EP - 049

Get In The Room

With Mark Drager

Exploring different networks and events is your key to finding the ‘right room’

The How To Sell More Podcast


January 19, 2024

Have you ever wondered how successful business leaders get access to so many opportunities? Or how they become integral players in impactful projects alongside some of the most influential people?

In this episode of “How to Sell More,” host Mark Drager talks about the importance of being in the right room. And how business leaders, entrepreneurs, and sales and marketing individuals are missing out because they aren’t willing to voyage outside of their comfort zones. 

  • The importance of being in the right room: Surrounding yourself with influential and successful business leaders can lead to unforeseen opportunities and growth.
  • Leveraging credibility through associations: Aligning with reputable organizations or events can instantly boost your credibility.
  • The value of stepping outside your comfort zone: Actively seeking new environments and networks, even those that seem intimidating, is crucial for personal and professional development.

“If you’re not intimidated by the group of people you're surrounding yourself with, then you’re not leveling up enough.” -- Mark Drager

Links to This Episode

Key Takeaways

  • Get in the conversationBeing in environments with high achievers fosters an atmosphere of mutual trust and opens doors for strategic, high-level conversations.
  • Discover the power of collaboration - Collaborating with established entities in meaningful projects creates win-win situations: you’ll elevate your profile while contributing value.
  • Put yourself out thereExperimentation and exploring different networks and events can help you find the 'right room' that aligns with your goals.

Top 3 Reasons to Listen

A worthy investment: Invest your time and resources in exploring different networks and you may find the long-term benefits will outweigh the initial costs and disruption to your schedule.

It’s like dating: Finding the right room is a lot like dating. The only way to find out is to experiment and put yourself in different rooms at a variety of events.

Credibility through association: Discover how Mark’s approach of strategic association was instrumental in his ability to connect and work with industry legends.

More About our Host, Mark Drager

AKA the Badass Brand Architect, 5th Generation Entrepreneur, Host of The How To Sell More Podcast

When he's not podcasting, Mark's the Co-Founder & CEO of SalesLoop. He's a dedicated husband to his high school sweetheart, Jacqueline, and a proud father of four.

Mark didn't follow the typical route to becoming a sales & marketing expert. A connected figure in the entrepreneur community, Mark provides listeners with a unique mix of wit, insight, and straightforward advice.

Some of Mark's unconventional adventures include commandeering a Boeing 737-800 for a day, facing harsh criticism from a billionaire, and shedding 70 lbs in his late 30s. Though he never attended college, Mark stands as proof of the might of maintaining a student mindset and being ever-ready to seek assistance.

A Transcription of The Talk

Mark Drager: Now, if things sound a little funky or a little different compared to our normal episodes, it's because I'm tucked away in a quiet corner here at Pearson International Airport. Today, I'm flying down to Arizona, to Phoenix, to take part in a two-day mastermind group that I'm a part of, called Genius Network. Now, this episode isn't about genius. It isn't about the specific network or mastermind groups that I'm a part of. It's about the importance of being in the right room. And in my experience, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and especially those who are in marketing and sales departments, are often tethered to our desks, to our offices, to our teams, to our comfort zones. And I was at an event, actually just last week, where I was speaking to someone from Strategic Coach. That is a coaching organization that has worked with thousands, and maybe even tens of thousands, of entrepreneurs over the last 20, 30, 40 years. And the person I'm speaking with said that more often than not when they ask a leader or an entrepreneur to clear their schedule for a day, that is almost impossible for them to do. Just clearing their schedule, clearing your schedule, for a day, is almost impossible for many, many business leaders, because they're so tied, so tethered to their team, to their work, to their desk, to their comfort zones, and their offices.

And so, a few years ago, I was lucky enough to go down to a Tony Robbins event with my friend Evan Carmichael. Evan is connected and has worked with Tony and his team. And so, when I say I was lucky enough to go down, Evan got us front-row seats. So, I'm in the front row in a special section with Evan, and with Shaun White, the Olympic snowboarder, and with an actor who had just come off of leading a TV series with Spike Lee, and a whole bunch of really high-level and amazing people. And then there's me. And if you go back through my Instagram and look at photos of me from the event, I'm like, in a hoodie, I'm in some ripped-up jeans. I did not realize, I suppose, the level of people that I would be around. I just thought I was going to an event. But because of Evan's connections, we were sitting in a really exclusive area, and we had access to the top-level lounge. So, on day two or day three, I go into the lounge, grab a coffee, grab a drink, and kill a little bit of time. And so, I sit down. And naturally, everyone in the lounge has paid to be there. They've paid to be part of the top level of the Tony Robbins experience. And I think it's somewhere around $200,000 to $250,000 per year per person to be in that room. And then there's me, got invited, free tickets.

So, I did not pay $200,000 or $250,000 to be in that room. But I was in a room of people who did. And what I found most fascinating, most interesting, is that because I was there with no pressure, I wasn't trying to impress anyone, I was just being myself. Everyone accepted me as one of them. They accepted me as someone who would potentially pay; they didn't know that I got there for free. They didn't know that I was invited. They assumed that I was in that room and I had made the cut. And I was one of them. And because of that, it was a really interesting dynamic. They treated me as an equal, they were willing to have really strategic, high-level conversations with me. And there was a lot of trust that was extended to me right away because of the room I happened to be in. And I found this time and time again. Whether it's this time at Tony Robbins, whether it's part of sponsorship agreements that we've been a part of. We sponsored for many years the Marketing Hall of Legends, where we were inducting marketing legends up here in Canada, into the hall. And each year, we would induct anywhere from four to eight to twelve of these legends, people who had been in the industry for years. And because of our Sponsorship Agreement, I was able to reach out to each of these legends. I profiled them, we created video content for them. And we made them look good. This helped the Marketing Hall of Legends create a much higher-level profile and more exposure. And so, it was a win for us. It was a win for the Marketing Hall of Legends. And it was a win for the inductees because we made them look really good.

But because I was reaching out on behalf of the Marketing Hall of Legends, for this non-profit, for this award ceremony, I had instant credibility. And I would sit down in the room with them, and I would work with each of these legends. These are people who, in some cases, we are flying to New York, to the states, to different parts of the country, to be able to profile these business leaders. And because of that, because I was in the right room, around the right people, reaching out the right way, I was extended a lot of trust and credibility. And I found this with HubSpot at the Inbound event. I found this as part of a mastermind group or close group that I've been a part of. And that is why I'm sitting here in Pearson today and flying down to Genius Network. It's not only about the skill set that I continue to develop by being around thought leaders and amazing new content. And it's not only about the mindset that I've developed, or the confidence that I've built by being able to pick the brains of some really amazing people. Frankly, just from a business development point of view, being in the right room, at the right event, with the right people, being in the right office, sitting across the desk from the VITO, the very important top decision maker, paying for the opportunity to work with the right vendors, the right suppliers, the right partners, or being a part of the right network. Frankly, the time and the investment of dollars, have always paid back for me in the long run. And I think it's a shame that so many people stay close to home, they're unwilling to travel, they're unwilling to give it the time, and they're unwilling to spend the money. They're unwilling to put themselves in the right room. Now, you might be saying, "Okay, well, how do I find the right room?" I get this question a lot from people. "Is this network good? Is that network good? What should I do? Where should I go?" The only way to find out is to experiment. It's to go dating. It's to put yourself in that room, and attend different events. Look for the right room, whether for you, that's EO, whether that's a professional association, whether that's local meetups, whatever it might be. I have found that if you are not intimidated by the group of people that you're surrounding yourself with, then you are not leveling up enough. So, a really quick episode, a really quick message today. But I would just encourage you to free up your time, free up your schedule, free up some dollars for yourself or even your team, to put them in the right room, around the right people.

Now, do you have a tip? Do you have a strategy or your advice on this topic? If so, head over to LinkedIn. Give me a look-up, my name is Mark Drager. I am the black and white photo on the blue background. Go ahead and give me a follow, send me a DM, and let me know what your tips or strategies are, because I always want to get better at this myself. And one last thing, if you made it this far into the episode and you are not a subscriber, you really should be. And here's why: Each week, I share tips and strategies to help you supercharge your business growth and drive results. I'm Mark Drager. I'll catch you in the next episode.