Networking to Grow Your Franchise—Toni Harris Taylor, Network in Action & Drastic Results

When was the last time you went to a networking event? In-person or virtual? How did it go? Would you have rated it as time well spent? Have you ever thought about how networking can help you grow your franchise company? 

Our guest today is Toni Harris Taylor, and she is the award-winning franchise owner of Network in Action Global Partners. Toni lives by the mantra, of being DRASTIC! In her business Drastic Results Marketing and Sales Coaching, she helps her clients learn the strategies to get known, get connected, and get paid.

  • You can visit our guest’s website at: https://networkinaction.com
  • Connect with our guest on social:
    • LinkedIn – @toniharristaylor
    • Facebook personal – @toniharristaylor
    • Facebook business – @drasticresults
    • Twitter – @toniharristaylo
    • YouTube – @toniharristaylor
    • Instagram – @toniharristaylor and @nianortheasthouston
  • If you are ready to franchise your business or take it to the next level: CLICK HERE.

ABOUT OUR GUEST:

Toni Harris Taylor the award-winning franchise owner of Network in Action Global Partners. NIA Global Partners is an international community of business owners who come together to mastermind to grow their business, bring each other warm referrals and be a supportive community for one another. Toni lives by the mantra, of being DRASTIC! In her business Drastic Results Marketing and Sales Coaching, she helps her clients learn the strategies to get known, get connected and get paid to make six figures and beyond.

ABOUT BIG SKY FRANCHISE TEAM:

This episode is powered by Big Sky Franchise Team. If you are ready to talk about franchising your business you can schedule your free, no-obligation, franchise consultation online at: https://bigskyfranchiseteam.com/ or by calling Big Sky Franchise Team at: 855-824-4759.

If you are interested in being a guest on our podcast, please complete this request form or email podcast@bigskyfranchise.com and a team member will be in touch.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:00):

Welcome to the Multiply Your Success podcast, where each week we help growth-minded entrepreneurs and franchise leaders take the next step in their expansion journey. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team, and as we open today, I’m wondering, when was the last time that you went to a networking event, whether that was in person or virtual and how did it go? Would you have rated it as time well spent? And have you ever thought about how networking can help you actually grow your franchise company and sell more franchises?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:31):

Well, our guest today is Toni Harris Taylor, and she’s an award-winning franchise owner of Network In Action Global Partners. She lives by the mantra of being drastic. In her Drastic Results Marketing & Sales Coaching, she helps her clients learn the strategies to get known, get connected, and get paid.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:49):

You’re going to love this interview with Toni and she gives some amazing, amazing tips and information on how to use networking to grow your business. So, let’s jump into our interview.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (01:02):

Toni Harris Taylor. I am the CEO and founder of Drastic Results Marketing & Sales Coaching, and then I’m also a franchise owner and community builder with Network In Action.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (01:16):

Phenomenal. Well, part of the reason we had met here recently and what I was so excited to be talking about with you are a couple of things. One, your journey to get to franchising I thought was just it truly embodies everything of why franchising exists. So, I would just love just by way of introduction for you just to share your journey coming to franchising and going that direction.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (01:45):

Okay. Well, thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to share my story. It truly was a Godsend. In 2019, I was so close to closing my business and getting a job. Why? Because I couldn’t see my endgame for retiring from Drastic Results. So, I was interviewing for jobs, full well didn’t want a job, and I was just at that crossroad.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (02:23):

So, I’m talking to a friend of mine, Tom, who’s a Money Mindset Coach, and she asked me a very poignant question. She said, “What is your why?” And I told her what I thought my why was? And she says, “Toni, you’ve already accomplished that. Perhaps you just need a new why, one that will excite you about your business again. I want you to go create a new why and come back and tell me what it is.”

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (02:52):

So, I did the work, and I came back to her a couple weeks later. I said, “My why is to touch, move, and inspire my clients to take drastic steps to be better than they were before they met me. I’m a resource. I’m a connector. I want to help people build deeper relationships that are beneficial to their life and business.”

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (03:14):

She says, “That’s perfect for you. Are you doing that?” “Yes.” “Are you getting paid to do that?” “Well,” I said, “when I coach, when I speak, yes, I get paid. I’m an international speaker as well.”

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (03:28):

She said, “What about connecting people? What would you need to do to get paid to connect people?” I said, “I need to start my own networking group.” She said, “Why don’t you?” “Oh, no.” I told her. “Absolutely no.” I said, “I’ve seen too many people run networking groups not make any money. I don’t know what to charge. I don’t have technology. I don’t know how to run a meeting. No, thank you lady.”

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (03:57):

She said, “Toni, if you truly want to get paid to connect people, don’t worry about the how. It will show up.” I said, “Mm-hmm.” Click. “I am not starting a networking group.”

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (04:13):

Three months earlier, I had attended a women’s retreat. I showed up in the midst of trying to figure out if I was going to get a job or not, and I met a lady there from Network In Action. And she said, “Oh, my gosh. You should be a franchise owner with Network In Action.” “Franchise, lady? That sounds like a lot of money, and I’m looking for a job.” She said, “Don’t worry about it. I’m going to introduce you to the franchisor.”

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (04:39):

Okay. Well, Tom, I teach networking. I teach that when you meet somebody interesting, you book an appointment with them on the spot, and I did not book an appointment with this lady. I think the word “franchise” and the price tag for it scared me. She did not follow up with me as she promised until one week after the conversation with the coach, three months later. Don’t worry about the how. It will show up.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (05:12):

“Toni, I haven’t forgot about you. I still think you’ll be a great Network in Action franchise owner.” “Franchise? I just said a week ago to my coach, ‘I can’t start a networking group.’ And the franchise, how much is that again?” I said, “I don’t have that kind of money.” She said, “Just meet him.” And the rest, as they say, is history.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (05:37):

He introduced me to the franchisor, brother from another mother, instant connection. He made the financials work, and I’m now his Rookie of the Year Brand Ambassador, fastest launching franchise owner, first to launch a virtual networking franchise. And I get to live my purpose and my why every day.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (05:59):

Oh, that’s amazing. Thank you for sharing that, and as we talked, if I remember correctly, now multi-unit operator for your franchise system.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (06:09):

Absolutely. So, the beginning of this year, I still didn’t have what I thought was a sellable business. And the other thing I wanted so badly, Tom, and I know your listeners do too, a business that can run without me.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (06:24):

So, at the beginning of this year, I started searching for leaders, people who they would otherwise be the president of somebody else’s group. Right? But I’m looking for leaders who want to earn money and be that center of influence. So, now I have six leaders around the country, and that’s the other thing, other accomplishment. I’m the first one that takes us into Canada. So, we are now in Canada as well, building groups all over the country.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (07:00):

Oh, that’s phenomenal. Well, talk about, because you had mentioned early in your story how your consulting company Drastic Results was on the verge of going out of business. You were basically throwing the towel in, going back to work. Then you connect with Network In Action. New life gets breathed into you, and you start this up. Well, how has networking helped you with Drastic Results and your consulting and coaching business?

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (07:29):

Well, thank you for asking, because Drastic Results is where I teach entrepreneurs how to get known, get connected, and get paid. So, in other words, I was teaching networking already. Network In Action now gives me a place to have them network, and people that join Network In Action often need business coaching. So, I tell people all the time they go together like a skirt and a blouse.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (07:58):

So, yeah. It is. And I have tripled my income because I found, number one, the thing that supported my why. And it’s a gift. I know a lot of entrepreneurs that flounder trying to figure out how to make money doing what they truly love. And when I tell you this was truly a Godsend and now both businesses gel together, it’s perfect.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (08:33):

Phenomenal. Well, while we’re talking about networking, I would love for you to share some networking maybe dos and don’ts. What are some maybe common missteps you see in networking or some suggestions you think are great ideas or great things for people to be doing?

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (08:53):

All right. So, my saying is, “Show up, be up, follow up to blow up.” And so the dos are all of those things. You need to show up, but not just show up. You need to show up where your target market is. And many people hate networking because they feel like it’s a waste of time because they’re going to the wrong places, which is the mistake that they make. So, you have to show up where the people are that can support you and potential clients are. So show up in the right place. Stop networking in the wrong places, because it leads to frustration and a waste of time and money.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (09:39):

The second thing is you got to be up. So, the advice is when you show up, have some energy. And I’m especially talking to my introvert friends who have to get drastic to show up and then drastic to flip on their energy. But people are attracted to big smiles, energy, style.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (10:05):

So, part of being up is to be dressed and look a certain way. So, many people are so casual today they just blend in with the crowd. Right? One of the things that make me stand out are my glasses. Yesterday, I had on different glasses when I met you than I do today. In fact, I have 11 pair of glasses. They’re a part of my brand. So, fashion is a way to be up and stand out. When you are attractive to people, people want a little bit of what you have. And so the tip is to have good energy and look the part.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (10:49):

The third thing and the most important thing is to follow up. If you don’t have a plan for follow-up, then you might as well not show up. The lack of follow-up is the biggest mistake that entrepreneurs make. There’s a saying that the fortune is in the follow-up. I’d say the fortune is won and lost in the lack of follow-up.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (11:19):

So, if you’re not going to follow up, you might as well not show up. So, having a follow-up strategy is the tip. And even if just, remember in my story, it took Helen three months and a week to follow up with me. It’s never too late to follow up. So, get the courage, get drastic, call the people, the business cards that are on your desk. You met those people somewhere. Call them, and then you will blow up for sure.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (11:55):

Brilliant advice, and it’s so true. I’ve seen this. I’ve certainly been to networking groups and have failed at what you’ve just described. But where I’ve spent probably most of my time, I guess this could be considered a form of networking, has been at trade shows. I’ve literally participated, exhibited at hundreds four, five, 600 or more trade shows that I’ve exhibited at over the years.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:21):

And consistently what I’ve found is exactly what you describe. That follow-up is where it’s all at. You show up. You get the leads. You do all the right things. And then do you actually call, email, text message, whatever it might be to book an appointment, to continue a conversation and make it, because that’s the hard work? That’s where you really got to put some elbow grease in. Yeah.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (12:49):

So, I’m going to give you my golden rule.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:52):

Okay.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (12:53):

And I said it in my story. Book the appointment on the spot. When you meet a person that is interesting, even if you’re at a trade show, pull out your phone. Get them on your calendar right then and there. You can always move the appointment, but it’s so much more difficult to try to get them on the phone, email. Emails get lost. It just is a mess trying to follow up. So, don’t follow up. Get them on your appointment on the spot, and then there’s no follow-up necessary.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (13:35):

Great. I love it. That’s great advice. And let’s talk about one of the things, a comment you made to me that I really was curious to have you share with the folks that’ll listen into this is how a franchisor can use networking to sell more franchises or grow their franchise network. That intrigued me, so I’d love to talk about that.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (14:00):

Absolutely. You know, selling a franchise is based on relationships. So, even in my story, if that franchisor, we happen to be in the same city, had not taken the time to come over to my office and spend time with me, I may not be a franchisee today. He took time to get to know me, my goals, my future. What is it I wanted? And I told him the same struggles that I was having.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (14:35):

And I’m going to be frank with you, the franchisor financed me. I didn’t have the money. He gave me a handshake note based on a connection. The more connections franchisors can learn to make with people, the more franchises they will sell.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (14:55):

And here’s another thing. Because he cared enough for me, I asked him, “How can I help you?” He said, “We’re looking to around the country.” I have referred eight new franchisees to him. So, once your franchisor takes that extra bit of time to really connect with the person who they’re doing their presentation with, that person, you don’t ever know. They can open a ton of doors for you. But if you are just about your presentation and trying to sell another franchise, it doesn’t work.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (15:34):

But franchising also or franchisors also need to use networking to process, again, going where the target audience is. If you have an accounting franchise and you know that people were running solopreneur accounting firms might be a good fit to slide into your model, why aren’t you networking at the associations where all these independent accountants are? Then build a real connection with them, and you will see your doors will swing open. So, being very strategic is key.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (16:15):

And here’s another thing, Tom. I get real passionate about this. But so many franchisors say they want get more women and they want to get more minorities. But are they networking where the minorities are? Are they going to the black MBA associations? Are they going to the HBCUs, Historically Black Colleges and University alumni associations? Are they connecting with The Divine Nine, as we call it, the Greek associations? They have huge conferences every year. They would love for you to sponsor a booth at their conference.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (16:59):

That’s where you’re going to find your upward mobile black professionals who might be good franchises. But what do you say? It’s out of your comfort zone. Exhaust it. That’s when you hire me to come in and teach you how to do it.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:18):

Well, that’s brilliant. Well, I hope for all the franchisors that are tuning in or will tune in or prospective franchisors who are going to listen to this, you literally just gave in the last four or five minutes just golden nuggets of real information on how to actually add more franchisees, increase your diversity.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:41):

I mean, these are real solutions, practical, that aren’t that complicated. I mean, we’re not talking about a complicated thing to do here. It just takes, like you said, getting out of your comfort zone, shaking hands, saying hello to a few folks, and booking a meeting on the spot. Right? You know, book a-

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (17:59):

Right there. That’s the one that has transformed so many of my clients’ lives and businesses, because when they do that, it takes all the sting out of trying to follow up. And business happens.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:17):

Yeah. Well, case in point, when we met, we had an intro call, and before we got off that phone, before we got off the call, we booked an interview on the podcast here.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (18:29):

Yep.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:30):

And boom, here we are.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (18:30):

And here we are.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:34):

Well, Toni, this is a great time for us to talk a little bit further, and we kind of make a transition here, to ask the same questions that we ask every guest before they go. So, I’d love for you to share maybe a miss or two that’s occurred as you’ve grown through your career and something you learned from it.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (18:54):

Yeah. So, one of the biggest misses that I had and how my whole passion for finding a business that could run without me is in 2015 I spent 10 days in a coma and was out of work for five months. And I was fortunate that I had a residual income coming in, but my business kind of came to a halt because life happened. I didn’t have that backup plan.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (19:29):

So, it’s important to build some sort of residual income in your business that can run, that can keep coming, even when you cannot work, because life happens to all of us.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (19:45):

Yeah. Wow. What a tragic event to occur and to learn a very difficult lesson. Wow.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (19:54):

Well, let’s talk about, on the other side you’ve shared several makes along the way. Are there others you’d like to share or just another you’d like to reiterate here?

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (20:04):

Yes. The biggest make in my life was when back in 2003 when I actually spent some time in financial services and my bosses at the time said, “You need a coach.” I was like, “I’m on commission. I don’t know where my next dollar’s coming from.” And they said, “Trust me. You need a coach.”

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (20:27):

The biggest make is to hire a coach, because you cannot see. Because you’re in the picture, you cannot see the frame. Every great athlete has coaches to make, and so ever since 2003, I almost have always had some sort of coach, some sort of guide.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (20:54):

And it’s important that you invest in a coach, not a mentor who’s free. That’s different. When you take hard-earned money or you put it on a credit card, that bill is coming every month. It is your motivator to go do the work.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (21:14):

So, my make is I always hire a coach, and it’s a stretch goal for me as well. So, I encourage the audience, find the people who know a little bit more than you do, have been through the journey that you’re trying to go through, pay them. Hire a coach.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:39):

Great. Well, let’s talk about a multiplier. Would you mind sharing or talking about one or two here?

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (21:49):

When you say, can you clarify multiplier for me?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:51):

Yeah. So, sometimes people think of this. Sometimes they think of it like a force multiplier or will talk about anything that’s helped you accelerate your growth, whether that’s professionally, maybe personal growth and personal development. We get a really broad cross section of responses here.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (22:15):

Okay. Okay. So, my multiplier is networking. Surprise, surprise. Because when I network, I get to tell people who I am, what I do, and then they refer me. When you learn how to network the right way and you become a giver first, I think the most real multiplier is that I give before I receive. And then that multiplies and accelerates my success, because people feel obligated to give to me.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (22:50):

Yeah. Well, I love that, and I’m not surprised with your response. I thought you might go there. I was hoping you would, given your background and the success you’ve had with networking. And the final question that we like to ask every guest is, what does success mean to you?

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (23:12):

So, as my why stated, I want to leave a planet of drastic steppers. I want everybody who crosses my path to learn to be drastic and teach their children to be drastic. I’m the only one using the word “drastic” in that way.

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (23:37):

What that means is that my success is going to be when I’m done people saying, “I got drastic because I met her.” And right now I measure my success by the number of people, the number of entrepreneurs that cross my path and they’re connected, they’re networking together, they’re playing together, they’re doing events together all because I encourage them to connect and get drastic. So, that’s my measure of success, the number of people I leave on this planet who says, “I’m a drastic stepper because I heard Toni’s voice.”

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (24:21):

That’s beautiful. I really, really like that. Well, Toni, as we bring this to a close here, is there anything you were maybe hoping to share or get across that you haven’t had a chance to say yet?

Toni Harris Taylor, NIA & Drastic Results (24:35):

I appreciate the opportunity to share my story, share my background, and I want to encourage all the franchise owners out there that are listening to keep being drastic. Show up, be up, follow up to blow up. And the time to show up is when it’s the hardest. When you don’t feel like it, when life is hard, business is failing, show up anyway. So, one person, it takes one person to change the trajectory of your life and business, and that one person is at that next event that you show up to when you didn’t feel like it.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:22):

Toni, thank you so much again for a fantastic interview, and let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:29):

So, takeaway number one is how to be effective at networking, and she gave very clear, simple instructions. Number one, show up. Number two, be up. Number three, follow up. And that leads to the result which she said is you blow up. So, show up, be up, and follow up.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:49):

Takeaway number two is when Toni talked about how to use networking to grow your franchise system. For example, she said if you’re seeking to add women or minority franchisees into your network, she said, “Where are you networking? Go to where these people are meeting.” She gave a great suggestion, historically Black Colleges and Universities. Find these communities where you can go to one of their events, sponsor a booth, get a table and go start talking to people. I thought that was a great suggestion.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (26:24):

Takeaway number three is when she said, “If you find your why, you don’t have to worry about the how. It will show up.” So, sometimes that’s just a great reminder to hear that. Don’t worry about the how. It will show up.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (26:38):

And now it’s time for today’s win-win. So, today’s win-win is tied back to networking when Toni said, “Book the appointment on the spot.” So, if you meet with someone at a networking event or at any other kind of event, don’t just exchange information. Book that appointment on the spot, because there’s a high probability that the follow-up will either not happen, because you won’t follow up. I know. I know it happens all the time for me, where I forget to follow up or I don’t follow up well enough.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:15):

And number two is that even if you do follow up, people are busy. Things get lost. So, book the appointment on the spot to help you get to the next stage of building that relationship with that person, whether that’s maybe a potential prospect. Maybe it’s a referral partner. Maybe it’s just establishing a relationship with someone that you don’t know how it’s going to benefit you or the other person right away.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:44):

So, that’s the episode today, folks. Please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. And remember, if you or anyone you know might be ready to franchise their business or take their franchise company to the next level, please connect with us at bigskyfranchiseteam.com. Thanks for tuning in, and we look forward to having you back next week.

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