The secret to effective sales, dating, and hosting a popular podcast
Jordan Harbinger is a Wall Street lawyer turned podcast interviewer with an approachable style and knack for securing high-profile guests.
His show, The Jordan Harbinger Show was selected as part of Apple’s “Best of 2018.” And today, the Jordan Harbinger Show generates more than 6 million downloads per month.
In this episode, we talk about building strong relationships, effective sales strategies that people actually appreciate, being a great podcast host, and ALL of it really comes down to relationships.
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Jay Clouse 00:00
Hello, my friend. Welcome back to another episode of Creative Elements. Today, I am re-airing my conversation with Jordan Harbinger. This episode originally aired as episode number 44 of Creative Elements on February 9th 2021. And we talk a lot about sales and relationships in this episode, which I really love. I think it's one of the most unique and important skill sets that you can develop as a creator. But we didn't talk about as much as I would have liked to is Jordan's personal journey to becoming one of the biggest podcasters on the planet. So if you liked this episode, and I really think you will, I would love for you to tweet at Jordan Harbinger. And that is @JordanHarbinger and let them know that you'd love to hear a follow up episode on Creative Elements. Tag me in that tweet also, and I think we can make it happen. I've heard Jordan talk about his podcasting journey. And there's a lot of ground I think we could cover related to growing a podcast in a follow up episode. I hope you enjoy this episode and we'll get to it, right after this.
Jordan Harbinger 01:00
I get why people think networking is awkward because we make it awkward by only reaching out when we actually need something from that person and then before and usually after that they're just dead to us, right? That's not a good way to go about this.
Jay Clouse 01:14
Welcome to Creative Elements, a show where we talk to your favorite creators and learn what it takes to make a living from your art and creativity. I'm your host, Jay Clouse. Let's start the show.
Jay Clouse 01:40
Hello, welcome back to another episode of Creative Elements. When I was in college, I started in the journalism program. But after about a year and a half, I switched into the business school and felt like I was in way over my head. I was trying to learn and absorb everything I possibly could about business. In one day, in my sophomore year, we had an entrepreneur come in as a guest speaker, this guy was super impressive to me. You had a business making money off of billboards, and he talked about how he started out by paying farmers to build billboards on their land, and how he would use that cash to buy self storage facilities, and how to use that cash to do other cool things like real estate. I mean, that is like the most businessy business I've ever heard. But what really stood out to me about his talk was that he focused on relationships. He told us that the best book he'd ever read was How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. And I immediately bought the book and read it cover to cover. It's still on the bookshelf behind me as I'm saying this. It's a really great book. It's still one of my favorites. And there's nothing incredibly surprising in that book. But it really does help you to understand how people work and how you can start to form real relationships with them. Well enter today's guest, Jordan Harbinger. Jordan is the host of the Jordan Harbinger Show, which is one of the biggest podcasts on the planet.
Jordan Harbinger 02:55
Welcome to the show, I'm Jordan Harbinger on the Jordan Harbinger Show we decode the stories, secrets and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in depth conversations with people at the top of their game astronauts, entrepreneurs, spies, psychologists, even the occasional four star general Russian spy or arms dealer, each episode turns our guests wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works, and become a better critical thinker.
Jay Clouse 03:22
As we'll hear in the interview, Jordan started out as a wall street lawyer, but thanks to a guy named Dave, the youngest partner at the firm, Jordan realized that his best path to success was through sales. And through studying sales, Jordan realized that the real secret to getting good at sales was actually through building relationships. Then light bulbs really began to go off for Jordan. Because as a single guy in his mid 20s, he realized that what he was learning about selling worked in other aspects of his life, too.
Jordan Harbinger 03:49
And then I would take those techniques and apply them to dating and I went, Oh, my goodness, this is the magic sauce. And I thought if the sales techniques apply to dating, I wonder if the dating techniques apply to sales. And at that time, there was this little burgeoning community of guys online that were talking about this before it became the gross kind of pickup artisty stuff that we now know.
Jay Clouse 04:13
It wasn't long until Jordan left the law to teach what he was learning about sales relationships and dating through the Art of Charm.
Jordan Harbinger 04:20
You know, I thought this is going to be where I learned how to network and generate business from my law firm dot dot dot became a partner. As you know, I ended up leaving the law and teaching just the stuff I was learning and that turned out that itself turned out to be a multi million dollar business.
Jay Clouse 04:33
After more than a decade of teaching these techniques and building a strong following, Jordan left the Art of Charm in 2018. It was a relationship he built with his audience that helped him to launch the Jordan Harbinger Show in 2018. And find a lot of immediate success. It was awarded Best of Apple podcasts in 2018. And as of the middle of 2020. The Jordan Harbinger Show is generating more than 6 million downloads per month. And appropriately, I was actually introduced to Jordan through our guests from Episode 11, Vanessa Van Edwards. This is one of my favorite episodes so far. We talked about building strong relationships, effective sales strategies that people actually appreciate being a great podcast host. And all of this comes down to relationships. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode as you listen. You can find me on Twitter or Instagram @JayClouse. I'd love to know that you're listening. And if you're not already in our listeners community on Facebook, I'd love for you to join that too. But now, let's talk to Jordan.
Jordan Harbinger 05:32
I went to law school for one of the reasons that I think many people go to any graduate school, but especially law school, which was that I had nothing else to do and I figured that I was not going to be able to get a good job with an undergrad degree and I wasn't wrong. I mean, nobody told us how to get jobs. I found myself unemployed over the summer along with literally everyone else and I went into Best Buy and I was like, Hey, I can build computers. I can fix computers. I can take network cards in and out I can install software, get rid of viruses and they were like, cool, you're going to be selling CDs with Tom, he's 17. He's going to be your mentor. And I was like, I have $65,000 or 165. I can't remember now, you know, dollars of debt. I'm not going to work with Tom, who's a freshman in high school or sophomore. He's my friend's little brother. I have a four year degree. It's not just ego, I'm broke, I'm negative. In fact, Tom has more money than me because I have negative, you know, whatever money at this point. And they're like, yeah, you can't just start off in the computer and customer service section. That's a manager position. And I just thought, I am screwed. This is going to not going to be end well for me. They never told us how to get jobs. And I was in college. What do we do now? And the answer was, I don't know. Good luck out there kids. Don't forget your Don't forget your first loan payment. It's due in a month.
Jay Clouse 06:48
Totally. So you went through with law school, you eventually end up with a wall street law job.
Jordan Harbinger 06:54
Jay Clouse 06:54
And you meet this guy named Dave, can you tell me a little bit about Dave?
Jordan Harbinger 06:59
Right. So Dave was in the he was a partner in the firm. And he was probably, I don't know, one of the youngest partners in the firm. I don't want to venture a guess. Because back then everyone seemed kind of old, a lot older when I was 27. And he was probably honestly like, 40. And he was never there in the office. And I thought this is so weird, because the other partners that are in the office are there on I've gone in on Saturday. I've gotten in on Sunday. They're always there. Dave's not even there on a Tuesday at noon, what's what's up. And one day I decided I was going to ask him about this because I thought, Okay, everyone here is really smart. Everyone works really hard. Maybe they'll see like, I felt I had some imposter syndrome, you know, I thought they're gonna fire me, if they find out that I'm a dumb ass, right? So I gotta conceal that fact. And the way to conceal that fact, is to be in the office as little as possible, and just work remotely, which some people did, you know, like, with pregnant women and stuff that were working from home, people that worked from home for other reasons. And I figured Dave wasn't in the office because he was working from home. And I thought, Okay, I gotta get the skinny and how to do that. So I asked him why he was never in the office. But he was also one of the youngest partners, you know, what, what are you doing from home that is making you look so good to the firm that they made you a partner, and he said, I don't really work from home that often. And I said, okay, but you're not in the office like work. You're just not working. And he's like, well, I'm working. But I'm bringing in business for the firm. You know, I bring in the deals. And I said, Okay, well, how do you make your billable hourly bonus, if you're just bringing in deals and he goes, I don't worry about it. Because I get 5% or whatever of each deal. And if the deal is a million dollars, and my billable own hourly bonus for the whole year is X dollars, it's just worth it for me to keep bringing in deals and I said, Why doesn't everyone do that? Then if they're gonna make more more money? And he goes, Well, not everyone can. And so I thought, like, okay, now you're speaking my language, what do I do? And he goes, just be cool, man. And I was like, dammit, we're back at square one. Because if I could just be cool. Do you think my life would have turned out this way? Like, would I be sitting here right now? What do you mean, just be cool for crying out loud? And he's like, well, you got to know your other law school buddies. You know, some of them are investment bankers, keep an eye on those folks generate relationships with them, cultivate relationships, those are going to be our clients in the future. And I just thought, like, this is so vague and cryptic. And this is a guy who's naturally good at this, I'm not going to be able to emulate this any more than I'm going to be able to play basketball by watching Michael Jordan do it, you know, it's just not gonna happen. So I started to take classes about networking from the YMCA, and Dale Carnegie and things like that. And, and it was an okay start. But it was kind of like, I'd walk in, and they'd go look him in the eye and have a firm handshake. And it Okay, fine, I got it. But if I'm not getting a million dollar Goldman Sachs contract for my law firm? Is it because of the eye contact? Or the firm handshake? Or is there something else going on? That I'm just not going to learn from a guy wearing a sweater vest teaching on Tuesday nights at the learning annex?
Jay Clouse 09:55
And how do you have that conversation? How do you even get in front of the guy to have the firm handshake and look in the eye.
Jordan Harbinger 09:59
Right, and that that kind of thing was just I remember asking these questions in these, these courses, right? And they just had no idea. It was like, Well, you know, you ask your management, you work your way up the corporate ladder, like anyone else. And I was like, No, you don't get it. That's what everyone else is doing. And also what do you know, you're teaching on Tuesday nights at the learning annex man. You don't have a job like this? You don't have any corporate experience. You know, you're you're like a life coach, trainer, something something right, a freelancer you never been in these shoes. And it's not that the classes weren't useful. It's just that they were geared towards people, the other people in those classes, were there because they would say things like my manager said, I'm never going to get promoted unless I can run a meeting and I'm scared to talk to people in front of the room. And I said, Okay, so you're afraid of public speaking? Yeah. And it was like they couldn't get up and run a meeting with five people or eight people in a room because they were nervous. And I thought this is not the problem that I'm having. I'm having a very discrete set of problems that none of these people are really even in I'm not even In the room with other people that have the same problems, let alone the people that have the solutions. So I knew it was a dead end. And I had to start studying this on my own.
Jay Clouse 11:08
And how did you direct yourself to find the answers for your discrete problem that you've identified as being different than this?
Jordan Harbinger 11:15
So I started to read online. And I started to find people that said things like, yeah, you know, the best sales techniques I've gotten are dating techniques. And I thought, Oh, that's interesting. I'm 27, 26, whatever I'm interested in dating, I think I might even 25 I'm interested in dating, let's read about these dating techniques. To hell with the networking stuff. Let me take a detour into this. So I started learning those and I went, these really are good for networking, right? It's like charisma and showing making people feel valued and all this stuff. And then I would take these online, these really good online sales classes and offline, and they would have the same thing like, make them feel valued, do this, do that. And I thought, Okay, this isn't networking. This is about sales, I'm actually in a sales position. And the best salespeople aren't just trying to persuade you to buy something, which is what sales looks like to non salesmen, they're actually cultivating relationships. So what I should be doing is not learning networking from people who teach "networking". I should be learning networking from people who teach sales and not high pressure sales, but good long term sales cycle salespeople, that's what I need to be learning from. And I started to apply sales techniques to dating and dating techniques to sales. And I went like, I remember waking up one day, and being like, this is a life changing material. And I remember looking at my computer and my notes, like I had Evernote, or something, some early version of whatever notes program, and I remember going, this is the day that I'm going to look back on in 10 years and be like, this is the day my life changed. And that turned out to be right. Rarely does that moment ever happen, right? It's rarely do you have that. And then it turns out to be right. That was something where I went, this is such a game changer. And it was such an absolute game changer that it did change my entire life more so than I thought.
Jay Clouse 13:01
Can you talk about some of these techniques and give just give some examples of like, Well, what does a dating technique applied to sales look like? Or vice versa?
Jordan Harbinger 13:08
Right. So sales training, one of the techniques was something like, Alright, whenever you go into the room, you know, you want to make sure that you're positive, open, confident, friendly, make everyone smile, make people feel good about being around you, even the people that you're not selling to, because those relationships and the sort of energy and vibe that those people reflect to you is going to reflect well to the person who's the decision maker in the organization. So if you're walking into the office, the reception, get the receptionist smiling, make sure the person who escorts you who's the assistant to that person is happy with you, and they all like you. And then you know, that way when the person is making the decision, there's almost this not quite metaphysical, but like, sort of vibe like man, whenever Jordan comes in here, everyone just loves that guy. That's a vendor we want to be working with. Let's hire them, all other things being equal, rather than the guy who's $100 cheaper. But everyone's like, Oh, that's so and so's here again, you know, and that you want that to reflect well on you. And I went, alright, what happens if I walk into the bar and the doorman likes me. And then the bartender yells at me from behind the bar, and the regulars want me to come and sit down and have a drink with them? how's that gonna look. And again, I'm 25. So this is like my life at that point in time. Turns out, that's a really good way to earn social status. And it turns out that the sales class wasn't just teaching me how to be charismatic and outgoing was teaching me how to raise my social status because people seek to be around and involved with those who have high status. That's why that sales technique works, right. That's why having a good personal brand is good for sales and closing because it raises your status. So I thought, Okay, this dating stuff, social status is great for dating. And it's great for sales. It's not just like high pressure sales is bad for selling things other than used cars, maybe high pressure dating tactics are really gross, and everyone can feel it and see it right away. It's just that then when it comes to sales, we somehow lose the idea that we have to be charismatic, open, positive, confident, friendly, etc, and vulnerable. And I felt like, Okay, if I can figure out how all of this crossover works, I'm going to be unstoppable, both in in terms of generating business for my firm, but probably won't hurt me in the dating world, either. Again, I'm 25, 26, 27. That's what was my focus, don't get fired, and probably learn how to make some new friends and possibly date some attractive women like that was my entire tiny little world in my late 20s in New York.
Jay Clouse 15:30
I love this topic. Because behind every company, every organization, every decision is a human person. And you just got to be a human person that that human person wants to associate with talk to work with, like ultimately, when people are making hiring decisions or anything else. It's like, I know I'm signing up to work with this person. Do I want to do that? After a quick break, Jordan and I dive deep into sales strategies that work and that people actually appreciate right after this. Welcome back to my channel. with Jordan Harbinger, Jordan was just getting into what he learned about truly effective sales techniques. And I could hear you starting to put some walls up. So here's the thing. Sales is not inherently evil. This is a topic I really, really love talking about. Because for some reason, a lot of us are raised with a belief that sales is bad. And we want to reject learning how to get good at selling. But when you go into a Starbucks and you order a coffee, you don't feel sold to right, you just know that you want the coffee, and you'll happily pay for that coffee. That's what effective sales is like. And so I asked Jordan, why so many of us grew up with such an inherent bias against sales.
Jordan Harbinger 16:36
The reason I think, and I've thought about this quite a bit, I'm sure there's more to it than just this. But one of the main reasons I've noticed is that good sales is invisible, right? You walk into the stereo store, and the sales guy walks up to you and says, Hey, what are you looking for? Can I help you? And you go, Oh, no, just looking. This is a little bit pricey. And he goes, I know, right? It's It really is. But I gotta tell you, you don't have to buy the super expensive stuff over here. I wouldn't even recommend all that. That's kind of like, you know, you get our audio files that want that. What you should do, just get a pair of good headphones at some point, and I'm happy you know, you can try these that will change the way you listen to music forever. And then you know, but I gotta warn you, once you get bitten by the bug, you're gonna want more and you go Okay, and he goes, can I sit down over here? You gotta listen to the kind of music like alright, cool here. Look, there's this, check these headphones out there entry level, just tell me what you think. And you listen, and you go, all right. Wow, this really does sound good. I didn't even know that Metallica had violins in it or whatever you're listening to. Right? Like, I didn't know Skrillex could be so deep, man. So you listen to that, and you go, alright, and you think about it, and you go back to your regular headphones at the gym and you go, man, those are really good. And then you get home and you put on Spotify. And you go, it's just doesn't sound as good. And then over Christmas, you know, you get all your money from your grandma or whatever. And you walk right back into that store. And you go Hey, man, I think I do want those headphones. And he goes, great. We're having a sale. Now's a great time for you to get these and I I love these you're gonna love them. If you don't bring them back. I will, you know, but I've never given a refund on these because I don't need to and you go Okay, fine. That's a really good sales guy. You don't think shoot man, I just got sold a pair of really expensive headphones, that that son of a gun. Right? You're you're happy with what you have. And you walk back in there for the next five years. And that guy is your homie giving you the in store discount on all your stereo equipment, right? Bad sales is the stuff we noticed right away. You won't go and walk in the car lot and go, alright, I really just need something my car broke. I'm 29. I don't drive much. But I still need something to get back to my parents house. I really just want a basic model. In fact, I am not even to get a new one. I'm going to get a used one. And they go, Okay, well, one time only offer this, that and the other thing and you end up getting pressured into something you regret the purchase. Or you're like, fine, we're rationalizing it, you kind of don't like the guy, you never want to see the salesman again. He was supposed to throw in floor mats and didn't and you find out it wasn't in writing the contracts. And now they're not going to honor it. And you go, these sales guys are just gross. Right? You don't think about the sales that made you feel good, that were highly effective. And that kept you coming back because they developed a relationship with you. You only think about the sales that made you feel gross and disgusting and victimized and you go, I never want to be that person. I never gonna do that. So then when somebody says, Hey, for your business, you really need to learn how to sell people go Hell no, I'm not learning how to sell. I've been sold a few times. And it made me feel gross. And I hate sales guys. And then you go right back to that stereo store and you buy something else, and you don't think I'm dealing with a salesperson right now. You just think no. Well, I mean, Tom, he's cool. He's not like a regular sales guy. You're only thinking of the people that made you feel like crap.
Jay Clouse 19:48
That's super interesting, because I agree, like growing up when you hear sales because kids don't think about or really talk about sales or experienced sales. But what you do here are the adults around you who are speaking with regret about something they were sold or something they bought that they regret, very, I don't know if I can pinpoint very many times when somebody is like, I was sold on this. And I love it because they don't talk about it as being sold. But to your point, they talk about it as just a positive experience. So when you hear the word sales, you begin to equate it with a negative experience.
Jordan Harbinger 20:17
Exactly. And a really good salesperson will never have to resort to quote unquote, sales techniques that are so transparent and obvious. So if you buy something from me, let's say I'm selling this environmentally friendly iPhone case, right? I get I get you one of these things, right? You buy it from me and you don't go yet Jordan, he really told me all the benefits of having an environmentally friendly case as opposed to one that was plastic that pollutes a lot. So I weighed the pros and cons and bought it. You go. You say nothing about me. Or you say my friend Jordan told me that iPhone cases are really a major component of landfills like all of these cases we put on our electronics are horrible for the environment. You never think about it. This one you can throw it in the ocean and The dang thing will biodegrade in 90 days. In fact, fish can eat it and it has nutrients in it Isn't that incredible? People go, Wow, where do I get one of those? What's it called? Because it's not only invisible, but it's referred to you in a way that makes you feel like it's one friend telling you something as opposed to another. Meanwhile, my quote unquote sales technique is get this in front of you and make you feel good about it. But since it's a good product, which is a good component of a good salesman, only selling things they believe in, I don't have to do gross things to get you to wrap your mind around the costs, the benefits, and do that calculation in your head. So nobody feels sold to your point nobody feels sold, when they buy something, and they don't have to constantly rationalize it. Or if the rationalizations make perfect sense, like, yeah, it was 10 bucks more than a regular case. But I'm not in a hole. I'm not because I'm not contributing to ocean blight. And, you know, choking out sea turtles with my iPhone case. So I'm part of this cool club, where I paid extra for my Tesla or extra for my iPhone case, because I believe in something sales that is highly visible is usually the kind of sales that is so visible because of the techniques that are being used. And the negative way that it's making us feel usually bad sales that is highly visible is, is really, really high pressure. And not only is it high pressure, but we want to get away from it. And that's why we close, that's why we end up buying that used car because we just want to get out of there. And we've kind of had enough. And we feel like if that guy will just make it'll make it stop. If I sign on the dotted line. And besides, I need a car anyway, that's when you drive off the lot going. I'm an idiot.
Jay Clouse 22:36
And also interesting in that story, you just shared that example of the phone case, the way that this person your story is saying, Look at this phone case that I got this biodegradable, they're showing to their friends almost have their own status thing like that sale is allowing them to show their own status uplift and create status in the eyes that people are talking to. I think back to one of my favorite episodes of the show so far, which was my conversation with James Clear in Episode Two. James mentioned offhand that often the mark of an expert is knowing what to focus on and what to ignore. So as someone who has spent so much time studying relationships, I asked Jordan to talk about his most fundamental principles of building relationships.
Jordan Harbinger 23:16
The first principle that I always teach is dig the well before you're thirsty. And I didn't make this up. I think it's from like a, it's probably from a sales book from the 90s. Right. And it's about creating relationships before you need them. And it's both the most important concept in relationship building, and also one of the most ignored, because whenever I teach this, people will go, Oh, that's good. Dig the well before you're thirsty, yet build relationships before you need them. And then I'll follow up with the people I spoke to, you know, at Google or something half a year later, and I'll go how's this going for you? They'll go, Oh, well, you know, I, I've got to work on this. And I've got to wrap that up. And I've got to do this and did it. And then I'll start on that and I go, okay, but you know that the concept is build relationships before you need them. Right? dig the well before you're thirsty, not when you're good and ready. And when you think you might actually need them. Like you're literally doing the opposite of this. And that's unfortunate, because we all know people that call us out of the blue. We haven't heard from him in two years, or five years, eight years. And we're sort of suspicious, right? We're thinking like, haven't heard from Jay in a while. It's been 10 years. Why is he calling me now? Is it Herbalife? Or is it Scientology? What do you think coin flip, right? Which one of these? which one of these is it? But if you call me and you say, hey, Jordan, I've done a really bad job of keeping in touch over the years. And I kind of wanted to change that. So I'm reaching out no real agenda and no rush getting back to me. Then what I do get back to you and I go, huh, I bet it's something and it's just a multi level marketing scheme. And then it's not that and I go, Oh, I guess he just really did want to keep in touch. But I'm a little suspicious. And then six months later, it comes up again, and I talk to you and I'm a little suspicious, but I'm a little less suspicious because you didn't ask me for anything. And then a year goes by and we're, you know, we talk every six months, maybe just via text a little bit here and there. And then in two years, you're like, hey, I've got this book launch that I'm doing. And I go, Okay, yeah, sure. I'll help you with that. I don't go I knew it. You've been buttering me up for 24 months to try and get me no, that's an that's an insane thought. But what happens when most people do this is they go, alright, I got a book launch. Man, I haven't talked with a lot of these people in a long time. Alright, here's my plan. I'm going to awkwardly reach out, pretend that I don't want anything ask about their kid because I had a kid on social media. Then like four days later, I'm going to come back and go, gee, I have a book launch and you'd be perfect for it. I didn't even think about this before. And now it's awkward for you. And then for me, I just go, Okay, I knew you didn't really want to keep in touch with me. You just wanted something. And so you had to butter me up a few days beforehand, because you knew that reaching out out of nowhere, was going to be really awkward. So you did the second most awkward thing which is pretend to be interested in me. So you have to build relationships before you need them. You can't actually make up for lost time when it comes to relationships and networking. And yet most people do that because it's out of sight out of mind. It doesn't mean they're selfish, it just means that it's out of sight out of mind. You typically don't think about other people until you do need something. So I get why people think networking is awkward, because we make it awkward by only reaching out when we actually need something from that person. And then before and usually after that they're just dead to us, right? That's not a good way to go about this.
Jay Clouse 26:26
Something I love about the approach you just talked about, you frame that initial message as like, hey, I've done a bad job of keeping in touch I'd really love to keep in touch no agenda, is that literally the type of messaging you would use to call out the fact that, hey, I failed in this way. And this is actually what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to stay in touch. And I want to reassure you that there's no actual agenda here. Would you recommend having all three of those elements?
Jordan Harbinger 26:47
Yeah, I would say the first thing that I would do when I reach out to people and I give these drills and like, when I talk about networking and stuff, I won't bore you guys, or you know, shamelessly plug my stuff here. But when I do this, I typically reach out and I'll say, hey, Jay Jordan Harbinger here, because if you say like, Hey, man, then it's like, oh, mass text from an unknown number from a guy I haven't heard from in five years delete. So I use your name. And I say, it's been a while since we met at Cafe Gratitude at San Diego after Fin Con 2017, you know, and then you go, Oh, right, that guy, I remember him. We never did keep in touch. And I might even say we never really kept in touch because I neglected to save your number. wanted to see what you were up to, I can't remember what reminded me of you. Or you say, Hey, I just talked to the other guy that was at the table. And I asked him about your name, and I searched to my phone, and here you are wanted to reach back out, you're still going to be suspicious. But I'm just going to say, hey, the reason I thought of you is this, here's my name. Here's where we met, and I remember your name. You won't ever get rid of people being suspicious a little bit, which is fine, it doesn't really matter. We don't really need you to be totally unsuspicious. What I want to do is just get a reply, because then I can say, What are you up to? I'm just getting snowed in over here in Ohio. Oh, great. What else? You know, what are you up to these days. Well, I'm doing this podcast and it's kind of interesting. And I know you do podcasting? Yeah, that's right. That's right, you're doing that? Oh, let me look it up. Cool. And now we're in a real conversation. And it's only going to be a few texts back and forth. But the idea is to kick the rust off of these weak and dormant network ties. It's not to like, I'm not gonna fly out there and hang out for a week or like, we're not planning lunches all the time. It's just to shake the rust off. And that's you see these people who come up with excuses, right? They go, I don't have time to do seven coffees a week. And I'm like, Did I ask you to do any coffees a week? No, I asked you to send three texts. Don't pretend that you have to get engaged to every single person that you chat with via text. It's just, it's one of these sort of excuse processes. But we use scripts like that, because you want something that is going to signal that I remember you, here's where you can remember me. And if you don't remember me, I want to give you enough information so that you can kind of fake it. Because what you don't want is a new phone who this or if you're like me, I just go. I don't know who this person is. I don't know this an unknown number. They're asking me for something. They didn't use my name. I'm just going to ignore it. And then if I if I see that person in a week, or a month or a year, and they go, Hey, I texted you and you didn't reply. I can just go never saw it. Right? Can you get what you can approve that? I did? No, of course not. Turn your read receipts off. So I can I can just ignore that. But what we want is to make it so that people don't have to and don't need to. Right. You go oh, right yeah, Cafe Gratitude. 2017. And then you're thinking yourself was I would Dave Alright, I bet you were the guy who's sitting there with David. And even if you say I can't remember you, I'm sorry. I go. It was you, me, David. And I remember John ordered 17 different weird Google green drinks. And you go, Okay, that's the guy whose name I just never remembered. You know, that's fine. All I want to do is compel a response. Because if I'm doing this, I call this drill, Connect Four, because I do it with four people five days a week, if you're re engaging 80 people a month. That is a lot of people, right? And even if only half respond, now you're re engaging 40 people a month, who now know who you are, you kind of know what they're up to, if you got that far in your conversation via text, and more importantly, you know how to deliver a little bit of value to them. Like if I know that you're doing a podcast, and you just started off and it's about generating leads for your law firm. I know you know what, I've been doing a podcast for 14 years. Let me know if you ever had any quick questions. Just shoot me a text. Now I'm a value in your network. Or you might say, yeah, I'm building a website and I go, let me know if you need a graphic designer, I got a really good web graphics guy. I'm happy to introduce you. Now. I don't have to do anything right. Other than an email introduction, I'm not making your website for you. I'm just figuring out where you plug in to the other people that I know in my network so I can, reengage you possibly offer value to you in some way. That's how you reengage weak and dormant network ties and make sure that you're building strong relationships without spending all day working for free for random strangers that you met three years ago at some cafe.
Jay Clouse 30:58
So smart because these little offers I You're talking about, hey, if I can ever be of help, like, just shoot me a couple questions you are giving in that moment and making a really great impression and genuinely would do that if they respond. But so often people won't. But they'll remember that you asked or offered.
Jordan Harbinger 31:13
Yeah. Or they'll say something like, yeah, right now, I'm just wondering about this podcast host or that podcast host. And you say, Hey, you know what, I've heard bad things about this one, I would go with this other third option that you didn't mention, let me introduce you to the guys who run it, then you introduce them to the sales guys, you know, the onboarding team, or whatever. And they're like, Oh, I'm so glad that I got this. And that onboarding team at that company is like, thanks for throwing a lead to us that we just closed. That's awesome. You're an awesome guy. So now I've built value with you. I've built value with the hosting company, or the graphic designer, or the attorney or whoever I referred. And so it's win win all around forever. It's actually win win win, because now you guys are like that Jordan guy, really nice guy made an intro. And it works out well in my favor. I'm making introductions all the time. And all I'm doing is sending a couple of emails, right? Do you want the intro. Do you want the intro is called the double opt in, right? I asked you if you want the intro, I ask them if they're comfortable with the intro. And then I make the intro of both sides. Say yes. So now, you know, yours might go by and you go, I'm still using that web host. They're the best. I'm so glad I didn't do the other one that I was thinking of that I heard went out of business. And now people can't get their RSS feeds, you know, for their podcasts, whatever. It makes me look good. And it builds referral currency, it builds social capital. So when I need something in the future, whatever that might be, if it ever even happens, I can say, Hey, you know, I'm doing a book launch and you go well, I'm happy to help you introduce me to my web designer. And then he got me a lawyer. And then he helped me find a host for my podcast. So yeah, you you just want me to share this on social. That's it? You sure? You know happy to do that? That's the least I can do. You want that times a 1000.
Jay Clouse 32:46
Introductions are such high leverage things. Because not only are you having that immediate feeling and build a social capital of like, man, I can't believe Jordan did that for me. That's awesome. But those two people when they talk, they're gonna look for common ground. And the most obvious common ground is the person who connected them.
Jordan Harbinger 33:00
Yes, how do you know Jordan? Oh, well, actually, he introduced me to this. And then that got me started with that. And then actually come to think of it that Jordan guy has been pretty nice for the last few years, right? Oh, yeah. Well, I just met him. So now you have a good impression of me that was first after well, maybe not first, but you know, hasn't been active for three years. Now you're talking to somebody else who likes me, because I've helped him out with a few things. And then all I have to do is send you a text every six months or so to make sure you don't forget that I exist. Okay, great. And then it gives me every opportunity, every interaction with you, gives me another opportunity to help you with something, right, potentially, or to or to say, Hey, I know you live in Ohio and you do podcasts. There's this other person that has a question about podcasting in Ohio, and you know, internet being affected by the snow or whatever, sort of like random thing, would you mind telling him about this? He wants to learn how to organize his bookshelf by color as well, which I see you did back there. You're the expert in that area. So it's just little things like this, that take virtually no time people go, yeah, you know, 1000s of people I don't have I got a job, I don't have time to network, I guarantee you that I spend like an hour a week on this. It doesn't take any time at all to send the texts, it takes minutes a day. The intros I make each week are a couple of minutes each, right and then reaching out to other people for various other things and helping people with things. I mean, it's maybe not even an hour a week, and I have 1000s of people in my network that I can talk to at all times. So I don't care if you have a kid and a job like this is such an easy, high leverage thing. I know people that do this, when there's instead of scrolling through Instagram for another six minutes a day, they just send an introduction or they reengage a couple of people. And they're doing that instead of like hitting like on cat photos or some crap like that. So it really is such a high leverage activity. Most people just don't do it because they don't have systems, not because they don't have time.
Jay Clouse 34:54
When we come back, Jordan and I talked about what we can do if we haven't done that well yet, but we're thirsty today. And a little later. I shamelessly asked Jordan how I can become a better interviewer. So stick around, and we'll be right back.
Jay Clouse 35:09
Welcome back to Creative Elements. One of the principles that Jordan shared with us a little bit ago was to dig the well before you're thirsty. It's a really great tip and a great way to live. But if you're just thinking about this for the first time, chances are you may not have been digging that well. And you may already be thirsty. So I asked Jordan if there are ways to quickly dig that well, or if we should not even attempt to ask for help if we haven't been cultivating relationships for months or years already.
Jordan Harbinger 35:33
I mean, you can make asks, but you have to realize that a lot of people are going to be like, I don't really know you and you know, I haven't talked to you in years. So you're gonna you're gonna come up pretty dry. I would say go ahead if you know if you're desperate right now and you just lost your job or something. You got to do what you got to do. But one thing I recommend for people who aren't necessarily in that situation, this is a drill that I call layoff lifeline. So imagine that you did get laid off or your business imploded or whatever and that happened today. Who would you reach out to for advice or console? Right? So would you reach out to your parents? Okay, fine. That's an easy one, maybe don't count them. But would you reach out to your old boss? What about your wife's old boss that you got along with really well? What about that neighbor you had? Who is a business owner who is relatively successful? What about your career counselor? What about you know, your old boss from this other thing? Those are, those are the types of people that go on this list. So make that list, then reach out now while you don't have an agenda, and you don't reek of desperation, and reengage those folks. And you can say something like, Hey, I know I haven't been in touch for a really long time. But I wanted to change that. So I wanted to reach out to you because somebody asked me, who would I call if I got laid off. And you were the first person that came to mind. And I realized, I haven't talked to you for six years. And don't worry, I still have a job. But I wanted to check in and see how you were doing. Most of those people are going to be beyond stoked to hear from you. Like, Hey, I wondered where you landed after such and such corporation, you're doing your own thing now. I'm proud of you, I always knew you were a sharp guy, you know, you go back and forth with these folks, then six, eight months, 12 months, if you do lose your job, God forbid, or you do have a problem, you can reach out to them and they're not going to ignore you are go, you're just here for a job, right? They know that that was something that you didn't plan, and you've dug the wall before you got thirsty. So make that list of those people now, it's not going to substitute all of your outreach you should still be doing Connect Four and I'll teach you that drill in a minute. But definitely start with this because a lot of people will go, I don't really have any contacts. I don't really have people that I can reach out to for this and that the other thing you do, you're just not thinking about it. Because if I say, who do you know, that's a good network connection? All you're gonna think about are things that you need, right now you're gonna go, huh? No one because I don't need anything or, oh, I don't know. I mean, I really need a lawyer for this real estate thing. But I don't know any real estate lawyers, those, you're going to be thinking very narrowly. But if you're just thinking about who you trust, and who you wish you had kept in touch with, that's a wide range, a broad range of people in various industries that probably don't even have anything in common.
Jay Clouse 38:10
Love that. It's so rare for people to go first. To hear that person doing a reach out saying. Hey, I want to reconnect with you. It make such an impression cause people just don't do that.
Jordan Harbinger 38:19
What I'm doing though, instead of using a CRM or making a list, all I do is I go on my phone, I opened the text messaging app, and I scroll all the way to the bottom. That's where those threads are where it's like, see you guys at one, Cafe Gratitude. And you're like, Who are these people? There's three people whose names are saved. Okay, I haven't talked to them in a while. There's an unknown number in there. Who the hell is that? Right, I'm reengaging those numbers because those are those dead threads, those weakened dormant ties, but they're in my phone. So I either met them or something like that. And you can skip your exes you can skip you know, the guy who ended up Rob stealing the beer out of your garage or something that you know you had number and then you can skip those people, right? But don't look around in there and go who's important. Just reengage everyone that's in there. That's not a totally despicable person. And you never know where the opportunities are going to come from. I'll re engage somebody in there who was like the real example I'll reengage the guy who likes installed the water filter in my kitchen, you know, the reverse osmosis. And I'll go, Hey, Gage, I just wanted to check in and see how you're doing. You know, I, I know how you are with texts. I'll assume I'll hear from you in 30 days, and then like four days go by and he goes out. I'm early. You're right. You still know how bad of a texter I am? Well, it turns out, my business is doing great. And I wish I could hire someone because I'm so busy. And I go Do you mean it because I know some kids who are trustworthy, they just graduated from school, and they would probably love to help you install water filters while they're paying off their student loans. Because, you know, they got they got bills to pay in the marketing what it used to be. And this guy's like, Sure, I'd love to meet them, you know, call them right away, I've got more projects than I can handle. So I just get a kid who knows how to you know, who worked in a machine shop as an intern has mechanic skills, couldn't get a job as a mechanic. And he's installing water filters now because I friggin texted the guy who installed my reverse osmosis water filter in my kitchen to say hello. So I ended up giving someone a job. That guy, when he comes in and replaces our filters, I never get charged, ever. I haven't paid in two years for a replacement filter. Because I got him one of his first employees. And it made his life a million times easier. And that kid he's got a mechanic job now. He doesn't still work with the water guy, but he's thankful forever. And I think if I ever have I have a Tesla. But if I had a mechanical, if I had a car that ran on gas that he could fix I guarantee you I could take it there and he would only charge me for parts I promise you that.
Jay Clouse 40:40
A lot of what you're talking about here is kind of like a natural result of human reciprocity. But my gut tells me while you know that exists, you're probably not expecting it or can't really totally expect it. So when you when you're employing some of these techniques, how do you think about expectations in the way that you, you treat people?
Jordan Harbinger 41:01
You've heard ABC always be closing, right? You ever see that movie Glengarry Glen Ross ABC always be closing. This is more like ABG always be giving or always be generous. And what that means is, yeah, I'm not, I'm not putting myself out in order to give to people, you know, I don't like, not take my kids to Universal Studios, because I've got to make someone a website over the weekend. I don't do that. But I'm still referring people around and I'm building social capital that way. But I'm not expecting anything in return. I'm not attached to anything in return, you know, if I got you a job with my water filter guy, and then you got a job at an auto body shop, finally. And that's what you wanted to do. And I drove my car in there. And I said, Hey, man, I'm the guy that got you that water filter job. And he goes, Yeah, cool, man. And he puts the new parts in my car, and he does a good job, I'm not gonna go what you want me to pay you now, you a little jerk? You know, I'm just gonna do what I would normally do. I'm not going to be offended by that I'm not going to make a mental note to never help that kid again. You know, that's, that's poisoning the well, people do that they keep score. And it's ridiculous. Because It only hurts you, it doesn't really hurt them. And if it does hurt them, they'll never know, like, that guy's not gonna go, oh, man, Jordan's mad at me for this really petty reason. And now when I need a new job, I can never go to him. There's a consequence for my actions, that's not gonna happen. What happens is now I'm sort of low key pissed off at this kid for not giving me what I think I deserve, which is not really up to me to decide. You know, that's, that's problematic. And you don't really think about it in terms of business or in an everyday context. But let me put it into a dating context. And that's where it really gets obvious. Okay. So I drive Angela to the airport, right? And she's like, thanks, Jordan. And then next month or two months from now, I drive Angela to the airport, so she doesn't have to pay for parking. Thanks, Jordan. And then you know, three months later, I drive Angela to the airport. And she's like, you know, this is so cool. I really appreciate this. You're such. You're so helpful. And then, one day I go, I have too much whiskey and I say, Angela, I love you. And she goes, Hey, you're I love you like a brother. But you know, like, we're just friends. I don't know. Are you okay? You sound like you had too much to drink. Jordan. Are you okay? And I go, You know what? Angela sucks. She doesn't want to be my girlfriend never driving her to the airport again. I'm gonna not answer her calls. I'm gonna not answer her texts. Now. Do I look like a frickin creep at that point or what? Right and Angela is like, I thought we were friends. But he's ghosting me now. He called me drunk this one time, he's a freaking weirdo. I'll just get another ride to the airport. I don't need this garbage. That is what you are doing. When you help someone with something. And then they don't do what you want. And you act like that. Right? You're doing that you're, you're drunk dialing Angela, that's what you're doing. And even if you don't do it in public, a public way, kind of like that, right? You being pissed off secretly about something that you think you've earned, that the other person has no idea you're upset about, or you act out, which is even worse. It makes you look crazy. And it poisons your relationship. You're the one that's upset, they don't really care, they might be bummed that you're upset. But the whole time you've been stewing over this, they've literally never even thought about you. So you're making problems for yourself when you're attached to getting something in return.
Jay Clouse 44:21
So when you are in a position, you know, you're hosting your own podcast now, you've been you've been podcasting for 12 years, and it's one of the biggest shows on the planet. And you talk to incredible guests. I assume some of them are introductions. How often are you now going and saying, Hey, can you introduce me to this person? Is that because you've dug the well or people coming to you saying, you got to talk to this person. They're bringing them to you?
Jordan Harbinger 44:41
Yeah, most people are saying like, hey, you've got to talk to this person at the level where I'm at now. It's usually a publicist, you know, I don't go Hey, Matthew McConaughey, can you introduce me to Jason Bateman? He's like, Dude, why are you? Why are you emailing me? You know, I get a publicist that says, hey, thanks for not, I mean, they don't say this in so many words, but they're basically saying, Hey, thanks for not blowing it and making me look like an idiot. In front of my client. I've got another client, what do you think, you know, so it's, it's more of that. But there's a lot of there's a lot of that, you know, have a CIA agent on and they'll say something like, Hey, you know, I have another friend who works for the NSA. It's a little bit different. And they're doing this different thing. But she also has a book coming out. I think it's interesting, you might be interested. And then I go, alright, cool. So I do get intros like that. But I don't really get I don't really say like now that I've had you on my podcast, who else should I have on my podcast? Because I think that works. That worked for me for years and years and years. But now I've got people who have teams and the teams they don't. Oh, thanks for having our other client on. What do you want to cookie Jordan? Get out of my inbox. You know, that's kind of where some of that is, especially with the Hollywood types. It's just like, the power dynamic is skewed heavily towards the guest and the talent. Now when it comes to business shows and business guests that's a little bit different, right? Because they can't just call whatever show they want and get on. So it depends a lot. largely on the personality that's coming in. So for the Jordan Harbinger Show, it's sort of hit or miss, you know, I'm dealing with the publicist at the publisher. That's an easy relationship. Somebody who's known me for years has a bunch of clients fills up my slots where they can. But when it comes to some of these, like, really, really hard to get people, it's a, it's a lot of relationships. And there's some horse trading, that sort of beyond the scope of this interview, where it's like, Okay, if you want Matthew McConaughey, you better have this other person on. And they don't say it explicitly, but you kind of know, right, you kind of know what's up, and you have that person on and they give you the big fish. I don't like to do that. Because my first responsibility is to the audience. So I do sacrifice the ability if you're wondering why some shows, get a ton of celebrity guests on and also have like, dudes that sell tires on. That's why, right? In order to get Kevin Hart, you had to have the tire sales guy on there. And meanwhile, my responsibilities to the audience, I'm not gonna waste your time with the Jordan Harbinger Show, listening to a tire sales guy that I know is a snore, just so I can get a Instagram photo next to a celebrity. So I forego some of that celebrity stuff.
Jay Clouse 47:10
So talk to me then about how all of this everything you've learned about building relationships and creating rapport with people quickly, when you interview guests, and especially big name guests who are in probably really tight time slots, you've got to build that rapport quickly to have a really productive, good conversation. What have you learned about hosting and interviewing that maybe I can learn from?
Jordan Harbinger 47:31
First things first. And this goes to my point from before, your job as a host, is to bring value for the audience, your job is not actually to become friends with the guest. And that's a huge important distinction, because what I've noticed is with all the sort of pseudo journalism that's going on in podcasting, what I've noticed is a lot of people who want to be influencers are our influencers, which is a word I think, is kind of barf. Those people are almost exclusively trying to become friends with the guests that they have on the show so that they can upgrade their personal cachet, right? They want to stand next to somebody who's got a lot of followers who sort of famous, it makes them look good by association. I don't do a whole lot of that, because it causes you to make bad decisions. You know, Matthew McConaughey is going to be here for an hour, or an hour and a half, my audience ideally is going to be here for 10 years, 20 years longer. Who knows I've been 14 years, there's people who've been listening since day one, right to the Jordan Harbinger Show, you have to be really careful. Because if you abuse people's trust, once in 14 years, they're probably still going to stick around. If you do it 10 times a year, where you have a stinker, they start to realize that you don't actually value their time, you're just trying to become buddy, buddy with Malcolm Gladwell, or Charles Koch, or somebody and you're and you're asking them softball questions, you're afraid to sort of rock the boat, because you want them to like you, you're gonna get a crummy or interview man. You know, the reason that I'm able to do good interviews that people respect, is because I will say something like, Okay, well, when you do this, and this, and this, you know what that looks like, right? Whereas another host would never dream of saying anything like that to a billionaire, because then they go, I'm never gonna be able to interview this person again. And all of his billionaire buddies are gonna say that I challenged him, and they're going to be more cautious. I want that. And what this does, actually, is, since people know what to expect from me, they actually like it more, because it seems more genuine. So if I challenge somebody on something, they knew that was gonna happen, I'm not making them look bad, I'm just being really authentic, in order to get the best interview for my audience. So they know that the audience is better, they know that the questions are better, and the audience goes out and buys the book or is more interested in that person. So rather than trying to build a cult of personality, or trying to get the guests to like you, make sure that your first priority is actually to your audience. And that way, you will grow faster, which is really what the guest cares about anyway, they just want to see the numbers. They're not really that worried about whether or not you know, you're gonna want to have coffee with them after the show. They don't want that, you know, they really don't. Sometimes you will make friends with your guests. Let's be honest, if that's the point of your podcast, it's kind of pathetic.
Jay Clouse 50:15
What does your preparation look like? You put out multiple episodes a week with people who have such long careers, you could spend days just learning about one person. So how do you prepare in depth to be able to have these conversations that you do?
Jordan Harbinger 50:26
Yeah, I do put a lot of work into it. So I will read the whole book, which most that right there puts you in the 99th percentile. I didn't realize this, but when I talk to other journalists, and when I talk to the people that I talk to on the show, I'll say yeah, read the whole book. And and they'll be like, what? It's 400 pages long. Yeah, well, I read the whole thing and though a lot of people go Uh huh. Yeah, sure you did, buddy. Right. Like they're thinking that and then as you ask questions that show that you read the whole book, you start to slowly see these people be like, okay, respect and they stop. They quit their bs if they're putting trying to pull the wool but you've read the whole book, and you know their content really well, they haven't looked at it in eight months, right? But you looked at it in the last eight days, you have a much better conversation. So I'm spending 10, 20 plus hours preparing for each guest, I read the book, I read their Wikipedia, I listened to other interviews the person's been in, I look at news articles, things like that. If they have two books, maybe I'll read both if they're sort of related to one another. That's the kind of thing that not only helps you build a relationship with your audience, but it also helps you build a relationship with a guest. Nothing really says I respect you quite like you having devoured a bunch of their work, thought about it, made a bunch of notes and talk with them about it. You can, you can brown nose all you want, right. But if you want them to be a fan of you, the way to do that is to consume their work. I don't really care if someone's complimentary, especially if they haven't read my work or listen to my show. My my favorite fake sort of rapport builders, people go, I'm a huge fan of the Jordan Harbinger Show I'm so glad to have you on. And then I'll say something like, well in this in this episode, and in this course, and they've like never heard of six minute networking, which I talk about in every single episode of the Jordan Harbinger Show twice. So my free networking course with the drills that we just talked about, and I'm like, Oh, I get it, he lied. Or someone will say, huge fan of the show, I just want to ask you, if you can do this one quick favor, or put this other person on your show go what what episodes are your favorite? And then it's either the one that came out that day, that's like first on my website, because they realize they had to look really quick at their phone, or they'll go to all of them. And I'm like, Okay, yeah, not true. Name, one episode that I've had, you literally can't even do it, you've lion sack, you know. So the the prep is hugely important. That's what generates the report, it does a lot of the heavy lifting. And frankly, it just reading the book spending like even a few hours prepping a guest, you're already in the 99th percentile of the people in terms of the people that have interviewed them before, including journalists, including, including, and especially professional journalists, I know a lot of journalists, they're grossly overworked and underpaid most of the time. So if they interview somebody for their show, or their little segment or their article, it's a 15 minute phone call, they did not read the book, they I know journalists that have said things like I can't believe I have to interview the Prime Minister of Israel, I'm on the way there in the back of an Uber, this is my prep time. You know, there's like googling things on their phone. And that's not, that's not ideal. As a podcaster, we usually don't have to do that. So I just find it interesting that the one advantage we have as podcasters is we have tons of time to prepare tons of advance notice, and almost no one bothers to do it.
Jay Clouse 53:42
I truly, truly love this conversation. Because there is no more powerful force in my life than relationships. Everything we do everything we aspire to, can be attained through building genuine relationships. I also really appreciated Jordan sharing some inside baseball with me about being a podcast host at the level that he's at. He's been hosting for more than a decade at this point. So I can learn a ton from him. And I hope that I can continue to do so. If you like this episode, you'd probably enjoy the Jordan Harbinger show, which is on this very podcast player that you're using right now. And if you want to check out Jordans six minute networking course, you can do that for free at Jordan harbinger.com. Thanks for Jordan for being on the show. Thank you to Emily Clouse for making the artwork for this episode. Thanks to Nathan todhunter for mixing this show and to Brian's skill for creating our music. If you like this episode, you can tweet @JayClouse and let me know and if you really want to say thank you, please leave a review on Apple podcasts. Thanks for listening. And I'll talk to you next week.