Podcast Ep. 71 – LeTip of the Iceberg

Larry Olsen October 18, 2021

Kim Marie Branch-Pettid is the driving force behind the world’s largest privately-owned business networking organization, LeTip International, Inc. which she liked so much she purchased it in 2008. Kim Marie gallops into life, her mile-wide smile engaging all who meet her, her passion for LeTip is obvious. Kim Marie is known for her commitment to building relationships and her inspiring, collaborative style. “Bringing people together just makes me happy,” she said. “LeTip is really a way of life for me.” Find out more at: https://letip.com/


Larry Olsen: Welcome. I’m Larry Olsen, and what’s on your mind? Once set, it delivers your life. To change the outcomes we want, we must change the plays we’re running. Join us at Mindset Playbook with Real people – Real talk for Real insight.

Narrator: Today’s episode is sponsored by Aperneo, An Achievement Acceleration Company, whose approach to professional development enables clients to gain insights and perspectives to live, work, and engage with more success.


Larry Olsen I want to welcome all of you today to Mindset Playbook, and I know you have choices and you could be doing anything right now, but you’ve chosen to spend some time with us. And it’s up to us now to make that time worthwhile. And I think you’re going to find today will do exactly that. Today you’re going to hear from greatness in the all important networking world. Kim Marie Branch-Pettid is the driving force behind the world’s largest privately owned business networking organization, Le Tip International Incorporated., which, by the way, she likes so much. She purchased it in 2008. Just watch her in action, meeting, greeting, making connections and sparks absolutely fly. And you’ll understand the true meaning of an indomitable spirit. Kim Marie gallops into life, her mile wide smile, engaging all who meet her. Her passion for Le Tip is obvious. Kim Marie is known for her commitment to building relationships and her inspiring, collaborative style “Bringing people together just makes me happy.” Le Tip is really a way of life for me to finish off that quote, so I’m very excited because in growing all of our businesses and social life, I think all of us know how important networking is. And yet a lot of us have taken it for granted until we realized that we’ve gotten kind of stuck. Our business is not as strong as referral based as it used to be, and sometimes we just hang around with the same friends and don’t always open ourselves to the opportunities to meet new ones. So, whatever, wherever you find yourself in that scenario, I want to find out right now from Kim, what do you believe is the most important understanding or foundation to successful networking?


Kim Marie Branch-Pettid [00:04:51] Well, to be honest with you, Larry, when I started, everybody showed up and threw up all over me. They wanted to tell me quickly what they did, and they expected something in return, like a business. That isn’t what networking really is, and it’s called networking because it’s not net play. You can have fun with it, but you have to work it. So, for me, networking, the basic foundation is building that relationship, getting to know each other, having something in common. Maybe you never knew you had anything in common. So, when building a relationship, whether it be language or race or creed, it doesn’t matter. You find something in common. You build a common like ground to stand on and you go from there. People do business with people they like and trust, but they can’t get to know you if you don’t work to build the relationship.  So, when I network, I go in and I ask specific questions Excuse me, how many people work for them? What are they looking to accomplish? Are they trying to grow their business or are they happy with where they are? The more questions you can answer or ask on a personal level, the quicker and easier it is to build a relationship. Because who doesn’t like talking about themselves? It’s important they like to hear their name. They like people to know what they do. So that foundation is relationship.


Larry Olsen [00:06:14] That’s an excellent way to begin in foundation. What do you do when you’re the individual asking all these questions? And as you’re listening to it, you realize that you’ve got a connection you want to share. And I think this is where sometimes we take all of this trust that we’ve built up and contaminated by somebody saying they just visited Hawaii. And then we go, oh wow, we went to Hawaii, you know, we were gone for about. And all of a sudden, now the conversation is not about them any longer. It’s about you because you’re listening and you’re hearing, and you’ve heard somewhere along the line that if you’re going to someone’s office and have golf clubs start talking about golf. But there’s more to it than that. And how what suggestions do you have for people to be able to engage but not take over?


Kim Marie Branch-Pettid [00:07:09] Everybody has that propensity to want to do that. Oh my gosh, I’ve had that same experience. So, let’s talk about it. Let’s share our common experiences. But then it’s like you said they take over and it’s no longer about the prospect in front of you. I have a bad habit of wearing a jacket that has two pockets, and when I meet someone, invariably they want to give me their business card. So, we’ll be talking, and I truly am passive or not passive, actively listening. I’m in front of them. I’m engaging their body language. I’m listening there, to their tonality. Because doing that, I can tell what they’re passionate about. I can see what they like to talk about, and I never spend more than five minutes with any one person. If you’re in a networking group, then you have to get around to meet as many people as possible, and people will want to come at your time if they enjoy speaking to you. So, I always limit it and tell them, I’m moving on. Thank you so very much. But when I leave, I actually number them one through 10 on their business card, one through six gets in a drip campaign or put into my prospect list. Seven through 10 are those that I want to call back and actively have or build a relationship with, so I will write down something that they talked about the name of their dog, their trip to Hawaii, whatever we might have had in common, where now I can talk to them in a commonality of something that we both share in common. And it doesn’t take away from them at all for that event. It’s now about them. I bring it back to the forefront and oh, they find out that I have something in common too. So, it’s an easy way for me not to take over the conversation because I’ve been guilty of that in the past myself. It’s just a normal habit that people have. But if you’re actively listening and watching for body language, you will take it with you. And if you can take a note or two on a business card when you repeat that back for a follow up, they are impressed.


Larry Olsen [00:09:07] Hmm. OK, so let’s talk a little bit about the follow up. You, you’re going to reach out probably electronically to the one to sixers and then once above that there was some connection that they made with you that you think perhaps there’s an opportunity here. And so how do you continue that making it about them during that conversation? And when do you get to know share a little bit about what you bring to the party?


Kim Marie Branch-Pettid [00:09:39] Depending on what my notes are saying and what I remember about the individual, I will always send an electronic. It was great to meet you. I would love to have a few minutes to sit down privately, one to one more than five minutes. Could I take you to coffee? And I’ll always list something in that. I want to talk to you about our dogs, or I’d like to talk to you about your trip to Hawaii. I really want to talk to them on a personal level. No business involved at all. But when you get together and you start talking, it is easy to switch into a business mode. If you’ve got some common background. Now, they’re starting to trust you because you’ve remembered quite a bit about them. You’re meeting them in person. And I always follow up with a live phone call to the ones that I really want to meet. Just checking to see if you got my email. Looking forward to having a moment with you. Can we schedule something now or would you like my assistant to reach out to schedule with you? They’re impressed, and most of the time a lot of us don’t have time, so I let them select the time and day they want, and I work around their schedule. But doing that when you can meet face to face it totally changes the game. There’s nobody else in the room we could be meeting at a Starbucks, but it’s one to one and it’s been very successful for me through the years.


Larry Olsen [00:10:55] Okay, and you brought up and that’s excellent. Absolutely excellent information you brought up. A word that has powerful impact on all of our lives, and everybody thinks about it differently. And it’s the word trust. And does it really matter what you read about engaging relationships that always talks about the foundation has to be built on trust because we all know if we don’t trust you, we get that feeling at gut instinct about Sentence Hey wire with this person. You know, they’re there. They feel like they’re manipulating me or they’re not showing any eye contact, or they’re not interested at all. You know, we don’t want to go any further. I mean, they may not even been on the one to six on your cards, I don’t know, but. But what do you help us with understanding? What does it take to build that trust so that you have the right to know begin to let them become aware of how you might be of value to their organization or to themselves?


Kim Marie Branch-Pettid [00:12:07] I’m going to flip it here, and you’re going to be surprised, but I’m a certified BANK trainer. Bank stands for Blueprint, Action, Nurture and Knowledge. That is a simplified methodology to understand who the prospect is in front of you. We always, like I said in the beginning, show up and throw up on someone. We think that we’re talking in a way that they’d like to hear it. But if you really don’t know the prospect, you need to be able to quickly ascertain who they are and how they like to be sold. So, I’ve learned this methodology and I look for body language. I look for words that they use. I can tell you that a blueprint would naturally like a handshake. They’re a little old fashioned. They don’t like change, and action the person wants a high five. They’re running through life like my bio said with my hair on fire. But I do everything because of my love of people, which is a nurturer. And then the last one would be knowledge. They’re the hardest people to sell. They want you to tell them everything upfront before they ever make a decision.  So, when you can learn how to use a methodology like that very quickly and assess someone, you’re not always 100 percent right, but you’re so close, you then immediately understand how to approach. In other words, if I’m 15 minutes late, a blueprint is not going to talk to me. They’ve already washed their hands. They want a person who’s on time, in fact, not just on time. They want I’m 20, 30 minutes early. Then they are pretty. That’s a trust value, right? Oh, they said they’d show up now. I showed up. An action person does not want to be bored with the minutia. Get to the point. Make it simple. Make it fun. It’s all about image for them. A nurture wants to know about the community, what in my community can benefit their community. And if I make them mad, not only do they leave themselves, their entire community follows. So, you really want to be careful with that and knowledge again, they want to know everything. Don’t touch them at all, and nurture wants a hug, by the way. But a knowledge person wants either knuckle bump or hand him a business card. They have their own space around him and it’s like, don’t touch me. So those are simple little things that I’ve learned through bank that help to build trust immediately because I’m talking to someone who’s very similar or I’m talking in their language, so they think we’re very similar, even though I could be polar and opposites, right? That’s the part of building trust. That’s how you start, it’s getting them to trust who you are because of how they like to buy. And that’s what the bank methodology does. It’s a 90 second assessment online. Take a little quiz, have some fun with it, or you can do it with plastic cards that look like this. You just take it. They have values on the back. They laid the values down the one closest to them to the least like them, and that’s their bank code. The first two colors are pretty predominant about who they are. Their third color is their stress color. When they’re stressed that color comes out and their last color is the least like them. So, I’m an action nurturer, 50-50. I do everything like I said of my hair on fire, but for the love of people, my stress colors blueprint. I’m not a typically organized person, but when I’m stressed, everything is put in its place. Even my clothes are color coded in my closet, shoes, and purses under, the navy blues and the reds and yellows. So, everything is done appropriately. When I’m not stressed. It’s in a big pile, so I know a lot of people can relate. Now, knowledge people equate that with intelligence. It has nothing to do with how smart you are or how intelligent you are. It’s all about me. As, for instance, is action not appreciating the minutia? I don’t need to know. I buy a car sight unseen. I call my dealer and I tell them what I want, what color and what it needs to have in it. He tells me he’s got one, here’s the price. I write him a check. He delivers the car. My husband, on the other hand, who is a knowledge complete opposite from me, has to go kick the tires, open the hood, take it for a drive. He needs to know everything about it for like three months before he’ll by the car. He ends up buying the car that he wanted, but he wants to know everything about it first. So again, taking something that’s simple and learning how to use it. And I don’t want to say manipulate because that’s not what it’s about. It’s truly being present and actively listening. How do you listen if you don’t know how they like to be sold to? So that’s all part of building trust, it’s learning who your prospect is, how to reach them in a way they like to be reached and then you build that trust immediately. I don’t know why, but you and I seem to hit it off pretty well. I would be willing to say that you’re a nurturer in there, somewhere close to the top and probably a blueprint.


Larry Olsen [00:17:05] Hmm. Yeah.


Kim Marie Branch-Pettid [00:17:06] You like things organized. You want them. You want to know there’s a program and a structure and you follow it. It’s because your radio show. So, it might be something that’s drilled into you. But if you sat down and took this, you might surprise yourself. I thought I was a nurturer my entire life, but I was forced to take care of an invalid husband who had Valley Fever meningitis form. And in twenty-nine and a half years, we went through 23 major brain surgeries. So, you naturally become a nurturer. But when I sat down and took the little quiz and really looked at it and decided for myself with the values were, I am an “action” through and through, but there are twenty-five points for each color. If you take the quiz, I’m twenty-five blue action and twenty-five nurture and twenty-three blueprint, so pretty close. And then I dropped way down to seven for knowledge, but I brought it up to nineteen and that helps me to talk to other people who have who are knowledge.


Larry Olsen [00:18:02] Yeah, yeah. All right. Did you create this thing, bank?


Kim Marie Branch-Pettid [00:18:06] I did not. Cheri Tree Codebreaker technology created it. I’ve been working with her since 2011. Brad brought her into my company and trained all my regional directors how to use this so they would know how to close people and talk to them. And we brought it into our entire company so small businesses can get more yeses on sales because we’re told forever that you would have to get more no’s before you get yeses. But I’ve been proven wrong by Cheri Tree. You don’t. If you understand how to speak to someone and build that trust immediately, you’re going to be able to close the sales 90 percent of the time.


Larry Olsen [00:18:44] Beautiful. And you know, and if you’re in nurture, those no’s don’t do anything if you’re through your morale or self-esteem. So, it makes it even harder to try to get another one. I agree (Kim Marie: absolutely). Yeah. so what? what got you interested in getting involved in this to begin with? (Kim Marie: Le Tip?) Le Tip, Le Tip. Yeah.


Kim Marie Branch-Pettid [00:19:08] Well, I was a banker in California, and they wanted me to be anything but a Rotarian because we had nine of those in our office already. Yes. Excuse me. So, I looked around and they put me in a little thing called boot business of Old Town Clovis. And I learned how to do the rodeo wave and make a bunting bow. And I said, “this is not for me”. So, I was asked every single week for six months by a friend who was an attorney, business attorney to come to the meeting. But he’d ask me. It was never about me. It was like, Come for a free breakfast. I have the poker folder holder today. You know, you’re going to love the people. And it didn’t resonate. So, I went into the auto repair guy one day and he said, Kim Marie, we just lost our banker. And in the professional group I belong to, we know we could put dollars in your pocket. Would you like to see how? Well, that rang bells for me. That was on a Monday. Tuesday morning at seven o dark thirty. I was at the meeting, and I joined that same day. It’s a long story, but I fell in love with what it could do and how fast we could build relationships. And I will tell you, I didn’t know how to network. I was the I’m a natural networker, but I had no idea of what a process structured network looked like. So, in the first seven months, I was almost fired seven times and I almost quit seven times and I didn’t make a dime. But I decided to really dig into it and find out what their philosophy was, what wisdom I could take away, and I truly became lytic blue in the veins. And in the last five months, in my first year, I brought in what was it? I was a twenty third member and a 22 member chapter. We kicked everybody out with three of us. We grew to forty-six and I put $50000 in my pocket on a two percent commission. And that’s not bragging. That was truly learning how to network because my second year was better than that by three. (Larry Olsen: Wow) so I just felt that it could help small business. We have no place to go. Who do we talk to? We can’t talk down to our staff. We always have to be talking up. So, when you’re put in a situation where it’s business owner and professional to professional, we now have a safe environment. We become each other’s sales force by word of mouth. So, if I’m a solopreneur, even though I was in the bank, I was technically a solopreneur for the area that I was responsible for. I could complain about my employees. I could complain about things that went on. I could learn and take that knowledge back on what things worked for other people, so I thought it was just phenomenal. And when I got involved, like I said it, I grew very fast. I did very well, and I wanted to help other’s small businesses. We don’t know where to go. We don’t know how to ask for help. And that’s the biggest thing I would say that I’ve learned along the way is that you need to ask for help. And when the team works, it’s a dream work, right? You’ve heard that before. You have to have the team to make the dream. But I’ve always tried to surround myself with people smarter than me. That way, I learn from them. They learn from me. It becomes one big, happy family. And I will say that most people, not everyone, people leave Le Tip because they’re unhappy or they think it didn’t work, whatever. But most people have been here for a long time. We have people who’ve been with us as long as 43 out of the 44 years. She’s Barbara Bertram. She’s a florist in San Diego. She grew her whole business using Le Tip. But she’s not the only one. And when they’re loyal to it, they stay forever. And that’s something that you really want. A good quality person, a good quality company, a safe place to do business. You know, Larry, most people don’t know. No networking organization in the world offers insurance, and I don’t mean your personal insurance. But if you’re meeting in a venue and someone were to hurt themselves or slip and fall today, we’re such a litigious society. Anybody can sue you. That still happens and can happen in Le Tip. But I cover their venues for insurance, and if you’re on the board of directors, I covered them with directors and officers’ insurance, not errors and omissions, but directors and officers so they can perform their business in public, so to speak with members, and feel at ease if they make a mistake. And it’s truly a mistake. And they followed the bylaws. They can be sued, but our insurance company will always back them. I think that’s so valuable. Anybody listening to your podcast should always ask if they belong to an organization. Do you have insurance in case someone decides to come in and sue you or sue us? And would I lose my home or my business? The answer is yes, they would, but and know that they usually don’t ever have insurance. So, it’s a very important question to ask, and most people never know or think to do that.


Larry Olsen [00:23:59] Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, that’s a great Segway. A good question to ask because I have another question for you. (Kim Marie:  OK?) I would say that if I did some research, I’d find it eight out of 10 business owners or high performers. Are uncomfortable asking for help. You know, I think it’s something we’re brought up with, I think especially in my generation, you’re perceived as stupid, not knowing. Some people have experiences in class when someone had the wrong answer in how they were treated, and these things get into your subconscious. And so, you basically figure that, well, they’re just going to tell me to figure it out for myself, so I better figure it out for myself. And I found when COVID hit, that was one of the biggest challenges that I was facing in my company because the networking had come to a close. My company grew for 25 years by one client, telling another client, tell another client, I didn’t have to get involved at all. I just had to show up and exceed their expectations. But now that this world has changed for everybody, this whole element of getting comfortable asking for help. What’s your advice on that to overcome the fear of how I’m going to be perceived? You know, and we all understand that the question the only dumb question is the one that wasn’t asked. I mean, we get that, but that doesn’t seem that’s a bumper sticker kind of thing. It doesn’t change your life or make it any easier to get comfortable asking for help. What advice would you give us?


Kim Marie Branch-Pettid [00:25:38] Well, first of all, you know, I’m a networker. I would tell you to get involved in a professional networking organization. We’re not the only one. And I say that truly not with touch tongue in cheek, but sincerely. Because when you go in and you start building these relationships in our organization, everybody gets to go around at certain times and give a speech about their business. Two or three times every year, maybe more of your smaller group when you listen to what they do, those questions that you had can be asked in the meeting. But if they’re shy or they have this fear, then it’s easy to do one to one. I have learned so much from other members that I didn’t ever have to ask in public because it’s exhausting. First of all, you don’t want rejection. You don’t want anyone to think that you’re stupid. But when I truly go to someone and say that was really great advice, could you expand on it for me? It doesn’t cost me to do that. I’m learning more about their business, but every single time they have helped me out of a rough spot, from hiring to giving raises or bonuses, how about what do I do with the market when it’s not going? We didn’t miss a beat. We’ve been using Zoom for 11 years. I have for training. So as soon as COVID hit, we went online, but it’s been difficult to get people to have that same feeling online as they do in person.  So, we’ve gone back, we’re educating again, be present. Have your face on, don’t be missing and in your pajamas. Pay attention. Write the questions. It’s much easier to write questions and ask them out loud. But by building those one-to-one relationships, you can get answers for everything. And in our organization, they’re all connected. So, if I needed to talk to a cancer doctor, I could probably pick up the phone, give them a call, explain that I’m a Le Tip member to a Le Tip member. And how about some special advice? So, it really makes it a safe place, so you don’t have to be embarrassed or worried about asking questions. But if you walk into a public networking event where there’s 14 hundred people, you’re running around like ants. No one wants to ask that question. You’re absolutely right. And that won’t come until they build the relationship and even know what the other person has to bring to the table. That’s why a structured networking works so well as you get to learn all of that information, whether you want to or not, and later down the line, no matter what you’re doing in business. Oh, I remember so and so and what they said. I always tell people to bring a notebook to every single meeting. Write down the pertinent information so that you can go back and ask questions so that you can keep it for yourself later because you never know what or who you need to be in touch with to get this situation solved. We’re not in business alone.  I think there’s a saying right behind me if you can see it. It’s great to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself. Now there’s more. It says, join Le Tip, but that’s so true for every business owner. They need to be able to belong to other people who do other things so that they can bring that into their realm of what they do for business. Now, if they graduated from Wharton Business School or something else, they may not need us ever. But I always teach my people this is a steppingstone. When you get so big that you’re running 80 employees and you are the CEO, we’re probably not the area for you. We’re a niche market for mom and pop small business owners. Those people that are in that line and hire should be seeking out vestige or WPL Women’s President’s organization, I happen to belong to both one, both of them for more than 10 years. I just left this stage not because I wanted to. It’s just taking up too much of my time at that point, but so valuable because again, you’re building relationships in a safe environment, and no one thinks you’re stupid because the questions they ask are not any brighter than the questions you ask. But we have that opportunity to learn from each other.


Larry Olsen [00:29:45] So I’m sure there’s a lot of questions out there with the time that we have left on. How do they how do they find out about Le Tip?


Kim Marie Branch-Pettid [00:29:54] www.letip. L E T I P dot com. There is tons of information there, there are videos to watch. You can look up a chapter in your local area and have a visit. No cost to go visit. Usually, they might charge you for your meal, but there’s no cost to come and check us out. That’s where everything is, and my contact information is there. Anybody can call me at any time. My, I’ll even give you my cell phone number if you’d like. It’s six zero two eight zero three eight zero eight zero. You tell me what CEO of an international business gives out their cell phone. I’ll tell you, I’m one of the first, but I believe that I work for you. You don’t work for me. So, it’s so important that you have my number. You can get a hold of me. You can look online and get any of our vice presidents right away. We’re here to help small business. It’s my passion. And by golly, we better stick together and make small business stay alive or we change forever.


Larry Olsen [00:30:53] Yeah. Amen. Amen to that. You know, it’s been it’s been a real treat. I don’t know how many people out there recognized the power of networking until they’re in a situation where they’re not. And that’s when things like that. Work that you’re doing is so invaluable, and I’m just so grateful that you took a little of your time to be on the show today. So in closing, what would you like to leave our listeners with?


Kim Marie Branch-Pettid [00:31:25] Just what you ended with. Don’t be isolated. Your business won’t thrive, and it may not even survive if you isolate. You need to reach out and connect with other people. We saw that in COVID. People were stuck at home. Where do they go? How are they going to grow? What is what are other people doing. When you’re isolated, you don’t know the answers to that. And pretty soon you lose interest, or you lose your business. I’ve seen so many small businesses die in the last two years. It breaks my heart. So, connect yourself. Be fluid. Talk to people. If you’re not comfortable in a networking organization, find a different one, when you walk in, and it feels like home. Then you know you’re in the right place. If you walk in and it feels totally foreign and you don’t feel a warm and fuzzy for anybody, get out of there as fast as you can. It really is all about not being isolated, reaching out and connecting with others. The best advice I could ever give. We want you to thrive, not to die.


Larry Olsen [00:32:24] Beautiful. Beautiful. Oh, thank you. You were, you were a treat. And I very much appreciate you. You’ll be hearing from me. I say that, and I hope you’re hearing from a lot of other individuals as a result. So, anybody out there, who has found themselves wondering, where’s my next gig and how do I get in front of people? I think that Kim has given us some great insights and wonderful company. I think all of you would feel comfortable getting involved in them. I wanted to once again thank all of you for taking the time to hear this message. And whenever you wonder, where do I need to be to make things happen in my life, recognize you’re exactly there right now. And it’s all about the choice, and it’s all what I’m learning now from Kim. It’s not been afraid to raise your hand and ask. Ask for some assistance. Get involved with others that care as much about growing their business as you do. And I’m telling you, the camaraderie, collaboration, and reciprocation will probably blow to your mind. Would you agree, Kim?


Kim Marie Branch-Pettid [00:33:34] Absolutely. And Larry, thank you for all you do in the name of small business out there. You’re a wonder in itself, and it’s been such a great pleasure to meet you and get to know you. We’re going to continue to build this relationship. I have a feeling.


Larry Olsen [00:33:45] I hope so. I look forward to it. Let’s do it on purpose.


Kim Marie Branch-Pettid [00:33:51] All right. You got it.


Larry Olsen [00:33:52] OK, you take care. And thanks again for listening. You’ll hear who our next guest is going to be and all the best.


Kim Marie Branch-Pettid [00:34:01] Thanks, Larry. Ba-bye!


Narrator: Thank you for listening. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, we ask that you please subscribe and share with your friends and associates. Larry’s next guest is Scott Sunderland. What an amazing story. In 2001, Scott found himself going from a 35-year-old athletic father, husband, and business owner to lying in a hospital bed unable to move. Listen as you hear of his remarkable recovery and the attitudes, he developed to overcome this challenge and many more. The secrets he shares are amazing, you won’t want to miss this one.



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