How To Effectively Connect with People To Grow Your Network, Business and Life with Ginger Johnson

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Ginger gets turned on by getting to know fascinating people. And finding creative ways to appropriately and successfully meet new people; everyday extraordinary people. Like you.Her mission is to connect the world, one person at a time, on purpose and with purpose. The remarkable people she’s met over the years – in her own towns and traveling across the world – has reinforced that there are remarkable people everywhere. We bet you’re one of them. And she wants to meet and get to know a lot more – and help you meet and get to know a lot of them as well. In todays episode Ginger shares her insights in how everybody can build a network ethically and with intention.
Victor Ahipene: Speaking nation, what’s happening? Welcome to another episode of public speaking secrets. I’m your host, Victor Ahipene. Super excited to have you here and today I’ve got Ginger Johnson who is a, I’d say the queen of connecting. If you’re looking to improve how you can connect with customers, how you connect with potential clients and, and reach out. She’s also a speaker, trainer, coach and author. Yeah, she’s, she’s done a lot of things, which I think you’re going to benefit you on your speaking journey. So with all that being said, welcome to the show, Ginger.

Ginger Johnson: Thanks Victor. It’s great to be here. Thanks everybody for tuning in. Clearly you’ve got a lot that you’re sharing, so it’s a pleasure to be, I guest.

Victor Ahipene: uh, with connecting at least, let’s dive in pretty quick into it, into the, into the connecting side of things. Uh, what does that kind of mean from the way that you teach it to clients and things like that? What, what does that type of connecting?

Ginger Johnson: Sure. Great question. Let’s get that clear right up front. Connectivity is my jam. That’s my expertise. And connectivity is creating a culture of people who are connected with each other. So what does that mean? That means that when we can learn how to create, develop relationships, really fundamental as you know, Victor or everything, we need to know how to get to know each other. So I’m not counselor or a relationship coach. What I am is I look at what does it mean to connect with people where they’re at, what are they looking for? How can you help them? So that connectivity is connecting with people on purpose with the idea and the intent to serve them in the end. So that’s, I love it cause it’s, it’s every single relationship we have and, and it’s really useful. I don’t want just, you know, nobody needs it more damn theory. Right? Let’s get let you know, if you know your why and your theory, that’s great, but then what do I do with that? So that’s also a huge part of connectivity and what I share and teach and speak about because I want people to walk out of the room or leave the podcast think, oh, you know what, I can use that one thing and that’s going to change things for the better.

Victor Ahipene: And when you say, so, I mean I’ve had a look around your website, looks at some of the stuff that you do. Um, yes. Let’s say for the the small business owner or the Solo Entrepreneur, um, they’re looking to boost their, boost, their exposure, connect with, uh, you know, ideal clients or beneficial, uh, your businesses that they can create mutual a mutual benefit from. Um, what other, I guess the first steps, I mean this is people who have, a lot of us aren’t necessarily even shy when it comes to, you know, conversing with different people. But we have a lot of, I guess, barriers that come up when it comes, when it comes to reaching out with this fear of rejection when it comes to their businesses because they’re our babies. So what are the steps that people I guess can, can kick off was in that aspect?

Ginger Johnson: Sure. Great question. Um, well, interestingly enough, when I, when I wrote one of my books that connectivity cannon, um, I knew I wanted to give people steps exactly what you’re like, do you like how do I do this thing? How do I connect with somebody else? And so a framework and made itself known as I was writing, which was super helpful. And so they’re actually seven elements of a connectivity. I’m happy to send it to any listener. They’re welcome to reach out to me as well. It’s in the book, but I’m happy to share it freely as well. And I think it’s on my website, but some of the things they can do, the actual steps, the very first thing is that you’ve got to have the right mindset. You’ve really got to know your why and your mindset. You got to know why you think you want to connect with people to begin with. And for the record connectivity, Victor is not networking that is different. It’s, I liken it to waves on an ocean. The tips of the way it’s our networking in a network is a thing. Connectivity is way deeper. It’s what’s underneath the surface. It’s where the real relationships and the real traction of life happens. So once you know why you want to connect with somebody and your mind is in the right place, your attitude, your mindset, then you can do anything. So then how do you do that thing? The first one is the first move. You start a conversation and one of the best tactics I share is think of premeditate a few open ended safe questions or compliments. Compliment is great. It’s gotta be authentic and genuine. You can’t just say, hey, you know, great long hair. When people like you not making a genuine compliment to somebody, helps them feel noticed. And that’s something that’s powerful for all of us. It’s useful for any relationship generation. Also, those safe open ended questions like, what did you enjoy about the weekend? Or what’s been a great thing about your week so far? Everybody can fill in those blanks, how it’s comfortable for them. You know what’s, what’s the music you’re listening to that you enjoy? Some universal topics that aren’t Beno like sometimes forts or whether it can be and they don’t feel like you’re trying too hard, but they feel genuine. So open ended questions and compliments to the best ways to start a conversation. Once you made that first move, that first point of contact, then there’s the Y in the road, I’d say I call it. So you and I are standing in the post office together and I make a comment on a package or holding or something and it’s holidays or who knows what. And I can tell you either are willing to engage in further conversation or you’d rather not. You know, that’s, that’s a skill we kind of learn. But we don’t learn it unless we try it. So we try it. And if I can tell you’re willing to engage in a further, you know, a few sentences conversation, I might keep that going. Um, asking questions is a great mechanism and a great tool for connecting with somebody because it’s not all about you. It’s never all about you. It’s about the other person. You want to be curious, you want to be interested. That’s what gets people interested in connecting with you if you figure out, you know, I don’t really, I’m not really getting the vibe.I don’t really feel like they want to talk to me. That’s great. Respect that. Don’t be a creep and just keep going. Okay, thanks. Yeah. Have a good day, whatever and keep moving along. After that you decide where you want that relationship to go. I called the pursue your path. If it’s something that we decide we want to go for coffee later or walk or we both have something in common and and we share that, great. If we decide that we’ll just see around town. That’s cool too. The last two elements of connectivity, Victor, I find are the most fundamentally important for developing relationships that last and matter, whatever their frequency of contact is and those are follow up and follow through. I shortened them into fluffed and follow up. Is is the immediate subsequent action after you and I have made a contact after you’ve done that first move, you decide what’s next? Oh yeah, let’s get together again or we both play Frisbee. Let’s meet in a park or something like that. You have to get over the feeling that it might seem weird because really most people want to connect with other people and if you do it just casually relaxed, not, not overly aggressive. Most people are going to respond positively. At a minimum. They’ll say, you know, I’m really not into that. You know, I’m going to, I’m going to keep it. Okay, cool. That’s great. Then follow through after that follow up, follow through is the care and feeding, as I call it, it’s the longterm trajectory. Do you see this person once a year? Do you run into them every week? Do you see them in the office? Do you interact with them on linkedin? You know, what might that be? You get decide what that is and then you need to care and maintain it, so relationships don’t just happen and if you’ve ever gotten a call, Victor, which I’m going to guess you have, somebody calls you and the only time they call you is when they want something that’s not connectivity. That’s, that’s somebody who hasn’t figured out that in order to get you need to give and connectors give first. So those steps are what I have found have been a really useful framework for people to plug it in as it works for them. But you still have to have a framework to figure out what are the steps. Okay, here I am now what, Oh, this now what? And so forth.

Victor Ahipene: Yeah, and I think a lot of us can relate. I mean I know you said it wasn’t necessarily networking, but you, you, you go to say something for your business or something for your work or whatever it may be and you end up with the draw full of business cards. And so many people think, they don’t necessarily think, I think is the main thing. They, they hand the hand out their business card, they’ve had a chat with you and they think, cool, there’s only, there’s only 48 barriers of things to the next step of like, I get your business card. They expect you to take it home. Be So excited that in three days time after they’ve been at some conference when they’ve got a backlog of work to they’re going to go, hey, I’m going to pull out that plus the other 20 business cards that I’ve got and I’m going to reach out back to this person, which I mean is, is what I think separates a lot of people, but the majority of us is what happens. You made a ton of new people. Well you meet a few new people, um, and you might reach out to one or two of them and then you forget to kind of nurture that relationship, um, when you’ve got it, which is, yeah, it’s horrible because I tend to find if I do go to an event like that or something, I won’t messaged them on the Monday after the event or the Tuesday after the event because I know they’re probably going back to work or their business and they’ve got 58 emails waiting for them and I’ve got meetings and they’ve got all these different things that it’s going to potentially get lost. So if you wait till those, yeah. Maybe caught up on Thursday or Friday and say, hey, how’s the week been? Yeah. Since you have like, yeah, that open ended question. How has it been since you’ve got back into it? I’ve just kind of caught up then. It’s been great catching. Yeah, it was great catching up with you on that weekend and then figure out how you can kind of, yeah, like you said, hey, you can nurture that down the track and, and not forget about them and them not forget about you. Because I mean, I’d much rather connect with someone on some sort of social platform then email and have the business card. Oh, if you got a business card, Nah, odd. Yeah. What’s your Linkedin, I’d love to connect with you on Linkedin or you know, what social media do you use them? Do you use the most? I’d love to check with you on there if you have got a decent connection. If you met them for five minutes and yeah. They have to run off then different story. But, um, yeah, I mean I think there’s a lot of um, yeah, a courtship is courtship, the whole developing friendship and things like that. That’s a yeah. You can’t propose on the first date and you can’t, um, yeah. You can also leave them high and dry because they’ll go looking for a new partner in crime.

Ginger Johnson: Sure. And you know, you hit a lot of really relevant points, Victor and that we use a conference as an example or some sort of work event. You Go, you do do the collection. First of all, you don’t have to give out your business card to everybody. You don’t have to accept one from everybody. It’s not about the quantity, it’s about the connection. One tactic I encourage people to think about is wherever you choose to go set a number for yourself. Last year I set a goal for myself that I was going to connect or reconnect with two to five people a week. For some people that would horrify them for other people is incredibly doable and I loved it and I recorded it so I could see what was going on. And one thing about that exercise, victor, was it really helped me think about who’s important. Meaning who do I really want to serve? Who do I want to keep a top of mind? Who do I want to generate and keep this relationship going? Chapter nine in my book, I even talk about permission slips. If there’s relationships that you’re not interested in pursuing, let them go be civil about it. If there’s a, if there is some sort of like disconnect you’re unconnected to do and you can do that in all kinds of ways, but don’t kid yourself. If you got that drawer full of business cards to think, oh, I’m going to do something with them. Just like give yourself that permission to say, you know, it was great to meet that person and I’m, I’m just going to keep moving. If you haven’t promised anything, you don’t owe them anything. The connecting attitude in my mind is that so you have that drawer for business cards, you know, set a timer for 45 minutes, shoot off some quick emails or texts or whatever, whatever your preferred method of communication is. Doesn’t matter. What matters is that you close the loop. Say, hey Victor, it was great to meet you in Melbourne last week and you know, um, don’t know when we’re going to cross paths again, but I just want to let you know I appreciate our conversation. Something that simple and short makes a huge impact because most people do have that drawer full of business cards and you kind of feel empty or like it didn’t matter. And now I have to reorder business cards. Like don’t waste your time. Give yourself some permission to figure it out or find somebody who can help you figure it out. Because when you do have the intention of following up with people and that’s something that I personally am, it’s, it’s something that is a cornerstone of who I am. I grew up writing thank you notes and so forth. So it’s, it’s something that’s really important to me. I don’t expect a lot in return necessarily, but I don’t do it to get the return. I do it because I want people to know that I appreciated standing there for 20 minutes before the doors open and learning something about you. And so it’s, it’s a signature of my person as well as my brand that people get postcards so they get written notes. If they get emails, they get surprised packages. So just decide what that is for you and, and then go ahead and do that consistency consistently because that will be memorable. When I’m on Linkedin for example, of course, as you know, it’s a really robust, terrific community and I’ve taught classes on it and I encourage my clients and and groups of people to consider it because it’s going through this huge renaissance in it’s way more, way more active and diverse and so forth. Well, I have a template. I have a response letter printed in a document that I, when I, I go through about once a week. I go through my invites on linkedin and I look at the person, I checked the profile briefly. There’s a couple of benchmarks I have that I’m willing and I’m, I’m pretty wide open, but there’s a few things that like, if you don’t have this or this, then I don’t know why you’re here because you’re not telling me anything about yourself. I can’t help you or I can’t. I like, why? So then I, I plugged that in, I personalize it with a sentence or two and I sent it off. I’m telling you, Victor, the number of responses I’ve gotten, I was like, wow, that was a really cool response. It’s still pretty low. At the same time, the people who want it, they get it and that’s why that to me is part of being a connector and that I want to make it meaningful. If I’m going to invest my time, if I expect them to invest their time, I want the connection to mean something. Now, how many of those people do I know in real life? Not a lot, but I’m certainly wide open and I want to leave a good impression.

Victor Ahipene: Yeah. And I think that’s the big thing with Linkedin is, is you’ve got to, I guess it’s like I haven’t done it, but online dating is you’ve got to separate yourself from the masses that you’ve corollary. Yeah. If you’ve got to sit there and go, okay, well if our analysis, getting the generic, hey, I’d like to connect with you, please add me to your network. You’ve regards and it’s like the straight out of the box template and you’re like, okay, this person is just there to me for no particular reason. Maybe I’ll accept, maybe I won’t, even if I do, I’m probably probably not enough stimulus for me to take. Excellent. Um, and now you’re like, oh, okay, well I don’t like you, I’ve got a thing against notifications so I better accept it or decline it and whatever. Whereas if somebody yeah. Leads with just the s yeah. I don’t care if it’s a team and it’s got, and it’s just the template with a little bit, little bit about them. Um, so it pre qualifies them to me. Do I want to go on a business date? Yeah. Do I want to take this to another level or if it’s something even slightly personalized then cool. If it’s, yeah, if you can tell it’s tried to be, I think personally if you can think it’s, it’s, it’s a generic one that pretends to be uh, personalized then I think that’s where you, you often burn bridges as well. It’s like, Hey, I think, hey, I had a look at your profile, didn’t give any background information and I think that yeah, we’d be great to connect with blah blah blah blah blah. And you’re like, yeah, you’ve pretty much just giving me something very, very generic and um, but yeah, I think that’s, that’s the whole thing. You tend to get her response when you’ve put a slight amount of your foot, like a slight amount of, if it is more than what 90% of people are doing, so you’re going to stand out. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, which I think has, yeah,

Ginger Johnson: that’s a template to make something three or four or five sentences long, you’re going to spend more time writing that every single time. Then you are to make a template and face it. A lot of our conversations start the same way anyway. Yeah. Tell me something about yourself or you know, whatever your open ended questions are a lot of them the same. So it takes like so much less time if you’re looking at the time efficiency of it. So it’s, it’s easy peasy and it’s, you know, why not open it up.

Victor Ahipene: Yeah. And I mean, I think that’s the, that’s the important thing that regardless of the, we, you are in your business or your life or you’re speaking and you’re listening to this at the moment, we’re looking at, yeah. If you’re looking to get more speaking opportunities and find, find a place that’s got people who are event organizers or key decision makers within businesses and figure out where do they hang out, can you meet them? Can you go to an event? Can you, yeah. Um, make a connection. And again, like you say, it doesn’t have to be a landing speaking gigs. The first time that you, you talked to him, that’s rare. Yeah. And uh, it’s, it’s the opposite. It’s get, get yourself, no one to them for starters. And then ca you can add value or you know, I’ve heard things like, um, you know, people who haven’t got excepted to a particular conference, um, yeah, they’ve sent some cookies or whatever, um, to the event organizer a couple of days after the event and said, hey, yeah, I’m sure you put on a great event and congrats and um, yeah. And uh, enjoyed kick back and enjoy these and the person will remember them. They haven’t come into the, or the hard sell of, Hey, hopefully I can speak next year or whatever. It’s just like, hey, yeah, in a fit of each way, it’s the nothing, but yeah. The, the person that I heard that they’re like a five to six feet keynote speakers, they’re sending out $5,000 worth of cookies every year to event organizers. Then you need that person to remember one person to remember them and it’s paid for itself. And Yeah, I guarantee that they get a lot more of the following year when they’re, when they’re following up and nurturing these relationships. So, I mean this, this works, what you’re talking about. I know it firsthand. It works. Yeah. From meeting a person for the first time to meeting people at networking and conferences and uh, all the way up to reaching out to people within organizations and conferences. And then the same thing if you’re, if you’re, um, if you are the speaker at an event, then yes, you want to be, you, you’re going to get barraged cause you are now the authority at Eddie and everyone, everyone wants to connect with you. Um, and I mean you want to obviously connect with as many people as possible within your, so you want to find out a way that you can leverage it, whether it be templates and things that you can follow up just so you can make your time more valuable and, uh, still make those connections. So appreciate that what you’ve shared it. So it’s definitely eye opening and yeah, some tips that I’ll take away. And then I think some ones that, you know, having on the bad side of people connecting with you. Um, I think a lot of people out there will hopefully a listening will, will change the way that they’re approaching it all. It’s uh, it’s definitely, uh, uh, yeah, a lot of food for thought and I guess something that we’re always working on improving.

Ginger Johnson: Yeah, for sure. And if for those people who want to speak professionally and there’s public speaking is great, the public speaking is like the big umbrella professionally speaking is being paid to do it. So that National Speakers Association here in the states, for example, that was a great lesson for me to learn. So if you want to be a connector to build your speaking business proper, if we want to get really specific about this, Victor, that makes a difference, being able to reach out, ask them what do they need? How was your conference? Um, what were some of the top comments that you got on it? Where would you like to improve? Have it be nothing about you, like make those conversations as you start the relationship to be completely about them. Because frankly, if it’s a wrong conference, you’re wasting your time, you’re wasting their time. And that has a lot of residual effect too. So get with the, the planners, the meeting planners, not just the events planners, but then meeting planners. There’s an inside, some of you probably know, but do you may know this well to the meeting planners are expressly looking for speakers who teach. Hmm. So in my mind, most teachers are speakers should be teaching something, a lesson or whatever it is, programs. But that is a delineation. And when you, you’ll stand out more as a speaker. If you take good care of them first and you’re not trying to force feed them your agenda, you’re, you’re asking them what they’re about. You’re getting smart about your own industry, you know, how they work and so forth. You know, sending cookies is great. Sending books has a mixed message. It’s just depends on the crowd. Like I send my books because I love sharing and I’m, you know, I’m really proud of it, but I’m not, I’m not sending it. So like here, here’s my book. Now don’t you want to hire me? It’s a, I’m so glad we connected the books about activity. So I want to give it, I wrote it partially as a gift piece of leverage, so they would remember me. So, um, you know, if you’re going to speak and write a book, make sure your book is a really well done book. Hire an editor, get people to help you, make that cause there’s a lot of crap in the market and that doesn’t help any of us as speakers especially and especially aspiring speakers. So there’s so much more we could talk about. But I’ll, I’ll, I’ll now turn the faucet off right now.

Victor Ahipene: Yeah, I mean it’s, uh, I think that the starting point, like you say, it’s, it’s the right people to look for and there’s the making the connections. If you follow those seven steps that you’ve given, it’s gonna, it’s gonna move the needle towards where you want to be in your speaking and your business, in your life regardless. So, uh, so finally, I want to just thank you and welcome you to our speaker nation family. As people want to find out more about you, where can they go and what can they do?

Ginger Johnson: Well, it’s pleasure to be in the family. Thanks. Anytime they can find more of me. I’m very active on Linkedin as well. It’s when my primary platforms, I do have a newsletter and so forth. That’s all through my own website. I’m a little bit of twittering here and there. I’m still learning Instagram. Um, and uh, yeah and I, I’m sure that they can go to you and say, who is that crazy ginger woman? And we can, uh, we can hook them up from there. So I think that covers most of the basis.

Victor Ahipene: Oh, awesome. Well, as always, we’ll link that at where you can get in touch with ginger, grab all the links from what we spoke about today and find all our past episodes. So again, appreciate your time. It’s been an absolute ball and I look forward to hopefully connecting without connectivity somewhere in person in the near future.

Ginger Johnson: I’m sure we will. Victor, I print as a pleasure to be here. Thanks everybody.