The Network Economy and Building Relationships with Executive Essentials’ Michelle Tillis Lederman

November 19, 2020

Develop employees into leaders.

Michelle Tillis Lederman is the CEO and Founder of Executive Essentials.

Michelle created her business off of relationship based business building and strives to help other organizations do so. Executive Essentials offers a Connection Creator of programs that will tackle the concept of connection in different ways.

Learn more about the power of relationship building inside the business world and more in this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur above and don’t forget to subscribe on   Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – Spotify –Google Play –Castbox – TuneIn – RSS.

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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. Stick around to the end of the show; we'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.

In with us right now, we've got Michelle, tell us Letterman, and Michelle, you are the founder and CEO of executive essentials, you're found on the web, at executive And also, you can be found at Michelle Tillis,, thank you so much for joining us, Michelle. So happy to be here, Josh. So I love your message. You're You're huge on relationships and connections. And anyone who's listened to this show for any length of time, you'll know that I got to ask, what's the alternative? What else is there besides relationships?

Nothing, we are in what I call the network economy. And the greatest asset you have are the relationships in your life.

Um, you know, I was just had a conversation with someone, we were talking about this, it, and I'm sure you've heard of this, right, where, let's say you take someone who's very successful in life, you take away their a, you take away all their money, you take away their position, you put them in some new distant land, and you say you've got one year go. And generally what I find is that people have achieved any level of success have done so because they've mastered the art of relationship building, and, you know, having a heart to serve other people first. And by golly, you know, go flash forward, a year later, there'll be, they will be rocking it, because of what they learn. And in fact that this, I thought this was really fascinating. And that is, you know, your relationships are obviously very valuable. But you can even take someone's all of their relationships away and say, you have to start, you can't talk to anybody that you previously knew. And because of the momentum that they previously had, in relying upon those relationships, they would do just fine as well,

because they know how to cultivate those relationships. And that's what I call the connected advantage, what you just described, that ability to build to grow to start from scratch. Whether you can use your old relationships or not, is the connectors advantage, which is faster, easier, better results, whatever it is you're working on, and I statistics that kind of show you whether it's a new client, whether it's a new job, whether it's a promotion, whether it's you know, a referral, sometimes just health and happiness, the statistics are even on those fronts of how relationships make a difference.

Now, Michelle, someone might push back on this concept and say, but I got to make sales, I got to make money, what do they do?

So one of the things you have to think about is that relationship networking, which is what I call it, is a long term approach. Hmm. So I will tell you that when you start to blur the lines between business relationship, and friendship, is when you have a customer for life. And I have customers that have been with me for 20 years. And every time they go to new clients, a new, you know, they get a new job, I get a new client. Yeah, I literally just got off the phone with somebody who is a neighbor, our kids are on the same grade, I met her in a social event, she became a client, she got a new job, she was a client, she left that job, she started to work for me, she got a new job, I became a client. And you know, so now this is going on over a decade of continuous work. So when you have the relationship, you have the opportunity to make the sale. And sometimes it's not through them, but it's through who they know. Yeah, that's talking about what you do with passion with energy with interest, what value you give to somebody, and they'll be like, no, so and so. And there's the connection.

Right, right. You know, think about this. And I recently just use this analogy. I'm sure this is a few episodes ago, we haven't used it yet. You know, imagine if you're a real estate professional, and within your community, you have 500 people that you've built relationships with that every time one of those 500 people gets asked, Do you know a good realtor in the area? They go, Oh, yeah, you got to talk to Josh. He's the best, right? And it's like, if that's all you had, and you didn't spend a dime on advertising today, I think you would be my opinion, I think you'd be set for life.

Absolutely because people are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend. Mm hmm. And 92% I told you, I love my numbers. 92% of people trust referrals. That's why all of those websites with reviews are so important. And one of the things that I would suggest that everybody who's listening out there Now do is when you connect to somebody on LinkedIn, when you, you know, build that relationship, you also send them that little recommendation request. So I do a podcast, I do a webinar, and then people connect me. And I send a little note saying, if you have the time, which is knocked out asked, which we can talk about, yeah. And, you know, I'm trying to stay updated. I have well over 100 recommendations on LinkedIn, dating back at least a decade. And that shows the consistency. And there is your social proof. If somebody's not sure.

Yeah. Michelle, what about people who say, you know, I used to be able to do this all the time. But now I spend my whole day behind my computer screen. And just because of the way that they're working, or maybe that's just their business, it's entirely digital. And so they're saying, I can't connect with people, I can't build relationships.

I want to do that whole, you know, but

we all know what Michelle was just, she's a jersey girl.

Yeah, you know, Jersey girl born and raised. So here's what I will say to you. There are many channels to connect over. And yes, face to face is the best. And I love it. And I notice it. But you know what we are face to face right now. And even though we're not in the same space, we are still connecting, because we have that visual connection. But you can do it on social media, I talked about the more channels that you connect over, the tighter that connection is formed. So you'll find that in your inbox right now is a connection notice from me to you on LinkedIn, because we hadn't connected there yet.

You beat me to it.

You know, and so then we have other channels, and then we stay familiar, we want to stay in somebody's mind without getting in their face. But if you're stuck at home, I am to just do something small. I want you to think about five minutes a day, or even 15 minutes a week. I don't care how you break it up. And especially from four to five o'clock on a Friday is the least productive hour of the workweek. There's an hour that you can spend sending a couple emails saying, hey, how you holding up, hey, was just thinking about you, Hey, I just came across your name on this. You don't have to ask them for anything, it can just be like checking it, you can go onto social media and you can comment on our posts of theirs or click like so your name pops up, all these little light touches, I send a little note of congratulations on this anniversary, or that new job or this birthday or that graduation. And it just keeps you connected. So we can then expand it and you can go deeper and I want you to but if you feel like you don't have a lot of time, just do light touches.

Yeah, right. You know, I you know, and I think of it, I want to talk specifically to someone who's in sales. And I, you know, it's kind of going through this concept with somebody and, you know, because they were complaining about getting ghosted by their, their person they were trying to, you know, enter into a transactional relationship with and I said, let me ask you, like, when you reach out to people, like what are you doing, and I knew what he was doing because he was doing it to me, and, and I kind of didn't like so it was just constant almost kind of a naggy kind of you're ready to buy, you're ready to buy it, you're ready to buy yet you're ready. You know, there's the contract. Yeah, it's like, now what ends up happening if that that's all that your quote unquote, prospect or the other person Southern human is getting from you. It's just you're setting up bad associations. And so what would happen if instead, you know, you had a cadence with like, 20 to 30, nice positive things that you are doing for that person? Imagine where that relationship might go? Like, what are they going to think about? So every time your name comes up, it's it's a moment of delight. Not Okay, dad. All right. I'm gonna sign Okay.

Okay. So first of all, one of the things you're talking about is one of the mindsets of a connector. So in the connector sentence, we talk about seven mindsets. And the seventh mindset is a generous spirit. And I love that you think about adding value and giving first and giving often and giving because you can, without expectation, absolutely do that. But you know what, we also connect on shared values and shared experiences and shared passions and shared people. And it doesn't always have to be here's an article, here's this I'm trying to add value, because sometimes that can come off that way as well.

Totally. No, people know what you're doing. You can't fool anybody today in my opinion, like it Think of it like the person listeners right now. You're smart, right? Of course you are, you know, when someone's just, you know, they're just trying to move you along the sales process or whatever, you know what they're doing

and has won anyway. So I want to give you an example of you know, somebody who's trying to make a sale, I had somebody reach out to me, we'll call her Natalie. And, you know, we get on the phone we have a lovely conversation. I give her my my suggestions for the program. I send my follow up email. I give her the purpose. seeing great, great, great, I'm going on an RV vacation with my kids. Here's where we're going. I'm like, oh, I've been there, you want to make sure you go to the Badlands that that that I have in my calendar the day that she's coming back from her vacation. And I wait a couple more days. And I check and I say How was the vacation? And I had already said, here's something you need to do when I did that with my kids who are now your age. And so I get this greenbacks. And it was amazing. And thank you so much for the suggestion on the Badlands. We loved it and great. And then I, you know, do the light touch of how do you have that conversation? You know, where's your thinking landing? Eventually she comes back and says you're just too damn expensive. And I said, I guess you get what you pay for but and she said, we went in another direction, we would rather have you come in when it's live. I said, I think that's a great plan. Yeah, you know, what are you doing? And they told me what they're going to do instead. And I said, that sounds awesome. And I let it sit. And then she said I would love for you to speak to this other group. I said, Well, if you want to recommend me, I welcome that if you want to make an introduction, you know, I'm happy to follow up on it. So again, instead of like, putting it in my hands I'm making, I'm putting her that ability to help because people love to help. And then then what's happening right now. So we're still in this, right? And I get an email from her, you know, saying I've tried twice to recommend you and I'm not getting anywhere. It's really frustrating. But I'm still in her mind. And now she really wants to do it. And then I sent her an email saying, hey, how did that event go? I'm thinking about suggesting something like that for another client. She's like, Oh, this is the date. We're having it. We haven't had it yet. But I'll let you know. So now I've had this extensive conversation building relationship building relationship, and it's not all about, you know, booked me booked me. Yeah, I guarantee you, it might be here might be two years, but we will do something together.

Yeah. You know, I just had another mortgage, we were shopping run refinance on our mortgage, and I was working with a guy couldn't really bring the numbers on that we needed. Someone else came along much better deal. And so you know, I feel bad. Like, I know, it's like, dude, I'm sorry, you know, it's, but we're just going to go with this other company. And, and so that's the moment like when, when you're getting and you just talked about this, like when you're getting ready to like if you know, you're you're you're getting a No, no, in my opinion, I think Gary shared this a no is not necessarily a no and no is it almost never isn't. No. It's not now or not me. But, you know, if he said, you know, and this is not what he did, but again to my mortgage broker, sales people, friends, listening, please do this. Just say, Josh, that sounds like a great deal. Listen, congratulations. Listen, if you ever know someone like he was specialized in VA loans, it just didn't happen to work out in our situation. He goes, listen, please consider me your first resource I do. Even if you just need someone has once questions answered, I'm happy to just help. That was not his approach at all. But that's the approach that that's the best thing you could do.

Make it okay for somebody to say no, because what they're really saying is not now. I love that thing. Not now or not me. I'm gonna borrow

that. Yeah, well, you know, don't make it awkward.

Yeah. And, and that's what I talked about. One of the things I wrote about and is in one of the chapters in the book is having a clear vision, right? So mindset. Number two is have a clear vision, and know what you want and know how to ask for it. But you need to be able to ask in a way that doesn't put a relationship at risk. Mm hmm. And so there's ways that you can ask, you know, and then the flip side of that is the sixth mindset, which is conscientiousness, is be willing to be clear on what you're willing to say yes. To what you're willing to say no to. And those are not one word. answers. Yes. If yes, when? Yes. After? No, but the one time I like the word, but no, but because no, but here's somebody who you might be interested in working with or no, but right, here's what we could do instead. No, but that person can help you. No, no, but this other organization would be a great fit for you. And so if you in a know, find a way to also still be valuable, or extend the relationship that no can feel better to both of you.

Yeah. Do you have so I'm on your website right now. and by the way, Lederman is L E D E R M A I'm wondering if you have this like a short bulleted list of the seven mindsets is that unlike his enter like book bonuses or somewhere

I don't know if I actually put the list but if you go to books and you go to collectors advantage, there's a little video about it and in the video, I probably list them. Yep. I let's see. Let's see if I can remember them off top my head in order for you. So connectors are open, accepting. We have a clear vision. They trust. They come from a place of abundance. They are socialist Curious, they're conscientious and they have a generous spirit.

Hmm, that is a good list. Michelle. It's it's I it's like I, I feel like I've been living the principles. And thank you for putting this together. And so again, that book is the connectors advantage. You know, one other book that you've got, and you make it so easy. If you're watching the video interview, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. Michelle, you've got your book covers on the wall behind you. So now I could just go Oh, thank you for the easy list here. So the 11 laws of likeability. And this is an older book that you'd written, right? And so how does somebody because now I can explain it from like a media training perspective, because like, we've had clients that were like gruff attorneys, and they're getting ready to be on TV, and I'm like, oh, people are not going to connect with you, unless we do that. But I'm curious, like, how, how would you help someone to become more likeable? Or, you know, maybe start off by talking about why that's so critical.

People do business with people they like, yeah, I mean, period, like, that's just really simple. The relationship wins, and it wins over price. And it wins over product, because people will actually pay a little bit more to get to work with somebody that they know is going to take care of them. It sounds like I'm preaching to the choir, right?

Yeah, if you knew, like, our main product that you're like, like, I'm gonna really like, I'm gonna just have you rule, we'll take this video. And like, Listen, before you get ready to buy our product, watch my interview with Michelle, because she's philosophically going to get you in the right mindset. And now you'll understand why, you know, generosity and you know, this gift, first philosophy and, you know, maybe leveraging a platform to give you the excuse to reach out to lots and lots of people work so well. But I'm sorry, Michelle, a little bit more like you were talking about being likable. And how does someone if they go, I don't know, I'm looking in the mirror. And I don't feel like I'm a really likable person. How does someone become more likeable?

I'll be honest with you, and it's one of the reasons I went into the research was because I felt that way. Wow, I felt that people were, they had a polarized reaction to me, they love me, or they really, really didn't. And, and that's how I was growing up. Like, I had great friends. And I had people that were awful to me, and I didn't know what it was I was doing that was causing one reaction and the other and that's kind of what, you know, I even tell that story in the book. You know, it's I want to understand how connection forms and the book talks about what to do before, during, and after a conversation to enable that connection to form. And, and so being likable is something that we all are, we are all innately likable, it's just what is likable about us is different from person to person. And so one is to understand, in the beginning of the book, we talked about authenticity, self perception, like self image, and perception, and energy, and kind of taking those things to understand what do we bring to the table and understand our strengths and our values, and being able to share them in an authentic way so people can see what is likable about me, because I can't make you like me. But I can enable you to see what's likable in me. Hmm. And that's the real difference.

Yeah. Michelle, I, I need to have you back in a couple months. Because I feel like we're just kind of scratching the surface and I love my mission. I love your purpose. I love your values. I love what you're doing music to my ears. So Michelle, again, your website is Michelle Tillis, And as well, your other your your company is a point, right? I feel like Peter Brady right now. That's a reference only some people will get like when my

show growing up.

It's time to change.

tracks. Yeah. Cindy Brady and I can make the banana curls.

Yeah. On. It's your other website, executive, which we didn't really even get to talk a whole lot about. So I apologize for that. We'll have you back. Michelle, again, thank you so much for joining us anything else that we missed that folks should go to take advantage of access anything like that.

If they go to I'm right on the homepage, or they can go slash gift pack. I give away lots of stuff because as we talked about, that's the philosophy. I give away a chapter from most of the books that you see behind me I give away a couple of quizzes where you can see what level of connector you are on the spectrum. You know, lots of goodies. I'd give a video series about success accelerators, which I actually said

without tripping on Yay. I didn't have a Peter Brady moment.

Yeah. So there's lots of free stuff there. And

I love to hear where you found me. So connect to me on LinkedIn and say that you heard me here.

Yeah, Michelle, thank you so much. Thanks for having me on, Josh.

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