Frank Agin: Next Level Networking Rap Battle

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Frank Agin discuss:

  • Why networking isn’t pushed in law school.
  • The science of networking and why networking is like golf.
  • The power of small talk (and why it actually works).
  • The three reasons lawyers do not get referrals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Networking is really about building relationships and helping others.
  • You have to help people to help you. If they don’t know what you do or what you are looking for, they won’t know how to refer you or that you even are looking for more business.
  • People need help from you to recognize the referral opportunities and, perhaps, even the empowering language to know what to say.
  • Build relationships outside of the organizations you’re a part of. Meet a few of them on a deeper level, add value to their lives, and it will come around in spades.

“Find something you’re passionate about and get out and volunteer. Get out there, put yourself out there with people who care about the same thing you do, and you’ll be amazed and what comes from that.” —  Frank Agin

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Episode References: 

About Frank Agin: 

Frank Agin is president of AmSpirit Business Connections, which empowers entrepreneurs, sales representatives and professionals to become successful through networking.

He also shares information and insights on professional relationships, business networking, and best practices for generating referrals under the brand name Networking Rx. This is done via the Networking Rx podcast or the Networking Rx content sharing platform which can be found at http://www.networking-rx.com.

Finally, Frank is the author of several books, including Foundational Networking. See all his books and programs at http://www.frankagin.com.

Connect with Frank Agin:  

Website: https://www.amspirit.com/

Books: https://www.frankagin.com/

Podcast: https://networking-rx.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/frankagin/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/amspirit-business-connections/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/frankagin

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amspirit

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frankagin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amspiritbusinessconnections

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/frankagin43/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amspiritbc/

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: [email protected]

Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Frank Agin: [00:00:00] Hey everybody, before we get to the show today, I just want to invite you to come to How to Become a Rainmaker to Achieve Work

Steve Fretzin: Life Balance with myself and my friend Jennifer Gilman. It’s on January 26th. It’s going to be amazing. You don’t want to miss it. You can go to Fretzin. com slash events to sign up today.

Narrator: You’re listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive in helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now here’s your host, Steve Pretzel.

Steve Fretzin: Well, hey everybody, welcome to Be That Lawyer, uh, the show all about helping you to be that lawyer. Someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. Every single week, twice a week for about the last four years, we’ve been bringing Top level gas and interviews to help you [00:01:00] be that lawyers and get inspired to grow business and just be your best version that might be health and wellness that might be work life balance that might be networking and marketing and all the different elements and.

Today, I’ve got a top notch networking expert to help you guys figure out how to build those relationships and get the business in the door. Uh, Frank, how you doing?

Frank Agin: I’m doing well. I’m doing

Steve Fretzin: well. Good. Good to see you, man. We just had a rock solid pre interview leading into today, and I think we’re going to have just a really solid dialogue about networking and you’ve written a book on it.

I’ve written a book on it. You’ve got a podcast. I’ve got a podcast. So this is going to. Hopefully be quite the show for folks who, you know, maybe don’t have, haven’t put the time in or had to have quite the experience that we’ve had. And then maybe even the mistakes we’ve made, uh, to learn networking at the next level.

But we love to start off with the quote of the show. And here we go. Um, you have no idea what kind of opportunities await you just on the other side of the next connection. And that’s a Brian Miller. Uh, what’s [00:02:00] three new people?

Frank Agin: Uh, that’s the title of his book. Oh, okay.

Steve Fretzin: Have not seen that, but I love the quote and it’s like, yeah, you just don’t realize what What’s going next, but what’s your take on that quote and welcome to the show?

Frank Agin: Well, thank you. Yeah, my take on it is, is, you know, what I see people, this is a mistake, is I see people kind of sizing others up. Yeah, you know, that they’re really not going to help me. And you have no idea. You have no idea. Yeah. Um, what. You know, who somebody knows, what they know, what they can do for you, and we won’t get into it here.

I, I was in the movie, The Shawshank Redemption. We were in that movie? I was an extra. Yeah. Oh my God. That’s awesome. For your audience, uh, you know, be that lawyer, it’s, it’s attorneys, it’s lawyers. I used to be an attorney that was, you know, so I have walked the walk, but I was parking my car in a particular garage in downtown Columbus.

And every day I would just make friends, make nice with the parking lot attendant. And there was [00:03:00] one particular one who she was easy to talk to. She was a mother, a grandmother and, and, uh, you know, this, this parking garage, it’s near the Capitol. So it’s just filled with attorney types. She stopped me one day and she said, how would you like to be an actor in a movie?

They’re loose. They’re looking for Uh, attorney type to be in this movie. I had no idea. Um, but it underscores just the whole notion of, you know, just make nice with people. You just never know. And, uh, the irony of it is I was cast as a prisoner in the open prison, prison. Well, I got to spend a day with Morgan Freeman.

I’m literally on set with Morgan Freeman and 500 other guys, but I had a conversation with them and, uh, But you never know, right? I, yeah. Most other attorneys are just blowing by just not even saying hello, so, yeah. Yeah.

Steve Fretzin: And by the way, a side note, one of five movies I can’t turn off when it’s on. Like that’s just that, just when it’s on, I’m like, all right, I guess I’m in for the long haul on this one.

’cause it’s, you know, number 25. I’ve watched it. I don’t care. Yeah, it’s just so

Frank Agin: good. Just so good. Well I had, I had no [00:04:00] idea being in the movie. I had no idea. Yeah. What I was in .

Steve Fretzin: That’s awesome, man. I love that. And for everybody, Frank Agin is the president and founder of AM Spirit Biz Connections, Business Connections, and the host of the Networking Rx podcast, which I’m going to be on it.

We’re going to tape that in a day or two. Give us a little background because lawyer, you know, actor slash, you know, extra leading into networking guru. How does that all play out? Yeah.

Frank Agin: I mean, it’s interesting. It’s, you know, I, I went off to law school at Ohio, uh, at Ohio state, uh, got a law degree, got an MBA.

And I operated under the notion that you went off to school, you did well, you got credentials and you were bulletproof at that point. And I would imagine many of the listeners to be that lawyer probably think the same way or thought the same way that, you know, listen, I went to a great school. I did well.

I’ve got all the credentials. I was on a law review, blah, blah, blah. I, you know, I’m unstoppable. So anyhow, I started my career in public accounting. I was a tax tax consultant. I worked for [00:05:00] one of the big six and I decided to leave there after about seven years because they didn’t want to do taxes for the rest of my life.

I just, there had to be more to my professional life. So I figured my next best step would be going to private practice and I’m figuring, Hey, I’m a shoe in at this point, I’ve got a CPA too, on top of this MBA and law degree, don’t have much overhead, well, a funny thing happened when I went into private practice.

And the funny thing was that nothing happened. I had no idea how to get clients. The phone wasn’t ringing. Now attorneys, many of your attorney clients know, we’re not allowed to cold call. We’re not allowed to go knocking on doors. We can’t use a lot of the traditional means. That’s many of the strategies that you’ll work with your clients on and that’s great.

So I really felt lost. I had no idea what I should be doing. I had lunch one day with a friend from law school who had taken a different path out of law school, and she had started her own firm and was doing relatively well, six, seven years in. And I just said, what do I need to do to have what you have, to be successful, so I don’t have to go begging for my job back [00:06:00] and be, you know, a soul sucking tax consultant for the rest of my life.

And she said, why don’t you get into a tips club or a leads group? Networking organization is what she meant. And so, uh, I had no idea what she was talking about, but through a couple of introductions she made for me, I found myself in February of 1995 in a brand new chapter of this organization that, uh, that was based out of Pittsburgh.

Immediately made total sense to me that I could lift my whole world up by just helping other people become successful. Everybody sitting around there does something different. You know, I know people for the accountant. I know people for the telecom person and just trust that they would do return the favor for me.

And, uh, so I really got involved in that. Um, it just made a lot of sense. And, uh, long story short, Steve, at one point I had an opportunity to become. That organization’s first licensee. And then ultimately I bought it out in, uh, the early 2000 at that point.

Steve Fretzin: Now you’re running a networking organization that you found great success [00:07:00] in and now that’s your business.

Yeah. That’s awesome, man. I, I found the same thing. I mean, I, I got into networking when I started my business in 2004 and I, I also didn’t, I mean, didn’t really know what I was doing. And I think when I open up my book, the attorney’s networking handbook, and I started writing, I start off by saying no one has networked and made more mistakes than me.

I mean, I just, I was out there just, just yeah. Every day every night meeting with everybody just it was like scrambled eggs and I just gave and gave and gave even when I didn’t want it when here’s the thing when I didn’t have something to give I would just buy somebody stuff like I was buying chachki’s I was buying life insurance I change banks like I just figured out like how do I help others but in some case I didn’t have a network to do that so I just bought myself buy and stuff which which.

You know, that, that wasn’t, that wasn’t going to last over a long period of time.

Frank Agin: Yeah, no, it’s, but I think those mistakes, I think we all come upon honestly because, you know, let’s face it, they don’t teach these things. They really don’t teach them in high school. [00:08:00] They don’t teach them in college, you know, it’s foreign law school, right?

Yeah. Right. No, they put, they pay lip service to it. Yeah. Um, Hey, you need to get out there. You need to build a network. And the reason they really don’t talk about it is many of our professors are very, very intelligent. But you know what, they get a paycheck every couple of weeks. They’re not really having to do the networking like, you know, like the people listening to your show that need to make it rain.

Yeah, they don’t get out, yeah. But, and There really is, there’s a methodology, well you know that, there’s a methodology to it. And once you learn the methodology, if I had to practice law all over again, it would be, it would be totally different. I would be, I would be like a major leaguer playing in, in single A ball or double, however it works, right?

I mean, you know, I could just, I would know exactly what I need to do.

Steve Fretzin: Do you want to hear something funny? I always. Said if I, my father’s a retired attorney and he’s 89 now and retired at 65, but I always said, Hey, if I could go back in time and teach him [00:09:00] networking and teach him the things that I know, but then I interviewed him on my 200th show and he was at the courthouse talking with people.

He was in an office talking with people. He was demonstrating not only leadership, but how smart he was. He was networking. It just wasn’t called networking. He was doing it. He just didn’t know he

Frank Agin: was doing it. Well, I think that’s part of the problem, Steve, is, is that networking gets a bad rap. Yeah. People think of it as, Hey, I got to go out and I’ve got to be this, this car salesperson, this aluminum siding salesperson, and it would be hard sell and try to convince people of things that they don’t want to be convinced of, and that’s not it at all.

Networking is really just about building relationships.

Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Yeah. But while you said building relationships and helping others, and there’s some things we’re going to get into that are going to be more tactical for people to, to take away from today that they can say, Hey, I can actually go do that. I just learned that from Frank.

So you have actually come up with what you call the science of networking. What’s the science [00:10:00] of networking?

Frank Agin: Well, I haven’t, I don’t want to say I’ve come up with the science of networking, but I talk a lot on the science of networking. We, as humans, we, as humans are really hardwired to have a relationship.

And those relationships are studied, they’re studied by, you know, universities like the University of Chicago, DePaul, Northwestern, Michigan, I mean, around the world, there are studies and you start looking at these studies and it really uncovers and It, it uncovers, um, a roadmap for success, for example, I’ll share a quick, a quick study was done over in a university, uh, in Poland, and they put a young woman on the street, uh, researcher, uh, and she was tasked with going up to other young women.

It’s people walking by themselves, women to women, not trying to reduce as many variables as possible. And she would go up, she went up to a hundred women and at random, she would do one of two things. One, she would say, would you buy a candle for me? [00:11:00] She did that with 50 women at, again, at random with the other 50, she would go up and say, how are you doing?

How was your day or something along those lines? And then they would respond with, well, it’s horrible or it’s great. And then she would respond with, I’m glad you’re having a great day, or I’m sorry, you’re having a bad day. Would you buy a candle from me? Well, in the control group where she just jumped in, brass tacks, would you buy a candle from me?

She sold three of 50 people. In the experimental group where she had a small talk conversation, the smallest small talk conversation you could possibly have. She sold 11 of 50. And what that does is underscores the power of small talk. And in the study, they go on to explain what’s happening and that our, one of the things our brain does, the term they use for it is heuristic processing.

We’re, we’re trying to find whether we could trust somebody. You and I were introduced, you know, you needed to get a sense whether you were going to trust me and it’s not life or death at this point anymore, but it’s still, it’s, it’s important. And when we have these small talk conversations, this heuristic processing [00:12:00] kicks in and what the heuristic processing does, it creates a shortcut to trust.

You know, so to me, that’s just like, okay, you know what, I’m not telling you have small talk because like my own opinion, there’s evidence out. So I really try to look to science for the evidence of

Steve Fretzin: things. It also sounds like understanding and empathy, right? I think people at the end of the day want to be felt, feel understood.

They want to feel empathized with. So if I say, how are you? And you say not so great. Oh, really? I’m sorry to hear that. What’s going on? And that, that’s, that’s it. And there’s a connection right away. So that makes a lot of sense. What are the reasons that people’s lawyers in this case struggle with networking effectively and getting referrals?

Frank Agin: Well, I think they’re, well, I don’t think I, I run an organization, I’ve had thousands of members and I come into not just attorneys, but certainly attorneys, people all the time struggle to get referrals. And I have determined that there are really three reasons why people don’t get referrals. And it’s only three reasons.

One of these three things, [00:13:00] one, they don’t have a relationship. They haven’t taken the time to create a relationship with the person. And well, I’ll quickly go through them and we’ll double back. So first is a relationship. Second is they’ve created a relationship, but they haven’t, they haven’t educated people on what to look for.

I was an attorney and my father’s 89 as well. I like to think my dad loved me. Loves me. He’s still alive. My mom, mom’s passed. Same thing. I love to think my parents cared about me. I never got a referral from my parents. Why? As much as they cared about me, wanted to help me, I never educated them how to recognize opportunity.

Mm hmm. And I was never really looking for that, and that wasn’t high on my priority list. We have different relationships with our parents, but I use that to underscore the point that there are people in our lives who really care about us, that can’t help us because we haven’t helped them help us. So recognizing opportunity

Steve Fretzin: I’m going to stop you right there real quick.

Just, there’s a name for this in the legal profession. It’s called being in the friend zone. And I usually do the air quotes on the round the [00:14:00] word friend. Because they have all these friends that are general counsels, they have all these friends that are CEOs and people that could throw business their way, and they’ve done a terrible job or no job at all of educating them, and they wonder why this friend is doing business with some nudnick law firm when they could be working with a superstar like, you know, you, and you’re not getting that business.

Frank Agin: No, absolutely. I see it every day. And, and, uh, well, the third thing is, is once people, once you’ve educate people, educated people on how to recognize opportunity, you need to empower them with some language to have a conversation, you know, regarding the situation. So I like an attorney, uh, he or she educates me on, you know, I work with, with businesses who are entering into commercial leases.

So when I spot that I’m at a party, somebody says, yeah, I’m going to be renting some space. I’m recognizing there’s an opportunity there. Now I need to have the language to say, Oh, you know, who’s going to be looking at that lease for you? That thing’s probably an inch [00:15:00] thick with words that you don’t understand.

Yeah, I don’t even know. I mean, I’m kind of scared to sign, you know, I know, I know someone. That’s the third piece, but it’s really that middle piece. That’s the big thing, certainly with attorneys. I, when I was starting out practicing, I was very good at building relationships, but horrible at educating people on how to recognize opportunities.

Yeah. I’m an attorney. A good referral for me is anybody who needs an attorney, anybody with legal problems. Well, that doesn’t. You know, that doesn’t paint a picture for people as to really what it could be. So

Steve Fretzin: the real quick thing, and the worst that I hear is, you know, everybody can use what I do. Yeah. Uh, really?

And, and how, how am I supposed to, with my tiny brain, like pull people out of the world and say, that’s the perfect person for you or someone I can introduce when it’s everybody. It’s too, it’s just, that’s not gonna, that’s not an

Frank Agin: effective model. No, it’s not. And, and what I tell people is, is the onus is on you to educate them.

Yeah. [00:16:00] So when somebody throws out, Hey, everybody, what they’re basically saying is, Hey, Steve. You figure it out for me. Well, hell, you’re busy. You’re not going to take the time to figure it out. So they need to figure, they need to, they need to spoon feed you. You, when you see that, when you see this situation, which somebody’s having their hiring employees for the first time, think of me because that is just fraught with legal issues.

I don’t need to educate you on all those, but just know that there are a lot of issues with that. And they probably need a handbook. They might need an agreement. You know, they certainly need some policies, whatever, but that’s just one of many things to kind of, for people to recognize. So it’s always one of those things.

Yeah.

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Narrator: com.

Frank Agin: So

Steve Fretzin: let’s go a step further with this. Now you’ve, you’ve got a book on it. I’ve got a book on it and the people listening don’t have any books on it. So what we want to look to do is, is have some fun.

Number one. Number two is let’s do sort of a, um, a networking rap battle of sorts. And what this is going to be is like a speed round of not one upsmanship, but a way for us to share our different views and similar views to. Again, give 5, 6, [00:19:00] 7, you know, act actionable takeaways and tips to people. And you’ve already given a few just in the.

Sharing kind of like what’s missing. Let’s now fill those gaps with what people should be doing every day, every week, every month, whatever, with, with a different strategy. So I’m going to let you go first and then, uh, I may bounce off of you after that or go a different direction, but let’s see where this goes.

Let’s have

Frank Agin: some fun. Yeah. The question I always get when I’m on podcast is what’s the one thing that somebody can do to get network now? Yeah. I can say, find something you’re passionate about and get out and volunteer. Okay. Get out there and put yourself out there with people who care about the same thing you do.

You’d be amazed what comes from

Steve Fretzin: that. So that, so let’s take it that step further. So that’s, that’s a charity, that’s, that’s church temple. That’s a sport. That’s, you know, right?

Frank Agin: Yeah. Your kid’s school where, you know, wherever, you know, don’t be calculating about it. Well, this would be a great place for me to get business.

You do again. Oh, who knows who, but you’re, you know, if you’re working with that, that charity that eats people at Thanksgiving, it’s a year round thing. There are going to be other people there that [00:20:00] really care about that. They are coming from their little corner of the world and they are going to come in and they’re going to say, ah, you know, is this Steve’s really passionate.

He’s really helpful. I wonder what he does. Oh, I consult with, you know, I, I consult with attorneys trying to help them be better. You know what? My brother in law is an attorney and he’s going out on his own. I bet he could use you. You know, you have no idea.

Steve Fretzin: I’m going to, I’m going to add to that instead of going a different direction, I think there’s one piece that’s missing.

So let’s say that there’s a lawyer listening, who’s been on a charity board that he, he or she cares about. And it’s been like a couple of years and they’re not really, you know, they never, they thought it might be business, but that wasn’t what they got into it for. But now they’re realizing, Hey, this has taken a lot of time.

I have a limited amount of time. I need to get some business. If it’s in the, these are all people that could do stuff with me. What they’re missing, I think, is they’re not building the relationship outside of the organization. They’re just showing up for the meetings, doing what they do, and then they leave and thinking that’s going to cut it.

My recommendation would be to handpick 2, people in that organization, meet them socially for [00:21:00] drinks, meet them for golf, meet them, get to know them on a much deeper level, figure out how you can add value for them in their life. And it’ll come around in spades. And I just don’t think people are, they think just showing up is the key and it’s not.

It’s like networking groups. You can join a networking group. There’s business there, but it’s the relationship that one on one that needs to, that needs to happen as well.

Frank Agin: No, I think to kind of piggyback on that, I totally agree with that. I think what you do is you just, you know, find somebody two, three, five people.

However, it doesn’t matter one month. It depends on the situation. And just say, Hey, let’s go have lunch. I run into lots of people as an attorney. I run into lots of people. I just want to figure out how I might be able to help you or how you might be able to help some of my people, you know? Yeah. They’re going to go with that because, Hey, this guy’s trying to help me.

And then they’re not going to be able to, as humans, we were, we’re hardwired to reciprocate. So you’re going to have this lunch or this golf round of golf or this coffee [00:22:00] or whatever. And they’re going to turn the tables and say, well, that’s great. How, thank you very much. But how can I help you? Oh, well, thanks for asking, you know, and then you kind of, then you have to be ready with saying something that they can get their head

Steve Fretzin: around.

Well, that’s, that’s an excellent segue to my next suggestion, which is many people say, you know, anybody could work with me or like we talked about earlier when in reality, there’s two things I think that are really critical. One is you need to know who your targets are, and that’s a terrible word, but that’s what I’m using.

Because it’s easy to think of hitting the target. And so my thought is that there are two key targets that you’re looking for in introductions. One is prospective clients that could use your services, right? So, um, someone that has a legal need that that at that moment that could use you. This or may have a legal need in the future because they’re running into litigation on a regular basis.

The other is, and this is missed many times, is the best referral or strategic partners. So if you’re, for example, um, an estate planning attorney and you know that your business comes from [00:23:00] financial planners and divorce attorneys and other, you know, attorneys dealing with consumers, for example, or business M& A transactional, you may want to suggest, Hey, these are the kinds of people that I’m looking to meet.

And that’s, that’s missed on a fairly regular basis too, is that you’re not sharing the, the, who are the, the types of people, the titles, it could be geographic, it could be the actual industries that they’re in, that might hit a mark with someone’s brain at that moment and say, well, it’s funny you said that I have X for you and that’s really going

Frank Agin: to work out well.

No, that’s a great point. Uh, one of the talks I get out and do, I call it the five big misses of, of networking. I start out and I use golf as a metaphor for networking. And that when you’re teeing off 415 yards away, you’re not looking to drop it in the cup. You’re just looking to place the shot down the fairway.

So you can see the green, get on the green and two putt. Now I might do it in 12, you might do it in six. It doesn’t matter. But the point is, is that’s how you network. And that’s what you’re saying [00:24:00] is, is stop looking for a six inch putt. Stop looking for somebody who can just be immediate business. Think about all the steps along the way, and one of the other steps I talk about is opportunities to get out and speak in the community.

One of the big things I did early on as an attorney, I got an opportunity to speak to the Ohio Business Brokers Association. Those are people who help people buy and sell businesses. What a great audience for me, and I’m still connected to that. I don’t practice law anymore, but I’m still connected to that.

And I connect people to it and all because I was willing to just go in there and give them some insight and how lawyers work and your questions here are questions you should be asking the attorneys who deal with, um, and just build, build great rapport with them.

Steve Fretzin: Yeah, that’s, that’s outstanding. People don’t realize the power of speaking, not only to potentially get business, but also connecting with.

The people that run those events right there generally pretty well connected and can put you in front of people that other people can’t because they know their membership [00:25:00] and so that’s that sometimes a lost art there now I want to go back and hit something that was mentioned earlier on this is maybe an agree maybe disagree it’s different styles and options I agree with.

That any, anyone and everyone has the, has value and has the potential to find a connection Shawshank or whatever it might be. I met with, with someone the other day who, you know, she was selling, you know, like cosmetic products and she ended up giving me my biggest lead, you know, when I was starting my business.

So it happens that being said, if my take is if you’re running around meeting everybody, the Avon lady, the Amway salesman, the bup, and you go on and on. Lawyers have such a finite amount of time that every meeting potentially counts against billable hours and things like that. So I try to say, let’s be smart about going after and trying to meet with those strategic partners.

And while you might meet someone who is that at the grocery store or at the board or whatever, if you can, if you’re, um, again, an [00:26:00] estate planner and you know that that financial planners are the road to everyone, every financial planner can refer their clients to you. Target them and focus on them and make that an avenue that you, that where you spend your time versus, you know, being kind of like a shotgun approach and meeting everybody, trying to meet everybody.

I don’t think that you were saying anything against that. I’m just saying, like, that targeted approach, I think, really makes sense.

Frank Agin: I totally agree with that. My, my comment regarding the parking lot attendant and that is, I had a choice. Everybody had a choice to show this person some respect and, and, you know, she’s her, her name is Twyla.

She has no idea who I am. I know somebody who worked with her and he knows the story, but I haven’t, I haven’t talked to her in 30 years. He has no idea what happened. Um, or who I am, um, she’s not on my holiday card list or anything like that. I never took her to lunch, but people every day have the opportunity to be respectful to other people.

So you’re going to see that financial advisor, which I think is great [00:27:00] advice. Get to know the receptionist, right? Get to know those people who are the underlings, pay them some attention because they may be the one who alert you at some point, Hey, I just wanted to let you know that. Joe or Jane, the financial advisor just went into the hospital.

They tore their Achilles. You know, no life threatening, but it’s like, you know what, what, what a great opportunity to show up in a big way. Hey, I heard through the grapevine. This happened. I’m really sorry. Um, you know, are there things I can do to help you, um, in

Steve Fretzin: the meantime? That’s fantastic. And again, just, you know, common decency and kindness and listening and understanding.

These are all the tenants of strong networking. It’s not about selling. It’s about, you know, that, that other side of it. Do you have a, and I’m putting you on the spot a little bit here and I’m happy to share mine first, if it helps, but. Is there a question that you teach people to ask in a networking meeting like a one on one that seems to get the [00:28:00] relationship or the business moving forward more quickly, or maybe it helps to qualify that they’re, you know, really a potential great long term partner, anything that you, that you, that you like to teach people to

Frank Agin: ask?

Well, I mean, I talk about small talk a lot, and, um, I think it’s a powerful thing, and in that I tell them don’t move too quickly with respect to that. It’s really about getting to know them. I have a, what I tell people is to be prepared, have a series of questions that you can ask. To get to know them, uh, to warm them up in, in every city’s different.

Columbus is the great melting pot. Nobody’s from Columbus. So you can get a lot of, uh, a lot, make a lot of hay with, are you from Columbus? Oh, you’re not. Where are you from? You know, then they’ll say, well, I’m from Chicago or LA. How did you get here? What’s the story? And people love to share that story. And then once they start to share that story, you can start to really kind of dive into the situation a little bit.

[00:29:00] And, you know, for example, I had a conversation with a woman once she was, uh, we’re at a networking event. It was snowing out. We both kind of made it to the event. And I’m like, wow, the snow is this. Well, you’re in Chicago. You get it. And she goes, you know, to be honest, I love the snow. I’m really into skiing.

Well, then I just, I grew up in Michigan, so I could have a little conversation with her about skiing. And we would talk and talk for a little bit about skiing. And then I kind of segue to, wow, you know, skiing is not a cheap sport. What do you do to pay for it? Which is, you know, what do you do? Yeah. And then she kind of went on, told me what she did.

And it’s like, okay, great. You know, I’m not going to spend the whole event with her. I just said, Hey, listen, I know you’re going skiing this week. And if you don’t get hurt skiing, I’d love to have coffee with you next week. And really kind of dig into the professional side of your life. So I’ve remind, you know, I’ve listened to her about skiing.

I’ve reminded her about skiing. I’ve learned about her. I’ve Kind of implied, I want to talk to her again. And then a second meeting, that’s [00:30:00] where you really kind of dive in and say, okay, I really want to kind of understand how I can help you find clients where we can find synergies between the things that we do.

Yeah, I love

Steve Fretzin: that. And the, the relationship can end, not end long term, but end. So you can move on in that room. If you’re trying to meet multiple people, I try to ask a question that has no real consequence unless you decide it’s going to. And that is. What should I be listening for, for a good introduction for you?

And I’m not committing to anything with that question. I’m asking that question. They say, I want to meet, uh, personal injury attorneys. That’s really who I focus on. And I can either respond and say, I know a ton of those. We should get together and network, you know, in, in a, in a coffee setting. Um, or if I find the person is, is salesy and aggressive and not who I want to engage with, I’m not really coming, okay, great, I’ll keep my eyes open, which is kind of a blow off, but it’s the right blow off for the right person because I think we’re trying to qualify people that we can network with, uh, [00:31:00] one time, that we can network with maybe multiple times, or just move away from because we’ve identified that they’re

Frank Agin: not for us.

Yeah, no, it’s Absolutely. But it’s all about relationships and what I would caution people is don’t look for something to happen in that first conversation, right? What I always try to find is that first conversation, will that move on to the second?

Steve Fretzin: Yeah, it’s, it’s a qualifier to move it

Frank Agin: forward. Right, if you determine that it’s not, then you’re best to just kind of politely end that conversation as soon as possible and move on.

Yeah, how do you, how do

Steve Fretzin: you get out of that conversation when someone has trapped you at a networking event and you realize, look, this has now been going on for 20 minutes and five longer than I wanted. How do you exit

Frank Agin: that situation? Oh, I, yeah. The, what I tell people is there’s a couple of, I don’t want to say tactics.

Yeah, no,

Steve Fretzin: that, that, that’s fine. I mean, that’s, that’s okay. But just

Frank Agin: to say, Hey, listen, it’s been great talking to you. Uh, you know, I have a goal here today to meet, you know, four great [00:32:00] new people. You’re one. I need to move on and meet a couple others. Is there somebody I can introduce you to or, or, you know, whatever, and then just kind of move on from there.

Or there’s somebody here that I need to talk to before. You know, maybe you have to be true to your word. Something like that. It’s, it, it’s always easy. Um, it works on me.

Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Right. Right. Um, well, very good. Listen, Frank, thank you so much. Let’s wrap things up with your game changing podcast. And this is, this is one that I’m I’m going to start listening to, and I’m going to be appearing on soon and it’s yours.

Okay. NetworkingRx. So tell us a little bit about your

Frank Agin: podcast. Yeah. My, uh, my podcast NetworkingRx podcast, I do one of three things. Uh, one, I will come on and I will talk about just, I don’t want to say whatever, but some sort of concept with respect to networking today, uh, I’m, I actually dovetail it with my LinkedIn live.

I’m going to be talking about, uh, How to form an opinion about somebody and I have a, I have a story that I, that I share. And so that’s one of the things I do. The second thing I [00:33:00] do is I interview people who are what I call thought leaders in networking. I consider you to be one, Steve. And so that’s why I’m going to interview you and you know, the likes of Bob Berg and Brian Miller and people who, who are really looking at this and thinking about this.

And then the third type of personal interview is that person who’s got a really unique story about how they’ve used networking or why they’ve used networking. Yeah. That’s somebody on who shared the story of how networking, how his grandfather used networking to escape the Holocaust, which is just a fascinating story.

So I do one of those three things, um, fast approaching 700 episodes of the 200. Wow,

Steve Fretzin: that’s amazing.

Frank Agin: Yeah. Yeah. You just keep at it. Right. You just keep going and keep going. And, uh, you know, you it, you’ve got it down to a system, right. And this, that’s the key. Yeah. And, um, and I get to meet lots of great people.

Yeah.

Steve Fretzin: That’s, that’s, that’s definitely one of the perks and in us getting together to do this is, is on top of the list. And, uh, thank you Scott Mason for the kind, introduc. Um, as we wrap up, I want to [00:34:00] thank our wonderful sponsors, of course, Green Cardigan Marketing, Lawmatics, and Get Staffed Up, who are all helping lawyers to be their best versions and take, uh, the legal tech approach, uh, to it.

And, um, if people want to get in touch with you, Frank, they want to hear more about A. M. Spirit, uh, Business Connections, or, or your podcast or your book, um, what’s the best way for them to, uh, to get, uh, in touch with you? I tell

Frank Agin: people to go to a website. I created frank Egan. com. Uh, people like communicate different ways.

My LinkedIn’s there. My email’s there. Uh, you can see the books I’ve written. You can learn about AMP spirit, um, connect with me through Facebook or whatever, whatever, you know, I’ll meet people wherever they’d like to meet. But that’s a great

Steve Fretzin: step. But all that’s in the show notes, everybody. It’s a G I N Frank.

Thanks so much, man, for being on the show, sharing your wisdom. I mean, thanks for playing the, the, the, uh, the rap battle of networking with me, that, that was fun just to kind of go back and forth and share some best practices, but, uh, hopefully, uh, we’ll have you on again. I mean, this, this, this show’s sitting about [00:35:00] half a years, but.

You know, the goal is to continue to pump out great content. And I think we’ve only tipped the, you know, get the tip of the iceberg with our conversation today. So thanks again, man. Thank you. I appreciate it. Yeah. And thank you everybody for spending some time with Frank and I today. Again, networking is just a core fundamental, you know, element of how you’re going to grow your law practice.

And, and, and the goal is, is always to be that lawyer. Someone who’s confident, organized and a skilled rainmaker. Take care, everybody. Be safe. Be well. We’ll talk again real soon.

Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer. Life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website Fretzin.com for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.[00:36:00]