Elizabeth Larson – Chief of Client Success, Contact Mapping

Elizabeth Larson contact mapping on the Thriving Solopreneur Podcast with Janine Bolon

To Learn More about Elizabeth Larson, [click here ] to view her Media Kit.

Janine Bolon: Hi, welcome to The Thriving Solopreneur. This is Janine Bolon. Today, I have with me Elizabeth Larson who is the Chief of Client Success at an app company called Contact Mapping. We will talk more about that later, but first, I really want you to hear from the woman herself. Elizabeth is not only the Chief of Client Success at this particular app, but she has had a lot of past experience training people who were network marketers and home-based business builders. Helping people with technology and helping them with all those things that most business owners despise which are social media, blogging, funnels, and marketing, they are like, “Can I just build my widget?” “Can I just be a freaking coach? Why do I have to do all this other stuff that brings me nothing but heartache? I have to deal with people at a level I am not comfortable with.” We are in good hands today, ladies and gentlemen as Elizabeth walk us gently by the hand down that road of helping people retain their current clients, and how to follow up with new clients or prospects as we like to say. She has helped not only huge corporations, but she has also helped individual distributors. Welcome to the show today, Elizabeth. It is great to have you with us.

Elizabeth Larson: It is great to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me.

Janine: Yeah. I was very very excited when you and I cross paths. I was like, “Oh, I got to get you on the show.” If you do not mind, kind of paint the picture for us. 2021, a very different year from any other year we have had. Everybody is still just trying to find their center. Let us talk about the individual first before we move to the larger businesses that have employees. For The Thriving Solopreneur, the person that is in a cottage industry that sort of thing, how would you recommend they find their stability in this whole new world, literally, a whole new world that we are operating in? Do you have any like quick tips for us?

Elizabeth: Well, honestly, it is in little steps. I feel that the biggest thing that people are struggling with the changes of everything is the overwhelmingness of the whole thing. The overwhelmingness is actually blocking people and essentially freezing people up because so many people were used to in public, building relationships, in coffee shops, and in their workplaces doing these different things. Suddenly, we are thrown into these stay-at-home and be-on-video. A lot of people did not use Zoom and all these other pieces of technology. One of the big things is if you are not familiar, you are getting that overwhelmingness, and having that problem is going to be in steps. Work with people who can help you with those steps. If you are not sure how to do them yourself, that is of the things we do is just help people with the steps to help them get their footing again. I honestly believe once they would get their footing, a lot of our people have just started to thrive in this arena. Even when things go back to normal, they do not have a plan of going back to the old way that they did things. That is a pretty amazing thing.

Janine: I have to agree with you on that one. I always encourage people when I hear them say, “I want to go back to the way I used to do things,” I am like, “That ship has sailed. You do not even want to move into that harbor again. What you want to do is look for a new harbor where you are doing things in a very very different way.” What are some things that you notice that when people are trying to communicate, and they are trying to work with others? What are some of the things that you see that they may stumble on and that you can give them a little bit of footing?

Elizabeth: Well, one of the things is still the importance of relationship, honestly. When we switch this online world, there is so much of, “This is how you sell through this.” But the relationship part is missing in that and so, it is still very much about building relationships whether you are using social media, Zoom, or anything else. Building those new relationships so you have people that are learning more about you, your business, and places that you can connect can actually easily be done on social media, but it is really about being authentic. It is really about being the person of learning how to speak, talk, be interested in them, and show the beauty of who you are through a new platform when you have been you a person who has been doing that in person for so long. It absolutely can be done. It is more about being, what we call it, the coffee shop interview. What we do is teach the coffee shop interview. The coffee shop interview is essentially a series of questions that you are asking somebody to get to know who they are, their true needs, their true desires, and their true wants. At a time, when you have that being able to connect them either with a product or a business opportunity of your own if it fits what they are needing or connecting them with somebody else for something else that they may need and then you become the person that they know as the connector, the person who knows people, and the person who can be trusted. I can call that person, and they will know exactly who it is that I need to connect with. That is very powerful. We always talk about it. I am sure you have heard this. I have heard this a million times where people say, “I wish I had that person’s connections,” or, “I wish I had this.” Ultimately, it is these simple steps just done consistently every day that builds that kind of network.

Janine: That is the thing that I really encourage people. It is like, “Stop looking at what other people have and focus on building your own community whatever that looks like.” I have seen this comparison thing. It is like number one, you are operating in a totally different niche. Number two, you do not want their connections. You want to build your own community because your own community will then reach out and pull you into that other community. It is like anything else. Back in the day when I was working in the pharmaceutical industry, everybody knew that if you wanted to get a pay raise, you jump ship, go to another pharmaceutical company, and work for them. You would get anywhere from a ten to a thirty thousand dollar increase and so everybody knew everybody because we were just moving around. It was Merck Sharp & Dohme and Glaxo Pharmaceuticals moving around. If you really want to get into somebody else’s network, the best thing you can do is offer them a spot to speak to your network it. It is amazing how things definitely come out of that for them. One of the things I loved definitely from your perspective is we hear these words over and over right now. I would like you to define them according to your perspective because the way you build relationships is unique, and it is very intimate. That is we hear relationship marketing. We also hear authenticity. I think if I hear the word authenticity one more time from people who are not expressing it, I am going to reach through my Zoom and strangle them. You know exactly who I am talking about. You are sitting there cracking up laughing, but you know who I am talking about with that. Help me out here, girlfriend. You know what I am saying and share with me what you know about this.

Elizabeth: Well, the first thing is to let us talk about authenticity. Authenticity is being marketed as, “Be authentic. This is how you do it.” The reality is it is taking the deep dive within yourself, doing the radical self-inquiry, learning where you have grown, learning where you failed, learning everything about your own story of where you have come from from the beginning all the way to the end. It is really understanding the failure points that you have created yourself, the failure points you went through, the things you have learned from it, and all of those things. Once you understand that, you can pull parts of that story. When somebody is speaking to you, let us say, somebody lost their job or somebody is going through a traumatic divorce or something really has to change their life, if you have those experiences, then it does not become about trying to sell them about something. It comes about, “I understand, and I can meet you where you are at. I walk with you through that kind of thing instead.” I will give you an example. If you knew my life story, I came from very very traumatic stuff. I really never thought my life was ever going to get them any better. Honestly, never did. That was just my mindset. It is what is so many people struggle with these days. It is a value worth thinking that their life could get any better, and getting rid of, I will call them, those demons and the stories that you say to yourself. I was in this position. There is a wonderful woman I used to visit my neighbor, and it was her mother-in-law. I would go over there, and she would tell me stories of her life where she started off and where she is now. The change in her life was traumatic. It was very similar to the things I had gone through. She was not trying to sell me something. She was not trying to anything else, but what it did was it made me start believing that my life could be different, that I could possibly have something different than what I have right now, maybe have a career I actually like, maybe have relationships I like, and maybe have a life I liked. Over a period of time, it came to a point where I wanted that so badly. I started talking to her. She never had to say anything to me. I started talking to her about it. That is what I mean about authenticity. Unless you are willing to be vulnerable like Bernie Brown talks about vulnerability, and there is strength in it. When we are willing to be vulnerable appropriately, it is not throwing up a terrible story on people all the time just because it is. It is appropriately being vulnerable but then also being able to understand who we are, where we have really truly come from, what we’ve really learned, and not being scared of telling the truth of that. All of a sudden, it opens up a world to people where they are connecting with you on social media, they are connecting with you in ways, and they are like, “Wow, I have that same experience,” and they want to be part of your tribe. Your business and your things are all naturally starting to grow because of these types of authentic relationships. Every time I put on that clown face, I like to call it the clown face. We put on the clown face, and we are like, “Everything is so perfect.” Ultimately, what we are telling people is like, “We are grade. You should be like us,” and stuff like that. If they are super struggling or they are still going through the process, then they cannot really attach onto anything in that story that everything is perfect in your life. It always has been your entire life. When you come from that place of radical self-inquiry, that place of authenticity, and that place of looking at yourself, knowing who you are, knowing where you have been, and knowing the value and the lessons learned that you can help somebody else with when you come from that place and then talk about those things, that person can, like me, say, “Wow, I had that same thing.” And then, start the process in their head of being, “Maybe, I could do this. Maybe, I could actually do this,” and builds trust. What we like to call it is the, ‘Four Pillars’; belonging, love, trust, and safety. Ultimately, that is what your relationships really have to have. We call it the Four Pillars, or the BLTS; belonging, love, trust, and safety. When people feel all four of those with you, they are in your tribe, and they never want to leave.

Janine: As you know, I am one of those people that help folks with debt-free living and that sort of thing. I learned a long time ago people will tell you so much about themselves but when you start getting them talking about money, then you know they trust you because that is so deep in that. I would love perspective as well on relationship marketing. That is another word that has been used a lot, and I have had so many people that have done it so badly when they were connecting with me on LinkedIn or Facebook or what have you. Can you give a little coaching just the top three things not to do? “Do not do these things.” It kind of helped a few people out on what it is not and then, we will talk about a little bit about what it is. If you do not mind, let us go with the negative first, and then we can move into the positive.

Elizabeth: Well relationship marketing is not about your agenda. That is the one thing I will say straight out. When we go into relationship marketing, and it is about the origin, that just kind of blows it out of the water. That is number one. Some points to never do though is if you have ever had that person who you are kind of chatting with or you are having this thing, and you say this one thing, and then all of a sudden, it is like, “Oh, I got this thing. I could send you.” They just go into this crazy sales pitch, not relationship marketing. Other things honestly, really is not about trying to get in there, pounce, and see if there is something there or not. I think that is one of the biggest problems that people are doing especially in the social media arena. It is like they pretend that they are trying to actually get to know them and then, it is like, “Well, you are you interested or not?” It is like, “I thought you were trying to really connect and build some relationship in this direction,” and stuff like that. I think that is one of the biggest things right there. I cannot tell you how many people I have spoken to who said that they had somebody reach out to them on social media, they were talking in Facebook groups and things like that. And then, all of a sudden, they are trying to pitch him something, and they thought they were actually trying to be their friend. If you are going to build through relationship marketing, relationship marketing is actually building connections and networks throughout. These are not networks that are people that you just throw away like they have no value. These are people and networks where you are literally building relationships with all of these people. You can do so very effectively with not a lot of time, believe it or not. But when you do this, you have a network that keeps growing. When that person knows what you do even if the conversations never came up with them when they are ready for a change, the first thing they are going to do is start thinking, “Who do I know about this?” Suddenly, your name comes out. Suddenly, that thought comes. Suddenly, somebody is calling you. One of our people, her name is Pamela, was just telling me about how she has been doing this for so long now that somebody just reached out to her and said, “Do you know what? I really need help in this Health Arena.” It was five years ago that they met.
She is getting people from years ago now saying, “Hey, do you know what? I am in a situation where I need help. I know you are trustworthy. I know I am safe with you. I know you care about me. I know I belong. Can you help me?” Imagine that. She has not talked to the person in over a year, but they reached out to her because the relationship was never broken, and that door was never closed. That is the most important thing.

Janine: I am just going to share with you an experience I had literally a couple of days ago. I was on a call with somebody on Zoom. I had every intention of building a relationship. The next thing I know, this gentleman started telling me all the things I needed to do to change my business and how I needed to add this or do that so that I would have more streams of income. What was fascinating was in this thirty-minute phone call, I timed it because literally, I was like, “This is a teaching moment.” I was like capturing this because I was like, “This is exactly what not to do.” He spoke for twenty-two of the thirty minutes. It was not non-stop quiet. There were times where I went, “Oh, that is awesome,” or, “That is fantastic,” or, “That is a good team.” I was doing the act of listening thing. At the end of the call, this is to his credit, he goes, “Wait, Janine. I do not know what you do.” I said, “Do you know what? We will catch that on another call. When do you want to set that up?” And then, we scheduled it. To his credit, in the end, he did catch himself. But this is a gentleman who has been in marketing and who has been in business for over thirty years. There is going to be a training process that goes through because obviously, he was trained in the, “I need to tell you as much about myself and give you advice even though I have not asked your permission.” Permission is key in relationship marketing. I would love for you to talk to me a little bit more and help our listeners out on, “Tell us more about this permission thing.”

Elizabeth: Permission is so important. It kind of goes back to the example I gave earlier where I was talking to somebody, and I mentioned this one little thing out of this conversation. All of a sudden, it was, “Oh, I want to send you this and all this other stuff.” I did not ask for that. Here is the key. I like to call it pouncing. It is almost like a cat pouncing on a mouse. When we pounce, that is when we do things without permission. When we do not have that permission, it shuts the person down. It shuts the energy of the conversation down. The person now has to throw up walls. Even if those walls were down there, suddenly, those walls go up because they have to protect themselves. It is the way they feel. Permission is ultimately about finding their need and finding everything that they think. Honestly, even when I speak to people and I find their need that very first conversation, I do not say anything. I do not because it is not the appropriate time. The appropriate time is on another date. I would love to tell you about this. If not, no worries, but I think I might know something that could help you. I always like to put it out for somebody as well because I never want anybody to feel uncomfortable. The moment they feel uncomfortable, that is where walls go back up again. Even if this thing really would be the best thing for them and even if later on down the road they will find out that would have been great, those walls will block
the hearing of anything. That is part of feeling safe. They have to feel safe with you. In order for them to feel safe with you, they need to know that they can speak without you trying to sell them automatically, and without you trying to pounce on them. Really, the way we like to put it is any conversation that you go away from, you should know or try to attempt to know that person better than their best friend does. Just find out everything about them. The amount you talk about should be a much being interested not interesting.

Janine: I think that is key. I wanted to talk about permission because, in relationship marketing, that is where it is called the sucker question. We all had this one, “So Janine,” or, “So Elizabeth, what do you do?” That is where you have your three to the five-word introduction, “Hi. Well, I am Janine Bolon. I help people with a debt-free living. Back to you, I want to hear more about those Chicago Bulls,” or whatever it was, literally, it is a sucker question. They are wanting to see how long you are going to talk. If you really are interested, a lot of defensive behaviors go into that. Talk to us a little bit more about how you navigate around that sucker question. What are some of the tips you can suggest?

Elizabeth: Honestly, it is very much the same thing. Active listening is so important. When you are first starting to have that conversation, pure curiosity about their life and about the way they feel about things and if you approach every conversation with that curiosity, it makes a big difference. Let me give you an example. You are having a conversation with somebody and starting to get to know them, sometimes people feel obligated to say, “Well, what do you do?” or something. Sometimes, it is also an out for them because they are uncomfortable. Either those of those can be the case. Now, depending on your line of questioning of what you have been asking and things like that, if it is just the courtesy of, “What do you do?” “Oh, well. I just train and teach people how to build their businesses at home, but really and honestly right now, what I would love to do is hear more about you.” What is it that you do in this arena? Are you married? What is your business like? Really? Have you always done that?” Sometimes people are in the industries, you are like, “How did you get into that?” That question can bring up so many things. I have learned especially very much recently with all of this. Our lives really are a journey, and I know people say it. What I mean by that is we are always evolving. We are always learning and on the roads that we have been on, a lot of times we end up with these crossroads of areas where we made a left instead of a right and ended up in this career that was not exactly what we plana and not exactly what we wanted to do. I am always fascinated with finding out the whys of their choices. It does two things. One, it gets that great conversation going of allowing people to really dive into themselves and dream again. But the other thing it does is it brings up the conversation in the opening for us to really start bonding and getting to know each other. Again, that goes back to trust and safety. When you can start building those things, people want to be around you.

Janine: Right, because you make them feel better. When they walk away from a conversation with a true relationship marketer, somebody who truly understands relationship marketing, they always talk about they feel better. I have people that tell me, two years later, I am reaching out to him, “Hey, let us get on a Zoom call,” and they are like, “Oh, my gosh, Janine. I got so excited. I get to talk to Janine today.” I know people feel the same about you, “Whoo, I get to talk to Elizabeth today.” That is what you want from your community. It does not matter if you are looking at somebody who is a social influencer, and they have a following of hundreds of thousands of people. Do people say, “Oh, my gosh? I get to speak to so and so today.” If the answer is yes, then look at how they treat those people and really study how they handle their guests and that sort of thing. One of the things that Elizabeth does on a daily basis is she helps people with this app that has been around for several years. I am horribly biased on this app, it is called, ‘Contact Mapping’. I am biased on it because the headquarters is literally four blocks away from where I live. I run down to headquarters anytime I struggle with my app which is extremely rare. When things do happen when it was first starting, I was one of the beta testers. I was lucky because I live close by, and they wanted me to test it because I had a phone that was older. One of the things that were great is I would run down, and they have the best customer service department. Seriously, they really do. You do not have to live nearby. You can actually call them. Elizabeth, if you would not mind sharing with us a little bit about what content mapping is, the app, the cost, and why it is good for a solopreneur like myself and others.

Elizabeth: I would love to. Contact mapping is a personal CRM that allows you to build stronger relationships, keep track of your follow-ups, keep track of your contacts, and organized or lists of people so you can keep them. Especially in the network marketing arena where you need different lists for your business builders, your product users, and your possible clients, being able to keep all of those organized is so incredible. I cannot tell you. Almost every leader has some story of a follow-up they did not complete. In fact, Sarah Robbins is one of my favorite. She has this story she was at. She tells the story about how she kept thinking about this one person over again, “I should reach out to them,” but just never did. One day, she was doing a meeting. She walked in, but she walked in with somebody else. She is at the very top of the company now too. Sarah is here. She is here. They are cross-line from each other. This has happened so many times. In fact, before I came to contact mapping, I had somebody who reached out to me. I was actually interested, and the person never followed up with me. And then, I spoke with Tom. Follow-up and keeping those relationships strong is so important, but how do you do it? Well, we have done couple of things with contact mapping. We have the app itself which is very easy to use. It will allow you to keep track of all of those things, tell you when your follow-ups are, and actually give you notifications when you have a follow-up too. It becomes a very easy system to use. We also teach people how to utilize those for their teams to make it a team system. The other thing that we do that I love, and this is probably one of my favorite things. We have our community. In our community, we do weekly training. On Mondays, we have training where we teach new skills for your business. Here is the thing, we do not just teach the skill. We actually put challenges into place to help you implement the skill into your business and into your life. It is not like, “Oh, I just learned something. Now, I do not know what to do with it or actually helping you implement these things. On Fridays, we have life coaching. We find a lot of people who have those mindset issues who do not understand social media and who do not understand really how to connect with people and how to build those strong networks. Ultimately, what we are doing is helping people with those things learn how to do those things very effectively and then be able to teach their teams and others how to do that as well. Does that kind of answer your question?

Janine: It does because I have used contact mapping for years, and I loved it right off the bat. I was a solopreneur. I did not have a lot of money. I did not want to invest in a CRM when I really did not know if my business was going to take off or not. I was really bootstrapping. Until I make more money, I am not going to invest a lot. I was very lucky that I was able to have a contact mapping. It is exceedingly affordable. Go ahead and share the prices. I still am blown away at how low cost this is because of the support that goes along with this app. Please share.

Elizabeth: Well, we have two versions. First, we have a forever-free version. You cannot get expensive than that. The reason I love that we have that forever-free version is first of all, it gives people the opportunity to start utilizing this and seeing if it is for them. Here is the other thing that it does as well. If you are building a business and you are in that very beginning stages where money super tight, you still need systems even though you do not have the finances to pay for those systems. This gives you an opportunity to utilize that, be able to keep track of your contacts, be able to keep track of your follow-ups, and things like that. We have a second version of that. We have a premium version. The premium version not only includes the app but also includes a desktop version, social media integration, and incredible business training. Here is the thing. You would think that is probably hundreds of dollars a month. It is actually only twenty-nine and ninety-nine a month, and it is including the business training. It is including live business coaching. It is including the app, the desktop, and social media. Everything is included in that. I think that is what I am so excited about. We are giving people amazing tools with the support that they need to be able to go out and do what their dream is in their hearts.

Janine: I totally concur. One of the things I love is I do not like texting. I use the voice microphone all the time. One of the things that I loved about contact mapping that when it came out, very few things were doing which was I could press the microphone and talk into it and save my notes. I do not care about punctuation. These are notes. I am the only person that is going to read this. To say that I absolutely love this app is an understatement. That is why I was thrilled that contact mapping allowed Elizabeth to take a “break” and work with me here for a minute to give you guys this really awesome app that I highly recommend. Try their forever-free version as your business. You know me, I do not want you going into debt for your business. As your income build and as you are able to build, realize contact mapping will be there to then help you build up your CRM and your business so that you can afford the very product that they know will help you get more income. Elizabeth, any last-minute statement you want to share with us before we go?

Elizabeth: One thing is if you are out there trying to build a business especially with the changes from the pandemic and everything that is going on, and you are struggling with your business, I really hope you take this opportunity to reach out and try this. Our biggest thing is that we want you to be successful. It is not just about, “We want clients.” It is about, “We want your success.” We would love to partner with you and help you on your journey. Some of those things may be just the apps. Some of the things that you may be struggling with as I did is mindset and belief that I can actually accomplish this, “Maybe I do not have a lot of support from other people cheering me on. Maybe I need a community of people that are like-minded that will cheer me, that will cry with me, and that will help me get to where I want to be.” That is what contact mapping is about.

Janine: Thank you so much for being with us today, Elizabeth. How can people get a hold of you if they want to talk to you personally?

Elizabeth: Absolutely. Just reach out to me. You can find me at Elizabeth at contactmapping.com. Shoot me an email. We will set up a Zoom. Glad to talk to you. I cannot thank you enough for having me on here today. This has been so much fun.

Janine: It was a pleasure. I am glad that our schedules finally coordinated. We want to say thank you to everybody for listening. This is a quality app. Also, a quality content that you can access on their website. Adrian, who is the CEO of this particular app, actually has a book out called, ‘The Coffee Shop Interview’. I have read through it, and it is worthwhile if you are new to relationship marketing or you are trying to retrain your mindset to relationship marketing after being taught a system that is not going to work, not in this day and age. Thank you so much for being with us. This is Janine Bolon with The Thriving Solopreneur. Keep your feet firmly on the ground. Do not go into debt for your business, but keep reaching for those stars.