Howard Fox: Hello everybody. This is Howard Fox from the Success Insight podcast for my co-host Randy Ford. I hope you are all having a great day. Our guest today on the podcast is Elliot Silber. Elliot is a, well what is Elliot? He has done many things, so let me give you a little taste of what that is, or perhaps a sample platter of what Elliot's background is. Pretty amazing. He has been a physicist at the Argonne National Laboratory here in the Chicagoland area. He's worked as an organic chemist for a food company, taught Alpha brainwave control classes for over 10 years using the Silva Method. I definitely want to find out about that. He has taught sales. He's been in the insurance and investment business. He's owned retail, wholesale repair manufacturing. He's been a Vice-President of Victory Pipe Craftsmen. He's co-started and became the publisher and president, president.
Howard Fox: He co-started and became the publisher and President of a series of community newspapers, official publications of the local chambers of Commerce on Chicago's North Shore. I met Elliot because he is the master connector with several thousands of contacts, and he began to turn those contacts into connection opportunities, for the people who have come into his life through a variety of organizations and venues. And I'll tell you, he is truly the master connector. So without further ado, I want to introduce you to Elliot Silber. Elliot, welcome to the Success Insight podcast.
Elliot Silber: Thank you, Howard.
Howard Fox: I hope that introduction met your seal of approval.
Elliot Silber: It was, it was much of, it wasn't all of it, but it wasn't that we.
Howard Fox: You know, our podcast is relatively short and I'm sure, it would have taken a long time to go through the entire list. Why I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy day, and I know it's a busy day. I thank you for coming onto the podcast and chat about a little bit about who you are and the work that you're doing, and you've spent some time at Argonne, you've owned a number of businesses, and you're the master connector. So what are you doing now? How did you get to this place where you and I are chatting right now?
Elliot Silber: Well, let's see. Besides owning retail, a Suntan Salon for 14 years and being involved in the business in many aspects and levels, about 25 years ago, I started a series of newspapers in the North Shore as the official publications of Chambers of Commerce. So we were the official publications of Chambers to start with, not toward the end. We just had relationships and as a result, we were members of 13 Chambers of Commerce in Chicago's North Shore. Chicago is affluent North Shore. I got to meet an awful lot of people between that and all my other businesses, when I retired from that, someone pointed their fingers at me and said, what are you going to do now? And I said, look, I've got over 7,000 contacts in my database. I'll create a connections business. So we connect people to funding, financing, manufacturing, marketing, media, advertising, technology, product development. I have a real estate partner. I'm involved in a consulting group that has pretty much everything else beyond me. It's to a much higher level. We can do almost anything here or internationally.
Howard Fox: That's fantastic. I'm curious, when I first started coaching leadership development back in 2008. Before that, I remember there were a lot of job losses in the year 2000, debacle, whatever you want to call it. This idea of connecting and networking. Is it the same when you, today as when you got started? I mean, meeting people is so important. In this day and age, you and I are meeting virtually. I can see you, you can see me, you have the events. But has networking changed much, helping people to connect and meet new people? Does that change much and since you started down that path?
Elliot Silber: Not really. It has become more important than anything. It ebbs and flows Some of the Chambers of Commerce, for example, we're competing with each other for attendance and then the attendance jumped. The issue was getting young people in and that started a change recently when corporations began to realize the Internet was not a replacement for face to face meetings and interactions. So we have younger people being forced to go to networking and they're pretty frightened. So I teach networking skills, simple, basic networking skills, how to talk to people. And I do that. I have a networking meeting I run once a month in Northbrook Breakfast called Leaders Networking Breakfast. I also wrote a book on the topic while I was recovering from some surgery.
Howard Fox: Tell us about that book.
Elliot Silber: Well, years ago, it goes back to my origins of understanding a combination of things. I'm a serial entrepreneur with a scientific background and I used to write presentations for the insurance industry 30 years ago, 35 years ago. And it turns out that at that time, the average attention span of an American adult was nine to eleven minutes. You know what it is today?
Howard Fox: Probably a lot less.
Elliot Silber: Make a wild guess.
Howard Fox: I would probably say, I want to say it's probably like 10 seconds.
Elliot Silber: You're too high.
Howard Fox: I'm too high. Oh my gosh.
Elliot Silber: Four seconds.
Elliot Silber: Well, fish has a 12-second attention span that tells you there's something else going on. So we need to communicate more efficiently, more effectively. And what I found is that going back to Socrates, the great teacher, if you remember how Socrates taught the students, how did he teach the students?
Howard Fox: How did he teach? The students will help. I would suspect because he was a pretty bright guy. He probably asked a lot of questions.
Elliot Silber: That's the only way he taught, isn't it? So when you ask questions, it turns out, it engages as long term chemical memory. I sat with a 92-year-old marketing man today who was an expert in developing any corporations, including Encyclopedia Britannica and he talked with me about the idea of questions and ads and he was an ad writer. I had to learn that as well, and it turns out the ads that are most memorable in history are things like got milk?
Howard Fox: Where's the beef?
Elliot Silber: Three generations of consumers remember that. And it hasn't been advertised in what, 30, 35 years.
Howard Fox: Right.
Elliot Silber: So when you ask questions you learn better, don't you? You see presenting this material, don't you?
Howard Fox: Yes. Asking with the question. You know, it's interesting, in a coach approach is open-ended and it's questions, it's curiosity, it's questions and I think probably in one of our coaching books is psych. Somebody said Socrates was probably the original coach, asking questions. When you're one of the individuals coming into these programs and folks that would take advantage of this book that you wrote, is there a difference in the older, professional, somebody, it's in a 50 60s, you said you were just chatting with somebody who was quite a bit older, versus that young millennial, young lady, gentlemen, do they need something different which you're going to convey to them on the importance of coaching.
Elliot Silber: The understanding of why it works instead of just being coached to say as a salesman, ask questions or listen twice as much as you talk because you have one mouth and two weird ears. The ideas behind this help them motivate so that we understand better. It isn't that the way it should work? And learn better if we add questions and asking questions into our thinking and our writing. So I'll tell you real quickly when I had the newspapers, we would go to the business owners and we were extremely successful in advertising because we would sit with a business owner and found out that every successful salesperson, entrepreneur, or business owner or sales executive have the same thing about them. If you call them out and said, you know, I heard about you Joe, you're a painting company. Why should I do business with you? I got referred to you. What do you think Joe says? How great he is? The answer is no. Every successful business is still in business. It started with a series of questions. Oh, Elliot, tell me, is it for exterior or interior? Is it going to be only yours? Is there a spouse involved in making a decision. Is it going to be like warmer colors or darker colors? Or is it a series of questions whether you meet the person at a party, on the streets, by phone, by referral, everybody's prepared with their pattern. And it's always a series of questions.
Howard Fox: You know, it's interesting. I've been replying to LinkedIn, they're called ProFinders. It's individuals who are going through, in this case, career transition and they're looking for a coach. And I see this on LinkedIn too. So many people are talking about here's who I am, here's how great I am. Here are my degrees, here are my tools. And that in those proposals to these individuals who are looking for a coach, that's an easy approach to take because they're comfortable doing it. That's what somebody told them you need to do. And I'm thinking as I'm listening to you, a much more effective approach is to ask questions. What are you looking for? What have you done in this area? Who are you researching? What kind of industry, what kind of role are you looking for as a way to tell this individual, oh, he's asking me for information about what my journey is going to look like or could look like
Elliot Silber: A couple of things, fairly quickly. If you go to a business owner and ask two questions, you'll get 40 minutes, 20 minutes on each. Say how did you get started in this. And then shut up. The next question is where do you see yourself or this business in five or ten years and, they all tell you and immediately you've got a relationship. People on the other hand also buy benefits, not features, so if they're looking for a benefit, I have what's called the ultimate selling question in the book, and the book is very concise. It's 20 pages, 13 chapters of information and the peak selling question there the way I started the book, which is this is I'm going to generalize it now. If there were a way you could get exactly what you want, for less than you thought, enjoy the process, work with somebody you trust, would you be interested? You ask a question, knowing can say no to.
Howard Fox: Right.
Elliot Silber: No. If your house was painted for less money, by a quality painter or but with quality paint, get it done in time and then cleaned-up afterward and you enjoy meeting the person who did it, would you be interested? The same thing with whether it's stock brokering or anything. It's that simple. Questions sell benefits.
Howard Fox: I love it. Now the book, it's called Laser Language for Sales, Marketing and Networking. Powerful Focus. Crisp to the point. If our listeners would like to learn more about you and the book, where would they go to get this?
Elliot Silber: Well, they would go to my email address, email@example.com. That's connections plural, master singular, dot com, and just ask for a copy. I can send it by email.
Howard Fox: Excellent. Wonderful. Wonderful. Now, how much was that?
Elliot Silber: Did I say 200? No, $20.
Howard Fox: $20. $200 would be good. The experience of writing the book, are there more, you think, might be some more books in this, or what do you think?
Elliot Silber: Series of Laser Language books for every topic for every field. Laser Language for accountants, doctors, lawyers, ditch diggers, mothers. So that people, and I'm not going to write these books, but I'm gonna publish them for people with the theme and the theory that you want to have them 15 to 25 pages of condensed, consolidated to get rid of the extra prepositions and be communicative. Cause that's the fourth part of my book, which is not just sales marketing, and networking, it's communication.
Howard Fox: Excellent. Well definitely folks, go out and visit firstname.lastname@example.org, and also we can email him in LA. We'll put the links on to the show notes for the podcast. Real quickly before we sign off on the show. What's next for you? I mean you're a pretty busy guy. Anything special? What's next?
Elliot Silber: Well, I've got enormous plans. I got invited to a consulting group. If I can only tell you that we met with a leading hotel management company today. We were meeting with the ambassador from Guam on Tuesday. We were talking about anything that anybody needs to, we have artwork that's somebody wants to get done. We have people who need consulting. People need international protection against their assets. We have a tax mitigation program we found that removes 99%, not up to, but 99% of tax liability or an asset gain of 15 million or over. That's a big deal. That's a big deal. You know, we do a lot of smaller things as well, and the senior partner in our group is from South Africa, and the terms of the largest law firm of the senior partner, the largest law firm. Not enough time. I see to talk about all the other things because I've done many, many things and people come to me all the time for connections.
Howard Fox: I imagine we have not even touched the tip of the iceberg. Well Elliot, I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to chat with us. I know I had heard about you, I've got a copy of the book, and I'm just really excited you were able to spend that time with us. Please stay on the line for just a second while we sign-off and we'll get right back to you. If that's okay for you.
Elliot Silber: Works for me. Thank you.
Howard Fox: Excellent. So, folks, we have just chatted with Elliot Silber. He's the author of Laser Language for Sales, Marketing and Networking. He also has some future Laser Language books on the horizon. He is the co-founder of the Connections Master and if you're interested in getting a copy of his book, please email him at email@example.com. We'll put these links in the show notes. I appreciate you all taking the time to listen to the podcast. We'd love to hear your comments. If you have some ideas for future podcasts, please do let us know. Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, go out there. Have a phenomenal day. This is Howard Fox from the Success Inside podcast. Take care now.
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?
Elliot Silber, with more than 7000 contacts in the phone book, he is not just known as a master networker, but as The Master Connector ... connecting the dots from a long lifetime of businesses, sciences, networking, vocations, and careers. To obtain a copy of Elliot’s book, Laser language: For Sales, Marketing and Networking, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org