Michael Whitehouse is a coach, author, motivational speaker, and networker. In this interview, we focus on networking.
With over 18 years of experience running businesses and working with a diverse range of people, Michael works with people to gain a clearer vision of their ideal future, develop gratitude to appreciate the life they already have, and build their toolbox of connections and skills to drive towards their vision.
Michael is the founder and chairman of Conference21, a unique virtual conference focusing on authentic connections and powerful learning.
He is also the author of The Guy Who Knows a Guy, a book that shares his story of going from stranger to connector in less than two years. He discovered simple techniques to build a network in a new community that anyone can learn, and shares them in the book.
Watch the video here (text summary is below)
Read a summary of Michael’s interview here
Who do you serve and who are your clients?
My clients are higher ticket business owners for whom an introduction can be worth tens of thousands of dollars or more, which is why they’re willing to pay me to find introductions for them.
I serve them by making connections to people that they need to meet.
What is their problem, their need, and what are the symptoms of that problem?
Their problem is that they need to network. They need to make connections because that’s how they grow their business. But that takes time and networking is traditionally something that’s hard to outsource. You can’t just send out a salesperson to do it. You certainly can’t send the intern to do it or anyone else on the team because people want to meet the big boss.
So what I do is I connect my clients to the right people, which is sometimes a matter of going out and finding the right people and looking for them. More often it’s a matter of curating introductions.
What are the common mistakes people make or obstacles they face when they’re trying to solve the problem on their own or with other solutions?
My ideal clients are as good at networking as I am, but they’re also better than better at something else than I am. So I am particularly good at networking. And as you mentioned, you network for your clients; most coaches are networking for their clients. They should be, but you probably spend a bunch of your time coaching or writing courses or programs, doing the things you’re best at.
I spend most of my time networking. So to have somebody like you do all that networking and then pick out the right people and place them in different places, doing this for multiple people — there’s a lot of inefficiency to that.
What is unique about your solution that helps people avoid those mistakes or overcome those obstacles so they can finally solve their problem
I am actually the only person I know who does what I do, offering curated introductions as a service. Many people say they are “connectors” but very few are professional connectors, meaning that’s their business. My clients shouldn’t be going to a 2-day networking event. They’ve got things to do. But I’ll go to those all day long. I can do that for them.
I don’t network FOR someone. I meet people and then make curated introductions. I try to make connections that provide value.
What is one high-impact free action that you recommend that the audience can implement that will help them solve the problem?
So the tip I will share is that anyone can be a connector. You — viewer, listener, reader — can be a connector when you decide to be a connector. So it’s a matter of mindset.
What is one free valuable resource you can direct people that will further help them solve your problem?
Yes. I have a fantastic resource for you. So people go to guywhoknowsaguy.com and they will find a little opt-in form. And when they do that, they will get three things:
- First is the power five networking tips, which is my entire book distilled down into 1 page.
- Then they will get the ebook of my book, the PDF version.
- Finally, I recorded an MP3 of my book. I’ve read the book and you will get the MP3 as well. So you can listen to it while walking the dog or driving to work or doing the gardening or whatever. And my lilting voice will teach you networking on the MP3.
What’s the one question that I should have asked that would give you, that would give great value to our audience?
I asked about the future of networking. Here is Michael’s response:
Networking has been more democratized than ever. There was a time when you wanted to connect movers and shakers, you had to go to expensive places. The opportunities to network at a higher level are mind-blowing. A lot of in-person events went virtual but as they are returning to in-person events, they are keeping the virtual part because so many more people can attend. There has never been a better time to seize opportunity. Internet access is all over the world.
Download Michael’s Power 5 Networking tips and his “Guy Who Knows a Guy” book in PDF and audio formats here. (Scroll down to see the opt-in form.)
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