I recently met someone who, in short order, convinced me to give him $20,000 of my time — for free.
How? Let me share his story.
A few months ago, somebody named @michaelfishman introduced himself to me via twitter. He said something interesting about copywriting (I don’t remember what), so I clicked through to his website. It looked interesting…but vague.
We struck up a conversation via email, and he mentioned some more interesting things on copywriting, marketing, and analytics — deep, non-obvious stuff that showed he actually knew what he was talking about. Then he mentioned a couple of big names he had recently met and spoken with at conferences.
I happened to know one of the guys, so I checked with him. “Is this guy Michael legit?” I asked. See, in the marketing world, there are a lot of scammy weirdos.
Turned out my friend respected him.
So when Michael invited me to lunch in New York, I went.
When we got to lunch, he gave me a gift — a book called Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz. I didn’t know it at the time, but it costs around $100. More importantly, I’ve come to realize it’s one of the most sophisticated books on human behavior and persuasion I’ve ever read. He also gave me a couple other books that have since shaped my views on copywriting and psychology. These were incredibly thoughtful gifts that were not only on-target with my interests, but obscure pieces I’d never seen.
When we talked, we discovered how we share many of the same views on persuasion, yet we approach it from different angles.
A few weeks later, Michael invited me to a Boardroom dinner, one of the most exclusive invitations you can receive. I put on a suit and went to The Four Seasons, where I met some of the top authors and businesspeople from the worlds of health, psychology, and marketing.
Long story short, over the next few months, he:
- Threw a dinner party and introduced me to fascinating people I would have never met
- Offered to connect me with VIPs who I’d tried to meet (and failed)
- Linked to several articles I’d written and emailed me some behind-the-scenes advice
At the same time, I was helping him. He’d asked me to record a few videos for his site, Spendlesstv.com, but I was always busy. But finally, I cleared my schedule to record 3 videos for him. You can watch them here.
After all, how could I say no?
Finally, last time we met, Michael told me he was throwing a health summit where he wanted me to be the keynote speaker on behavioral change. Unfortunately, he couldn’t pay my normal speaking fee ($20k) but would I be able to do it?
The magic of his request is this: Not only did I say yes, but I wanted to do it. It wasn’t a chore. It was a pleasure.
And this is how “networking” is done.
Notice all the things Michael did before he ever asked me for something substantial? He introduced me to people I never would have had access to…he gave me thoughtful gifts on topics I’m fascinated with…he offered to help with several parts of my business…and he never asked for anything.
Compare this to what most people think of “networkers” as: sleazy, slimy, and scammy.
When you use networking effectively — when you help other people before you ever expect anything in return — you can get more than you had ever imagined.
And you can use these same principles in negotiation.
In fact, I have 4 more case studies to give you:
- 2 stories from the hiring side of the negotiating table (what not to do)
- 1 phone call, 1 interview, and 3 emails = 28% increase in salary
- $5K per week, 6 month contract
- An automatic $5,000 raise in 6 months
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