Industry Magazine Get JACK'D Magazine Fall 2017 | Page 21
get it into places that matter. Become
an influencer through social media,
podcasts, print or wherever else you can
put out fresh content. VIPs will Google
you to see what pops up. If nothing
appears, they might not give you the time
Demonstrate that you have intelligent
things to say, and get the right team of
content strategists behind you. It’s more
accessible and less costly to do this than
you might think.
2. Find A Connection Point
People want to hang out with peers,
not groupies. Seek introductions from
trusted friends or advisors. Once you’ve
found that connection, determine how to
build a relationship with one influencer at
The beauty of connecting with VIPs
is that they usually hang out with other
people you want to meet. It takes one
strong connection to make many.
3. Hang Out At Their Watering Hole
I’m not talking about their favorite
bar. Figure out what conferences and
events these VIPs attend. Don’t focus on
trade shows with 50,000 people. Tap into
events like Archangel Academy, Genius
Network and MastermindTalks, where
there’s less noise and more intimacy.
You’ll need to invest money to join these
networks, but their focus on learning,
growing and giving will help you become
exactly the kind of person these VIPs
want to befriend.
Spending time at one “watering hole”
can lead to an avalanche of connections.
While attending a conference held by the
charity Opportunity International, I met
acclaimed speaker and entrepreneur
Jason Duff. After staying in touch with
him through thoughtful follow-up, he
introduced me to Empact co-founder
Michael Simmons. Michael connected
me with Cadre CEO Derek Coburn, who
asked me to speak at the same event as
Cameron Herold, one of the top business
coaches in the world.
Spending time and money on the right
event can cause a ripple effect of big-
time connections. But this process takes
time, so don’t give up if one event doesn’t
get you noticed.
4. Be Bold And Different.
Invest in doing one thing better than
anyone else — it’ll set you apart from
the crowd. When I wanted to deepen my
relationship with Cameron, I wasn’t just
going to take him out to a steak dinner
and a Cavs game – everyone has access to
Cameron told me we could meet up
after he shopped at his favorite store,
Brooks Brothers, but a five-hour travel
delay messed with his plans. Because he
didn’t have time to shop, I brought the
shop to him. When he got to his room,
he saw dozens of Brooks Brothers suit
jackets, pants and shirts in his size. Not
only did he love it, but he also called an
author friend, John DiJulius, to change
the example he’d previously given him
for the best customer service he’d ever
Keep your interactions first-rate, and
make them all about the other person.
Your new friend will never forget it.
5. Think Tangible, Not Digital.
Most VIPs are overloaded with emails,
texts and newsletters. Sending tangible
items will help you stand out. I’m not
talking about a pen with your company
logo on it. You need to send something
so high quality and thoughtful that it
becomes an “artifact” of the relationship.
Over the past seven years, I’ve
continued sending Cameron handmade
cutlery and custom-made wine tools. He’ll
often thank me for being the better friend
and going out of my way to stay in touch.
I don’t keep score, but I’m happy to have
him as a friend and ally.
I’ve built most of these relationships
over the better half of a decade. They’ve
required hundreds of handwritten notes,
phone calls and gifts, but the value of
these connections is worth far more than
the time and money I’ve invested in them.
When you keep adding value from afar,
you’ll forge deep connections that will
slowly mature into an army of dedicated
John Ruhlin is the founder of Ruhlin
Group. John’s company is trusted by the
leaders of fast-growing companies to
develop relationship-building strategies
and VIP gifting programs to increase
referrals and strengthen retention with
their most important clients, employees,
and prospects. His book, GIFTOLOGY:
The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut
Through the Noise, Increase Referrals,
and Strengthen Retention, was released
in June, 2016.