Autogenerated Transcript

Kelly Wendlandt (00:00)
Welcome to the Vodcast. We are live with Mr. Bob Anderson. Bob, how are you this afternoon?

Bob Andersen (00:08)
Kelly, I’m doing awesome. Thanks for asking.

Kelly Wendlandt (00:12)
You’re telling me that you’ve put on a suit just for me. I feel f

Bob Andersen (00:16)
I did, I did. Well, I’ve been working with you and friends for 25 years. That’s the least I can do.

Kelly Wendlandt (00:23)
Well, you know what? I’ve seen you in a suit once or twice, but I have to say, when I picture you these days, I don’t picture you in a suit. It’s more like you have car hearts on or something like that is how I usually see you these days. It’s good to know you. Yeah.

Bob Andersen (00:33)

Well, I’m doing the TV anchor, I’ve got jeans on underneath the coat, so you’re half right.

Kelly Wendlandt (00:44)
Well, that’s good. I have, yeah. I actually have sweatpants on, but they’re black, so they match the rest of the outfits. So Bob, you are, I think, the best networker I’ve ever met in my life. And I wanted to talk to you. You know, the economy is tough for people, and so they occasionally will come to me and say, hey, what can I do to make myself more…

attractive to the market. And one thing I say is you should you should network, you should become as good at networking as you can and get out there. And, and I think some of us, it’s a challenge for, but people like you make it look like it’s very second nature. So I guess my first question for you is, do you purposely, do you purposely network or is this, is it just

kind of your personality and it’s what you do.

Bob Andersen (01:48)
Yeah, good question. So I would say that it’s pretty natural for me. I was an only child, so I had to learn to find friends that would hang out with me. And I was fortunate my mother was a school teacher, so it was always giving, helping, learning, educating. And my dad was a barber and he owned his own barber chain. So.

I spent a lot of time in the barber shop, learned the gift of gab from him. So, you know, that’s kind of what started it out for me. And then I spent 10 years.

in the staffing recruiting business and had 30 salespeople, 30 recruiters. And that’s really where my network grew. Just the volume of people that I talked to. I would meet and talk to anybody simply because you can learn a lot in the people that you meet. And that’s what makes it fun.

Kelly Wendlandt (02:49)
Yeah, you know what you’re you are great at talking to you talk to anybody and that includes when we’re in a bar in northern Minnesota. You’re always trying to help the old person get a drink at the end of the bar or the little old lady cross the road and so it come. It’s a very genuine thing for you. You have a lot of relationships with executives. Do you think you’re do you think the reason,

you have so many executives that trust you is because you are great at networking or is it because you like to help, you know, you’re always trying to help people? You know, what’s the magic in maintaining, you know, forming and maintaining these relationships with, you know, really smart, ambitious people?

Bob Andersen (03:36)

That’s a good question. You know, I’ve been, it doesn’t, you know, I’ve been doing this for a long time. So the people that I went to college with or high school with, um, worked with, they’re all, that’s the levels that they’re at today. So you just have to keep in touch with people, be genuine, be yourself. And I think the other is, you know, I, you know, if you have fun in what you’re doing, you know, it’s kind of infectious and people, people enjoy that. And.

You know, you’re kind of the same way, right? I mean, you’ve got a good, good relationship at that level too. And you know, these people are, they’re not just your, your, your, your business partner, but they’re, they’re friends because they like to hang out with you. You know, that you have, you know, have fun, right? And that’s, that’s what they want to do at the end of the day. They’re stressed, stressed at their job and make it fun.

Kelly Wendlandt (04:31)
Yeah, I think you end up, yeah.

Well, I think that as you get along in your career, you naturally align with people based on value systems. And so, you know, the people that you end up having long -term relationships with, it’s really, there’s a value system there. There’s a respect from both sides. They know, they know that you are, you know, what, what they think you are, you know, because they’re so busy. So many people want to talk to them.

Bob Andersen (04:57)
Yeah, definitely, definitely.

Kelly Wendlandt (05:08)
and they have to decide who they’re making time for. And so I think they want to work with people who they trust and they share some common values with.

Bob Andersen (05:13)
Sure, sure. Yeah, that’s the most.

Yeah, I would agree with that. You know, you have to build your brand and that comes over time by doing what you said you were going to do time and time again. It’s, it’s delivering, right? When they do come to you, they do give you an opportunity, even though you’re not able to maybe help them out. You’re at least giving them some ideas, giving them some, or give them a contact of somebody else that can do a better job and help them out. So, you know, if you do the right thing,

help people. It all comes around, right? It all kind of takes care of itself, but it’s definitely respecting others, treating them the way that you want to be treated. I mean, it’s not rocket science.

It’s pretty simple stuff.

Kelly Wendlandt (06:03)
Well, I think it’s tough for people. Yeah, you know what? I think for some people, some people make it look easier than others, but I think one reason that I really respect your style, and I think a lot of people do business with you and hang out with you and are friends with you is because you are always first looking to help versus trying to make it about you. And that’s a hard thing. Yeah, that’s a hard

Bob Andersen (06:27)
Right, right. Do more listening than, more listening, yeah, more listening than talking, which is hard to do sometimes, right?

Kelly Wendlandt (06:37)
Yeah, but it’s also hard to try to do what’s right for the people around you in all circumstances when you maybe are giving away money or you’re giving away business or you know that’s where you kind of the rubber meets the road and and that’s also where when you do those things it’s when you start to build a reciprocal respect with with people over a long period of time.

Bob Andersen (07:00)

Yep, I agree. I mean, you know, freebies, you know, if you know somebody, they’re out of a job and you know, they’d fit with a good company. I do that all the time. It just connect people that way, right? And they remember that, you know, both people remember that. So.

Kelly Wendlandt (07:22)
Yeah. Do you have any advice for young people that maybe aren’t naturally as good at networking? You know, is there a list you say here are some three things you should be doing?

Bob Andersen (07:40)
Yeah. Well, as Ted Lasso says, be curious, not judgmental. So that’s that’s a line from that series. I just I just love it. It just seems to seems seems to fit. But yeah, I think, you know, you don’t want to overwhelm people. You don’t want to be too aggressive. I mean, you have to be a little careful. There’s kind of a fine line there because everybody and their brother is reaching out to.

Kelly Wendlandt (07:47)

Bob Andersen (08:08)
to these people, right? And their time is the most valuable thing they have. And so when you do get time, you have to provide value to what they want and what they need. So I think that’s important. You have to be careful. I mean, you maybe have somebody’s cell phone number, but if you don’t know them, they don’t know you. I don’t typically reach out to those people that way, which is the best way to get a hold of people these days.

But unless you have a connection of reference, then I don’t do that. And maybe I text or something before I would call or, yeah, it’s just being respectful of people’s time.

Kelly Wendlandt (08:51)
What about the work ethic part of the job of working with executives, just generally networking? Like, how do you view the work part, making sure that you’re scheduling enough lunches with people or going to events where you might bump into people? How much does that play into your view of


Bob Andersen (09:16)
Yeah, I mean, to me, the best networking is face to face, right? Which in today’s world has been difficult, but getting better, but you have to put yourself out there. And whether there’s all kinds of networking events, whether it’s coffee or happy hour or lunches, you know, those things are to me, I think are the most valuable because you can look somebody in the eye and vice versa. And that’s that’s to me is the best. And.

and easiest way to do it, but it’s not always possible. But that’s important. I mean, my kids, you know, they don’t answer the phone, right? You text them and, you know, you have to find alternative ways to get people’s attention.

Kelly Wendlandt (10:02)
How often do you think you go to industry events? If you had to put a number on it, do you go to one a month? Are you going to 12 industry events a month? Are you going to one a week? Are you going to three a week? How would you?

Bob Andersen (10:12)
Oh, well. Yeah, I don’t do as much as I used to, but definitely I would try to, you two or three events. I mean, you can go to a Java user group. You can go to a data analytics user group. You can go to a cloud user group. You can go to all kinds of that are maybe more technically slanted. But I go because you get educated and you learn and you meet people and.

So I think that works out. Now I use LinkedIn. Sometimes I’ll just send a connect. Other times I’ll say that I’m a friend of a friend. But I think, like you, you’re doing podcasts, right? You have to find alternative ways to get an audience, get people to listen to you, and build a brand and credibility.

And I think really on LinkedIn, it’s having messages. It’s doing blogs. You know, you can’t just, it’s not the standard send an email, send a phone call. You may never ever get a response back unless you, you know, you can’t be sending, you know, PowerPoint presentations and, you know, things of that message. It’s basically, it’s almost, it’s got to be, you know, one or two sentences that’s short.

sweet, direct, that they don’t have time to sit and read all these. I mean, you imagine a CIO, how many emails they get, they get thousands of them.


Kelly Wendlandt (11:47)
Yeah, yeah. I’m trying to think if there was ever a time in my career when you could just send an email to someone you didn’t know. I don’t think that, I’m trying to think back. I don’t think, you know, maybe back when it was, the email was just starting, you could do that. I’m trying to remember back. It’s been a while since then. But.

Bob Andersen (11:55)

Right, right.

If faxing over messages to people. Yeah.

Kelly Wendlandt (12:10)
You know, but that we did a lot. We did a lot of in person. I think something that hasn’t changed in our industry, probably in any industry is in person. Show up, you know, showing up is 70 % of it and then being consistent, be yourself and do what you say you’re going to do. You’re ahead of 98, 99 % of the competition at that time, you at the point.

Bob Andersen (12:34)
Yeah, yeah. And being prepared, right? When you get there at these special events, like a CIO event, you know who’s going to be there, right? They’re listed who’s going to be there. And so I always do a little research, find something in common, right? You’re trying to connect with people, whether it was a college or a previous work or people. So you have something that kind of breaks the ice and makes it easier to have an open conversation.

I think is important to do that.


Kelly Wendlandt (13:08)
Yeah, preparing, you’re preparing, you’re putting in the work. And I think that’s, again, you’re going from that pool of everybody to the pool of the 30%, maybe that takes five or 10 minutes to look online and do some quick research so that you can walk in and not be everybody else. Well, Bob.

Bob Andersen (13:13)
Yeah, very important.

Yeah, right.

Right. Especially at a big event, right? At a big event, there’s all kinds of people coming their way. So, you know, you have to make a difference. So they remember that conversation because, you know, it’s overwhelming.

Kelly Wendlandt (13:43)
I always carry a drink and I pretend I’m going to trip and I spill the drink on the person. And then they almost always remember me. Try that. Try that the next time you are at an event with a Fortune 500 executive, try that one because they always remember you if you do that. Bob Anderson, you are the best or among the very best I’ve ever met.

Bob Andersen (13:47)
I’ll have to put that in my repertoire. I haven’t. Yeah.

Yeah, I haven’t. Yeah, yeah. I haven’t purposely done that, I don’t think so.

Kelly Wendlandt (14:12)
and networking and business development. Thank you so much for your time. For everyone else out there, you are watching the Kelly Winland Vodcast.

Bob Andersen (14:24)
Thank you, Kelly. It means a lot to me for you to say that. Thanks.