in order to help you reach out to that client base of yours. Of course, there’s social media and there are other sources. You know I have a company called SendOutCards which allows you to send out real, tangible greeting cards and gifts to people.

 

And we believe wholeheartedly in the tangible touch because there’s a whole bunch of intangible stuff going on. I mean people rely pretty much on email and social media and comments, posts, stuff like that and we kind of gotten away from that, the tangible touch, the real card that shows up in the mail that you can touch it, you can feel, you can smell, you can open it, you can read it you can put a picture in it. And that’s one way to differentiate yourself from other people.

 

I had a guest on recently. Her name is Gayle Zientek. And I’ll probably butcher the little formula she has but the concept is, it was like 50-10-5-3-1 flippity flap whatever that you do throughout the day. Listeners, go back and listen to Gayle Zientek so that you can see exactly what that is, 10-10-5-3-1 whatever.

 

Basically what it is, it’s all about reaching out to your client base and it’s utilizing social tools like social media, Facebook, Instagram, and tools like SendOutCards, which is the real tangible cards. So basically what she says is you want to go and hit – you want to like at least 50 people in your newsfeed every single day so that you’re participating. You want to make at least 10 comments a day. So you are commenting at least 10 times a day.

 

So in other words, you formulate it to where you have kind of a personal quote every day. I’m going to do 50 likes. I’m going to do at least 10 comments on things. I’m going to have 3 valuable conversations on the phone with somebody. I’m going to do x amount of text messages and I’m going to send so many cards, one or two or three heartfelt cards every single day.

 

And if you get in the habit of just doing those things then it helps you to stay top of mind. And that’s where I wanted to go to next, staying top of mind. Now, you mentioned a lot of things to stay top of mind. But let’s talk about that. I mean how do you with all – we just mentioned a bunch of stuff to stay top of mind but give me some other ideas about staying top of mind all the time with your customer base.

 

Meriditih: I got 16 ways to stay in touch without being annoying.

 

Kody Bateman: Nice.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: That I will share with people. And that is, you’re absolutely right. I mean the chances that you’re going to interact with somebody at the exact time that they are ready to buy a product or service are probably slim to none, right? So, we’ve got to stay visible with people in a way that isn’t annoying. And I think there are all kinds of things that you can do.

 

I mean I love SendOutCards because I love the fact that I can take a picture of you and I. Send it. I could take a picture of your office building. I could do something. I can really personalize that. So I think those types of things are a great thing. I think using social media, I think inviting people to a webinar, sharing a podcast that you’ve heard, sending a link to an article that you think would be valuable, letting – making a connection with them for somebody that you think would be a good connection for somebody for them to know, inviting them to join a group that you’re a part of, reaching out for any kind of holiday or a thing like that is really a great way to stay visible with people.

 

But I like to use when it stays – when it’s about visibility, I use the 70-30 rule, 70% is about adding value to you, Kody, and 30% will be about telling you something about me.

 

Kody Bateman: Well, we are close. We are very close than that. I have a rule in relationship marketing. It’s the 80-20 rule.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Yeah.

 

Kody Bateman: But I use the phrase relationship marketing and I say whether you established your relationship in your business, it’s about relationship 80% of the time and marketing 20% of the time. So it’s mostly about relationship and partially about marketing, which is – that’s a huge shift from yesteryear.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Yes.

 

Kody Bateman: I mean yesteryear would be marketing, marketing, marketing and if I feel like it, maybe I’ll be nice to you every once in a while. It has totally shifted the other way now to where the majority of what you do is not selling at all.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: No.

 

Kody Bateman: The majority of what you is not going for a close, not trying to get a commission or whatever. It’s about creating relationship, at least 80% of the time. So we are on the same page of that.

 

  1. So I like this question here. If our listeners were going to take action, you talked about a lot of things today. I mean you’ve covered – hopefully, our listeners take good notes here because you’ve given us some incredible golden nuggets. But we want to go down to one thing. What is the one piece of advice, if somebody remembers nothing else on this show but the one piece of advice from you, what’s that going to be?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Yeah. You know how hard that is for me to go down to one but I’m going to go down to one. So I am a – in my former life, I was a banker. So I am all about return on investment. I like the bottom line to get fat. So the piece of advice I’m going to go for if they were me and I was listening to this podcast, I would go with that piece of advice of business growth from the inside out.

 

And I would make a list of my 10 best customers, people that I love working with, that have bought into. And I would call them this afternoon and I would just ask them a bunch of questions. I would say things like, “Just wanted to call you and thank you for being my customer, find out what’s new in your business for 2019, what are some of the goals, what are some of the challenges.” And I would just listen because a couple of things are going to happen.

 

Number one, you are going to get – you are going to keep your competitors away from your customers because you proactively reached out.

 

Number two, you’re going to listen and I guarantee at least in half of those, you are going to find a product or service they need from you.

 

And then lastly, is you’re probably going to find a referral.

 

So if you need to drive the bottom line, you need to call those customers, you need to ask those questions. And here’s the crazy thing, the better job you do at taking care of your existing customers, they are going to go out and tell other people how amazing you are. That builds your reputation, opens the door so you can connect and on the system goes.

 

Kody Bateman: So speaking of that, my audience is – it’s pretty common in my audience those people who are looking to referral business. I mean that’s a common goal, at least amongst my group. You go to some groups and the goal is how do I get better leads? And other people’s goals are how do I get a better closing rate or whatever.

 

Those in my audience, and of course because we talk about this a lot is the goal – the ultimate goal is to generate the most referrals. And you just mentioned ways in order for people to talk about you and bring other business to generate referrals. So referrals are a big deal and I’m assuming referrals are big deal and all those industries that you go out there and you service. And I think you just – I mean I was going to ask this question but I think you’ve already answered it is all of these different ways to generate referrals, is a referral a lead or is referral different than a lead?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: I think referrals are about the hottest lead you can get. I mean really, pretty much when – I just got one the other day. I had a speaker friend called me and gave me a referral and I’m halfway through the door because he said I was good. I was who you should hire. They’ve done half the sale for me.

 

I do want to say one thing about referrals though, and that is, as crazy as it sounds, don’t dance around them. If you want them, you need to ask for them. I made that mistake in my own business. I think Kody and I are hanging out. You and I have a good relationship and everything is great. And I just assumed you would send me a referral. But people figure that you’re busy. I don’t know what.

 

But if you want one, you need to – after you’ve built the relationship, after you’ve connected, after you’ve added value to that person, there’s no instant gratification in referrals. But if I have done everything that we’ve talked about, Kody, then I’ve opened the door to say, “I’d love to get a referral from you.” But I think we do need to ask for them. I think that’s important.

 

Kody Bateman: That’s interesting. You’re going to want to read part of my book because I talk about that very thing, whether or not you ask for the referral. And when you start reading that, you might say, “Oh, Kody, differs from me on this opinion.” However, you got to read all the way through it.

 

I think there are times you should ask for referrals for sure. But I’m known for saying, in fact I’ve got some funny stories about it, teaching seminars and having people in the audience challenged me on this. I literally get up and say, “Don’t ask for a referral, deserve it.”

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: I know. I agree. You got to deserve it first.

 

Kody Bateman: Now, that doesn’t mean you don’t ask for one but the most important thing is to deserve the referral. How do you deserve a referral? Well, you treat people right. If you treat people right, you recognize people and you reach out to them and you stay top of mind and you serve them the right way, you send them a thank you card and you do certain things like that, you’re deserving of a referral. And chances are, in fact, what our clients and customers and users are saying is they really don’t need to ask for referrals, they just come in because they deserve the referrals.

 

So, a little bit different twist on that. Another thing I talk about and I want to get your take on this, I talk about asking customer for a referral versus asking a prospect for a referral. And I talk about the importance of asking a prospect that you have served well, a prospect that you may have gone through the sales process with them and determine because you are a relationship marketing sales person, determine through the sales process with all the questions and everything else, determine respectfully that your product and service may not be the best thing for them at that time.

 

And of course, we counsel you to not go for the close, to not go for anything else, but always be that place of service. And if you do that, I believe if you do that and the people will feel it, and then at that point, you’re done. You gave them the respect. Perfect time now to ask for a referral.

 

So I say all the time to people, “Look, the people that you go out and try to generate business with, they may or may not have a need for your product or service at this time. But I guarantee you, they probably know somebody that does.” So as long as you treat them the right way, I think it’s a great opportunity to ask for a referral.

 

Anyway, we could talk all day about that kind of stuff. But it’s really, really good.

 

  1. Here is what I like to do. First of all, I’m very excited to hear you live. I’ve seen some of your YouTube stuff and you’re very dynamic on the stage. You do a great job. You keep the audience entertained and you have tons of content. I like – you know what’s interesting? Some speakers are really great at entertaining and being funny and whatever but at the end of the speech, what do they – I mean that was funny and cool but what do they learn?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Right.

 

Kody Bateman: And then you got others that are very content-rich but boring as heck. And you’re the hybrid. You’re right where you need to be because you got a good mix of entertainment and being fun with people and being serious when you need to be but also, all the way through it, creative and great content for people. So kudos to you for that.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Thanks.

 

Kody Bateman: And anybody out there that’s looking for a good speaker, those are the kind of speakers you should want. So Meridith is great for that.

 

But here’s the deal. End of the show. I always like to end the show by doing this. This is free rein time. This is where I give – this is Meridith soapbox. This is where I give you the floor.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: OK.

 

Kody Bateman: A lot of times in podcast, the thing I get challenged with in podcast when I listen to them sometimes is there’s a whole bunch of questions and a whole bunch of answers. And sometimes I think, “Hey, the interview – shut up, would you? Just let her talk.”

 

[Laughter]

 

So this is the time where I need to shut up and just let you talk. So the floor is yours. Give us that 5 minutes of Meridith knowledge, maybe part of one of the speeches that you do. Motivate our audience in this close. Go ahead.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: I’m going to go with what I’m going to be speaking about in OutBound, and that is that networking is the new more profitable cold call. And that – because really I believe, I passionately believe that you build your network, you will change your life, that any time you walk into a room, if you look around that room, you are among a room full of people with the skills, the ability and the connections to help you achieve any goal and get anything you want in your life. And all you got to do is connect with them. You’ve just got to network with them.

 

But networking has become this word that sort of sucks the energy right out of the room. It’s like cold calling or a 360 reviews or public speaking. I mean we just do not like to network. And I think that’s unfortunate because especially in a world where we cannot be pushy salespeople anymore. The more that you reach out, connect, and build your network, the more successful you are going to be.

 

And if you never like to cold call and you’re worried about filling your pipeline and building your business, networking is definitely the new more profitable cold call. If you simply connect with people in a natural servant’s heart type of way, you are going to have such a pipeline moving through of people whom you have served, people you have helped, and people you have learned a lot about that you’ve opened the door to connect, to learn more, and to close more business than you’ve ever dreamed of.

 

The absolute best salespeople and unbelievably connected and well-networked. And so, that is my soapbox. I’m just such a passionate believer when people ask me for one piece of advice, it is build your network. It will change your life. If you reach out and touch people every day, amazing things will happen for you professionally and personally.

 

Kody Bateman: I love it. Thank you by the way. I love part of what you said there, be a natural servant. I love those words. Be a natural servant. That’s really, really good stuff.

 

So there you have it, my friends, Meridith Elliott Powell, the author of the brand new book, Own It: Redefining Responsibility, stories of power, freedom, and purpose. You can get this on Amazon or you can go to – what is your website again?

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: ValueSpeaker.com.

 

Kody Bateman: Go to ValueSpeaker.com and look that up and you can grab this book. I’m really excited to dig into that. And the OutBound Conference, April 23 through 26. And you will be able to hear Meridith speak there and I will be a speaker there as well. My wife and I will be down there. We are looking forward to meeting you.

 

And so, thanks everybody. Appreciate all of our listeners. And make sure you tune in for another good episode of the Relationship Marketing Podcast. Take care, everybody.

 

Meridith Elliott Powell: Thank you.

 

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