Episode 7: Word of Mouth Expert – Martin Bailey

Episode Description: This episode explores word of mouth, marketing strategies and defining what it is. The stories range from learning Amazon’s business model and the shift in product demand through reviews to networking in a new environment and learning to be specific in knowing what you want.



This episode starts a little differently. Just thought I give you guys a heads up. Thought it was interesting the pre convo I was having with Martin about self-acceptance and personality. In this episode, I interview word of mouth marketing expert, Martin Bailey. Martin has a wealth of knowledge and he’s super calm and collected and articulate. I sound like an amateur next to him with my many “ums,” fragmented sentences, poor grammar, stutters, etc etc. This episode is packed with amazing information around mindset, product creation, marketing, the principles of marketing, word of mouth, referrals, what the most important factor in asking for referrals is and how to start a networking group. Which Martin goes into detail about how he gets sponsors, how he gets members and how he has expanded. Sooo much more, so thank you for listening and….and..and and and andddd…and enjoy the show with Martin Bailey word of mouth marketing expert.



Word of Mouth Marketing Australia – http://www.wommau.com/

Delivering Happiness – https://www.amazon.com/Delivering-Happiness-Profits-Passion-Purpose/dp/0446576220

Rocket Science Not Required by Martin Bailey Coming Soon

The 7 Areas on Word of mouth and relational marketing:

  • Feedback and Innovation
  • Conversations
  • Education
  • Cultural/Coltrin Systems or Customer Feedback
  • Analysis and Promotion
  • Collaboration and Relationships
  • Customer Experience Process

Episode Notes:

  • Using your personal strengths and weakness in life/Myers Briggs- 2:00
  • Preparing yourself before public speaking – 3:30
  • Brief inside on Martin Bailey – 5:03
  • A shift in product by customer demand through amazon reviews – 9:09
  • Being analytical in perspectives – 12:38
  • The differences between a face to face meeting and a phone/skype call – 17:15
  • Going out and networking in a new environment – 20:18
  • The 7 Areas on Word of mouth and relational marketing – 25:27
  • Learning from Amazon’s Business Model – 32:16
  • Currently Writing a Book – 34:00
  • An Emotional input into your work – 34:56
  • When is it a good time to ask for a referral? –  36:40
  • Learning to be specific and knowing what you want – 41:44
  • Martins Plans for his Word of Mouth Groups – 49:39
  • How someone becomes a member – 52:11
  • How do you get your sponsors? – 57:41
  • Have you ever thought of a combined conference with all network groups – 59:51
  • Have you heard of Bill Murray Showing up at an advertised party? – 1:00:56
  • Closing – 1:02:50

Tiffany: I’m Tiffany Lopez, and you’re listening to “Posh Incredible” podcast, where I interview ordinary people who are making extraordinary transformations in their lives and for others. I believe we’re all here to transcend and assist the ones around us to grow into the people they were born to be. The pathway of awakening is a noble life pursuit and it starts now.


This episode starts a little bit differently. I just thought I’d give you guys a heads up. I thought it was interesting, the pre-convo I was having with Martin about self-acceptance and personality. Wah-wah-wah. Anyways, in this episode, I interview word-of-mouth marketing expert Martin Bailey. Martin has a wealth of knowledge, and he’s super calm and collected and articulate. I sound like an amateur next to him with my many ums, fragmented sentences, poor grammar, stutters, etc., etc.


This episode is packed with amazing information around mindset, product creation, marketing, the principles of marketing, word-of-mouth referrals, like what the most important factor in asking for referrals is, and how to start a networking group, which Martin goes into detail about how he gets sponsors and how he gets members and how he’s expanded. So much more. So, thank you for listening, and enjoy the show with Martin Bailey, word-of-mouth marketing expert. How do you use your strengths and weaknesses for what you do in life?


Martin: Oh, in life. That’s…


Tiffany: Like, when you take your Myers-Briggs every couple of months and you look at, “Oh, I’m reminded that these are what my strength is or my weaknesses,” and how do you put that into use?


Martin: Oh, I think a lot of it for me is looking at it and saying, “Oh, that’s why I react a certain way to things and that’s why…” So, for me, it can be not just the positives, but also the negatives, which as I look at them and go, “Why do I rant this way? Oh, oh, so, I’m normal for my personality type?” You know, and whereas, sometimes, I think the common thing to do is, “I’m this way because I’m a pain in the ass, you know, or just selfish or whatever,” and it’s not. This is the way you are. And I think when you understand it from that perspective, you go, “Okay, well, if that’s the way I am, I know why I react to certain things in a certain way.” So, does that makes sense?


Tiffany: Yeah. It kind of helps with self-acceptance. Welcome to the show. It’s really good to have you. Thank you for being here. I’m super interested. Every time I hear you speak, I’m kind of… Because I told you earlier, I’ve lived my life in my head. It’s really organized up here, and then when it comes out, it’s…you know, the problem is with the conceptualizing, I think. It’s like organizing the conversation, and then making it a concept so other people can understand. And it’s something that you do really, really, really well.


Martin: Oh, thank you. It must be a lot of practice, I think.


Tiffany: I agree. I think I’ve noticed a lot of changes from when I first started speaking to now. And when my mind is…when I’m going into, like, a speaking event, or if I’m going to talk to someone, I’m kind of, like, putting some pieces together before it happens. Is that how your brain works too?


Martin: Oh, yeah, all the time. You know, whenever I’m traveling to a speaking event, I rehearse different bits and look at different parts that I’d like to emphasize. And sometimes, I even remember to mention those during the presentation. But it’s always…I’m thinking of a different way to put the same message across because especially if you’re repeating the same message, I think the worst thing is you get bored by just saying the same thing and people see it in you. And there’s nothing worse than getting bored by your own presentation. You know, it’s easy to accept some other people sometimes, but, yeah, you’ve got to keep on reinventing things, so, yeah.


Tiffany: So, how long have you been doing what you do? And if you could just give us a little description about what it is that you do and how you got into doing it.


Martin: Okay. I’m a specialist in word-of-mouth marketing. And I specialize more so in the face-to-face word-of-mouth marketing. You can do an awful lot online through social media and different channels. But I like the face-to-face stuff because there are plenty of statistics out there which will say most people prefer to do marketing word-of-mouth face-to-face. It’s still the biggest medium over selling on the phone or the internet even. People just talk. And we’re emotional beings, and we buy based on emotion. So it sort of makes sense to unwrap something there.


My background, I used to work in productivity improvement, that’s when I started in when I came away from college in the ’80s. And productivity improvement, a lot of it, when I worked in food processing, ceramics, lots of different industries, textiles, a lot of that was to do with cutting down the costs in manufacturing. And the biggest cost in manufacturing, of course, is people. So, if we want to make things cheaper, we get rid of people and make things a lot more easily. And I really didn’t like that at all. And the last project I did was for a big ceramic company. And they had six or seven manufacturing sites, employing thousands of people. And they ran a big project, you know, how can we become more efficient, more effective? And they considered everything within the four walls. And what they were particularly not so good at was considering, “Well, what does the customer want?” You know that everyone eats their dinner or breakfast off a plate or a dish, but I don’t think the customer really cares anymore whether it’s made by Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, or whoever. And they failed to take this into account. And so much so that the industry basically died, and they died in a region of the U.K. And most of the manufacturing got transferred offshore because it was cheaper to make it overseas in Malaysia.


And I went back to the U.K. in 2010. And one of the factories back there, Royal Doulton, has got this beautiful facade outside what used to be the main manufacturing site in Stoke-on-Trent. And now the only thing that’s left is the facade. And if you look behind it, the factory has been flattened, and there’s acres and acres of demolished buildings. And I looked at it with great sadness and thought, “You know, all those are people doing without work, but also an industry that’s completely gone. All those skills have been lost hundreds and hundreds of years, you know.”


But, anyway, that’s… One of the things I found was that in manufacturing and with a lot of businesses, people forget to take into account what a client or customer actually wants. And if it’s the client or the customer who’s actually recommending other people to go and buy a product or service, then we really should be making stuff that people want. And often, the often case, unfortunately, is that quote by Ford, when he was making the Model T and said, “You can have any color you want, as long as it’s black.” And that’s just transferred down all the way through from the Industrial Revolution, really, from early manufacturing all the way through the service businesses and manufacturing today. And there’s very few people out of a few really good ones, which are looking to engage with the customer, and word-of-mouth marketing and relational marketing really discover that.


Tiffany: I think we’re seeing a huge shift in the market and products right now. And one of those is providing products that the customer wants, and not just selling anymore what corporations want to sell.


Martin: Yes.


Tiffany: It’s kind of going back to that. It’s not that it’s a smaller scale, but it’s a more personalized model. And one of the things that I’m seeing with the Amazon market and what it’s causing people to do is look at what customers are asking for and look at what people want and providing those products. That’s one of the things the larger manufacturers are kind of messing up on.


Martin: Yeah, I agree. And it’s an interesting source. Amazon is one of the examples I like to quote quite a lot because if you go and buy any products on Amazon, probably, the first thing you do is look to see what other people have to say about it.


Tiffany: Always.


Martin: For me, I look at the star rating first of all. I don’t even look to see what the technical specifications are or what a book is about or what a film is about. I look to see what other people have to say about it. First, the star rating. You know, if it’s above four, then you know, “Okay, people thought it’s pretty good, I’ll keep reading.” And then I read to see what other people have to say. And what I’ve found is we will tend to identify or not identify with comments that people actually write. So, there’ll be phrases, there’ll be comments, there’ll be technical descriptions, and you’ll go, “Oh, yeah, that’s really what I wanted to know.” And I would end up buying a product based on what somebody else would have to say about it. And you analyze that and you think, “Well, why is that the case?” Well, the person who’s actually writing the description doesn’t have anything to gain by whether you accept it or don’t accept it. Usually, they are not financial shareholders in the product they’re talking about.


So, yeah, for me, it was a great example of the power of what other people have to say about a product would actually influence my buying. And the chances of me even meeting that person is so remote, it’s ridiculous. And yet, here is somebody I don’t know, I can only trust them based on the fact that I identify with something they’ve said. Because I’ve identified with something and some key phrases, I’ll go, “Okay, yeah, I’ll have that. I’ll take a risk.”


And for something like a book or a film, okay, that’s a relatively cheap investment. For all the highly-priced products or services, it’s a little bit different, but you can still use that same material, that same feedback in your marketing proprietary service.


Tiffany: One of my favorite things other…I mean, about you is that you’re in word-of-mouth marketing. And to me, that’s networking. I classify that as networking or is like a social thing. And yet, you have such an analytical approach to things. So, where does your analytical mind come from? Because you really…and I think this also is tied to the way that you’re so precise when you speak is you’re calculative and you know what to say, and you say the right things, and you kind of extract the…you have an ear that extracts the things that other people will want to hear too and you put it in a way that is enticing and kind of like…it’s like, “Ooh, I want to learn more about that,” or, “That sounds really good.” Like, you package it all up really good. And so, I’m wondering, where does your analytical mind come from? Because you know that you’re, like, you’re very scientific about these things, right? No, you don’t think so?


Martin: No. That’s all news to me. Well, there you go. It’s nice to hear these things, but there you go, that’s, again, that’s somebody else’s perspective, and sometimes, you’re just too close to the trees to see the woods, you know. So, it’s interesting feedback, so thank you.


I guess the analytical mindset goes back to working in productivity improvement, you know. You’d look in a factory, a manufacturing environment and go, how can we do this better? How can we either make more money or save more money or…and this is what the customers want. They either want to make money, save money, look good or feel good. And that’s pretty much it for any sort of product, you know. So, you analyze that, and go, “Yeah, well, that’s what it comes down to.” So, any product or service we offer it’s usually going to be one of those four things. And looking good and feeling good is just about solving somebody’s problem. It’s all about solving the customer’s problem. And so, whatever product or service, I guess, in productivity, it was always, yeah, can we save money? Or how can we make more for the same money? And that’s really what it came from.


And I forgot to say before, when I came out of doing that, I actually went into training in productivity. So, I used to train people from Rolls Royce, and that’s aero engines and the cars, Royal Mail, Parcelforce, the Royal Bank of Scotland, the employment service because they’re all looking to do the same thing. But again, that’s what it boils down to. So for me, I guess, the analytical fit was, how do we make more money out of doing this? And rather make it a positive approach rather than a negative one, how do we save money? Because if you look at the bottom line, and if you save money on a product, it only adds a very small increase to the bottom line for a business. But if you can sell a whole brand new product or range or service, then it adds a hell of a lot more to the bottom line. So, a lot of that positive approach. I like the, “Let’s get out there and find out what the customer really wants” approach, so. And it’s refreshing as well in one respect because we don’t have all the answers. You know, I think we tend to do better as individuals when we have relationships with other people, especially our clients and so on because we are mentally tougher based on that. We really are.


And with social media, I think social media is a great thing. But there’s a tendency to, perhaps, rely on it a little bit too more. I remember you saying, Tiffany, before, one of the things that really impressed me was that even though you do a lot of your work online, you still fly to the other end of the country to spend some time with the customer. I don’t know if you remember me asking you, “Why the hell would you do that when you’re doing it all online?” And you were saying it’s because when you’re there with them face to face, you can actually pick up on a lot more signals, interactions, body language, facial expressions, and so on and so on. Then you can, when you’re on the end of a telephone or even on the end of Skype or Zoom, and I think that’s absolutely spot on. There tends to be more of, I was going to say attraction, that’s not the right word, but more of a magnetism, if you like, to say that, yes, this is a person I can trust, I can build a relationship with, I can move forwards in terms of how I grow my business, or this person has got the best…my best interest in mind, so, yeah. But the analytical approach, okay.


Tiffany: Yeah, it’s kind of strange because, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but sometimes, at least this is one thing I’ve noticed, sometimes when you’re on the phone or over Skype with someone, you have an agenda and you get those things done, but…and then when you meet with them in person, it’s not all about an agenda. And you may even leave and say, “What did we get done?” But when it comes down to it, like, you maybe got just as much done or even more done, because you kind of…that understanding that you get from what they want or what they need, like things just kind of like come together a little bit. I don’t even know how to…It’s almost like…I don’t know how to say it, but it ends up getting business done or getting things done that you wouldn’t think were possible because you’re not going through a checklist sometimes. Sometimes you’re like just having a meal and saying…you know, like, talking about business intermittently.


Martin: Yes, it’s a lot more social. And I think we tend to forget that. A good example, even along those lines, that what used to be popular in the U.K. and Australia was that bank managers used to go out regularly to play golf with clients. And then along comes the corporate structure and says, “Oh, hold on a second. We’re not going to pay you to go and play golf for half a day or a day a month. How ridiculous is that?” And yet, there’s another expression that says a lot of business is done on the golf course. And you go, “Hold on a second. Maybe just spending time with people, there’s a little bit more to it than just ticking a box to say, “We’ll spend extra [inaudible 00:19:00] in the office this week,” and you know, like building this relationship as, however you do it and however the interaction there is, without being able to define it. Like you said before, there is something there that we just don’t get by doing it over the phone.


I think over the phone or via Skype is something we can utilize, but there’s nothing to replace that face-to-face relationship. And that’s the way that people still prefer to do business worldwide.


An interesting fact, that the Chinese economy, I remember you were talking about that before, in China, the way they like to do business is a whole lot to do with word-of-mouth. It’s a big thing in that culture, which was surprising to me. So, well, we’ll see how where that takes us, you know. Did I answer your question?


Tiffany: Yes. I don’t remember what the question was exactly, but I’m sure there was a lot covered there. But one more thing to the kind of getting in front of people and meeting people and networking is when I first came out here, I didn’t have a network. I didn’t know anyone. And because I flew out here, I met people that I wouldn’t have otherwise met. And maybe some people could say I was lucky. Like, I ended up at a breakfast where I was sitting next to the, and this has happened a few times just being here in Australia, I was sitting next to the person who started, like, one of Australia’s largest online retail conferences.


Martin: Oh.


Tiffany: And then we got to talking and I was like, “Oh, I teach Amazon stuff.” And he’s like, “Whoa, I run a conference. We’re always looking for speakers and…” So, that’s how I came out here to speak at Retail Global, this trip. And that wouldn’t have happened if I was back at home behind my computer. Even if I was, I mean, I wouldn’t even really have known about Retail Global and the conference and the speaking opportunity. And so, one of the things that I think is super important that a lot of people in my industry don’t do is networking and word-of-mouth and, like, being in front of people and going to conferences and learning.


A lot of people learn but a lot of people do it online. And I’ve met so many people over the past year that it’s just been face to face because I decided to start doing it, and I’ve made so much more progress than I would have if I was just… It’s almost like, I don’t want to say it’s a fast-track but it’s almost like a fast-track because as soon as you meet somebody in person, you, like, know who they are, you know them. But if you’re on the internet, there’s so much social proof that you need to gather to get to that space with someone, which is fine. Like, social proof is great.


Martin: Well, again, there’s another old expression, another one, which says people like to do business with people they like. I mean it’s hard to like somebody through social media. You build up a picture as you said, but when you meet someone face to face, it’s different again.


It was interesting during your presentation today. I think people bought into the fact that when you are more jovial and you laughed, and people will be relaxed. And I could see it from the back of the room that people’s shoulders went back, they sat back and they smiled because it was you being yourself, you being authentic. Again, it’s hard to be authentic. It’s hard to put across these emotions as to who we are and what we look for through social media. You’ve got to do it face to face because people can look at you.


You know, again, people lie to people in the eye before they do business with them. And that’s difficult to do through written word. And, again, it’s easier to do online through Skype. But when you go to sit across the table from someone, and they make a promise and you’re, “Oh, right, okay, is this person believable?” And it comes down to that. But it comes down to the fact that, do you actually like the person you are talking to? We want to do business with people we like. And you do get out there and it’s amazing, you know. The number of times I look at a networking function and go, “Aah, I really can’t be bothered. I’m just gonna sit in the couch tonight, watch the TV,” or, “I don’t really want to get out of bed tomorrow morning,” and you go and you go, “Wow, I don’t believe who I met this morning.” And that’s it.


And if you’re able to meet somebody you like, you said before, you know, sometimes you make your own luck, but it’s very hard to make your own luck when you don’t come out. You know, so, I wanna encourage everybody, look, go out. Go and meet people. Go and talk to people. You’d be surprised who you meet, but you’d be even more surprised who they know you want to talk to.


The word-of-mouth is a little bit more than the networking as well, because if you think about networking as just the getting out there and talking to people, the word-of-mouth is more about people prefer to buy based on somebody else’s recommendation. So, the networking is the start but someone else’s recommendation or introduction is really what you’re building up to. And again, you can’t do that unless you get out and talk to people. In terms of word of mouth, I’ll just read these [crosstalk 00:25:13]


Tiffany: Yeah, yeah, I would love that.


Martin: I’ve got it down. Here’s my analytical bit again, coming in, so…


Tiffany: Perfect.


Martin: Word-of-mouth and relational marketing really covers seven areas, as far as I can tell at the moment, but it changes all the time. My first point is this, it’s feedback and innovation. And a feedback is something we all need to pick up on through customers. And from that, comes a lot of innovation. And Steve Jobs is really good at that.


There’s a good school of thought that thinks that a lot of the innovation around his products research and development actually came from talking to customers, and not the focus groups or anything else but just having this conversation, and you know what? What’s happening? What’s going on? And there’s a whole lot more, and then I could talk forever on that one, so.


Next one, conversations again. You know, you’re getting out and have a general conversation and somebody says, “Hey, have you heard about this?” “No. Tell me more about that.” And you find out something that takes you off in a whole different direction or gives you an introduction to somebody or an event that’s going on, like, you mentioned before, the retail conference.


The third one for me is education. And there’s a good friend of mine who sells scissors. And I like this one because I ask people regularly, “How much would you pay for a pair of scissors?” And they’ll say $5, $10 dollars and that’ll be a lot of money. And he sells scissors for up to $3 grand a pair, $3,000. How on earth do you do that? And he educates his clients to say, “This is how to use these scissors more effectively. And it helps you make more money, and it helps you with your own health,” and it’s for hairstylists, and hairdressers, people in salons. And he sells loads of them and at $3 grand a pair. They are made from the world’s purest steel, and it’s from a steel mine located in Japan. You don’t need to know that. It’s just interesting.


The fourth one for me is culture and systems. You have to have the systems in place to collect all this information. And if you’re not collecting it, you need to. Customer feedback, everything to do with the customer, it’s dynamite and it’s gold. And the culture in place. One of the companies in America, one of the ones that sold shoes, I’ve forgotten the name of it now, and they were bought out by Amazon.


Tiffany: Zappos.


Martin: Zappos, yeah, Zappos. And their culture is different again. It’s on my bucket list to go out and visit them and have a trip around one day.


Tiffany: Have you read “Delivering Happiness?”


Martin: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely, yeah. Who would have thought, you know, another weird system and you think, how on earth can you sell shoes online? Ridiculous. And yet, they’re kicking it. They’re doing really well.


And the fifth one for me, analysis and promotion. You’ve got to look for… You know, if you get collective feedback, you do the analysis and say, “Okay, what is the top thing people are saying about our products or services?” We should be using what people say about our products or services in our marketing. And they ask the analysis and promotion, so.


And also, what’s the other thing? You’re going to look for patterns in all of your data that you collect. You know, who is it who’s buying the most products or services? What particular point of the year? What particular area? What do they tie it in with? What are they not buying? And so on. This is all easy stuff to work with.


The sixth one, collaboration and relationships. You can achieve an awful lot more by working with other people than just working on your own. And I’m a big believer in that. And again, one example is just the doors that other people can open on your behalf.


And one of the things I like in the camera model, that one I’ve developed, is that collaboration, I can’t even say it, collaboration and relationships is all about reciprocating. So, if somebody helps you, you help them back. And you don’t just do it once. You keep doing it. You build that relationship, and you have like-minded people working together, and it spreads, and you create a community of people.


And the last one, one we’ve heard a lot about, is the customer experience process. There’s a lot of touchpoints with businesses where customers talk to a company about a product or a service. And it’s not just at one point to buy. It could be after sales. It could be when they pay the invoice. It could be packaging. Who knows? And we have to make sure that all those experiences for the customer come across really well because customers tell other people. And if they had a good result, then guess what? You get more business. When you’ve had a bad result, then it’s an opportunity to fix it so that you can go back to somebody and say, “We’ll fix this. We’re terribly sorry. Please come out for your benefit.” A good example in the American market was the i30 by Hyundai. I forget the exact figures but Hyundai advertised when they sold the i30, it’s a car. I don’t know if you knew that. I’m just checking.


Tiffany: No, I had no idea.


Martin: All right, okay.


Tiffany: I know the Hyundai, but I didn’t know the model.


Martin: [crosstalk 00:30:51] No, that’s okay. It just occurred to me then. I thought I [inaudible 00:30:56] So, they made a claim that it would do something like 45 miles per gallon. And a whole bunch of people bought the car. And the feedback was, “Hey, it only does something like 43.5 miles a gallon. You missold us this product.” So Hyundai said, “Okay, we’re terribly sorry. For all those people who bought the car, we will give them a prepaid Visa card for the difference in the amount of fuel they would use of the life or period of the car just to say we apologize. And thank you very much.” The result of that from the customers was, “Wow, nobody else has ever done this before. Nobody else has come back and said, “‘First of all, I apologize,’ and then rectified it.” And the sales of i30s increased, which you’ll go, “Wow.” So, the customer experience process is something we’re not tapping into enough and it can be used to sell more products to people just through that, and how we can improve the service delivery. So, seven points in word-of-mouth and relational marketing.


Tiffany: You literally just described the Amazon business model.


Martin: Okay. Is that right? Oh, okay.


Tiffany: No joke. So, that’s why when, earlier when somebody asked me about service-based business, and I was like, “Well, if you learn Amazon, you’re not just learning how to make money on the platform, but you’re learning the greater mentality of how the business works and how to keep customers, give them the products that they want, improve your products, monitor your customer feedback, and, you know, like, build relationships and so on and so forth.” Like that’s…in my mind, this is what Amazon teaches.


Martin: Oh, how about that?


Tiffany: It’s almost like a real-world example of how to become like this, what you just described. That’s how it works in my head. So, to me Amazon, the model of how it works is not… Like, yeah, it’s a platform making money. But the way that my mind sees it, I was like, this is gold. It trains people how to treat their customers and how to grow business. And you could take that into any business.


Martin: Absolutely. And the thing I like about it is it’s not rocket science either. You know, it’s just the basic stuff. And a lot of people are looking for rocket science, and really it’s all about, “Hey, let’s identify the basics and get them right because when we get them right, guess what? We make more money and people love it.” If people love it, then it’s a great feeling as well for the people selling stuff. And whoa. So yeah, I’m sold. and I have to talk to Amazon about them copying my information. So, there you go.


Tiffany: So, is this the basis for your book? You’re writing a book, right?


Martin: I’m writing a book, and it’s going to be called “Rocket Science Not Required.” And all the people who speak at my gigs have the opportunity to have a chapter in the book. It’s only going to be short chapters just to share their experience and what it is they’ve talked about, because I think there’s a lot of business people out there which just need to hear the clean, unvarnished truth, which says, “Do this and do this, and it results in sales.” Not the, “Wow, you have to have six degrees in psychology and six in business and all that.” That’s nice, but, you know, it isn’t that at all because rocket science is not required. You just have to know the basics. So, the book is going to be featuring people who have said, “Do this and do this because this is what I’ve achieved.” That’s the book.


Tiffany: I love that. I also find that a lot of people look for a, I mean, this is totally not an unknown thing, but like a magic pill. It’s like, “Oh, if I do this one thing, like, will I get, like, 50,000 like Facebook followers,” and it’s like, “No, you have to do like a little bit of everything and you have to build the momentum and, like, keep it going.” So, I love how your list is like seven basic thing, I don’t know how many there were, but like seven basic things that you could do to input and like build momentum and then…


Martin: Yeah, it’s an ongoing thing. If you’re the very first person on Amazon, then you just do one thing, and guess what? You get 50,000 followers. Unfortunately for the other 6,000,999,999, whatever, of us, then yeah, we have to do this. But guess what? Actually doing this approach helps you…you just enjoy it, because you’re making people happy, and you become happy because of that. And that might sound a bit weird and flaky, but guess what? We’re an emotional being. And if you think about the last car or the last thing you had bought, whatever it is, you bought it based initially on emotions and then thinking about the facts about it later on. You know, how good am I going to look or feel driving down the freeway in this car? How good will I feel if I eat this meal here? How good will I look or feel if I put this aftershave perfume on or whatever it is? You know, it’s an emotional thing first, and we’re emotional beings. Not doing that is not good for the seller or the buyer, so everyone benefits.


Tiffany: I love that. So, when is it a good time to ask for a referral?


Martin: When is a good time to ask for a referral? Well, there’s the obvious places where you wouldn’t ask for a referral, and I won’t go into that and times and so on. Sometimes, it’s… First of all, you’ve got to know what it is you want to be as a person or a business you want to be referred to. A lot of people make the basic mistake of saying, “Hey, give me a referral.” “Oh, yeah, okay, no worries.” “Who to?” “Anybody, somebody, everybody. Anybody who’s got a pulse or can sign a check. You know, if your dog can sign a check, that’s good enough.” And people make that mistake. They ask other people to think on their behalf, which is terrible. You know, how many of us have got time these days to think about our own stuff, never mind somebody else’s?


So, if I asked you, Tiffany, you know, “Hey, I’d love an introduction to…” And I’ll give you a real-life case study. We had a session over in Manchester back in the U.K., which a friend of mine ran. And he was looking to emphasize this point in a big way that you need to be really specific. “Oh, no, no,” the guy said in the audience. “If I’m specific, I’m going to miss out on so many other opportunities. If I say anybody or everybody… Because they could all use this product.” And no, no, you’ve got to be specific. It really will help.” And the guy lost his temper and said, “Okay, I’m going to be specific. I want to talk to the purchasing director of Great Universal Stores on Bridge Street in Manchester. How’s that for specific?” And a guy two spaces along from him stood up and said, “No problem. He’s my brother in law. When do you want to talk to him?” And that’s the thing, and a real-life story. And it happens that way. And I’ve seen it happen myself plenty of times, that the more specific you are with, say, a referral request, the easier you’ll make it for the person at the other end to supply the introduction or the referral.


Don’t make people think on your behalf because they won’t. You look at people’s entrees, and they’ll just get into the entree, and the mental entree and it gets filed lower and lower down the list. Make it easier for people. So, if you know they know somebody you say, “Look, it will be really useful. Would you mind introducing me to such and such a person?” “Yeah, no problem.” “Okay, when…? How’s that best to happen? Is it going to be a meeting, a chamber of commerce meeting? Is it going to be a social function?” “No, I’ll pick the phone up at noon. I’ll just ring him and say, ‘Hey, you want to talk to Tiffany? She’s really good with Amazon.'” “Yeah, sure, why not?” “And look, here’s Tiffany’s details and give her a call or I can ask her to give you a call.” Straight there and then. Make it nice and easy but be specific.


And when you’ve done that, always make sure that you reciprocate and say, “Okay, well, who is it you like an introduction to?” “What? I don’t know.” And this happened recently with me with a guy who runs a big food manufacturing company in Australia. And he said, “Okay, the only person I want an introduction to is the people who are on Amazon in Australia.” And Amazon hadn’t started out then. And you sort of look in the mirror and go, “Oops, how on earth am I gonna do this?” And it just turned out a period of months later that the people doing all the recruitment for Amazon in Australia, the guy who did the recruitment or was involved with the recruitment was a good friend of mine. And I could just say, “Yeah, you want to talk to this guy here. He can introduce you to the people in Amazon in Australia.” “Really? Wow.” And through the front door, not the back door or anywhere else, this is the guy who hires the people.


And, again, if I hadn’t made the effort in the first place to ask the question, but also to get out and meet other people, I wouldn’t have been in that position. And the introduction is potentially worth millions of dollars, just millions. And if you’d have asked me months beforehand, “Would you be able to do this?” I would have said, “That would be stupid. No way.” And then suddenly it’s like, “Wow. Oh, I wasn’t that difficult at all.” It was a quick one-minute conversation. Easy. You’v just got to practice doing it. You gotta practice. Like all things, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice, you know. So, yeah.


Tiffany: How did you learn that you needed to be specific? How and when? And how long? Not how long did it take you to start practicing but when did you…when were you like, “Okay, I’m going to give this a try?”


Martin: Look, when I first heard about it, it would have been in the early 2000s. And I heard about it and I rolled my eyes and go, “That’s a really good story. That’s…that’s cool.” And it wasn’t until a few years ago really, and I thought, “Oh, let’s see.” And I was out presenting in front of a group of CEOs. And I was teaching them about referral marketing. And I thought, “Okay, here goes. I’ll jump in with both feet and ask the group, you know, think about who will be a good introduction for you. And the one CEO who looked after all the dairy farming in Victoria… And, you know, you sort of…you know, when you see these questions and things, these situations come in, and you see them from a mile away and you go, “Aaah, this is gonna be a tough one.” It’s gonna go. Here it comes. Here it comes. “Yeah, I’m a dairy farmer, and I’m looking for…” “Yeah, what am I gonna do with a dairy farmer for goodness sake? He looks after all the dairy farms in Victoria.”


So I said, “I’m looking for an introduction to a brewery, right, that makes beer.” Yeah. Oh, dairy farmer and brewery, how’s this gonna work out? All the barley that’s made and then used in the brewing process gets thrown away at the end of it. And he said, “Well, I want to get hold of all that barley because the cows love it,” which is why in Victoria, you see lots of drunken cows wandering around the fields, you know, eating all this barley. Not drunk, I’m just kidding. So I said, “I want an introduction to a brewery.” “Oh, okay. And how much is that worth to you?” He said, “Millions of dollars. You know, because it’s thrown away. It’s free, it’s a free feed.”


And these CEOs have been meeting together for months, in fact, years, and would be sitting next to each other. And I kid you not, the guy sitting next to him said, “Oh, I just happen to know the chief financial officer for Colton Breweries. Would you like an introduction to him?” And he said, “Oh, yeah, that’ll be very useful.” So I’ve never done it. That was my first ever time of asking the question. And, you know, here am I as the presenter, I’m stood there with my mouth open and go…


Tiffany: Yeah, this works.


Martin: This works. This really does work. And it emphasized the point that, first of all, if you don’t know what you want, then you need to because it’s worth a lot of money. And secondly, you’ve got to have the confidence to ask people and say, “Could you help out?” And thirdly, it surprised me just who people actually know. And you don’t know that even if you’ve known them for years. And I’ve seen it develop into an argument before with people saying, “Oh, why didn’t you tell me about this before?” “Well, you never asked me before.” “What do you mean I never asked you before?” And someone who goes… It goes on, you know.


And it’s such a ridiculously simple thing but it’s a confidence thing, and you’ve got to spend a bit of time thinking, “Well, who do I really want to deal with?” Yeah, I could deal with anybody but who really would be a good introduction for me? And once you know that, then you can ask people. And it takes a bit of confidence, but what are people going to say? No. Or, actually, I know somebody else who you could probably do a talking to.


And people, really, generally speaking, like to help other people out. Very, very, very rarely have I ever heard anybody say, “You know, you can go and go forth and multiply,” sort of thing. It just doesn’t happen. You know, people would rather help, be helpful.


Tiffany: I totally agree with that. So, who are you looking to be introed to?


Martin: Oh, right. Well, who am I looking to be introed to? Well, one of these different groups I’m running in Australia around the region, I’m always looking to talk to forward-thinking business owners, especially about those who’ve got a story to tell on how they’ve been successful building their own business through relational marketing and through using word-of-mouth. I think it’s a great marketing medium. Everybody makes use of it. It’s the most popular marketing medium there is. Yet everybody talks about everything else, branding, advertising, social media, the whole shooting match, but nobody talks about, how do I build relationships more effectively with other people? And what do I say to them? How do I ask them? What can I do? How can I better improve my relationships with customers? So, really, just all the business owners.


I’m always on the lookout for somebody who’s a real keynote speaker. I’d like to have someone like Richard Branson come in and present one day and so…because he’s a great believer in that as well. You know, and I think anyone who’s successful in business knows they’re in the relationship process. So, yeah, someone who’s a pretty famous guy like Richard Branson would be good. And interestingly enough, not for me, but so that other people can benefit from hearing from him. So, I’ll get a kick out of that. And when the book comes out, obviously, everybody buy the book, millions of them.


Tiffany: When does the book come out?


Martin: When I finish writing it.


Tiffany: Okay. Are you gonna do self-publishing, or like print-on-demand or ebook or don’t know yet?


Martin: These are all new things you’re talking about. You’re talking in Chinese now.


Tiffany: Okay.


Martin: I’m thinking, “Oh, I haven’t even thought of them, so…”


Tiffany: One thing at a time.


Martin: One thing at a time. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, one day… Well, we’ll see. You know, I’m a big… I mean I’d love to speak at a big conference one day on this particular topic just because I love it, so.


Tiffany: I wonder, this is just for my own curiosity, I wonder what people are, because my Amazon brain is trained to go to look for the highest searched, highest converting keywords, I wonder what people are searching for around marketing.


Martin: Well…


Tiffany: And that’s how I would… Those are the kinds of tags that I would create for, like, for a book like yours.


Martin: Oh, yes, people will talk still about branding, content marketing, still social media. Maybe they’ll put in word-of-mouth and referrals, personal introductions, advertising, online marketing. The interesting thing is that most of this word-of-mouth is still face to face. I mentioned that before but that’s really important. And people look at everything as a big investment to do that. But that’s where a lot of business actually comes from.


Tiffany: So, I have just a few more questions, and they’re actually geared towards your networking group or your word-of-mouth marketing group, not just networking, word-of-mouth. And you have several groups, right? Where are all they? Where are they?


Martin: Okay. One in Geelong, one in Maidstone, and one in Dandenong. So, I think you’ve been to all three of them.


Tiffany: I have.


Martin: Yep. Potentially, I’ll open a couple more this year, maybe one in Heidelberg, Preston, maybe one at the CBD, Melbourne CBD. But yeah, and, really, the maximum size would be 15 members. After that, it starts to get a bit…you don’t really get the chance to build a relationship with other people in the room, and that really is the key.


Our next big target for these guys who are members is to get people to wrap their head around the fact that, well, one of the main reasons I put the group together is bring some of your customers, clients, referral partners, suppliers along because if these guys you’re doing a lot of business with, and you want to say thank you, come and hear they’re a great speaker. And it gives me a chance to talk to you at the same time and build that relationship. And it also helps me to introduce you to other people that can buy your product or service, or you can learn to build this relationship and work in this word-of-mouth marketing process. So, the purpose of the group, really, is to get the members to work on the relational aspect for the benefit of their own business and also the benefit of their clients, suppliers, and referral partners’ businesses as well. And that’s proven…


The interesting thing about relationships, they don’t happen overnight. It’ll take a while to build into and build on, and people don’t always get it straight away. You know, it takes a bit of time and they go, “Oh, so that’s why you do that. And yeah, that’s the thing I’ve been telling you for the past couple of years, you know.” And sometimes, you just never know when the penny drops on people and they go, “Oh, why didn’t you say before?” “I’ve been trying it for two years. What’s wrong with you?” But people just don’t, and you just don’t know where they are in their own personal development path, you know.


Tiffany: Right.


Martin: But that’s relationships, we are messy. Very much so, you know, so…


Tiffany: So, how do you get members?


Martin: Sometimes, people will come as guests of the members and say, “Hey, oh, I really like this.” Other times, I’ll go to chamber of commerce events and say, “Hey, you know, I’ve got this great speaker coming along, you want to come and hear them?” And they’ll go, “Oh, yeah, I like the sound of that.” And that’s pretty much it. That’s pretty much what it boils down to.


Sometimes, people on the other sides of Melbourne will say, “Oh, such and such is looking to meet some new businesses, and I’ve told them about you.” So, just an introduction. And again, very powerful because it cuts through so much. I think you said it before, social capital that you gotta build up and so on. And it goes through online, it’s, “Hey, you want to talk to Martin?” “Why?” “Well, he’s got this group going on. Here’s his details.” “Oh, yeah, okay.” Done. And you’re through the door, which is what we all want. You know, anything that makes life easier, and people only do that if they think you’re gonna look after them, so.


Tiffany: Have you found it? So, you haven’t launched the feature where people bring their clients or their customers yet, or you’re encouraging but people haven’t caught on?


Martin: Oh, I encourage people to do it. And, again, it really is a whole educational process because members have already paid for a couple of extra places to have people there. And, again, it’s partially a confidence thing and a timing thing, and getting people to just follow a system, to build a system around the way they do it. So the, “Hey, I’m going to a meeting in several weeks’ time. This is going to be the speaker. Do you want to come?” “Yeah, sure.” Ding. Done.


And if only it was that easy… Actually it is, but it just takes people a bit of time to get into the habit of doing it. But when they do, it’s like, “Oh, great. Hey, I’m giving something back to a client, customer, supplier, referral partner for free. And I get to spend a bit of time with them,” and time is a luxury these days. You know, “Hey, come on out. How are you going?” “I meant to talk to you about that.”


The interesting thing is that everyone who’s a member gets to stand up for a minute and say, “Yeah, this is what I do.” But they can use that time to say, “Hey, this is a new product I’ve launched which has come on the block. And guess what? You’ve got two clients, referral partners, or suppliers next to you.” “Oh, I didn’t know about that. That sounds interesting.” Tada.


Tiffany: Or distributors.


Martin: Yeah, distributors and so on, and all of the above and more. And suddenly, you go, “Okay, yeah, that sounds interesting. We must talk. I must come to the show.” And it’s worth one conversation on the phone. “Do you want to come to this meeting with me?” And it’s worth potentially thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars.


And out of sight, out of mind, and that’s what we forget as well. And this is just a way of keeping people at the front of the site. And you can be strategic, who do I want to bring along? Who do I sell the most to, through? Or who could sell more for me? Or who do I want to introduce a new product to? Or whose business do I want to help build because it’s going to benefit my business? Or they move in a different circle than I do, so how can I get along to say, “Hey, you know, keeping in contact. What are you doing next month? What are you doing next month after that? What are you’re doing? Come along as my guest again.”


Tiffany: Have you done one of…have you done… I know because, at these events, you do like a little workshop of your own. Have you done one of these, how to decide or how to figure out which one of your clients to bring or like throwing down a contest? Like, whoever brings the most clients this year gets, like, a gift certificate or something. I don’t know, like, gets a round of golf…have the sponsor donate like a round of golf or…


Martin: Not recently. I haven’t done one, but maybe you’ve just sparked my interest to say, “Hey, whoever will bring some…” It’s a difficult one, in some respects, because you think, hey, people are just going to bring people so they can get a free round of golf, or they are bringing people to say, “And the pennies dropped.” “Oh, this is actually for my benefit. It’s not for Martin’s benefit. It’s for my benefit that I actually do this.”


So, but then, again, maybe one feeds off the other. So, I think the thing is you try these things, and if it works, keep doing it. If it doesn’t, then you’ve tried it. And fail faster, I think that’s the thing, isn’t it? So yeah, I’ll give it a go.


Tiffany: I think one of your workshops would be good with all the things that you just listed, like, how to decide on which client to bring or which client to ask. I don’t know. When you were talking about it, in my mind, I just saw you up there on the board, like, calling on people and asking people, like, “Wait,” you know, like, “Do you have any clients? I have a new product,” or whatever. I don’t know. You do what you do really well, so, but it came to my head, like, “Oh, maybe he should run a workshop on this.”


Martin: Yeah, maybe so. Yeah, it’s a good idea, run a workshop on that.


Tiffany: Okay. One-ish more question. How do you get your sponsors?


Martin: There’s a feedback form. So, at the end of every meeting, I always ask for feedback. And there’s the opportunity on there to tick a box that says, “Yes, I’d love to sponsor an event.” I think there’s still a belief that people think, “Hey, if I sponsor an event, then my name is gonna get blasted out there and everything else, and yada, yada,” that’s fine.


Actually, what it enables you to do as a sponsor is to bring a whole bunch of people into the next meeting, and, you know, pay for them to come, which is same thing with a lot of sponsored events. And that’s where the real value comes in, you know, the relational building, the relationships and strengthening them. But I’ll just ask people, and people are always looking for sponsorship opportunities, which is sort of okay, you know. But I’ll then sell them on and say, “Look, you can sponsor one event for a huge amount of money or you could sponsor three for a slightly more, but it’s three. Or for a little bit more than that, you can do seven, and wow, seven.” And people usually go, “Oh, no, I’ll do one.” And then think, “Hold on, I could get three for a bit more.” And as it happens, just last week, he was going to sponsor one event and eventually, he just talked himself into, “No, I’ll do seven. I’ll do seven, because it’s right, good thing to do.” “Okay, that’s fine.” And then I’ll take them through the process of how you build relationships with people and so on, so. But yeah, I’ll just ask, what can people say now? Okay, or not now. People usually say no, or not now, or a lot of the sound of that, ask me again some other time, something Like that.


Because the key is just asking people, I think. “Do you want to sponsor this event?” “No.” “Okay.” Very few people who you find will say no. A lot of people will say, “How much is it all?” or, “What are you looking to gain from it?” Oh. And it goes on and on then, so, yeah.


Tiffany: And my last question is, have you ever thought of doing, like, a combined, like, sort of conference thing with all of your networking groups, and then you have like multiple speakers?


Martin: Yes.


Tiffany: And all of your sponsors?


Martin: Absolutely. It’s one of the things I want to do in the future, perhaps, when I’ve got a few more groups, whether or not it’s just sponsors only and members only, or whether sponsors and members get to bring a couple of guests with them. Possibly, something in the CBD, I could do that, and a really big keynote speaker, but as it grows more and more, yeah, potentially, two or three speakers along. And I think that’ll go down well, especially if it’s an event that is an invite-only. Unless you’re either a member and you’re invited by a member you can’t actually gain access, then that really has a lot of credibility to it and a lot of kudos. So yeah, that’s something I’d like to do in the future. Yeah.


Tiffany: Okay, one more thing before I close. Have you ever heard of the Bill Murray would show up to a house party if people, like, advertised that Bill Murray would be there? It was this crazy thing going on, like, many, many, many years ago. Maybe you can Google it later but it’s like… You know Bill Murray, right?


Martin: Yeah, yeah.


Tiffany: So…


Martin: “Ghostbusters.”


Tiffany: Yes, yes. I think also like “Groundhog Day” and a couple other things.


Martin: Yes, that’s right.


Tiffany: But a while back, I want to say like late maybe, like, 2000, I don’t know, maybe between like 2008 and 2010 or something, somewhere around there, if you had a house party, and it was like Bill Murray-themed or something and it was really big, he would end up like showing up. So this actually got… When you said you want Richard Branson to be a keynote speaker, I was thinking maybe like…


Martin: A Richard Branson-themed party.


Tiffany: Richard Branson-themed contests until he shows up. I mean, not contest but conference.


Martin: I think it would have to be an Australian celebrity. I’m not sure how the Aussies would go with that actually. I know the British would be terrible at it. So, oh, look, I’m open to any idea. I’m not sure. Well, should they like, I’ll keep the audience flowing. I’ll ask, but… No, you can ask. You can ask. And also it was your idea. You can take that one.


Tiffany: I’ll send you a link. I’ll post a link to this Bill Murray… If anybody’s ever heard of it, it’s actually like kind of funny. I will find something. I’ll post the link. I’ll send it to you.


Martin: Cool.


Tiffany: Anyways, you’re a wealth of information. Thank you so much for being on the podcast. It’s been really great to have you, and to just pick your brain about all things, but mostly communication and relationship building.


Martin: You’re very welcome. Anytime.

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