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Ep 3

Get More Out of Networking

In 2019 our team ventured into the world of podcasting and started the Gettin' Buzz'd video podcast. Hosted by our CEO and Founder, Dustin Brackett, and Business Development Manager, Michael Thebeau, the Gettin' Buzz'd podcast is all about pulling back the curtain on important marketing and sales tactics and topics with the goal of sharing some of our expertise and helping our listeners/viewers with actionable tips that they can implement right away.
 
Check out our third episode on getting more out of networking with Tammy Urbach of 4BR. Transcription of the episode is available below. Be sure to follow our Gettin' Buzz'd YouTube channel too!
 

 

Dustin: 00:10 Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of Gettin' Buzz'd. I'm Dustin Brackett, CEO and Founder of HIVE Digital Strategy and this is my cohost Michael. He is our Business Development Manager at HIVE. Today we have a very special guest, Tammy Urbach with 4BR. 4BR stands for Building Better Business By Referral and today we're going to be talking about networking and how to get the most out of your networking. As always, we're drinking something local here today. It is a morning episode, so we thought it was a little inappropriate to break out the hard alcohol. So we're actually drinking coffee from Boyer's Coffee. They're actually right down the street from us. It's a beautiful spot and even though they kind of slacked on their branding with everything we promised, this is the Colorado Rockies brew from Boyer's. Um, even though you can't tell any of that, 

Michael: 01:07 So lawyers, if you see this, let us know if you need any marketing or branding. 

Dustin: 01:13 Well, Tammy, thanks for joining us. It's great to have you in. We've known each other for five years now, something like that. Why don't you give our viewers and listeners a background of you and what 4BR is and how you got started in that world. 

Tammy: 01:30 Awesome. So 4BR actually started out as a personal need for my networking and trying to grow my business as a financial advisor. So I started 4BR because there were no groups for me to join a network in. And so I kind of started it on the side while I was doing my financial advising and my insurance work. And it just came to be that every single day I had insurance and investments to work on and I had 4BR to work on and I just really found that that's where I had an affinity and a real love of helping people and business owners and so forth. 4BR was born in October of 2010 so being almost nine years old. I rescinded all of my licensing in January of 2012 and really have just pursued 4BR and the whole business side of things since then. All in cut-off, burnt the bridges. 

Dustin: 02:17 Love that. And I mean anyone that knows you knows that Tammy's a people person, so picturing you behind a desk, working on loans and things like that. It's always been a little weird to me. Tammy's out talking to people and shaking hands and meeting people. 

Tammy: 02:32 She didn't use to be that way though. I used to be shy. I've been networking now for 15 years and you couldn't get me to shut up to save my life. But it didn't used to be that way. I was kind of the wallflower. It scared me to death and I started to find that when you found a purpose to network, it made it a lot easier and a lot less scary. And so that's really how over the years I've been helping people that are networking averse come out of their shells, get the hang of it and love to actually do it. I go through withdrawals when I don't network. It's kind of crazy. 

Dustin: 03:08 It's interesting, Michael and I were talking about it and neither of us feel like we're good networkers though. I mean, five years ago when we first met, I feel like I've gotten a lot better. But it's one of those things that so many people understand that they need to be doing it. And for everyone right now, it's not just like the little mom and pops or it can be like the fortune 100 companies that still need to go actually meet people face to face. And you know, that's just one of those things that I think most people feel a little bit of anxiety about. Like, okay, how do I actually do this? How do I make it work? You mentioned you were a wallflower. I don't really buy that. But how did you get over that? 

Tammy: 03:53 That the real honest to God answer is wine. Before I was a financial advisor, I was a mortgage lender and I had people that worked with me and we were all pretty uncomfortable with the whole concept of networking and had joined the chamber. And we're like, okay, how do we do this? Because frankly, when you're a mortgage lender, people don't really get excited to talk to you. So we had to find some other way to kind of bridge that gap. And so we just made a competition out of it. Before we would go networking, we'd open a bottle of wine in the office, we'd all have some wine, we'd all practice our pitch. And then our contest was kind of to see how many business cards you came back with, you know, which just was a testament to the fact that you didn't stand on the wall and you were actually talking to people and exchanging information. And so it just takes practice. I think networking with a purpose with intention also makes it really easy, especially when you're uncomfortable. So if you just go, okay, I'm going to this event and my goal is to talk to three people, or I'm going to go to this event and I'm going to go for 30 minutes and then I'm going to leave. Because you kind of set yourself up in that framework to be successful without freaking yourself out. Feeling like you're going to throw up and all the other emotions and you know, things that go along with it. So it's really just a practice kind of thing. You've just got to get out there and do it and everybody needs to network and people actually do network all the time. That is, don't think of it as networking and network on the sidelines at their kid's games. They network in the grocery store line talking to complete strangers about the weather or whatever the case may be. We all need to be networking all the time for just a lot of different reasons. It's not always just about business. 

Dustin: 05:41 Sure. And so as you're going through that and you mentioned have a goal. So I want to meet three people. Do you see people that start down that path, but then their goals are too big or they get there and they're like, okay, I want to meet 50 people and then they're like well I met five, but that was a waste of time. 

Tammy: 06:03 I think most people that are trained to get the hang of networking set smaller goals. They don't want to fail at this and they know they need to be doing it. I think they tend to set smaller goals. And often what will happen is they kind of start to get the hang of it and it's like, well, okay, I've met three people, maybe I can meet three more. Then kind of mastering a whole a lot of events, you'll find people in like circles and it's kind of hard to get in. And so figuring out the tactical ways to break into conversations and have those carry on and people need to network where they're comfortable. It's not a one size fits all. Right? You know, the things are different. I went to a big regional event yesterday evening and my intent and purpose on that wasn't how many people to meet, but it was to find some way in, because it was in Larimer County that might be a territory manager for 40 yards. So I went with the intent to find people that knew people that had connections to that community and that area. So people network for different reasons. And I think that when people think about networking from the sense of giving, it also takes the fear away. Everybody wants to help. 

Dustin: 07:21 Sure. I think that's big. I think everyone, especially as they're really starting out with networking, they look at it like, okay, I need to meet five people and I need to close some business. Right? It's 'I need to be selling.' 

Tammy: 07:35 And the mindset is about, I want it, give it to me. But if you're actually doing it from the mindset of how can I help someone else, that always comes back around and it takes the fear away because we all want to help people and it's easy to ask on behalf of someone else or to make an introduction on someone else's behalf. But when you're networking to gain, it is a different feeling. Sure. It just feels completely different. 

Michael: 08:02 So what does that look like from your standpoint? if I'm Tammy and I'm at a networking event, how do I come up to somebody with the idea or the approach to give something? 

Tammy: 08:12 What I try to do and really encourage all of my membership to do is to learn to be, or network to be the resource. So when people start coming to you because they go, Hey, I need somebody that's a roofer, or Hey, do you know somebody that does mending whatever it is? When you start to be that go-to person, when it's time for business to come your way, it's just an automatic. It's just a different sense of this person always does, right. When they give me a referral, I mean I have people that aren't part of my organization, people that I've known for years. I get Facebook, I get text messages, I get emails, phone calls, Hey, I'm looking for this. Who do you know? And you know, it takes a while to do that, but when you network to be that resource and it works, it just works beautifully. Again, it takes away that fear that you're asking for business for yourself. It's just completely different and it works real smooth. 

Dustin: 09:18 I think that's a really good point. Like the people in my mind are the best networkers that I know, that I've met in 4BR and other groups. And other agencies that I know through HubSpot and things like that, they are that resource. So regardless of whether you do that or they do that, whatever I'm looking for, they know somebody. I mean it's interesting that, you know, Stacy, I'll reach out to Stacy, she's a realtor and I'll reach out to her for, Hey, I'm looking for a roofer like you said, or I'm looking for an HVAC guy. She doesn't do any of those things. But it's being that resource. Then as soon as I'm ready to buy or sell a house or somebody I know is, I'm like, Hey, you need to talk to Stacy. 

Tammy: 10:08 And it's a natural thing and it isn't anything that's forced you do it without even thinking about it. It just becomes very natural. And that's why you need to practice the whole networking scene and just do it. And you know, especially on those days when you're like, Ugh, I don't want to do it. Just make yourself do it. Because what I've found over the years with dealing with people is that sometimes you just don't feel like it. But when you do it, all of a sudden you go, Oh that was pretty cool. You know, I feel good, I'm happy, I'm happy that I did and I didn't talk myself out of doing it. Because that's the cool thing that we learned in the five second rule is that in five seconds you will talk yourself out of doing something, you know? So it's like just the days when you feel the least like doing it is probably the best time to do it. Right? Well on the flip side of that though, I also have to tell you, you've got to network when you're at your best because if you're not a morning person and you try to go to a morning networking event, those don't generally turn out too well because you're just like, yeah, I'd rather still be sleeping. Seven o'clock. It's glossed over. 

Dustin: 11:16 Yeah, it makes sense. One thing that you mentioned is like you get to a networking event or group or whatever and people are in that circle, right? It's kind of closed off. And like that's my biggest struggle is I don't want to just stand there and be this awkward guy. Like, are you guys gonna let me in? Like, Hey, can I join the cool kids club over here? How do you approach that? What advice could you give somebody that's just starting out on networking because they're going to see that, right? They're going to see these closed off groups and you don't want to just stand by yourself in the corner and wait for somebody to come to you. Like you need to actually be proactive, right? Otherwise you just stand on the sidelines. 

Tammy: 11:52 The easiest thing that I have found is to do just like the elbow touch and just say, Hey, excuse me, I'm here to meet some people and just introduce yourself. The cool people will let you into the circle. If they don't let you into the circle, find a different one. Sure. You don't want to talk to them. I mean, it is so much that way and you know, we are all human and there is that out there. The other great thing to do is to watch for people like yourself and help them in. So that's another way of being a resource. You can tell people that really are inexperienced and you can tell that they're uncomfortable. Go to those people and say, Hey, how, who are you? Who are you here to meet? And then go help find those people to connect them. It's huge because they will forever be in your debt. And it's not that we want people in our debt, but it's another way to give and to help other people out. And they will never forget you for that, right? And it feels good on both sides. But ultimately it's really swallowing and just, you know, somebody did that yesterday. She just walked up and she's like, I'm busting in the circle, I'm here to meet people and who are you and who are you? That's just what she did. She was gregarious. She obviously wasn't shy and she's done it a lot. But sometimes it's a fun ice -breaker. And I won't forget her, you know, it's just one of those things. 

Dustin: 13:29 Then you stand in the middle of the circle and you just do like a spin. Right? 

Tammy: 13:34 Yeah, it's super awesome. You know, the crazy other thing with networking is unfortunately you find the business card pushers. Those generally don't work out very well either. But you know what, those people are just uncomfortable networking and they haven't really gained the experience or the comfort level to networking conversation and actually to network from the giving perspective. They're there to get, and a lot of people that are new, that's where they start out. 

Dustin: 14:06 I think networking is always kind of viewed as a sales piece, right? Like you go to networking events to sell. 've seen what works in my experience is that you're not there to sell, right. You're there to meet people and be a resource and sales will come from it. That's really the whole bi-product. 

Michael: 14:33 It's all about the relationship. 

Dustin: 14:33 I think that is a really good point, especially for somebody just starting out with networking. Like, Hey, don't, just grab a stack of business cards and hand them all out. 

Tammy: 14:49 The transaction is a short-sighted look into really developing a successful business. If you're just looking for the transaction, you're always going to be looking for the transaction. When you focus on the relationships that you build through all of that, it is a complete game changer. It's way different. 

Michael: 15:10 You had mentioned the business card pusher. Originally you mentioned, Hey, just go with a goal of meeting three people or something like that. So does that goal typically lead to the exchange of a business card? What does the followup look like? You mentioned, Hey, I've got people that I've talked with on Facebook for years and maybe business never comes from it, but we've built that relationship and maybe years down the road it might. What does that exchange of information or networking or leading up to? How does that happen? 

Tammy: 15:37 Even in just looking to meet people, you do kind of get to that point. It's about having the conversation that leads to the right actions. Right? So, building that interest when you are that resource through the conversation. You may say, Hey, I've got somebody that I think could be a good fit for what you're looking for and let's exchange cards so that I can get that information to you. But if you commit to a follow up, do the follow up. I've been to many networking events where somebody says I will and they don't. Business never transacts at that point. The early stages of trust just got broken. 

Dustin: 16:23 I think it's interesting because when you go to a networking event -- and honestly I'm so bad with names -- I'll meet somebody, shake their hand and immediately I'm like, what his name? 

Tammy: 16:35 So say their name. I'm Aaron. Hi Aaron. It's nice to meet you. 

Dustin: 16:44 It's just one of those things that I've struggled with and I really try hard to get over that. But I think it's the same thing. Like you go to a networking event and there are so many people. And you may only walk away with three or four or five cards, something like that. But you're probably meeting more than that. Right? And trying to remember, what was that lady's name? I saw one person in 4BR that would take those cards and immediately write on the card. 

Tammy: 17:19 That's because it's fresh in your mind. When you leave the event, get in your car and make notes right there so that it's all fresh in your mind. And when you go back and do that follow up, then it can be on point. You may have talked about something in particular that has nothing to do with anything. But it's something that you can reference. That's really helpful to do. And then on the flip side of that there are people who collect business cards and then they'll do followup. It says, nice to meet you. And I'm like, but we didn't meet -- you picked up my card off of a table. It was funny. Years ago at a chamber, I had a photographer do that. I got this whole litany of emails after going to an event and they had just picked up cards off of a table and I followed up for a different event and now the husband and wife were both there. And he's like, it's nice to meet you, or we've met or something like that. And I said, no, actually we haven't. I said, you sent me an email, but we had actually never met. And he looked at his wife and he said, I told you not to do that. 

Dustin: 18:26 I think you could probably get away with that with some people. You're Tammy Urbach, not one of those people, like she remembers everyone. I think it's just one of those things that's just such a bad practice. You can't just grab a bunch of cards and pretend like, Oh, well they met a bunch of people. Or it's the immediately adding you to their marketing lists, things like that, that, you know? I think that also gives networking a little bit of a bad name. Right? Like you meet some people and all of a sudden you're getting spammed. 

Tammy: 19:06 it happens and I think it will happen for eternity. It's kind of like the do not call thing. It still happens. People are always calling and people have different concepts on those sorts of things and why they do it and why nothing happens as a result of it. And there's nothing permission-based there. So it's a little different. 

Dustin: 19:32 Sure. I think there's been a lot of great tips and things like that, but somebody that's just starting out or maybe in a new role and they need to go network for their company. What could they think about doing today? Maybe they have a networking event today that they're going to. What should they really be focusing their attention on or what details should they make sure that they check off? 

Tammy: 19:57 So I think it's knowing that when you walk in, what are you looking for. If you're looking to meet CPAs or you're looking to meet realtors or some place where you could put your product for sale. There are places that do that switchboard or a switchboard networking boutique does that. So knowing what you're looking for so that you can ask. It's okay to say, Hey, I'm actually looking to meet a CPA. Are there any here, anybody that you know? So it takes some of the fear factor away because you have a purpose and you're focused on your purpose, which edges out. Eventually the purpose is going to squash down the fear, especially once you find a little bit of success with it and you're like, okay, this isn't so bad. I can ask somebody else. It just keeps you moving a little bit further ahead and the further ahead you go, the lower that fear level gets. It does a real thing for a lot of people, but being on purpose and with a plan actually will help you initiate and do what you need to do. In today's world of social media, it's an easy thing to go, Hey, I need to go network. Any suggestions? People will be all over that and then they will have so much information and their head will blow up. But it'll give them a place to start and something going on every single day, everywhere. And then the other thing you get into is cost. Are they free events? Are we going to pay to attend them? It's different strokes for different folks. They like different things and different approaches. Some people love the women's only stuff. That's not me. But here are people who love it and they're all about it. But ask for help, ask for references. I mean, with social media today, it's all out there. You can get information and everybody wants to help and everybody will share their opinion. You just have to keep in mind that it is opinion and you're probably going to get a lot of it. And you have to decide, do you buy the opinion or not? 

Dustin: 22:13 I guess one thing that we've kind of struggled with ourselves is, is it better to go alone or is it better to go with multiple? Like should Michael and I both be going or should we be going individually? 

Tammy: 22:26 So I think particularly when you're starting out, having a networking buddy with you is really helpful because you'll keep each other from going on. I mean, I know people who have gotten to an event and not walked in the door. So you've got that commitment together that makes it easier. And sometimes it's easier to have a group conversation versus just a one-on-one because there's always more to talk about. That can be much more comfortable, especially for people that are new. But I recommend that even within our groups, I tell people, if you're afraid to network and you're uncomfortable, commit with someone else that you're going to go together and do it. And you will just find that it's like, okay, you survived. It makes it easier to do the next time. 

Dustin: 23:16 That makes sense. Well, great. Tammy, thank you very much for joining. Just to give 4BR a little plug, we've been a member of 4BR for five years now, which is crazy. Basically, right after I had launched the business. They do have a big networking event coming up on August 26th. They do quarterly big networking events, probably between 120 to 550 people. If you're interested in joining that and you're in the Denver Metro area, go to the website. You can purchase your tickets there, $15 in advance or $25 the day of. So our last segment is how's the buzz? Obviously there's no buzz with our coffee. A little caffeine. There you go. So what did you think? 

Tammy: 24:07 I wasn't sure what to expect. I've never had Boyer's coffee and it 

is actually very good, right? 

Dustin: 24:12 It's the Colorado Rockies roast. And even though they're not doing so good right now, the coffee I thought was really good. 

Tammy: 24:21 They need some coffee. Right? 

Michael: 24:22 That's gotta be it. 

Dustin: 24:24 What'd you think? 

Michael: 24:26 It's better than the team is right now, but otherwise it's just coffee to me. 

Dustin: 24:33 I mean, it's okay to be wrong. 

Michael: 24:35 Yeah. Mine's got the shots. 

Dustin: 24:41 Well, thank you everyone for tuning in. We'll have another episode next Tuesday and be sure to like our video and subscribe. And if you're interested in being a guest on Gettin' Buzz'd, please email us at gettinbuzzd@hivedigitalstrategy.com. Thanks. And we'll see you next time. Cheers! 

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