Most Transactions Start with a Personal Relationship
Right click and choose ‘save as’ or ‘save link as’ to download the audio file: Proper and Profitable Networking with Intention
Robby Amaro is a Partner at Telesto Ventures, that owns 4 E-Commerce companies. He has 2 operating roles in these companies: CEO of Prime Greens and CMO of Vitality Now. He is also partnered in two marketing agencies, and one marketing course (The Marketing Mercenary).
Robby Amaro is a lifelong entrepreneur that got his start selling Kirby Vacuums door to door. He then took his direct marketing skills and began pitching products at Sam’s Club and Costco. He took this knowledge, and tried out his skill set on the internet at Six Pack Shortcuts (now Six Pack Abs) where he started their email program – and took it from $1,000 a week to $16,000 a week, all while learning copywriting and SEO along the way.
He went on to get an equity offer at another direct response company where he was the CEO. The rest is history. He’s operated as a customer service agent, affiliate manager, email marketer, marketing manager, director of marketing and now CMO and CEO so there weren’t any shortcuts along the way. He put in the work.
Finally, he’s known to give way too much information away for FREE, so here you go.
This is an edited version of the audio interview linked above.
Dee Braun: How about we start with the basics. What is networking, and why is it important?
Robby Amaro: It’s exposing yourself to a group of people that are typically like-minded in that they have some kind of intention behind being in a space together. For example, you don’t just aimlessly go to every networking event and assume something good is going to come out of it. Networking should be intentional.
Let’s say you’re an affiliate manager. You want to find people to promote your offers. A good place to network would be people who can bring you sales to your offer. So how do you find those people? I think that’s email marketers; that’d be a very intentional place for an affiliate marketer to go.
Dee Braun: What is the difference between “networking” and “networking with intention?”
Robby Amaro: Networking is putting yourself in a place and not having a clear reason why you were there. I don’t go to events unless I have a clear intention. It’s quality over quantity that can impact you, your business life. Unintentional networking is just adding everybody on Facebook, joining every single group that has to do with internet marketing in general.
Dee Braun: If we’re networking with intention, does it mean that every time I network with somebody, I want something from them? That sounds kind of self-serving and rude.
Robby Amaro: No, I don’t think so. You can be clear about why you’re there. Here’s the thing: We’re all people, right? At the same time, we also have jobs and lives. We know we have to make money. Say we’re in Facebook groups or at live events, we can’t all spend all day getting to know each other just for fun. So, I think, the intention being, “Hey, this is why I’m here,” and saying that consistently to others.
But the bigger thing is, you have to know why yourself. Why am I here? Do you really know that? If you don’t know that, you’re not going to be able to express that to others.
Dee Braun: Do you have a goal, when you go to a show/ If you do have a goal, is it just floating around in your head or do you write it down?
Robby Amaro: I’d write it down. I usually write five goals per event. I usually get to three of them typically. And that’s a win. That’s a big win.
Dee Braun: How do you balance between, “This is what I need,” but not losing the humanity factor? I mean, even the takers have to fake being a giver at some point …
Robby Amaro: I struggled with being an over-giver. … Before I go to any networking event, I do have my five goals, but I also have two things that I’m doing that I assume others can learn from. Even more important than your goals, go in with two or three things that you can share with others – help or ways to help them.
Dee Braun: Let’s say we’re, we’re networking with intention, and we have a hit list. What’s the risk at setting your sights on the big boys, if any?
Robby Amaro: Missing a lot of people in between that, that’s the risk. I still think both things can be accomplished. If your goal is to get to know them, get to know them as a person first. What I’ve found is most of the transactions that happen, especially with an affiliate relationship; they start with that personal relationship.
Dee Braun: Is there a golden rule of networking?
Robby Amaro: Don’t be afraid to talk to people. Even if you do nothing else, if you talk to people, typically something good is going to come out of it. It’s OK to be scared; I think that’s natural. I’ve never been good at [networking], so I had to work really hard at it. I just want to talk about things other than business all the time when I’m around people. I never want to talk about business.
Dee Braun: Getting people to just go, “This is me.” This is where I am, and I want to move forward from here. And not ashamed of where they are. It’s a big, big, big problem.
Robby Amaro: It is. You see it all the time, and that’s why a lot of times events and bar talk, you’ll hear people bragging. That’s typically self-esteem issues. … I would say trust the gut when you meet people, because it’s probably not lying to you. You have had experiences both good and bad that have created that gut, and that gut is you, so trust it.
Dee Braun: I would also say be careful of making assumptions. The dude who is sitting beside you at a conference and he looks like he just came in from a hunting trip because he has a red flannel shirt on and he’s just talking like the normal Joe next door and you’re looking at maybe a couple other guys who are on the stage and they’re all decked out and they’ve got diamond rings and blah, blah, blah, whatever – they’re the guys to talk to – it might be kind of a shock when you realize that dude’s sitting right beside you. Is Jeff Radich.
Robby Amaro: Oh yeah. 100%.
Dee Braun: So be careful, be careful of assumptions and be careful of dismissing people. That new person who is asking the quote-unquote dumb questions in five years could be a Joel. I’ve seen it happen. I literally watched someone go from “What’s a URL?” to retiring a multimillionaire eight years later.
Robby Amaro: There you go.
Dee Braun: You do not know which one has what it takes. So you don’t dismiss. And you don’t go, “well they’re not big enough for me to worry about”, because, if at the very least you treat them like a human being and if you can easily offer help when they need it, guess who they’re going to remember?
Robby Amaro: Yup. Yup. 100% that’s so true. And that’s again, back to who your partners are, your business partners, whoever that may be. You never know. So treat everybody like a human.
Dee Braun: Yeah, exactly. I think that’s really big deal because we’re ambitious. If we weren’t ambitious, we wouldn’t be doing this.
Robby Amaro: Oh yeah.100% yeah.
Dee Braun: We’re driven – but you just don’t know.
Robby Amaro: Yeah, you really don’t, and you don’t know if they just don’t like being on stage. Like a lot of people hate being on stage. I know I’m one of them. I avoid it almost at all costs because it terrifies me.
Dee Braun: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. So what else?
Robby Amaro: What else? I think I’ve come back to anything that we didn’t dig into that I think would be really important. Well, I think what I’d like to show people is that when you’re in that beginning stage… I’m actually thinking back to somebody in particular. Where it was his first networking event. And you know, I think this is something to not forget, especially when you’re on the sixth, seventh grade year. You’ve gone to a couple of networking events, you know how it is to be the new person. Help somebody else out, introduce them to somebody. I think that’s a big thing too. Don’t forget to help. Other people.
Dee Braun: Pay it forward.
Robby Amaro: Yeah. Pay it forward. Oh, 100%. Yeah. Do that. Do that. Because we were all in that position where I remember a couple of times there was somebody [who] introduced me to something else. It was so awesome, amazing. And it actually really helped me. And I remember doing that for others, you know, the same way. I think that’s actually one of my goals. Every time I introduce somebody to like three or four different people that they didn’t know, I know they’re going to synergize. So that’s maybe that’s an ask too, you know, talk to people and be okay with asking, Hey, do you mind introducing me?
Dee Braun: Right. You know, I just thought of another one. You’re never too big, too important, too experienced, too old to learn. So we have the same kind of mentality with the people who’ve been doing this the longest or who are the most successful. They tend to get in cliques and they share information with each other and I think they’re missing out on other things. Okay. So Robby, you were involved when I went into group and I’m like, “I need help brainstorming”.
Yeah. I mean, how many people would have [done that]. For me it’s like, I really don’t give a sh*t. If y’all think I’m an idiot. Well, I mean, I really don’t. I really don’t. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s that I live in Wyoming. I don’t know what it is, but you can think I’m an idiot all you want. All I care about is I do my job to the best of my ability.
Going in and going, “okay, I am at a loss. I need help. I need help brainstorming.” I didn’t care who showed up because I knew whoever showed up would have ideas I hadn’t thought of. And they did. They had ideas I hadn’t thought of, and it was the funniest thing because when I brought those ideas (after we’d morphed them and did all of that) when I brought them to Jeff, I had already asked several of the people we named and they had already agreed to provide these prizes.
By the time I talked to Jeff. Jeff is like, “well, I guess we’ll have to ask him.” No we don’t. They already said yes and he’s like, they what? And I said, well, I already asked him. He’s like, “how do you know Justin?” I was like, “Oh, well he’s Tanner’s roommate. And I just emailed him,” “How do you know Stefan?” I was like, “well, the group,” and he started laughing. I was like, “I know lots of people you need to catch up.” (lol) You know? My point is that I’ve got some people already in this space who look to me as a mentor, right? That doesn’t mean A) that I know everything, B) that I don’t screw up, or C) that I don’t need help.
Robby Amaro: Yes. I think that’s the thing. We all screw up. We all need help. We all need all those things and it’s every day too. It doesn’t matter. Like, I don’t think there’s any day ever in my career, the best and the worst, where I was like, I am good alone. It doesn’t happen.
Dee Braun: Oh, you know what I tell people about mentors? I’ve had a couple of people ask me and I said on one condition and they’re like, what? And I said, I’m not your only mentor.
Robby Amaro: Okay. That’s good.
Dee Braun: Have at least two because when you only have one, that pedestal thing comes into play. And then when the mentor falls off of it, they fall hard. And two, no one person knows everything. Okay, you come to me and you’re like, I need some help with this. I can tell you everything I know and it’s possible that not a damn thing works for you. But if you have a second person you ask the same question to, what they tell you may work brilliantly. Next time it may be what I tell you that works brilliantly. But you always have two. That’s my opinion. Because you’re gonna have things did the other one doesn’t. And what works for one doesn’t work for the other.
Robby Amaro: 100%. Yep. I agree. I agree. The more the merrier. Yeah.
Dee Braun: Whoever first said you have to just have one, right?
Robby Amaro: Yeah. You really don’t. The more the merrier, I think. But it’s tough to find one. Cause that’s, that’s not an easy thing to do.
Dee Braun: We’re actually thinking about trying to have a mentor program. It’s just a matter of the people who would be the most qualified are also the busiest.
Robby Amaro: Oh, 100%.
Dee Braun: Right. So, and you know what, people do have to do some things on their own. Jeff and Marc have taken people under their wing, but not before watching them for months and months and months and months. And then they’re like, “okay, I’m impressed. Let me help you.” And then they’ll do something and they’ll teach something and then they’ll watch to see if it’s applied. So this mentor thing, a lot of it’s earned. A lot of it is earned because the people who have a lot to teach, do not have time to waste.
Robby Amaro: Yup, that’s 100%. That’s 100%. And that’s literally why The Marketing Mercenary was created, because it’s 13 weeks hard. But, uh, once you do it…
Dee Braun: I want to take that course,. I’m going to have to wait till I get money, but I want to take that course.
Robby Amaro: Yeah. I think you should. It’s something different. It’s something different. And I mean, there’s so many lessons and the thing is once you take it, it does change your life. You’ve got to keep applying that stuff over and over and over and over again.
Dee Braun: Well, Robby, thank you, and we will meet next week on something that I can’t remember right now.
Robby Amaro: Sounds great.
Dee Braun: Awesome. Awesome. Yeah, have a great day and I will talk to you very soon.
Robby Amaro: All right, talk soon. You too. Bye. Bye.