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Tips on how to create authentic “know, like, and trust” by Kevin Knebl

  • Create sincere and authentic “know, like, and trust.”
  • I basically teach people and remind people really how to be high touch in a more and more high tech world. It’s all about conversations.
  • The fastest way to get to where you want to go (reach your goals) is actually to slow down. Most people have been innocently trained to believe just the opposite, even though there’s no evidence to support it.
  • The way people start to know you, like you, trust you is you start to take a sincere interest in them as a human being, not as a commission check.
  • The easiest way to create know, like, trust is to take a sincere interest in people

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The easiest way to create know, like, and trust is to take a sincere interest in people

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Doug Morneau: Well welcome back listeners. Today we’ve got a super special episode. The gentleman that we’re going to be talking to today is somebody I followed for quite a while on social media and he does some pretty extraordinary stuff on social. I’ve read his first book and really enjoyed it.

I want to properly introduce Kevin. It’s Kevin Knebl and he is an international speaker. He is an author, he’s a trainer, and he’s an executive coach. His clients have included individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, fortune 500 companies. He’s a very in-demand leading authority on social selling, relationships, marketing, LinkedIn, and Twitter with a very healthy dose of inspiration. If you’ve ever connected with him on social you’ll get exactly what I mean by he is very generous with his conversation. He’s a transformational insight and he has a great sense of humor. He does a lot of speaking at conferences, conventions, company training, and many other events.

The very first book of his that I read, he coauthored, it’s called “The Social Media Sales Revolution: The New Rules for Finding Customers, Building Relationships, and Closing More Sales Through Online Networking.” Kevin is also a contributing author of “Learning Marketing and Social Media in 7 Days.”

Kevin’s background includes being a top salesperson for four different companies, including being a top salesperson in the world for an international consulting firm with over 300 salespeople in 15 countries. He has trained 100s of organizations and 10s of 1000s of professionals on the most profitable uses of LinkedIn, social selling, and relationship marketing since 2004. Kevin also has the most individually handwritten client recommendations, over 1925, on his LinkedIn profile among over 575 million LinkedIn users worldwide.

He’s been married for 23 years to a woman he met when she booked him to play piano at her wedding to another man. I think we’ll have to dive into that a little deeper. Yes, the last sentence is true, he has a face for radio, but he can be reached at kevinkneble.com, that’s Kevin, K-E-V-I-N, Knebl is K-N-E-B-L-E.com.

Kevin, with that great long introduction, with many interesting points, welcome to the Real Marketing Podcast.

Kevin Knebl: Thank you, Doug, and real quick before we go any place else, right at the end there when you said my URL, even though it was written in front of you-you added a letter onto it that doesn’t exist on the paper in your hand. So-

Doug Morneau: Okay, what did I add, go ahead.

Kevin Knebl: It’s K-E-V-I-N K-N-E-B-L.

Doug Morneau: Okay.

Kevin Knebl: Almost everybody adds an extra E and even I add an extra E after a couple glasses of Merlot.

Doug Morneau: Okay, there we go.

Kevin Knebl: But thanks for having me Doug, it’s great to be here.

Doug Morneau: Maybe I should have had a glass of Merlot and I would have dropped that one. It’s good to connect. I really enjoyed your book. I thought there was a lot of information there. I was hoping we’d have a conversation. What you’ve done on social you’ve done some remarkable things and I think LinkedIn is an often overlooked social media tool in the days of everybody running to SnapChat, and Instagram, and everything else. Do you want to share a little bit about what you do and how it works?

Kevin Knebl: Sure. First off, thank you for having me. It’s great to be here and it’s always great to speak with somebody who is in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, Vancouver, Canada, just gorgeous, gorgeous.

In a nutshell, what I do is I basically teach people and remind people really how to be high touch in a more and more high tech world. A communication tool is only as effective as the communication skills of the person using the tool. There’s a lot of people that are running to social media, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and these are all wonderful tools, I’m not putting them down by any means. But if I gave an iPhone to an orangutan and orangutan wouldn’t know what to do with it. It doesn’t diminish the value of the iPhone. If you give social media to somebody who does not have really good conversation or communication skills, to begin with before they got onto the internet, thank you Al Gore, somebody try and explain to me how somebody who’s Hannibal Lector before they got on Facebook now is God’s gift to conversations now that they get on Facebook, they’re not. The irony is that the things that are the most obvious people often miss and while everybody’s trying to figure out how to leverage social media very few people are working on their conversation skills and I remind people that it’s about sincere, authentic, and transparent communication. That was my not so quick answer when I thought it was going to be quick.

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Doug Morneau: Well no, fair enough. I think if you really want listeners to get an idea of what Kevin’s talking about all you need to do is connect with them on social media and just look at what he does. It becomes very obvious very quickly that you’re not talking to a machine, there’s a person at the other end of that keyboard who’s paying attention to his audience and engaging.

Kevin Knebl: Yeah, it’s all about conversations. I’m a very, very simple guy and I don’t mean that I’m stupid and I’m not talking about a full sense of humility, it’s just the way that I’m wired is I tend to find the simplest moving parts behind what makes something work. Another word for simple as moving parts would be principles. If you find the principles behind how something works then you have pretty consistent results because gravity works the same everywhere and gravity is a principle. I just look at all these platforms Doug as communication channels and with seven billion plus human beings on earth whoever comes across my radar or I come across their radar it doesn’t mean we have to become soulmates and go skipping through fields of daisies together, but why not at least start a conversation, see if it goes somewhere?

Doug Morneau: You mean you don’t appreciate those direct messages that they try to sell you something right off the bat?

Kevin Knebl: I can’t wait to get up in the morning and read all those in my inbox and sincerely and authentically congratulate those people on spamming everybody.

Here’s the crazy thing, people continue to do things that don’t work, but it’s an innocent misunderstanding. A lot of times they just think well I just need to increase my activity. Well no, if you’re driving toward a cliff and you accelerate you’re just going to go off it faster.

Doug Morneau: That’s right, yeah.

Kevin Knebl: But because most people have innocently forgotten that all things being equal, people do business with and refer business to people that they know, like, and trust. Although I stand on stages all around the world and ask every single audience if they would agree with that statement, and everybody says “yes” because to say “no” is stupidity, but then I point out to them with a little bit of humor that you’re telling me in one breath that you completely believe with the statement that all things being equal, people do business with and refer business to people that they know, like, and trust. Then instantly, you’re violating everything that you just told me three seconds ago. Some people kind of catch onto that. Some people are in deep denial, they never catch onto it. Some people go, “Oh my God, you’re right. I’m literally walking up to strangers and trying to kiss them.”

Doug Morneau: I don’t understand it. For me I guess I was probably in that boat for a long time on social as well until I actually realized if you actually slow down a little bit and recognize that, like you said, we’re not going to connect with everybody and go dancing through the daisy field, maybe with a few people we’ll have a good glass of wine, but it really comes down to identifying those few people. What I’ve noticed is if you start to engage and build a relationship that lots come out of that. It might not be direct business, but it may just be somebody that shouts out what you’re doing and becomes an advocate for you, much like Johnathon Christian who referred me to you and I bought your book, and now here you are on the podcast. It’s just been a great way of building a relationship.

Kevin Knebl: Yeah, there’s a lot of irony and paradox in the world. We’re kind of taught you got to build it at scale, bigger, better, faster, stronger. I kind of slow people down, and you just mentioned that. The fastest way to get where you want to go, and I’m not talking on land, I’m not talking geography, I’m talking in terms of goals or whatever, the fastest way to get to where you want to go is actually to slow down. Most people have been innocently trained to believe just the opposite, even though there’s no evidence to support it.

When we sincerely and authentically connect with people we actually do business and receive referrals for them. You made some really good points Doug that actually slowing down and sincerely and authentically connecting with people will get you ultimately where you want to go faster than any other thing. Although, if you looked around you would see that 99.9% of society has not figured that out, but I keep using the word innocent because people don’t wake up in the morning and say to themselves what kind of stupid decisions can I make today.

Doug Morneau: That’s right, who can I offend today.

Kevin Knebl: People don’t say that. Your question a few minutes ago is humorous, “Kevin, you don’t appreciate all those spams in your inbox?” No, I don’t, but those people, God bless them, they’re not waking up in the morning and going, “How many people can I piss off today,” even though they are pissing off a lot of people. It actually creates compassion for me, not that I’m some enlightened Buddha. When I see people doing stupid things like that I actually have compassion for them because I realize they actually think that’s the best way to bring on clients.

Doug Morneau: That’s a fair comment and you’re right. I get emails from companies that want to offer me email marketing services and they spam me because I have no relationship with them and they don’t put my name in the email, and it ends up in the My Spam box. Give me one good reason I’d want to do business with you. You don’t know me. You haven’t asked me any questions. We’ve never engaged. You didn’t use my name and you can’t deliver your sales message to my inbox so why would I trust you and want to do business with you?

Kevin Knebl: You’re spot on right. I’m not trying to sound like a philosopher here, but if you and I were in the same state of mind as the person that sent you that you and I would be doing the same thing they’re doing.

Doug Morneau: Yeah.

Kevin Knebl: So thank God that we’re not in that state of mind anymore. It’s not that we’re any better than them, it’s just that we’ve figured out that people do business with and refer business to people that they know, like, and trust. Therefore, our goal for guys like you and I Doug is to create sincere and authentic “know, like, and trust.”

Doug Morneau: Then how do you do that? For our listeners that are saying, “Hey, I’ve got all of these social media channels,” and now we’re talking about slowing down, so we’re not talking about throwing everything out and starting over, what are a few of the first steps of the 12 step program to slowing down and caring about people?

Kevin Knebl: Here’s the crazy thing, it’s so unbelievably simple it’s crazy. The thing is, I am going to sound like a philosopher for 60 or 90 seconds Doug but I’m not trying to be Aristotle, okay?

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The easiest way to create know, like, and trust is to take a sincere interest in people

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Doug Morneau: Okay, no worries.

Kevin Knebl: What I’m really good at is I have a very firm grasp of the obvious, is something that I’ve learned over the years. I point out various things to people that they somehow have forgotten, innocently. Then when I help them remember they go, “Oh my God, how did I forget this?”

Let me give you an example. Every relationship you’ve ever had in your life Doug, and I don’t care if it’s personal or professional, it doesn’t matter. By extension, everybody listening to my voice right now, hello people in the future, every single relationship you’ve ever had in your life, whether it was online, offline, personal, professional, doesn’t matter to me, every single one, with no exception, and I challenge you to try and poke a hole in this, has fallen into a simple three-step pattern. Number one, you had to cross paths with the other human being somehow. There was no way around that. Number two, once you crossed paths with them. You had to initiate a conversation with them or they had to initiate a conversation with you in a manner that the door didn’t get slammed. There was no way around that. Number three, once you initiated that conversation, and just to be clear, I’m using the word “conversation” not “thinly veiled sales pitch.” Once you initiated that conversation to some degree there had to be some nurturing and deepening of the relationship so that some level of no, like, trust came about.

Now again, this is a quick podcast. If I had more time, like when I’m onstage during a full day or a multi-day boot camp I could really get into the nooks and crannies. With zero exceptions, I don’t care if we’re looking at your spouse, the person that hired you, it doesn’t matter to me, there are no exceptions to these three steps.

Now the reason I’m bringing this up is that we do this naturally all of our lives as children and as in high school and college. Everybody you played with on the playground in third grade, number one, you crossed each other’s orbit. Number two, you started a conversation. Number three, you started kicking the ball around together. Here’s what happens, we graduate high school, maybe we go to college, maybe we don’t. Then we enter the business world. Then we innocently think that the rules are different in the business world, that’s insane. Thinking that it’s any different than these three steps in the business world makes as much sense as thinking that the gravity in your home works differently than the gravity in your office. So what I-

Doug Morneau: That’s a great analogy.

Kevin Knebl: What I do is I run around the world and I remind people, “Hey numbnuts, hey knucklehead, you’re spamming the crap out of people with email and all this other stuff or you’re just trying to friend everybody on social media because you think that the principles behind creating trust are different in the business world than they are in the non-business world.” What I’m pointing out to people, and I help my clients generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue by just reminding them that people do business with and refer business to people that they know, like, and trust. The way people start to know you, like you, trust you is you start to take a sincere interest in them as a human being, not as a commission check. I’m not denying that you need to pay the mortgage. I’m not denying that you have competition in your industry, but what I’m pointing out is so fundamentally simple, but almost nobody sees it. They completely have forgotten that people do business with an do business with and refer business to people that they know, like, and trust. I help them remember that and then I help them basically relearn some things they knew how to do when they were kids, which is basically taking a sincere interest in people. This is Dale Carnegie 101 and then how to nurture those relationships.

Again, without going into a two-day boot camp, your question is people are connecting on social media, well stop spamming the crap out of people and just start sincere and authentic conversations.

Doug Morneau: Then you’ll be surprised. There are a few guys that I mentioned to you before we started recording, there’s yourself and then there’s Dai Manuel, the two guys that I connected with on social, who responded briskly and that’s so out of the norm that I use that as a talking point all the time because you’re being social on social media, which seems obvious.

I had a guest on my podcast and they help guests get books on the podcast. I went searching for Kevin to be on my podcast. I wanted him to be a guest for a long time, we’ve been working on this. But I get pitched a lot of times from people that want to be in the podcast and they haven’t listened to an episode, they haven’t followed me on social media, we’ve had no conversation, and it’s all about, “Hey, this is what I can talk about.” It’s like why would you even want to be interviewed if you don’t know what my process is, or my audience is, or the content is. So, like you said, take a little interest in the people that you want to do business with. You may find out that you don’t want to do business with them, but at least you know.

Kevin Knebl: A communication tool is only as effective as the communication skills of the person using the tool.

Doug Morneau: Do you have a case study, or an example, or a story you could share with us of somebody that you’ve walked through this transformation process that came out the other side, a new reformed person?

Kevin Knebl: Yeah. I’ll tell you a quick story about a client of mine. There’s a lot of nuggets in this story that if your listeners really hear this you could end up making a lot of money and having a lot of fun.

Doug Morneau: Oh no, not fun and money.

Kevin Knebl: Yeah and by the way folks, they’re not mutually exclusive at all. Adults are just kids with long hairy legs. We like to have fun.

Doug Morneau: Yeah, we do.

Kevin Knebl: I get a phone call in February of 2012. It’s from a guy at a Fortune 500 company. He calls me up and he says, “Hey Kev, I’ve heard of what you’re doing out there in the world, sounds interesting. I’m not in a position to hire you at this time, so that’s not going to happen as a result of this phone call.” He’s setting the table very clearly at the beginning of the call.

He says, “I’m just calling to introduce myself, get to know you a little bit. Maybe a year or two down the road we’ll possibly hire you to speak at one of our events.” Now, me being a guy that I’m not just going to take that, I’m going to probe that a little bit, but I probe it in a very polite way. I can determine after we’ve talked for a little while that he actually is not going to hire me anytime soon, but we’re having a nice conversation.

We have a nice conversation for I don’t know, 15, 20, 30 minutes. At the end of the conversation I say to him, “So Ed, I’ve enjoyed the conversation. Have you gotten value out of it?” He’s like, “Yes, I have.” “What would you like me to do from here?” He says, “Well, nothing’s going to happen for a year or two. I’ll call you in a year or two.” I said, “Great. Good talking to you. See you.” Click. Now, what most people would do is they would sit around for a year or two waiting for that phone call.

Let’s go back to my three steps. My first step is you have to cross paths with the other human being. So apparently, Ed and I crossed paths. The second step was that you have to start a conversation, not a thinly veiled conversation or not so thinly veiled sales pitch. I had a nice conversation with him. The third step is you have to nurture and deepen the relationship without being slick sales, awkward, or creepy, and those are the four words I use every day. You have to do something that creates know, like, trust. Basically, the easiest way to create know, like, trust is to take a sincere interest in people, which, by the way, is like the most obvious thing on earth and almost nobody sees it.

Doug Morneau: That’s funny.

Kevin Knebl: This is February 2012. I have postcards in my home office because I speak in one to two cities per week around the world and I’ve got literally 1000s of postcards from cities all around the world in one of my drawers here in my home office. This is February, I reach into my drawer and I pull out a postcard and it’s from some city somewhere, who knows where. I write on the postcard, “Hi Ed, Happy Valentines Day. I like you, but not in a weird way. Kev.”

Doug Morneau: That’s funny.

Kevin Knebl: I like a stamp and I put it on it. Now, remember, this is a postcard. Postcards don’t have return addresses.

Doug Morneau: Yeah, that’s right.

Kevin Knebl: So I like a stamp and I mail it to him. I let 30 days go by and I get no response back. I get no email indicating that he’s received it, but that’s totally fine to me.

By the way, for your listeners, I’m not doing step three in my three steps. I have a system that I teach all around the world that is ridiculously simple. It’s not just postcards, by the way, but I have a system for staying top of mind, but in a way that people start to like you and enjoy you so that when they’re ready to do business or refer business they actually could pick you out an of a lineup and they want to hire you instead of somebody else.

Now it’s March. March I reach into my drawer, I grab another postcard and I write on the back of it, “Hi Ed, Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t forget to wear green even if you’re Japanese. Kev,” and I lick a stamp. I do this for nine months. Now, when I teach my system I switch it up. I do a postcard, I do an email, I do a phone call, but in this particular situation with Ed, I literally sent him one postcard a month, every month, for nine months, never once did he ever email me, call me, or even acknowledge he was receiving … So I don’t even know if he’s getting them.

Fast forward to October of 2012, this is exactly how the phone call goes. Ring, ring, ring, “Hello, this is Kevin. How may I serve you.” “Kev, Ed at XYZ company.” I’m not going to mention it in this podcast. “Ed, what’s going on brother?” By the way, pause, did you notice how I didn’t slip into subservient I’m the salesperson, let me kiss your ass mode?

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The easiest way to create know, like, and trust is to take a sincere interest in people

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Doug Morneau: Yep.

Kevin Knebl: I’m sending him postcards once a month where I’m being goofy and all of a sudden I’m going to go all corporate on the guy. I treat my Fortune 500 CEOs the same way I treat the person at the 711 or the Tim Horton’s up there in Canada when I’m getting my coffee.

By the way, a lot of people in business act one way and in their personal life they act another way, and there’s a word for that. It’s called schizophrenia. I just treat people the way I treat people, with respect and love. Ring, ring, ring. “Hello, this is Kevin, how may I serve you?” “Kev, this is Ed at XYZ.” “Ed, what’s going on brother?” “First off Kev, love the postcards.” “Really Ed? Tell me more.” He says, “Kev, I’ve been managing sales teams for 25-30 years. I have never seen someone stay top of mind in a fun, lighthearted, yet professional way like you have. What you are teaching is way beyond LinkedIn and social selling. How fast can I get you in London to train my sales team in London?” That company has paid me about $100,000 a year for 5 years in a row to train their people in Australia, London. Ed, after 17 years at that company last month went to a new company and the very first phone call he made when he handed in his resignation was he called me and he said, “Kevin, I’m going to a new company, same industry. I’m going to get the lay of the land for the first 90 days and then I want you to come in and train all the salespeople.” Now, that is a know, like, trust relationship.

Doug Morneau: That’s amazing. You could run an ad “How to Make $10,000 By Sending a Single Postcard.”

Kevin Knebl: I sent 9 postcards, let’s take it up to a $1 a postcard, including postage. I invested 9 minutes and $9 and I’ve had a half a million dollar ROI on.

Doug Morneau: I think that’s even better than Wall Street.

Kevin Knebl: It ain’t bad.

Doug Morneau: Yeah, it’s not bad.

Kevin Knebl: But, it’s probably a little better than the guys that are just spamming the crap out of you and me every morning.

Doug Morneau: Yeah, no doubt. I like getting the offers “I’m going to help you make five figures.” I’m thinking, who can afford the pay cut, take me off your list.

Kevin Knebl: You can always tell a tree by the fruit it bears. If a marketer is having a hard time getting clients that makes about as much sense as a broke financial advisor.

Doug Morneau: Yep, I’ve met both.

Kevin Knebl: Exactly. I work with a lot of financial advisors. Let me assure you, there’s a lot of financial advisors out there that they themselves are hurting financially.

Doug Morneau: What you said too is you live what you teach. I’ve said over and over again that never ask someone for advice who’s not willing to do what you’re willing to do or willing to pay the price, so you’re doing what you’re teaching people. I had a financial advisor come and pitch me to hire him to be my financial advisor. I said to him, “So how do you make your money?” He said, “Oh I make all my money in real estate.” Hang on a sec, thank you for being honest.

Kevin Knebl: The life we lead is the lesson we teach.

Doug Morneau: Yeah, absolutely. He was perfectly honest, which was great. Did I do work with him, not because he was pitching me mutual funds, yet he made all his money in real estate?

Kevin Knebl: Listeners, do you hear Doug here, do you hear what he’s saying? You can’t make this stuff up. I stand on stage every week somewhere in the world and I say, “Look, you’re never going to hear me tell you to do anything or demonstrate anything to you that I’m not doing myself and getting great results at because that would be just stupid.

Doug Morneau: Well I tell people I know more ways that won’t work than they do because I’m willing to take on pretty unlimited risks with my own marketing material because it’s my company if I offend somebody I’m responsible. If I can get it to convert over and over then I’ll recommend it to a client, if not, it goes into the heaping pile out back my house of all the stuff that did not work.

Kevin Knebl: I love it. It’s so nice when you come across somebody honest, isn’t it?

Doug Morneau: Yeah, it is.

Kevin Knebl: it’s not that you and I have halos around our head, we’re human too. You don’t have to be Einstein or Freud to figure out that if you’re just sincere and authentic, and transparent with people, the likelihood that they’ll actually do business with you is far greater than if you’re some master of trickery, or slight of hand, or BS.

Doug Morneau: What you’re talking about is really nothing that requires an enormous investment. As entrepreneurs or people running marketing apartments, they’re already on social, they’re already doing direct mail, they’re already doing email, they’re already online. It’s just around changing your messaging and engagement. Like you said, taking an interest in people who could potentially be your customers or people who could refer your business.

Kevin Knebl: 99.9% of what I teach takes 0 and I mean 0 investment financially whatsoever. It’s what Dale Carnegie talked about in “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” in 1936 when he wrote the book. When you take a sincere interest in other people they can feel it. Well taking a sincere interest in people doesn’t have to cost anything. I’m sitting here looking at your LinkedIn profile right now while I’m speaking with you. I’m taking a sincere interest in you. I’m able to look at whatever information you are willing to put on your LinkedIn profile. By the way, there’s this new thing called Facebook, it’s going to be too. If I type your name into Facebook, or Google, or YouTube it doesn’t matter, I’m not stalking you, I’m looking at the information. It’s actually a sign of respect when I take a minute or two and actually look at the information that you took the time to write. I can see Malaspina University, mining, and prospecting, placer, and hard rock mining, but I’m taking the time to actually read the stuff that you wrote.

99% of the people in business, including the person that was trying to get on your podcast that never took one second to check you out, even though they had all of the same information at their fingertips that I have at my fingertips, a communication tool is only as effective as the communication skills of the person using the tool.

Prior to this whole social media thing Doug, I was blessed to be the top salesperson for four separate companies in four separate industries. Now, I’m not saying that to brag that I could sell ice cream to Eskimos. The reason I’m saying that is because 99% of the people that are in social media speaking on it are from marketing backgrounds. Now it’s going to sound like I’m insulting the interviewer, but I’m not. Just because somebody has a marketing degree doesn’t mean they could sell their way out of a wet paper bag. I had already demonstrated that I was a tenth level black belt at sales, and networking, and relationship building, so wouldn’t it make sense that when somebody invented LinkedIn … By the way, LinkedIn was launched on Cinco de Mayo, the fifth of May 2003. I got on it in July 2003. It was only around for 60 days. When I saw LinkedIn I went, “Oh my God, this is going to be like the best sales tool ever.”

By the way, if you give a crappy car or a Lamborghini to Mario Andretti he’s going to drive them both well because he’s Mario Andretti. If you give a crappy car or a Lamborghini to somebody who can’t drive they’re going to crash them both. This is why I keep coming back to this point that a communication tool is only as effective as the communication skills of the person using the tool.

99.9% of the people on social media, if you ask them, tell me the last 5 books you read on interpersonal skills, networking, and relationship building, and show me where you highlighted and wrote in the margins you would hear crickets. Then you wonder, well then why are they not using social effectively? Well, there’s your answer because it doesn’t matter if it’s social media, two cans, and a string, or a telephone, or smoke signals. They don’t have any conversation or communication skills so it doesn’t matter what the platform is that they go on, they’re going to suck, or as it says in the good book, “Sucketh,” no matter what platform they’re on. This is the obvious thing that I point out to people all day long, but people still don’t see it. They’re just like, “Oh teach me SEO.” I can’t even spell SEO.

Doug Morneau: Yeah, it’s interesting, I love paper books. I read lots of digital. I listen to lots of podcasts, listen to audiobooks, but I think of when I read your book, I read a book I put the date in it when I first read it, then I use a highlighter pen, go through it once. Every time I reread it I use a different color pen and mark the date. There are some books that I’ve read half a dozen times because they’re good and you just continue to learn, and each time your … I think as you advance in your business and your mindset the book speaks to you differently when you reread it a second time or third time.

Kevin Knebl: You just said, I’m going to translate and make it real simply everybody what Doug just said, Doug is a student. Doug is studying things instead of just glancing over them, rushing through them to get onto the next book. He’s actually studying these books and therefore he’s getting great results because he’s a student of success and not just a casual observer of success.

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Doug Morneau: Someone told me, “If you want to be successful do what successful people do.”

Kevin Knebl: Well could it get any simpler than that?

Doug Morneau: No, that’s why I said to people, look at your profile. Even if they don’t want to read your book they could just copy what you’re doing, at least get the feel for what you’re doing and see how you authentically engage.

Kevin Knebl; You can always tell the tree by the fruit it bears.

Doug Morneau: A book I read years and years ago was a book by the name of the guy by the name of Roger Ailes. The book was, “You Are the Message.” He talked about his coaching speakers. At that point, he talked about some of the work he had done with the White House and Ronald Reagan. He really talked about being authentic. To your point, he said, you need to be the same person on the stage as off the stage. Unfortunately, I have memories of people who get on stage and they’re one way, and it’s a thinly veiled sales pitch or it’s just a bunch of BS and a few fake tears, and they’re not authentic. There’s no wonder that those people do not sell because I think that people are smarter. Like you said, it only takes a few seconds.

If you and I have a conversation, we say, “Hey, I like Merlot and I like this, and I like that,” it only takes a few seconds for people to go on my social page and see if that’s how I really live my life because it’s there.

Kevin Knebl: Yeah, yeah. You could starve to death at a banquet if you didn’t realize you were at a banquet. We’re at a banquet.

When I first looked at LinkedIn in 2003, you see, prior to that Doug, I had read a book back in 1994 called “Swim With the Sharks Without Getting Eaten Alive” by a guy named Harvey Mackay.

Doug Morneau: Yeah Mackay envelope, love that book.

Kevin Knebl: I don’t remember a single thing in that book except for one page when I talked about the Mackay 66.

Doug Morneau: Yep.

Kevin Knebl: He talked about learning some things about your prospects, and your clients, and referral sources. Learn what their spouse’s name is, or what’s their favorite booze, or who’s their favorite sports team not because you’re trying to suck up, it’s just another way of developing a sincere interest. Prior to LinkedIn coming into existence, that was part of the reason why I was the top salesperson for four separate companies was that I took a sincere interest in people whether or not we ultimately did business together. Well because I already had developed that habit, once I was introduced to LinkedIn and I’m like, “Holy crap.” Now I look at Doug Morneau’s LinkedIn profile and I can find everything in 60 seconds. It would have taken me 6 to 12 months to learn through conversations with Doug. Because I was already Mario Andretti when you gave me a good car I could drive it. I didn’t have to learn how to drive.

What I’m really teaching people Doug is the art of taking a sincere interest in people. Then just using whatever the currently available tools are, nowadays they tend to be social media. But people always say to me, “Kevin, what are you going to do when everybody figures out LinkedIn?” I go, “Well, first of all, everybody’s not going to figure out LinkedIn.”

Doug Morneau: Yeah, that’s right.

Kevin Knebl: I said, “The fact that you asked me that question leads me to believe that you think what I’m teaching is LinkedIn. I’m not teaching LinkedIn.” Do I know more about LinkedIn than most people on the planet, yes. But Doug, you drive a car, but I highly doubt you know how to fix a transmission.

Doug Morneau: Yeah.

Kevin Knebl: I could spend all day long teaching somebody how the electronics inside my iPhone work, but that’s not going to improve their conversation skills. What I’m really teaching people is yeah, get a working knowledge of things like LinkedIn, and Facebook, and Twitter because these are communication channels that we use nowadays. For every minute that you’re trying to figure out LinkedIn, spend five minutes in Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” because I don’t know if I mentioned this yet or not to your listeners, a communication tool is only as effective as the communication skills of the person using the tool. At first, when I first started saying that, people were like, “Kevin, you said that four times already.” I go, “Yeah, but you hadn’t heard it yet.”

Doug Morneau: That’s right.

Kevin Knebl: Because you’re still doing al the stupid things that are violating know, like, trust. So until I see evidence that you’re understanding it, I will be a one trick pony, but it’s the only trick in town.

Doug Morneau: The good news is with what you’re teaching is that those skills are transferable. If you don’t like LinkedIn then don’t use LinkedIn but use them on Facebook. If there’s some brand new gizmo gadget, cool social media tool that shows up tomorrow go there and use them there.

Kevin Knebl: I’m going to that a different way for your listeners. What Doug just said there is if you don’t like taking a sincere interest in people on LinkedIn then go take a sincere interest with them on Facebook. If you don’t like taking a sincere interest, this is sarcasm, by the way, if you don’t like taking a sincere interest with them on Facebook then take a sincere interest with them on the phone because you can’t outrun your character.

Doug Morneau: Wow, there you go. Let’s shift gears a bit. What are you most excited about in the next three to six months, maybe the next year?

Kevin Knebl: Naps.

Doug Morneau: Naps, I doubt that. Seriously, what are you most excited about?

Kevin Knebl: [inaudible 00:36:21] season starting again. From a professional level?

Doug Morneau: Yep.

Kevin Knebl: I’m putting together another book right now. It’s not really a business book, it’s an inspirational book. I’m putting a book together of my thoughts, my quotes, if people were to ever Google me or look at my Facebook, or Pinterest, I have literally 1000s of quotes that I’ve created. I’m putting together an inspirational book that should be out in the next 60 days. After that, I’ll put together another business book about my three step process, what I call my high tech, high touch relationship marketing system is that three-step process that I mentioned earlier. I’m continuing to work with my private coaching clients, I love that.

What I’m excited about is just continuing to be kindly asked to speak on stages without really having to do any outreach whatsoever, which is not me be cocky, it’s just validation of what I’m teaching. I’m very in the moment Doug, so what I’m excited about is just seeing where it all goes. I don’t really have an agenda. I’m having a ball. I’ve never been happier in my life.

Doug Morneau: That’s awesome. I’ve got a quote here that you may recognize this, “Give up trying to be perfect. The world doesn’t need perfectionists it needs and rewards the people who get things done.”

Kevin Knebl: That was my quote of the day for today. Every day I post one of my quotes on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. What you’re referring to was the quote that I posted this morning.

Doug Morneau: Absolutely. Who’s one guest that you think I absolutely have to have on my podcast?

Kevin Knebl: Bob Burg.

Doug Morneau: Bob Burg, okay.

Kevin Knebl: B-U-R-G, are you familiar with Bob Burg?

Doug Morneau: I am not.

Kevin Knebl: Okay, Bob Burg, B-U-R-G, Bob Burg has been highly, highly influential in my life over the last 25 years even though I have not spoken with him in probably 10 years. He wrote a book in 1994, which has also been updated called “Endless Referrals.” It’s the best book I’ve ever read on networking and I’ve read a lot of books on networking. He also wrote a book a couple years ago called “The Go-Giver” that has become somewhat of an Og Mandino type of classic in the world of sales and business. Notice when you asked me that question I didn’t have to think about it?

Doug Morneau: Yep.

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Kevin Knebl: If you need an introduction to Bob Burg, he lives in Stewart, Florida, speaks all around the world on a weekly basis, he is a wonderful, wonderful human being. He would be a great guest on your program.

Doug Morneau: That’s excellent. This is the question that normally stumps all my guests, so I did notice that you didn’t hesitate, you went, “Man, that’s a tough question,” you knew.

Kevin Knebl: Really, that stumps your guests?

Doug Morneau: Yeah, yeah it does. We have all of these great conversations about all sorts of tactical stuff and stuff that you consider to be difficult. I think we just live in a world of over-political correctness and so the reality is that we all have that one person, we’re just afraid that we might offend somebody else by just not coming out and say, “Hey, I think you should go out and buy Kevin’s book ‘Social Media Sales Revolution’ because I think it’s the best book on social media,” because it might offend somebody else, maybe a Gary Vee or somebody who’s written a different book.

Kevin Knebl: You know what? Timid salespeople have skinny kids. If you’re in business and you skin is that thin, you need to go get a job where you ask people if they want fries with that. I really listen to my intuition, so when you asked me the question the very first thing that popped in my mind was Bob Burg, but I didn’t then overthink it like, “Oh crap, am I going to piss off all these other people.” I just honestly answered your question.

Doug Morneau: Which I really appreciate and i appreciate your last comment as well. Entrepreneurship is not for everybody.

Kevin Knebl: No. But, you can’t lose what you don’t have.

Doug Morneau: Yeah.

Kevin Knebl: People get all scared and freaked out. Can I make one more quick comment?

Doug Morneau: Sure.

Kevin Knebl: On something you mentioned earlier, you made the comment about there’s a lot of speakers out there that are kind of one way on stage and another way off stage and you’re absolutely correct. The only reason that is folks is that they just really don’t know who they are, to begin with. When you really have a deep comfort level in who you are, I’m not talking about being cocky, or conceited, or arrogant, when you are just comfortable with who you are you don’t need to try to pretend to be something you’re not. You would naturally show up as sincere and authentic and you let the chips fall where they fall. But because we live in this world where we think oh I’m going to lose this opportunity or lose that … You can’t lose what you don’t have. If you really understand that people do business with and refer business to people that they know, like, and trust, if you truly understand that then the only solution to that is sincerity and authenticity because anything less than sincerity and authenticity leads in the opposite direction of know, like, trust. The truth is simple and the truth will set you free. People, they over-complicate life. Life is the simplest thing you will ever do, but we tend to complicate it.

What I help a lot of people do is not only make a lot of money, I help people just have a deeper understanding of who they are because when they have that so many other seeming complications naturally just fall into place and evaporate. But I understand that sounds very, very woo-woo, but deal with … So there we go.

Doug Morneau: Where can people track you down, learn more about you, where you’re traveling, how you can help them?

Kevin Knebl: They can’t man, I’m in the witness relocation program.

Doug Morneau: You have the GPS turned off on your phone do you?

Kevin Knebl: I am calling you from an undisclosed bunker, yes. No [crosstalk 00:42:17].

Doug Morneau: Well just give us your Bitcoin account so we know where to send money.

Kevin Knebl: That’s hilarious. Thank you for asking Doug. Actually, I’m not in the witness relocation program. If anybody were to go type my name into Google, action my last name is five letters. It really looks like it needs an extra vowel. It’s K-N-E-B-L. Can I please buy another vowel? If they went to kevinknebl.com they could subscribe to my free newsletter, which, by the way, is not a thinly veiled sales pitch like most people’s newsletters. They could go into my website newsletter archive and literally read 100s of my newsletters to see that every newsletter has content that will help you. So they could subscribe there, they could follow me on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I will follow them back. They could shoot me an email at [email protected]. My cell phone number is (719) 650-7659. Yes, I stand on stages all around the world and give out my cell phone. I only have one phone, that’s my only phone, so I’m easy to communicate with. I’m not hiding from anybody. If anybody has any reason they want to have a conversation with me I’m very, very easy to find. I would suggest connecting with me on the socials like you mentioned earlier Doug because that’s where it’s an easy way to communicate with me and thank you for asking.

Doug Morneau: Well thank you for sharing. I had so looked forward to connecting with you after reading your book and being connected with you on social, and us having various short social conversations at 140 characters, and appreciate your time out of your schedule to share your knowledge, wisdom, and experience of what’s worked for you to transform your business and your client’s businesses.

Kevin Knebl: Thanks, Doug. I don’t take it lightly when someone like yourself kindly asks to interview me, so thank you. I appreciate your time. I appreciate your interest and I appreciate your listeners. I hope you and I get to know each other better, Doug. As I mentioned before we hit the record button, I’m going to be in Vancouver in September so perhaps we could have a cup of coffee or a Merlot.

Doug Morneau: Yeah, I’m thinking I’ll bring a bottle of nice Merlot.

Thanks again listeners for tuning in. Don’t be shy, head over to our website and sign up for our newsletter. It will provide you with some value, some information on what’s happening, what’s working in marketing, what’s not. Leave us a review on iTunes if you liked this episode or other episodes

Thanks for tuning in. Hope you’ve taken some notes. I’d recommend that you follow up on Kevin’s offers. We will transcribe all the show notes so you’ll be able to contact him, reach out, all his links will be there, follow him on social, and just get a feeling for what it looks like when someone takes an interest in other people as a business person, as an entrepreneur.

Thanks for tuning in and I look forward to serving you on our next episode.

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"Innovation isn't just thinking outside the box; it's about setting the box on fire and building something extraordinary from the ashes."

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