Dov Gordon of ProfitableRelationships.com helps consultants use “backwards” networking to reach their ideal clients consistently. He talks about how experienced consultants know that the best clients come from referrals and relationships, but referrals are unpredictable, and relationships take lots of time. Instead, Dov helps us become an “under-the-radar leader” in our industry and shows us how to leverage relationship marketing into a six-figure revenue stream.
In this episode, Dov talks about how he learned that it’s all about creating conversations with those around him. He lets us know how to create well-placed people around us to move forward by keeping it simple. And he also explains how to have more valuable conversations with the people we know we want to reach. Check it out!
Dov’s Learning Journey and Masterminds
The Mastermind Effect: 02:00
Let’s dive into this. Our ability to learn and have access to people over the last 5 to 10 years has changed and increased. When you and I were younger, it was textbooks, teachers, family, friends, and co-workers, but it’s a sliver of really what’s possible. How was your learning change from your early years versus today?
Dov Gordon: 02:24
I’ve always learned from books. As a teenager, I had a library block away. Ever since I discovered the business and self-help sections in the local library, I’ve been reading those books. So I think the first book I came across was called Million Dollar Habits by Robert J. Ringer. Have you heard that one?
The Mastermind Effect: 02:53
I have heard of the book. I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard of it.
Dov Gordon: 02:55
I read a few of his books. He’s also had a book called Winning Through Intimidation, which was later released with a less controversial title because it was misunderstood. It wasn’t about learning how to intimidate people. And then, over time, I started coaching and consulting in the early 2000s. I sought out mentors and coaches to work with because I felt that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I knew I had some talent and abilities, and I cared, but it turned out that it’s not enough to be good at something. People do not bring the path to your door. You have to learn how to market and sell it. I don’t consider myself to be a natural marketer or a salesperson. That was something I had to learn, and it took a number of years. I feel like maybe eight years were like pushing boulders up the hill, only to watch them roll right back down. Things started to click into place, and so was time, and I started to realize that there are other paths. Yet, the ones we see are the path of the charismatic guru. You say how do I get clients, and everybody has a big promise for you. But not everybody’s interested in being out there and posting on Facebook or Instagram five times a day. Some people just really thrive on being what I call an under-the-radar leader in your industry.
Throughout all of it, I’ve always learned from books, coaches, and training here and there. In the early days, I was collecting more knowledge and information. Then more recent years, it is more about synthesizing in conversations with colleagues and coaches or just learning to implement and live more of what I know intellectually, which is always a challenge. I think for many people is like we all know certain things; we’re not living it. And I have to remind myself that for most of what I need right now, it’s not necessarily to learn more and more; it’s to live more and more of what I already know. That’s another way of learning, and that is often the hardest and the most important.
The Mastermind Effect: 05:20
It’s to live the life of abundance, happiness, and where that takes you from a day-to-day perspective. You’re able to have the ability to sit there and say, “I don’t work. I get to have fun conversations, and I get to collect new people and hang out. I learned by listening.” That takes a whole new level of “Hey, it’s not saying that reading the books, past and present are not in your life,” because they still play an important part. It’s those conversations and those experiences around us which helped change.
Experiences, learning, or just information as a whole, there’s probably more information and more places to learn it than ever before. To me, it can be confusing. Some people learn through accountability buddies, masterminds, coaching, online courses, and many ways to learn. Who are you currently learning from, and how did you connect with them?
Dov Gordon: 06:21
I’ve got a number of answers to that. I just got off a call with somebody who has reached out to me, and I just couldn’t stop asking questions. What she’s doing in her life is just remarkable. The way she’s balancing her family, business, and other things, I couldn’t do it. I learned from a coach I’m working with who I met years ago because somebody introduced us, and I did some subcontracting work with him going back many years. Recently, I approached him, and I said, “I think you can help me with certain things that I need some work on.”
I’ve learned from conversations with colleagues and clients. I lead to networks, what I call Alchemy networks. One of them is a network of colleagues of mine, which I’ve been running for about ten years. The other is a network of current, past, and perhaps future clients. I learned from them, and you learn so much more from teaching. It’s nothing new. But until we sit down and start to understand how and what someone else’s day is like, and what they are getting stuck on.
To give a little context, my focus has become helping other consultants and experts build what I call Alchemy Networks as a way of becoming under the radar leaders in their industry, getting paid for a lot of the relationship marketing that they’re probably doing already the networking and so on, and was a backdoor into their clients’ office. A big part of that is his conversations, and it’s like you get to talk to great people. I lead two of them, and that’s where I learned the most.
The Mastermind Effect: 08:23
The conversations almost sound like you with the Alchemy network, which we’ll probably get into a little bit, there’s maybe a feel of a hot seat situation where people can listen in, and they can give feedback. You can share the experiences of what you’re going through, and then people can kind of feed-in through that and give their own experiences and how they might pertain to you. I look forward to learning a little bit more about that here in a little bit.
A lot of people get stuck, and they don’t know how to get out of their own way. We’re still going through some form of a pandemic. No matter where you’re in the world, it is still going through a pandemic. To me, it allows us to have a reset in how we can accomplish things. How do masterminds and coaching help you when you’re looking to reset and get unstuck?
Dov Gordon: 09:37
Just by leading the network that I do. It’s called the JVM. That’s the first one that I started over 10 years ago. I started with a handful of people I had met in various courses that I was in or programs I’d taken online. I’d reached out and said, “Hey, I’m starting this, here’s why. Here’s what it’s all about. You want to join in and say yes or no problem.” I have access to well over a hundred good people around the world, anytime, day or night. If I have any kind of question about my business, I could send that out, and I’ll get quality responses within minutes hours. If I want to get on a call with pretty much any of them, I could and they’re happy to share with me, and I’m happy to do the same for them.
We all need to get out of our own heads. It’s remarkable that a lot of times, what you could do for your own clients, you struggled to do for yourself. A lot of coaches feel like a fraud because they feel like, “Well, if I’m so good at this, why am I struggling with this myself?” and the other voices are like, “Yeah, but you are helping your clients. They’re doing better because of you.” There’s that imposter syndrome that a lot of people struggle with.
You have to realize there are certain things that you just cannot do for yourself. You cannot see your own situation with the clarity that you can see a client’s situation. With your own situation, you’ve got your worries, fears, and a lot of emotion untangle, and that’s why they need you because they can’t see their situation. It is a combination of your distance, perspective, and your set skills you’re bringing as a coach and consultant.
The Mastermind Effect: 11:36
I forget the triangle, where you’ve got the hero or the rescuer, the victim, and the villain. Sometimes there are cases where the hero or rescuer, the coach, creates the villain to help the victim and continues this triangle of “without me, you can’t accomplish this.” Some coaches’ occasional experience why they can’t get out of their own way is because they haven’t found that right coach or that right group that’s helping them get through their own hurdles. That’s where the guru comes into place as opposed to the result later. It is the guru that’s able to accomplish this. They’re just continuing a triangle where the victim can’t ever get out of their own way because both of them are creating that villain.
Dov Gordon: 12:38
I heard of that triangle just recently, but I forgot what it’s called. It’s not anything new. We might be going down a tangent, but I don’t hear a coach isn’t the hero for the client.
Dov and His Experience with Self-Education
The Mastermind Effect: 13:00
You want to be the leader to help get them there. The cool thing about the right coaches, like Dov, is they find something in you that’s already there and extrapolating the right stuff that’s sitting there. That’s what the right mastermind and what the right coach will do for you.
Speaking of masterminds, they’ve been around for a long time. If you think about it, the first one was probably the apostles. And then, from there, Benjamin Franklin creates the Judo club or The Leather Apron Club. Then eventually, Napoleon Hill writes a book and kind of rounds out what a mastermind is. As there continues to be a huge boom in self-education (coaching, masterminds, mentorship), where do you see the parallels going between self-education and standard education( being university and college) going forward?
Dov Gordon: 14:13
All that I see is that people will need to take more and more responsibility for their education. Unfortunately, our Western education systems are not making sure that our students are learning our true life skills. They’re teaching them all sorts of fascinating, interesting things. You do need to be responsible for your education. If you’re a kid in high school, it might be a little hard to do. However, you can still start then just like I did, like reading books, gaining some skills at the time, and taking small steps. Mark Twain said, Never let your schooling interfere with your education. Probably human nature does not change as long as we’ve been here. It’s just a matter of setups, societal arrangements, and so on. Fundamentally, there will always be people trying to push their agendas on us in their own convoluted way. We need to figure out what I am trying to accomplish and why. Nobody can tell us what that should be, although people will try. Then, what’s my plan for getting there? What skills or know-how knowledge do I need to acquire to follow the steps to get to where I want to go?
The Mastermind Effect: 15:42
The sooner standard education kind of takes a look at it from that perspective, I think you’ll see a greater interest in what the students are able to accomplish as they’re going through Junior High School, and then continuing their education going forward, if they sit there and say, “What is it that’s important?” I still sit there and say, “why is it that I need to take biology class?” I get it from some aspects, but what does that do for me, other than checking a box that I filled a credit hour? In the back of my mind, it seems a little outdated. I went through standard education, and I’ve got a four-year degree in finance. But I’ve always said unless my son wants to be a doctor, nurse, engineer, or something that he’s going to be operating on me, I want him to have that piece of paper. It’s a quarter-million-dollar in debt, but it doesn’t seem to have a good trade-off, depending on what you’re looking for.
Dov Gordon: 16:40
I remember talking to a potential client who was about to spend tens of thousands of dollars, and he’s trying to decide if he’s going to get the help he needs to grow his business or another year of college for his kid. It’s just not what the kids need. From everything I understand, it’s more about the network you develop, the relationships you build, and what you learn. Most people, by the time they’re out of college, either they’d learned things that are not relevant for their job that they end up taking, or it’s outdated pretty quickly.
Dov Gordon: 17:57
Even when you go for finance, you probably had to take all sorts of other courses that were not related.
The Mastermind Effect: 18:03
Yes. I see a shift happening just in how they’re going to do it going forward, which excites me.
Dov Gordon: 18:12
There’ll be a shift. But the question is, to what? It’ll always be this human need to feel like they’re part a part of something. What is it that drives somebody to get $250,000 in debt or even $100,000 in debt to go to a certain college? What is it? It’s not because they feel like, “Oh, that’s really what I need?” That’s what we tell ourselves. Why do we spend $100,000 or $200,000 on a college degree? So we tell ourselves, it’s necessary, but the truth is, it’s not.
I don’t know what will change, but what won’t change is that we’ll always be drawn to feel like we need to be part of this or that tribe. What we need to learn is to grow our self-awareness, and why are we doing things? I was looking recently in the penny stock market. I find it fascinating, like the psychology of it. I realized that a lot of people are buying a stock, not because it’s going to make money, but being part of the movement. It’s really silly that people get all excited about this or that stock that they know very little about. They’re communicating on various social media platforms, encouraging each other. It’s more about being in there, not approaching it the way you would if you were strictly looking to make money.
The Mastermind Effect: 20:00
Talking about people in general, typically, when they invest in their future, they have a better than vague idea than what they’re getting. When people start investing in the future, I think the best investment is themselves, the higher stock market and house market because I can’t control the housing and stock market. But the person I can control and the investment I can control is myself, the highest ROI. What should someone expect when they decide to enter your reality and work with ProfitableRelationships.com?
Dov Gordon: 21:03
The people we work with are consultants, coaches, experts, or professional service firm owners, and they have valuable skills and valuable processes that they could bring to a client. And generally, their clients will come from referrals or relationships of some kind. Maybe someone heard you speak, and then they want to talk to you, especially in the corporate world. But it could take six months until they’re ready to move.
The problem is referrals are unpredictable, and relationships take a lot of time. What do you do with these people? Like I said earlier, not everybody’s interested in becoming an online celebrity or becoming an industry guru. Most people are not interested in building a multi-seven-figure business and scaling. From my experience and observation, and also true for me, most people are interested in a nice, good mid to upper six-figures with a life they can enjoy and the extra cash to help some family members. This is what people are looking for.
The challenge is that you wake up in the morning and ask, “Well, how do I get clients? I’m good at this, and I’ve got this valuable skill,” or they are getting clients, but it’s inconsistent. What we’re doing is we’re helping them build a very simple marketing and selling process based on relationships. Instead of becoming the celebrity in your industry and one that everybody knows, which is very hard to do, you become what I think of as the under-the-radar leader in your industry. That looks like if you have 30, 50, 100, 150 relationships with well-placed people across your industry, and you know how to work that network, and perhaps you bring them together in what I call an Alchemy Network, which creates extra value for them as well as for you, you’ll have all the clients that you want.
What’s lacking usually is simplicity. We overcomplicate things, and we don’t turn it into a process. We don’t turn it into a simple process that can work day in day out. That’s why people are going in circles. We help them simplify, get that focused, take things they’re already doing for free, and turn them into a new revenue stream. That’s a high level. We can go deeper and as much as you want.
The Mastermind Effect: 23:24
I appreciate that. That’s a big thing right there. Simplify. We’ve had a few people that we’ve talked about that. Justin Breen talks about simplifying. Dov Gordon talks about simplifying and then a couple of others that we’ve interviewed. Simplify, don’t overcomplicate it because you don’t know what’s causing your system to break when you have too many pieces in there. When you let that sink in, this can be simple and still be successful.
The people that you work with, from time to time, maybe they surprise you. When they finish working with you or continue working with you, I’d love to hear a success story from this aspect. If you can give names and examples, that’s great. What was an outcome because person X comes through, works with you and your company, and the outcome was Y?.
Dov Gordon: 24:21
I was working with a client of mine. This is one of my first clients, and just in the last couple of years, I started helping other people build these Alchemy networks. It’s something that I was doing for so many years that I thought maybe I should help people do this and maybe I should make that my business. Then the doubter inside, which we all have, is like, “Dov, what’s the big deal? Everybody can do this. Anybody could do it. It’s just so easy. All you do is this and that.” I figured, “Okay, let me start and see what happens.”
I started working with a client, and I suggested and said, “I think that you should build your own Alchemy network.” And he said, “Well, what does that mean?” I explained to him, and then over time, I work with several other people. I was a victim of the expert trap were things that I find easy; you just assume that everybody else finds it easy as well. I’m just really saying that because I’m sure a lot of people listening to this are also in the experts’ trap. Things that you find easy could still be tremendously valuable to other people.
I started with him, and his name is Mike. He’s a consultant, helping half a billion-dollar-plus manufacturers with their new product innovation. These companies are looking to develop new products because you always have to be developing new products. The problem is that the senior manager is always being asked for the CEO. The managing director is always being asked. People are coming to him and saying, “We need more money, we need more people, we know our resources, we need more time.” It doesn’t seem to matter, though; there’s always going to be delays, and things always take out take longer. He has a very powerful way of really shifting things so that they can get a lot more done for the same price or even less.
I was working with him to create a simple marketing and selling system to reach people, but we realized that where’s this opportunity for him? We identified R&D directors who are one or two levels down from the CEO of these half-billion-dollar plus businesses. We realized that we could start what we call an Alchemy network for them. They’re a lot easier to reach than the CEO. So it’s a way of getting his foot in the door. He started reaching out to them cold through LinkedIn. We worked on some messaging, and we refined it. And in overtime, he’s getting responses, people getting on calls, and people joining his Alchemy network. He has a network of 30 to 35 R&D directors spread across companies doing half a billion dollars or more. Many of them are potential ideal clients for him.
Now he’s got his foot in the door. We developed a process where he has a lower price offer for the R&D directors where he does something with them within their domain, at a price that is within their budget. The idea is that after several months, they’ve made progress. Now the R&D director feels the confidence to go to the managing director, CEO, and say, “Hey, look what I did with Mike, we accomplished all this.” But beyond this, we need to bring in the other departments. One of the challenges of selling his consulting is that it’s six to seven figures, and it requires multiple departments to come up to collaborate. The CEO is going to make a decision about it. It’s very hard to reach CEOs of companies of that size. So we created an Alchemy network of recommenders. I’m just emphasizing that because there are three types of members that you can have in your Alchemy network. It could be colleagues who market and sell to similar audiences. And then, you collaborate, support, and promote each other to your audiences. It could be a network of ideal clients. It could be a network of recommenders. So those are three different models. I share more about that at the free video training that we put up at ProfitableRelationships.com/mastermind effect.
The Mastermind Effect: 28:33
Dove is giving you something free right there. He’s giving you the roadmap for the three types of people and what he calls his Alchemy network. Who doesn’t want people out there that are like the soldiers that are people selling for you? You’re helping people out in very large corporations that have access to people that you want to gain access to, the decision-makers, and they’re saying, “Hey, we need this.”
Dov Gordon: 29:07
It’s not necessarily right for everybody. But for some people, what you do is form an Alchemy network where you’re charging one to $2,000 a year for membership. And now, a lot of the networking or virtual networking or conversations that you’re having with potential clients may not be ready for it.
Here’s something that happens. You’re talking to a potential client. And they say, “Brandon, I love what you’re talking about. I love what you’re doing, but we’re so overwhelmed right now. I think that we want to do what you’re suggesting. Let’s talk in six months; we’ll be ready then.” That’s legitimate. It’s often legitimate. They’ve been honestly blowing you off. So you’re ambitious. You make a note five months from now on your calendar. You get back to him in five months, and he said, “Brandon, I wish you’d gotten back to me last month or a few weeks ago. We started with this other competitor of yours.”
It happened to anybody who sold for more than five or six months. The problem is, what do you do? What could you do? You could add them to the email list and with their permission. That’s a great thing to do. The problem is that you don’t know if they’re opening it, even if you see their opening or reading it. It’s one-way communication. You could send them stuff home. Also, one way, and it’s kind of feels forced in many cases. But what if instead, you say, “Hey, Bob, it totally makes sense. I really get it. It makes a lot of sense to finish these projects first and then move into what we’re talking about. But because it is an issue, I have a network, and it’s called the “this and that” network. It’s comprised of the people you really want to talk to, get to know and learn more from, and so on; they’re on the same path as you. They’re in other companies.” Whatever you explain the big idea, you explain a little bit of how it works and in just a few sentences. “It’s only $1,000 or $2,000 a year. That’s because I just want to make sure I know who wants to be there? Why don’t you join? And that’s just a way you can ask me any questions about all the things that may come up between now and when you’re ready?” “Okay, sure, let’s do it.”
Now what’s just happened is you’re building a community of your ideal clients in this case. It’s one of our three-member types. Not only that, but now it’s two-way communication. ” Hey, Bob, let’s get on the phone for 10 minutes. So I can ask you, I want to find out what your what you’re dealing with. So I can kind of direct conversations in a way that’s good for you helpful for you and everybody else.” You got back and forth. You now have a foot in the door and backdoor access to potential clients that you’re not going to lose to some other competitor who just happens to show up a few once after you did. You are now getting paid for a lot of the free networking you’ve been doing for years now. The consultants like the idea of starting earning 50, 100, 150, $200,000 a year from largely things they’re already doing.
That’s what we’re doing. That’s what I’m showing people how to do. It’s a lot of fun. I’m discovering that it’s a, like I said, in terms of the experts’ curse, it’s not that simple. What happens is like a client gets stuck on something. It didn’t even occur to me that that would be an obstacle. But once we have in our heads, this or that, that we’re stuck on, we can’t take action. That’s a big part of my role as a coach and consultant and so on, is to help people see their way around the corner, and then they can run straight, run free.
The Mastermind Effect: 32:29
Simplify, clarify, see around corners. I love it. Where do you host your communication back and forth? Facebook groups? What do you guys use?
Dov Gordon: 32:39
I use Google Groups for email-based conversations. I recommend that, and not everybody does that. I think it’s important for anybody starting a network to understand the various considerations and why I think Google Groups or something like that, which is email-based, is the right way to go. Then they can make their decision. Most of my clients do end up going with that because it’s just, there’s a lot of advantages to it. Everybody in business has an email they’re using. They’re checking their email. There is a certain intimacy when people are part of the conversation via email that you don’t have in Facebook groups. In an Alchemy network, you’re curating people. It’s not just anybody who wants to join, even if they’re going to pay. I find that works quite well.
What’s Next for Dov
The Mastermind Effect: 33:38
We got a few more questions as we’re coming close to the end here. I feel that there’s always new ideas brewing in times of prosperity. It’s like the wins are easier when the world is winning. But I think ingenuity and creativity happen when we feel the squeeze, and the world still feels some form of a squeeze. What are you working on right now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that excites you?
Dov Gordon: 34:01
My JVMM network, the network of colleagues, is growing nicely. I’m constantly getting new nominations from people in the network. My under-the-radar News Network is the second network where I’m helping working with consultants who are looking to grow through profitable relationships in one form or another, leveraging relationships.
We have that network, and I’m focused on making that into something magical. What I think is a premier community for the right kind of consultants who would fit in around the world. I’m looking to turn that into a place where educated people are continuously becoming the one who naturally causes the results you want. That’s the core idea behind it. We can always learn skills, and we always have to, and that’s a part of it. It’s about becoming the one who naturally causes the results that you want.
The Mastermind Effect: 35:17
What is a tip, a tactic, an actionable item that if someone implemented this over the next 30, 60, 90 days that was listening right now, would see a real impact on their business or personal life?
Dov Gordon: 35:31
That’s a broad question, but I’ll give it a shot. If we narrow it down to the context of growing your client base and getting more clients, it really just increases the number of conversations you’re having with pretty much anybody you could reach. Know who you’re looking to reach, and have conversations. A lot of people are not having conversations. Conversations lead to clients. Over time, you’ll be able to clarify or sharpen who you’re having conversations with, what you’re doing in those conversations, how you’re leading them. Still, for most people, if you’re not having somewhere between five and ten conversations a week, you’re probably not even close.
The Mastermind Effect: 36:13
It’s very true. It’s a numbers game at the end of the day. Plus, when you’re reaching for the people you want to connect with that can help you move the needle forward, you can find a win-win-win. You’re not going to them saying, “Hey, what can you do for me?” It’s you’re leading with the give mentality. Have more quality conversations. That’s the reality. And if you’re like, “Hey, I don’t have time.” Look at the conversations you’re currently having. I’m going to bet that you could probably pull a couple of those conversations out of your proverbial cup and refill them with quality conversations.
I appreciate everything that you brought today. I love the “simplify clarify” message that we’re talking about and the three types of people that people can learn when building an Alchemy network. We’ve got the CEO of ProfitableRelationships.com, Dov Gordon. Dov, thank you so much for your time today.
“For most of what I need right now, it’s not necessarily to learn more and more, it’s to live more and more what I already know.” – Dov Gordon
“Why do we spend $12,000 for a college degree? We tell ourselves that ‘because it’s necessary’ but the truth is, it’s not.” – Dov Gordon
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You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can move beyond your limits.