In this Edition of Relationship Marketing Weekly, I interviewed Best Selling Author & international speaker Tony Rubleski. Tony discusses how to use a layered approach to get attention and share how to quickly connect with anyone you meet. Tony will also discuss the importance of setting yourself apart, and always be remembered with an effective relationship marketing strategy.. Tony’s work has been featured in various media outlets ranging from Toastmasters Magazine, The Detroit Free Press, the FOX TV network, ABC, to CNN Radio, NPR and Entrepreneur Magazine Radio.
Kody Bateman: We’re very excited about today’s show and hopefully be able to provide you with some information that will help you and your business and in your personal life.
Today, we have a best-selling author and speaker and trainer. This guy goes all over the world. His name is Tony Rubleski. Now let me share with you a little bit about what this guy does and where he has been. As I mentioned, international best-selling author and speaker. He’s the creator of the best-selling series called Mind Capture. It’s a book series. I have the latest book here, the Mind Capture and he travels all over. He has been on a lot of different shows, featured in various media outlets, ranging from Toastmasters Magazine to Detroit Free Press, FOX TV Network, ABC to CNN Radio, NPR and Entrepreneur Magazine Radio, not to mention many, many others.
Also travels all over the world, speaks to corporate audiences everywhere on the subject of connection, mind capture, personal development principles, referral marketing. He’s a been-there-done-that guy. A gentleman, a true gentleman, a great guy to learn from. Tony, welcome to our show today.
Tony Rubleski: Well Kody, thank you. It’s an honor to be here and like we’ve talked before, I think I met you about 10 years ago and I’ve seen you speak and train and a big fan of what you’ve done, and congrats on the growth. You guys are really rocking over there.
Kody: Thank you. I really appreciate that very much. Today, what we want to do Tony, hopefully you and I – I’m just going to ask you some questions and let you do your magic with our listeners today. One of the things – first of all, the series Mind Capture is really good. Your first two books are more how-to books on basically how to build a business, make connection with people from marketing principles, referral marketing. Just really good content, how-to kind of stuff in your first two books.
Then this one is more personal development. This is the “get your mind right,” so that you can be successful implementing what you taught in the first two books. So Mind Capture – by the way, look at the foreword there by Kody Bateman. I’m honored to be able to write the foreword of this book.
Tony: Thank you again.
Kody: And appreciate all the teachings that you’ve given us. One of the things that really resonate with your name – at least in my mind, whenever I hear your name, I automatically – for some reason, I think of the word “connection”. You use the word “connection” a lot. You talk about connection a lot and in today’s fast-paced world, it’s harder and harder to make connection because there’s so much competing for retention.
I would like to start out by having you talk to us a little bit. How do we make connection with people in this crazy world of ours today?
Tony: Well, Kody, thank you. It’s not an easy answer. But let me give you a few clues that I believe working with clients all over the world and still learning. We’re hit with 5000 to 6000 marketing messages per day in North America and those numbers, I’ve been tracking it for 10, 12 years, keep getting higher and higher.
Everyone has got a cell phone. These things are going off. It’s a tool but it also can be a great distraction device. Social media, if you’ve got kids like I do Kody, Snapchat, social media, it’s everywhere.
So what I try to say is look, you haven’t got much time. The whole premise of Mind Capture, what I teach all over the world, is “How do you get attention quickly in a world with too many choices and demands placed on people’s time?”
So what I love about our time together and getting to know you for over a decade is you’ve got a great, great tool that connects quickly, is memorable and people actually keep. So as a Mind Capture guy, as a marketing geek, you’ve got an ace in the hole of a service that people love. They talk about it. I used this service for over a decade. I keep cards that people send me, the gifts that I have sent, the gifts that I receive.
You have something very unique there. So as we talk more about connection today – I’m a true believer. You look at my walls here. I’ve got some of your cards from people that have sent me cards. I’m pointing to them. You know, the Superman jersey there.
Tony: But we’ve got different things that people – they hold on to. You don’t delete a card.
Tony: I know other people have said this. But in an age of digital, high touch wins. Let me come right after everyone that’s giving us their valuable time today. In the age of digital, high touch still wins.
So things like greeting cards, gifts, a phone call. Those connection points are very, very relevant in the age of texting, Snapchatting, especially with teenagers. We’re at so much noise, that people don’t remember, unless it’s different. That’s why we’re here today.
Kody: So you talk a lot about creating genuine connection in the offline world and in the online world, creating authenticity online as well as offline.
Obviously on our show, we talk a lot about offline because that’s what we are. We’re an offline mechanism, greeting cards and gifts, and very, very effective. Tell us a little bit – just give us a little bit of your online strategies maybe that you ask people to do to make a connection.
Tony: That’s a great question. Our mind is sort of to me like the Wild West and what I mean is the attention spans are shorter. You’re moving through a Facebook newsfeed and Instagram. You’re up against millions of pictures. You’ve got people that are on the bus. Maybe they’re on a lunch break. Maybe they’re on an airplane or checking their social media. It’s a shorter duration.
I almost call it “reminder marketing,” that you’re sort of there and to trace it, the metrics are getting easier with Facebook marketing and Instagram marketing. But it’s still for most businesses very foreign. It’s like the Wild West.
I believe you have to be there. You can’t ignore the digital place of where we’re going. I still believe thought there’s a couple of foundations that have to work in tandem, Kody. For everyone that’s listening, you have to have a good customer list or a list of relationships for contacts, however you define that.
You have to use a lot of offline technique. I wouldn’t say technique, but tools to stay in front of them, relationship builders, connection points as we talk about, because those things stand out in a sea of digital noise. We’re hit with 5000 to 6000 ads. On top of it, we’re hit with 50,000 to 60,000 self-taught conversations in our head each day. Most of them are very systematically programmed. They’re negative in nature unless you’re [0:06:13] [Indiscernible] override that and you have the same thoughts or voices in your head like everybody else. It’s noisy.
So when you look at online and offline to work them in tandem, it’s very effective to layer together. You can’t really – I believe if you’re going to stand out for many years, not have both working for you, because people expect you to be on social media.
Before they ever reach out to you, they usually Google you. That’s just the world we’re in. If you’re under 35, you’re a millennial, millennials have been raised on digital. What’s fascinating is when you send them a greeting card or you do something offline, how they respond. They’re like, “What is this?”
Typically, it’s more shocking. It gets more attention because they’re not raised on that. They’re what we call “digital natives”. So I enjoy positive disruption Kody. When you use both in tandem, it gets fun. People enjoy it. They look forward to your communication, not just, “Hey, what does Tony want?” or “What does Kody want?” They actually hold on to those things because it’s so unique. It’s so different.
Kody: Wow, that’s powerful stuff. We’ve talked on this show before about kind of the cycles in the marketplace when Facebook and other social media vehicles got really big five, six, seven years ago. Everyone started getting on Facebook and getting their profiles and making comments and making posts.
It has a negative effect on our business for a while. We’re in the offline greeting card, gift business. So when that first came out, it has a negative effect for a while because – why do I need to send a birthday greeting card when I can just say – post “Happy birthday!” online.
Kody: Here’s what’s interesting though because now, it has kind of come full circle. Now there’s so much online that a comment, hey – oh, by the way, Tony, happy birthday. I commented on somebody else’s post. That’s not a – it’s not enough. That’s not enough. That’s just an afterthought. It’s too easy. So we have noticed that now, the trend is coming back to offline principles and I know that you got to be seeing that as you counsel with a lot of your different clients out there.
Tony: Absolutely. Kody, it’s so new that to get metrics, it keeps changing. The big companies, the Facebooks, the LinkedIns, the Instagrams, they keep changing the metrics of how they’re tracking it.
You can do targeted ads. But you’re like throwing almost a pebble into a lake and you’re hoping that a few people catch the ripple. What’s unique is what I call that “one-to-one component” of offline marketing.
Obviously we’re here to talk about SendOutCards. I’m a true believer. I’ve used it successfully for a decade. I’ve recommended it from stages for just as long, written about it as you know, because it works. It’s one of the few mediums.
Especially now what’s beautiful is you can take social media and marry it over to the pictures and comments and create a card. So now you’ve got more access to photos. You’ve got people’s LinkedIn profiles. You see what groups they’re a part of, what hobbies they’re into, and you can make a very unique, memorable custom card.
You can tie it in with a gift that’s of their interest of what they’re into and people talk about that. You and I know it, Kody. I get thank-you cards and thank-you calls for cards I send them as a thank-you. It’s like the thank-you exchange.
I want to show you this because I did some homework before our call. This is a card that I got from a friend of mine that was the former head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is a thank-you card, the year he won the Stanley Cup as the head coach, 2009, Dan Bylsma.
This started because I sent him, when he got named February that year head coach, a SendOutCard saying, “Congratulations, Dan. We’re proud of you taking over.” I didn’t know he would send me back a handwritten thank-you note after he won the Stanley Cup for the card I sent him.
Tony: So this is on my wall. My kids are like, “We want them.” I’m like, “No. That’s dad’s. OK?” But I’m a hockey fan, but that connection with the card, I couldn’t have foreseen a thank-you card back from a guy that has won the Stanley Cup as a rookie head coach, sending me a thank-you card. There’s the Pittsburgh Penguins logo. So I look at this and go those stories, those connection points, even with the busiest people you can imagine, it always touches the heart.
Kody, I’ve seen you train on promptings. I’ve read your book. I’ve been to your day events. They work and it helps fine-tune, so people go, “OK. I’m not really sure with greeting cards. What’s the impact?” or a gift. Once they get the mind tuned up and the heart connected, watch out, because I’ve got all sorts of cards people have sent me, that I send out as well, and it just gets mind capture.
You would think year after year on the stage, when I write about this, that it would get old. But actually, it becomes more relevant. You didn’t ask me to say this. OK? I don’t get any kickback from SendOutCards. The service stands out on its own. That’s why 10 years ago, I said, “All right. We’re going to take a leap of faith here. This company is going to keep growing and growing.” You see it. It helps everybody across the board. You can put your name on it. Go.
Kody: Well, that’s great stuff. So recently, you were in Salt Lake City and you were speaking at a RE/MAX event and you do a lot with RE/MAX. You speak at corporate events all over the world and one of your big clients is RE/MAX and you were there actually talking about referrals, getting referrals. Can you just share a little bit with us what you teach at some of your events on how to generate referral business? That’s always a big interest for our listeners.
Tony: Well, thank you Kody. I will take a 90-minute seminar and try to give you one or two high points here. So thank you for this.
Kody: That would be seconds. So go.
Tony: No pressure. That’s why the Superman cape is ready. You look at this – a couple of things I really hammer home on Referral Magic – that’s a session I teach to a lot of groups and obviously RE/MAX of course. But first thing is always be thinking, when you do a good job, think of other people that your clients can introduce you to. So there’s – let me give you one word of value here. This goes over the globe and to the Mind Capture nation [0:12:02] [Indiscernible]. I’ve taught this for a long time.
Instead of asking for referrals or earning them, there are two schools of thought. You ask for introductions. I know you had Ivan Misner in here a couple of weeks ago, who I’ve met. He has endorsed my work. He’s in the same book that you did the foreword. Ivan and I agree on many, many things. I also – I digress a little bit and share a proactive way to ask for referrals. I call them introductions.
So if you do a good job, you’ve earned the right I believe to say, “Hey, who are a couple of people in your network or part of your church group that you can maybe introduce me to, that I could possibly do the same thing for?”
Your language. It’s not pushy. It’s a direct ask to someone that knows, likes and trusts you. If you’ve done a good job and you’ve earned the ask, many times they will respond with, “Hey, you know, it’s funny you should ask Tony. A friend of ours in the church PTA has been thinking about buying or selling a home or getting a second home.”
So many times, it’s a little controversial because I’m more proactive with that, if you’ve earned the opportunity. So language is everything Kody. It doesn’t have to be pushy. I never teach pushy techniques anywhere. We’re too smart for that and that’s not how I roll and also language.
So instead of asking for a referral, we couldn’t market the session Introduction Magic. No one would show up. But a one-word language shift “introduction” versus “referral” has a different effect if it’s done properly. So that’s one key area.
The second thing I hit on heavily, there’s about 20 minutes of that session all about how to properly follow up. Gee, take a wondering who’s in there. OK? I show SendOutCards. I talk about it. I don’t know how many folks have looked at the site because I just say, “Go to SendOutCards.com and I don’t get any referral fee. I use it. Go ahead,” and people write it down. They type it in their phone and they’re off. So I look at it as just a straight standalone service with a follow-up that I teach in Referral Magic.
You got to have this in place. Some people raise their hands. It’s funny when survey says, “How many of you have heard of SendOutCards?” Some studies, you get like half the hands. How many have used it? Maybe like 1 out of 20 or 30, if you look at around the room.
So there’s still a wide open market that don’t know about SendOutCards and some in the room probably aren’t going to raise their hands because they’re like, “This works too good.” You know, we don’t want the secret out.
So as far as your marketing component, the referrals, effective follow-up is key. I teach the fortune is in the follow-up. OK? I’ve been saying that for a long time and that fortune is relationships, referrals and repeat business. Those three Rs come from effective follow-up.
So few people do it well, Kody. It’s not a criticism. That’s why I’m in business. OK? People are like, “How do I follow up more effectively?” and there’s not enough lifetimes of you and I teaching relationship marketing to teach people how to follow up.
Some get it. Some don’t and some are still new to this. Like, oh, I was not aware of this. So it’s fun as a teacher to get the privilege and the honor to share and teach over the world these types of tools and really connection builders that people don’t know about.
Some people might say, “Well, everyone has heard of SendOutCards.” You would be surprised how many have not.
Kody: That’s right.
Tony: That’s good news.
Kody: So you tell an interesting story. You had the chance to meet Jeff Bezos, the Amazon guy, and interesting interaction there. Can you share with us that story? I think there’s a great lesson. You learned some things out of that. So if you could share that with us, that would be great.
Tony: Well, thank you Kody. Again, we talk about this in the book and thank you for mentioning that – and the new book, the anniversary edition. I had a chance in 2008 in Los Angeles to meet Jeff Bezos at Book Expo America.
He founded Amazon. So if you look at someone that can give you advice – I always have a rule. When a billionaire speaks, Tony listens.
Kody: That’s right.
Tony: So I was fortunate to sit in the front row with my pen and paper handy. I know that’s old school. I didn’t have my phone on me. But I watched him give a keynote the day they launched Kindle to the world.
So it was that Forrest Gump moment where I was kind of in the right place, right time, right room and I’m like, “Oh my gosh!” Little did I know, almost 10 years later Kody, that Kindle would be a huge product for them.
So when you see a billionaire, it’s like watching a TED Talk. Many of your viewers have seen a TED Talk. This guy was good. He had an entourage. I mean he has got all these handlers and security.
I had a chance to take a photo with him real quick and said, “Jeff, I like working with you. Keep up the great work.” So that was kind of fun to get that two seconds with him, that connection, and watch him give this world-class presentation.
But I remember – and here’s the point – what he said at the end. I’m going to paraphrase this. He said, “I know many of you in the audience are authors. Some of you are my competitors. Some of you are with the press corps here at Book Expo. I want to give you one piece of advice.” Here’s what he said point blank. He said, “Sometimes you have to be willing to be misunderstood.” Let me repeat it for everybody listening. He said, “Sometimes you have to be willing to be misunderstood.”
Here’s why I wanted to bring that up if it came up in our questions today. Folks, this may seem really old school, unconventional. You may misunderstand initially when you look at a greeting card, the power of it, and go, “I don’t really know.”
All I can tell you is to send a few cards and watch what happens. You may misunderstand your own thought process that everything you believe, you’ve been hearing, is going this way. It is to an extent.
However, physical will not go away. Matter of fact, some of my mentors, the best in the world, you Kody, Dan Kennedy, I can name drop all day long, the fly on the wall, rooms I’m in, direct mail is still very effective when it’s done properly.
You may hear that direct mail is going away. It’s changing. It’s changing. Connection never stops. Techniques may change. Getting people to do commerce, the tools have changed. We have digital now. We have online and offline. But if you make a connection and you use offline, you have a much more higher chance getting mind capture.
Best products and services and ideas fail because no one pays attention. If you want to connect and get attention, these things we’re sharing, these things that we use, that you Kody have started with SendOutCards that I use as a product of the product, they work and sometimes people just don’t want to see that.
So sometimes you’re going to have to be willing to be misunderstood. Once you try it, you’re going to go, “Oh my goodness, I had to rethink my old, preconceived notions.”
Kody: Wow. We sure appreciate the incredible stories, words of wisdom that you’ve shared with us today. As we close out our show today, any final words of counsel, wisdom? Anything you would like for us to learn from you? Go ahead.
Tony: Kody, again, thank you for the opportunity and everyone that has been paying attention, thank you for the gift of your time and attention. But if anything, you’ve got to keep doing things a little bit unconventional.
So offline marketing is not going away. Build relationships, not transactions. That’s my final piece of advice. Again, you want to think relationships for life, not just transactions, because when the economies go up and down, especially when they’re down, that’s where relationships really show through.
Right now, the economy is humming along pretty good. But when we have those downturns, that’s where you know if your relationships are solid or you had transactions.
So Kody, with that, thank you again. I appreciate all you’ve been doing to promote
Kody: Well, thank you Tony. I appreciate all that you do and continue to keep on doing what you’re doing out there, brother. Appreciate everything.
Thank you all for attending and being a part of this and we look forward to seeing you on one of our next shows coming up. Take care everybody now. God bless.
Tony: Take care. Bye-bye.