Interview with Kundan Chhabra: How to Make it Easier to Get Business by Creating a Context of Good Will, Nurturance, Trust and Alignment

A few months ago, my Facebook friend Kundan Chhabra posted something that caught my eye. It was about creating a context of good will in your business. I messaged him asking if he would be willing to write a guest post for my blog about it. It took a few months of conversation but what you see below is the result of those back and forths.

Kundan is someone I met online with whom I’ve been consistently impressed. His ethics on business and marketing and his commitment to social justice are values I wish I saw in more entrepreneurs.

The approach Kundan outlines is true in my experience.

I hope you enjoy.


Tad: We were connecting recently about an ‘aha’ you’d had about the connection between one’s dating and romantic life and marketing. I was wondering if you’d be willing to share it.

Kundan: I’ve been thinking of my love life recently and how it’s starting to have parallels with my business as I go through the soft launch of my new site. And I’ve been pondering a new model of dating that I like to call “contextual dating” or “communal dating”.

I once asked a client: “When you go to a party or an event, do you talk to everyone or only to the women you’re attracted to?”

“Only the women,” he said.

“Talk to everyone. And be a Source of Stability for everyone in the room. And be fully your True Self.” I suggested.

This is the lifestyle I live and teach.

As a result, I’ve had some great experiences.

The number one thing I have noticed is that by the time I talk to a woman, they have already seen me, felt me, known me and become attracted to me (or not). Often, they saw me before I saw them. For example, one time I was dancing on my own during blues dancing (I often dance on my own in between dancing with partners to rejuvenate and recharge myself. Sounds strange but I am also doing energy-work on myself and the room as I dance. That’s why it actually recharges me).

Through the mirror, I could see a woman sitting by the wall and looking at me with complete admiration on her face. It just so happened that I was also attracted to her. So I eventually went up to talk to her as I sat next to her. At some point, she said, “I like the way you dance.” That, I already knew. So eventually I asked her to dance with me. And it was enjoyable.

Another time, I was dancing at another event, and I heard a voice from behind me say, “Thank you.” I turned around and saw this beautiful woman. I’ve had a wonderful intimate connection with her for 2 years since that day.

I’ve been noticing a Parallel with my business as well.

How so?

Lately, as I dive deep into the deepest depths of what I call my Heart Virtue and Super Power, and create content from that, I’ve been noticing a similar effect.

(Your “Super Power” is your most powerful strength, your greatest gift to the world and simultaneously the number one way you desire to be loved. Your “Heart Virtue” is your deepest Why, your most meaningful “virtue” you were born to embody, experience and express).

Clients and prospects reach out to me first.

By the time they are on a Discovery Call with me, they tell me, within the first 5 minutes of the call, “You don’t need to sell me anything. I already know I want to work with you.”

So, there’s no fight, no war, and no “overcoming objections”.

There’s also no “being a stand for them”.

What’s your take on what ‘being a stand for them’ is all about? Why is this taught so often?

“Being a stand for them” is a popular tactic these days that supposedly replaces NLP manipulation in the teaching lore about enrollment conversations. I think this still comes from a Warrior mindset of seeing it as a fight (Supposedly a fight between the client’s Ego defenses/fears and what they really desire which is apparently your program or offer).

It sounds compelling. Is it that it frames you as the hero and them the victim?

Yes. It does.

But it is not necessary if you set a proper context long before the enrollment conversation. In some  cases, the enrollment conversation is not even needed if there is a proper context: people sometimes go directly to the sales page and buy. In fact, for all sales below $200, I am able to completely eliminate the enrollment conversation altogether.

How do you do that? And why?

How? By having a crystal clear point of view, problem, solution, story and offer are so that they create deep empathy in the client: that it, they feel fully seen, gotten and understood. In other words: through the social context itself that we’ve been talking about.

Why do I do this? Because I’d rather not give away an hour of my time for free just to make a $200 sale (or below) when my rates are at $1000 an hour.. Plus, it’s unnecessary when it’s clear to the client that either this is all the money they want to spend or that particular session/offer is what they want. My enrollment conversations are not to convince people to buy from me. They are already convinced when they contact me. So, it’s just a question of helping them decide which offer is right for them.

“My enrollment conversations are not to convince people to buy from me.” Amen.

This is why I ask the following pre-enrollment question when they fill out the enrollment form when they schedule the enrollment call with me on Calendly: “Do you have capital or a budget to invest in your education? “Yes I do. I have: 1. $1000 to $5000 2. $5000+” Choose one. (Minimum Investment of $1000 required to work 1-1 long-term with me. Are you prepared for this?).”

If they say, “No” to this, I message them and re-direct them to an offer that’s below $200.. (Although I may raise this to $333 soon. No reason in particular for this. Just my Intuition).

I have absolutely no desire to convince a client to get a loan or credit card or some other way of ‘making it happen’ if they are already convinced that anything above $1000 is too much. I used to do the convincing in the past. Not any more. This is why I’ve created this “social context system” of getting business in the first place.

That sounds like a lot less work. How are you defining ‘context’?

I see context as the entire container for why we are having the enrollment conversation. It’s the Facebook groups we are both a part of, the Facebook Live videos they have watched before and/or other content, prior comment threads and PM messages, and the larger conversation about our deeper reasons for doing the work we do.

And I am learning that Robert Cialdini, author of “Influence”, says pretty much the same thing in his book “Pre-suasion” – that most of the ‘sale’ occurs long before the sales conversation even takes place as a result of the context you set or don’t set.

So, how do you create a social context of goodwill in your business?

You become a source of stability, nurturance and transformation for your industry.

You be fully your true self.

And, tactically, how does this show up in your business?

You share relevant content that authentically expresses your unique point of view about how your people can best address their issues. You share your own stories of transformation or those of your clients.

Do you have a different take on this than others who talk about ‘content marketing’?

I think of this as being a ‘key holder’.

Let me expand upon this. Imagine your clients have a treasure box. In this treasure box lies the solutions to their problems and the specific thing they desire in this specific area of their life that you have expertise in.

But that treasure box has a lock. Your expertise (especially your Super Power) is the key that unlocks this box for them. I can’t emphasize this enough. When it comes to business, your content actually has to be relevant to your audience. Not just relevant. It has to exactly fit what they are searching for: like a key to their lock. This is how you create the good will that specifically inspires your audience’s Deep Intuition to be activated so that they go: “Wow! This person is my Keyholder for this specific problem.”

And it’s all from the content I create which sets up the context for the enrollment conversation.

But, it can’t be just random good will. It can’t be like Santa Claus shouting “Ho Ho Ho” and spreading good cheer. It’s more like Being a Yoda to the Luke Skywalker in them or being a Morpheus to the “Neo” in them.

Frank Kern calls this creating Good Will by providing “Results in Advance”. If they want to go from A to Z, you create content that takes them from A to C. My model is more about providing a way for them to do it all themselves (for most of the stuff I teach anyways) but if they want to go deeper and be even more effective, they can hire me as their coach.

This is where prior work around Niching and Point of View Marketing is vitally important (which Tad Hargrave can help you with).

What’s your take on niching?

Your niche is the group of people for whom your Super Power is the key to unlocking their treasure, and because your Super Power is completely unique (no one else in the world has it), you magnetise a very specific audience that is specifically attuned to you: your Super Power can’t solve any other problems: only their problems. So it’s also important to know the number one problem you’re born to solve. So this is where deep Inner Self-Connection is critical: a lot of this is based on deep Self-Discovery work.

So, just to recap: it sounds like most people put most of their effort in sales towards the actual sales conversation and you’re suggesting that the focus be moved to much earlier in the process in the creating of a context of good will. Is that right?

Yes, that’s right.

What are the three biggest factors that contribute to this?

The three biggest factors that contribute to this are:

Self-Connection (whether through the meditation I recommend here or the deeper work I do regarding “Heart Virtues” and “Super Power“).

Relevant Content to your “1000 True Fans” AKA “Brand Heroes” which brings up:

Niching (Again, I have a slightly different take on this. My definition today is that your niche is the group of people for whom your Super Power is the key to solving their biggest problem. So it’s an inside-out approach rather than outside-in).
And regarding niching: if you really got your niche right, there is also less struggle and manipulation or even “taking a stand for you” conversations.

Can you give more real life examples of this that you’ve witnessed in others? I’d love to hear times you saw people destroy the social context of goodwill too and how it hurt them and others.

Yes. I was once on a Discovery Call with a woman who claimed she could help me find exactly what my niche is: she apparently had a magical power to immediately tell exactly what my niche is. I was told (by the person who recommended me who it turned out was her coach) that clients cried in their sessions with her because it was apparently so powerful and eye-opening.

That’s why I reached out.

She immediately asked me to be on a Discovery Call with her – even though I didn’t know her at all, which itself felt odd to me. So there was no prior social context of Good Will, Nurturance and Good Will at all.

During the call, she wouldn’t let me off the phone. She wanted a $1000 sale right on that phone call.

And she kept saying, “This may be uncomfortable for you. But I am putting a fire on your butt so that you take action. I am taking a stand for you.” I ended up not hiring her even when I eventually did have the money.

And it sounds like, the way you see creating this context of good will has a lot to do with you being very attuned to yourself, being stable inside, so that you’re coming from a place of generosity rather than being a vampire?


I’m also hearing that your sense of it is that when you figure out your Super Power which, by its nature, solves a very particular problem for people, and you share that with the world more freely, you’ll be coming not only from a place of strength but your ideal clients will recognize that and be drawn to it?


So, is your Super Power related to your take on things? Your point of view? Is it connected to your diagnosis of their issues or is it some other thing?

Yes. It’s part of my Point of View when it comes to helping other coaches and healers make a sale.

It’s how I create content when it comes to my own business. When I write a post or, especially, when I make a Facebook Live or Live series, I tune in to who I want to communicate to. And I do that by tuning in to who best my Super Power can serve, what Purpose I serve, and what treasure I am unlocking. And so, I am not particularly worried about Facebook algorithms or visibility.

For me, it’s not about how many people I reach but exactly whom I reach: I set the intention to reach exactly the right people for whom I am either their Keyholder, OR their audience includes people for whom I am their Keyholder.

So it’s a mixture of Inner Alchemy with outer Business Strategy. So there’s a certainly a certain level of “Co-Creation Magic” – what some people might call “manifestation” but I prefer calling it “co-creation”.

And it’s not always about attracting a client.

For example, one time I posted my poem called “A Love Letter to Anger”. Within 2 minutes of that post, someone with a large mailing list immediately messaged me and asked if she can mail it to her mailing list with complete credit and links of course. Another great example is you yourself reaching out to me to write this article for Marketing for Hippies, Tad. Right? You did that as a result of my post in Awarepreneurs.

So it may not always directly attract a client yet but it certainly increases credibility, visibility and good will with our target audience or “brand hero”, which creates a cumulative context of Good Will, Nurturance and sense of Alignment with me.

Anyways, I just wanted to offer this up an alternative path because this is a topic that has come up often in the Conscious Business community regarding manipulation in sales, marketing, sales calls and selling from the stage, etc.

To summarize: it’s about setting up a Social Context of Good Will, Nurturance and Specifically Relevant Alignment with our “Brand Hero” and sets us up as their Mentor in the Epic Story of their Lives long before they even get to the sales page or the enrollment conversation, whatever the case may be.


About Kundan: Kundan helps you simplify your business as a vehicle for creating that more beautiful free world that you had a glimpse of in your Awakening, mystical, psychedelic and flow experiences.

He does this by helping you discover your Greatest Gift (your Unique Super Power) and Deepest Why that had been created out of your Greatest Longing. Your Greatest Longing that had been born and grown out of your Greatest Struggle the way diamonds and pearls are created.

He then helps you embody your Remarkable Legacy in communion with exactly and only the people with whom you can create the optimum collaboration. Out of this service to the exact people whom you were born to serve, you experience the Deepest Spacious Fulfilling Intimacy with yourself, others and the world. You can learn more about his work at:

Note: If you sign up for his email list you’ll get the pre-enrolment and enrolment questions he refers to above.

the two secrets to an effective business card

Here are my thoughts on getting a business card that works.

There are two things I think are vital for a business card.

First, have your personal photo on it, a current, awesome photo. People get so many cards and they really won’t remember who it is from, but if there is a photo of you, they can say, “Oh, yes, it is that person.” It helps more than you think.



Second, use the back of the card (which is usually blank) not to set up an appointment, but to give them a pink spoon. Give them some free offer. Mine basically is like, “Hey, are you a conscientious entrepreneur who is struggling to get enough clients? Well, go to my Web site and there is a ton of free stuff.” At the bottom, there is a line with my website, Use the card as a way to direct them to some pink spoons, nothing too heavy, and they can check you out at their own pace.

Can the pink spoon be a small discount of your service? It can, but I think that is less pink spoonish. Ideally, it is something online: audio, video, written, a quiz and/or e-mail series. It is something from which they can check you out from a distance without having to book anything. No risk for them and no effort for you. That’s ideal.

It depends on the vibe. You might have a great vibe and just decide to go for the next level. I don’t know; a small discount on a service, to me, does not give me a taste. It is not a pink spoon at that point. It is just a discount.

For more thoughts on designing pink spoons you can check out this.

For more brilliant thoughts on what to put on your business card (and networking in general) go read these thoughts from my colleague Bill Baren.

four secrets to have networking turn into clients

(the following is a transcript excerpt from my six week Marketing 101 for Holistic Practitioners course. During the call, I am reading their comments in our private facebook group.).

I have some thoughts on networking including business cards and stuff.

For networking, you are basically going to events to connect with other folks who are in your industry or are hubs for you.

How do we do this?

First of all, I am more introverted than most people, I think. I can go to these events and I can do it and I can be a little exhausted afterwards depending on the event. There are a few things I want to suggest.

Networking Tip #1: First, go with somebody else; go with a friend. A friend will be able to talk you up in a way that you cannot talk up yourself. You can rave about your friend in ways which they cannot. If you go with each other, you can network for each other and it is a really fun way to do it.

Networking Tip #2: Network for Hubs. The second thing is one I got from Bill Baren, a brilliant guy. His thing was, “Don’t go networking for clients. Go networking for hubs.” I think this is one of the most brilliant thoughts I have ever heard on it. Don’t go networking for clients; go networking for hubs.

When you think about events, you are going to get strategic about networking. Do not go to the events where you will find a bunch of your clients. You want to be where there are people who are connected to lots of your clients and build connections with them.

Especially when we are talking about networking in person, you do not need to get anything from them. Just have a little bit of face time and build a personal connection. This does a ton in terms of the follow-up.

Just like with Phoenix Rudner, this realtor who focused on pet owners, when you think about all of those hubs, instead of thinking about just where the pet owners hang out, he could think, “Where do all these hubs hang out? Where do all these hubs get together in one place where I could just go to one event and meet a bunch of folks? It would be much easier.”

Networking Tip #3: Get their card. Third, do not just give your card to them, but get theirs, as well. I see this all the time with networking. People go to networking events and they run around giving out 100 business cards. It feels like they are accomplishing something, but I would say it is a false feeling of accomplishment. Of course, most of those people are going to get home and have no idea who gave them the 20 cards they got that night. They just throw them out because they cannot remember who the cards are from.

I just got a business card a while ago (pictured here – front and back). I want to suggest that business cards are not necessarily that useful. I do have some thoughts on how to use them and how to make them effective, but for years, for most of my career, I did not have a card. People would say, “Well, do you have a card?”

I would say, “No, do you have one?” and they would give me their card. I would make a note on it of something to send them: a pink spoon, a blog post, a video. It would be something useful for them that would start the relationship off with giving something generous.

Lorraine just introduced the new verb: ‘pink spooning’; nicely done. This is great.

I would get their card and I would leave the night with maybe ten cards. I want you to get that leaving with ten of their cards that you can follow up with is a lot more powerful than giving out 100 business cards. People do this. They go and they give out cards to everybody as if to say, “Hey, here’s my card. Could you throw this out for me?” That is what will happen.

Joseph has one on networking: “Do one-on-one networking. Have lunch and coffee with people you already know.” You are so ahead of the game. “Just make your intention clear. I would love to catch you up on what I have just decided to do with my business,” or, “I could really use some advice about such-and-such;” “I want to do some marketing and I want to talk to you about introducing me to your such-and-such.”

Yes, sometimes if I am going to meet with somebody, I will just say, “Hey, we should go for coffee. It seems that there might be a fit here of ways we could support each other. I’m not sure what it is, but let’s grab a quick, 30-minute coffee some time.”

Then you can have the one-on-one more intimate conversation which, I agree, is much better for introverts.

The thing is, if you go to an event where there are lots of people, if I think it is a significant hub or significant connection, and then I set up the one-on-one networking thing after that. You are already at events; you are already at parties or gatherings, probably. If you are going to do it, do it well.

Networking Tip #4: Get a business card that works. To find out how to do that, read this post here.

jewelry marketing genius

A few months back, when I was in Toronto, I met a woman named Jane Dallin (pictured right) who sold jewelry.

The more we spoke the more impressed I was with her marketing street smarts and hustle. Somehow, it came out, she’d managed to get the hosts of MTV’s shows to be wearing her stuff. Say what?

She also clearly had a very solid intuitive understanding of niche marketing based of the separate lines of jewelry that she sold.

I asked her some questions and she gave me some answers. And here it is.

company name?

SOOS Rocks


what do you sell?

We sell hand-made designer fashion jewelry for men & women.  Using stainless steel, vintage brasses, found objects, and semi-precious stones we create necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more.

SOOS Rocks has 3 main collections:  House of Rock which is our unisex line that is geared towards men & women that are looking for slightly edgier pieces that are inspired by rock music, urban culture, and individuality.

Our Duchess collection is more girly and frivolous and is inspired by childhood keepsakes, and antiquities, and lastly our Believe line is based in world religions, spirituality, and what inspires people.

how did you market your jewelry when you first started?

When Bryn (Bryn Nihill) and I (Jane Dallin) first started out we marketed our jewelry quite literally at the base level.  Making local appointments with small independent stores, showing them our wares, and growing the brand slowly.  We made sure to be accommodating to buyer’s budgets, and didn’t have any minimum orders so that it would be easier on a retail store, allowing us to establish some initial roots.

how did you land the MTV gig? and what has resulted from that?

We heard through our friend that worked in the accounting department at MTV that the stylist for all the hosts of the shows were looking for a new accessories provider.

We packed up our samples and immediately headed over.

We armed ourselves with everything we thought would be perfect for the genre and managed to land a short meeting with the stylist.  After showing our line, and chatting about how we thought that SOOS Rocks was a great fit for them, they agreed to use our jewelry!

We are also extremely flexible and made them aware of that.  We then set up a time to go in and showcase our complete line to everyone there and have them select the looks that each host wanted.  It was a great pairing, and we built a solid relationship with a lot of people at MTV as a whole.

This has allowed us access to a number of special events, and intern, we have met many celebrities and musicians that we have were able to get our jewelry on!  This was especially great for our American customers who seem to be a bit more interested in celebrity culture, where “who’s wearing” your goods holds a lot more weight.

how do you get famous people, iinfluencers and hubs to wear your stuff? and what’s the impact of that?

I think the best way to get celebrities, and influencers to wear your product is to create as many relationships as you can.

When you have an opportunity to socialize and meet new people in design, media, film etc. you need to make sure that you take it, and don’t shy away.  Be it going to certain galas held by art institutions, film events, launch parties, CD releases etc., and if you see someone that you consider to be an influencer, then you need to walk right up to them and introduce yourself and go from there!  Also, I think it’s great to be involved with charities and special events.

Organizers and PR companies are always looking for ways to impress their clients, and if you become their “go to” resource for “gifting” the rewards can be colossal!  We’ve met a lot of editors, actors, and people who are interested in new and exciting things by donating, participating, and contributing as individuals, and as designers.

Offer your product as a prize, an auction item, and always look the part too!  If you are decked out in your goods people usually notice and want to inquire about who you are and what you do!  It can result in magazine features, television appearances, and ultimately sales!

why do you think most jewelers struggle so much with marketing their stuff?

I think most jewelry designers struggle with marketing their work because they are used to operating behind the scenes for the most part.

When you have a passion that you would like to turn into a business you have to wear many “hats” and if you never fancied yourself an entrepreneur you may become overwhelmed by all the hoops you are finding yourself jumping through just to get things off the ground!  A lot of designers love to design and wish they could leave the business side of things to someone else.

This might mean partnering up with someone that is excited to market your product, where you can create a successful business for the both of you.  But, if it’s you, and you alone, just take things slow.  Don’t get overwhelmed, and think of the top 5 things you can do get your goods out into the world, and put goals in place to make that happen.  Slow and steady always wins the race.

what’s your take on Etsy?

I think Etsy is a great venue for people to sell their designs because it gets their work in front of a broader audience.

Etsy is especially great for one-of-a-kind pieces, or vintage findings, and is a relatively seamless way to show as much work as possible!  It is also a great space for designers who sell a niche product.  For example if your designs are more eccentric and you are unsure of where your product fits in a traditional retail environment, Etsy allows you an entrance into a huge marketplace, and the possibility to make some great money!

I think designers could definitely benefit from taking some time to comb through all the intricacies of the site, as there is a lot of information on there about how to become a top seller!

any other advice for other jewelry makers and crafters?

I think the best advice I could give to artisans and designers is to keep creating what you love, be as proud as a peacock for taking the road less traveled, and start getting the word out as best you can!  Create an on-line presence for yourself, keep getting your goods in front of as many people as possible, and continue making as many connections as you can.

It will pay off in the end, as everyone loves to brag about the amazing things they’ve found, and the cool people who are making them.


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Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program



Honour the Host

Once a month or so I host what I call my Potlucks for Particularly Precious People in Edmonton.

I’ve done about 23 of them over the past three years and they tend to have about 30 people come. I started them because I wanted all of my favourite people to meet each other. People are welcomed in with a hot cup of apple cider and a warm hug and introduced to a gathering of the loveliest of people.

The potlucks usually start around 8pm and end a bit after midnight.

At 9:30pm or so, I gather everyone in a circle and we do a go-around where everyone has about a minute to let everyone know a bit about who they are and what they’re up to. It’s part networking and part community building.

I started doing this introduction circle because I noticed at parties how easy it was for people to just talk with the same five people all night and so I wanted to create a way for everyone to meet everyone all at once. And I can always see it during the circles, people’s eyes brightening when they hear people sharing what they’re up to and whispering to them across the circle, ‘I need to talk with you after!

Once the circle breaks the whole tenor of the event changes and people more bravely introduce themselves to new folks and make new friends. Marvelous.

But, at the last potluck I did – there was some minor hijacking.

As we did the go around circle people shared about their interests, their projects and their quirks. It was this warm and human vibe. And then it got to one fellow who was a personal trainer. And instead of sharing who he was – he used his minute to do a commercial. He gave his elevator pitch and then invited people to sign up for his newsletter – bribing them with his recipe for chocolate peanut butter bars.

It felt immediately out of place. Not massively – but subtly.

After the circle broke – people wandered about connecting with each other and hung out by the food table.

But not this fellow.

He wandered around chatting briefly and then personally inviting everyone to give him their email in his little coil binder.

“Technically” it was good marketing. He was clear in what he did. He was using Pink Spoon Theory. He was capturing people’s contact info. He was putting himself out there.

But it felt ‘off’. It felt, to me at least, like too much too soon.

Here are the levels where it feels like this kind of strategy is ‘off’.

Level One: He was subtly hijacking the space. I did all the heavy lifting for him of organizing the evening and getting the people there. And he was using that to his advantage. Now, if this was a business networking event – that would be perfect. But it wasn’t. It was a party in my home.


Level Two: It wasn’t a fit for the vibe. This was my potluck. It wasn’t a business networking event. Everyone who came, came because of their relationship to me or to someone else there. They came for an evening of warmth and meeting new people and a sort of ‘community based networking’. They didn’t come to be marketed to.

Level Three: Unwilling sign ups. I imagine that he thinks people were signing up because they wanted that recipe. To be honest, it did sounds pretty good. And I bet he thought they were giving their emails thinking that they might work with him soon. But I’d guess that most people gave him their email because they felt pressured to do so. He was standing right there saying, ‘hey, do you want this free thing?’ and so they think, ‘Well . . . how can I say no to this free thing?’ and he doesn’t give them a way out.

Sure, some people are strong enough that they’ll say ‘no thanks’ but most people really want to be ‘nice’ and not ‘rude’ and so they’ll sign up and get that recipe (which they will ignore) and then either unsubscribe from his e-newsletters or ignore them. They didn’t really want to be on them in the first place.

They gave their email to get rid of the subtle pressure they felt inside – because they want to support this eager entrepreneur. It’s like people who RSVP as attending on facebook for your events with no intention of ever showing up. When you ask them why they RSVP’d they’ll say, ‘oh, you know, I just wanted to show my support and boost your numbers . . .’ It’s the illusion of success.

Level Four: Looking Desperate. After my workshop in Ottawa last night, myself and some of the participants went out to a great vegetarian restaurant called The Table. We got to talking about business cards and one of the participants commented that he only gives out one card per night at a networking event. I asked him why.

He said, ‘because, if you go around all night giving out your cards – people notice that. They see that you’re looking for business – and that doesn’t seem very successful. Plus – if you give them to everyone – they just throw them out.’

I think he’s right.

You can always spot them at networking events – trolling for business, looking for leads, ‘prospecting’. And the message that sends is, ‘they don’t have enough clients’ they’re obviously not very successful. There are better ways to network anyway. SO, as this personal trainer worked the room – people noticed him working the room.

They could feel him ‘hoping’ for business.

Not attractive.

More attractive would be to radiate health and happiness all night and to ask people about their own health goals and be this unconditionally encouraging and supportive presence around whom people just feel better about themselves. And if people expressed their desire to get into shape, he could have said, ‘hey! Come to one of my classes for free. I like you. I want to help! Are you on facebook? I’ll add you and send you the info. And let me get your email too . . .’ Quality, not quantity.

As my mom put it, “This may be the downside of all the marketing hype about “networking.” Gracious is not generally valued in the marketing world — chutzpah is. Pushiness is. Over and over business people (especially small business people, of whatever stripe) are told to push themselves and their product forward at every opportunity, regardless of appropriateness. This general attitude speaks volumes about the disaster that is our current business model and is a huge reason why your work is so very important.

Yay for moms.

Level Five: Networking for Clients vs. Looking for Partners. Here’s another level of this challenge. He was networking for clients. At my potluck. But here’s the thing. They don’t know him. He’s a stranger. He’s working the room 100% cold.

But I already have a very strong and warm relationship with many of the people there.

They trust me.

Therefore, were I to endorse him, he would they would be more likely to pay attention. But he never gave me that chance – he took it himself. He could have focused on building his relationship with me and showing me that he was cool and safe with my friends.

Imagine the impact if he’d left the party and my friends said to me, ‘who was that guy? I love him! He’s so positive!’ Of course, I’d be one step closer to endorsing him. But as it was, he left and people said, ‘what was up with that guy getting everyone’s emails. That was weird . . .’

In a post he wrote recently. my colleague Bill Baren advises people not to go networking for clients – instead look for potential hubs and partners. If you’re trying to build a relationship with a hub – you don’t blatantly hijack or prospect at their events in a way that has people feel (even a little bit) uncomfortable.

In marketing, you often need to slow way down to see faster results. There’s an old adage, ‘infinite patients breeds immediate results’. The first result being a sense of inner peace. The second result being that you’re not needing anything from anyone, and so they feel safe around you. They lean in.

Let’s look at this from a slightly different angle.

Imagine you hear about a party where everyone in attendance is in your target market. They could all become clients.  This seems like a perfect chance to go a get everyone’s card and follow up. But wait. Slow down. Ask yourself, “who is the most important person in this room to me?“”

It’s the host.

Why? Because they are the one that got all those people together in one place.

Slow down some more – how did they do that?

Likely through years of relationship building and integrity and street smarts. Incredible effort was put in to build the kinds of relationships where these people would be excited to come to their party.

So, get this: you can succeed in getting people’s contact information but risk totally alienating the hub.

This is called killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

So, who do you think you should you be focusing on building a relationship with at that party?

The host.

But this doesn’t mean you try to monopolize the time of the host. Or fawn over them and obsequiously try to ingratiate yourself with them. But it does mean you ask yourself, ‘how could I add value to them?’ and that you consciously make sure you treat their event with a deep respect and reverence. You don’t do anything that might feel disrespectful to them.

To be clear: he felt genuine and sincere in what his personal training. I bet he’s great at it. I love, love, love the fact that he’s taking action and willing to do things that other people won’t do. I love that he’s questioning social conventions and willing to put himself out there. I love the boldness in asking for what he wants. This isn’t a personal critique – we’ve all got learning to do in how to make our marketing more beautiful – this is a look at the unintended consequences of certain approaches.

(to learn a better way to do it – read this post about going from being a hijacker to a rainmaker)


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Parties as Marketing

Photo from the Toronto 2009 Green Grub and Gather

So, I think parties are one of the best marketing tools ever. I’ve been talking about it more and more – and here’s some proof! This is an excerpt from an interview I did with Joel Monk (JM) and Laurens van Aarle (LV) of Coaches Rising in Amsterdam. I think you’ll dig it.

JM:            So tell me more about this hot marketing because you’ve really got me going here. Did you say about hosting your parties and stuff?

TH:            Yeah, one of my big things these days has been this idea of parties as marketing. And where this came from was I was in Toronto doing a workshop and I heard about this guy in L.A. who on the Saturday night of his workshops, his business marketing workshops, he would take everyone out for dinner at this Italian restaurant.

I just always thought that was the coolest idea. I felt like, that’s so classy. That’s so nice.

What I liked about it, too, was it created a social setting that wasn’t there at the workshops. Because the workshops I do are super-interactive but it’s still a workshop. It’s not like hanging out with people.

One time I did that and it went really well. I really loved it.

What I found is we went to a restaurant and everyone basically sat at their tables. They were in a big, long row but nobody moved so people were just mingling with the people sitting directly next to them and that wasn’t what I was wanting.

So I tried a few more restaurants, same kind of thing and eventually moved to a house party called the Green Grub and Gather. But as that transition was going, I remember sitting there right before the dinner thinking about, “Oh, I’ve got these other clients of mine who I would love to—from past workshops who I really love—and they should come to dinner.”

So I fired off a few texts and a few of them came. And then it really occurred to me that there are people in Toronto who are super successful already and have just no interest in coming to my workshop. Like there’s a guy, in Toronto who’s a green realtor. He’s incredibly well known, super tapped in in the Toronto green scene. He’d never really come to my workshop. He doesn’t need my workshop. But if he knew about what I did, it would be useful.

People might ask him, say, “Hey, Chris. Seen this marketing workshop for hippies and green businesses. Is this worthwhile?” And if he says, “I don’t know.” That’s one thing. But if he could say, “Yeah, it’s totally worth your time,” that’s a really solid endorsement to have.

And how do I do that because he’s not going to come to my workshop to check it out but he might come to a party. So it eventually evolved into doing house parties for like 40 people. Everyone at the workshop, and I had like 20 people at the workshop so maybe 15 of them actually show up and can make it.

And then I invite my favorite alumni from that area, plus people who are hubs, people who are influencers, people who are connectors in the scene in that area. And that party has been awesome for me in terms of building relationships, building connections with people who I normally probably wouldn’t have had a reason to connect with. Yeah, I could have gone to lunch with all of them but that would have taken a lot more time so I did that.

JM:            I love the idea of getting them all in one place. Because a party’s so relaxed, isn’t it? You’re at a party to have fun and people just let down a lot of those boundaries. It’s just a great place to make a friendship with someone. I could see that being really—I’m thinking about how we could do that. Everybody loves a good party.

But yeah, I don’t know what you think, Laurens, but I love this idea of just having a party. It takes away all that pressure, doesn’t it? You’re just going to have fun. Everyone wants to hang out and maybe get some good music on. What stands out for me from what Tad said is even if you just speak to that guy for five minutes, you’ve already made a connection. He’s already put a face to your name. He knows what you do and he’s probably going to be pretty impressed that you’ve put on a party like that.

LV:            Yeah, it sounds like a great way to both have fun, market, connect, make that human connection with people, expose everybody to what you’re doing and at the same time, just enjoy great food, music and company.

The World’s Greenest Business Card

So, you want business cards for your networking but you hate the disposability of it? Well, why settle for anything but the best. Check out the world’s greenest business card. Imagine how attractive you’ll feel giving out a card that you know that you have a card that is so green. From their website:

Why are these the World’s Greenest Business Cards?

The cards themselves are as sustainably produced as possible

We have looked at every aspect of how The World’s Greenest Business Cards are manufactured and tried to engineer them to be the most socially and environmentally responsible as possible. All aspects of the cards are as ‘green’ as we can make them, including:

• Printing on a waterless press so no effluent goes down the drain with vegetable-based inks
• 100% Post Consumer Waste recycled paper (means no new trees harvested)
• Paper manufactured in Canada (small carbon footprint)
• FSC and EcoLogo certified stock means you can have the FSC logo printed on your card if you would like

Business Cards That Work

Alex Mandossian

Most business cards are lame – here’s how to create a business card that makes you money.

This is genius, genius stuff from Alex Mandossian.

To find out out you can make a great, business generating business card . . .



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