The BriefLast week’s OASIS: Montgomery Summit gathered together industry-leading entrepreneurs, executives and investors to discuss what’s next in business and tech innovation. At a panel titled “Building the relationships you need for the next 25 years of success,” RelSci founder and CEO Neal Goldman and networking expert Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, discussed the critical importance of relationship capital to high-level organizational success; why giving trumps taking for network health; and how the right connections can get your business off the ground.
Here are seven networking tips from the two networking masters. Keep these in mind as you begin building your relationship capital, but don’t be discouraged if things move slowly at first. As Goldman put it in the panel discussion: “Building business relationships is a long game. You need to outlast everyone, so be proactive and patient.”
1. Ferrazzi, on networking as a dirty word:
“Networking has become a negative term, but I think in Never Eat Alone we showed that if done right, it was really positive. Real networking was about finding ways to make other people more successful.”
2. Goldman, on what it means to build a relationship:
“When I think about formulating stronger relationships, often the key is to act without your own self-interest. Offer help, introductions support, or just reach out. Do it often and do it purposefully.”
3. Ferrazzi, on the highest form of networking:
“Be generous. Be generous with your time, your energy, your mind and your relationships.”
4. Goldman, on ideal investor relationships:
“Whether or not it is an introduction or helping me think though a problem, I picked investors who understood the mission and wanted to help. Our investors have been extraordinarily generous with their time, their energy and their networks.”
5. Ferrazzi, on meaningful connection:
“Often when things are bad for someone, we disappear when really this is the absolute moment when we should reach out. Someone loses a job, you email or call and say ‘Hi. How are you? How can I help?'”
6. Goldman, on networking as a skill
“The only way to get better at building relationships and making an ask is to interact with people—a lot. Everything is a skill.”
7. Ferrazzi, just giving us a shameless plug
“I have never seen any technology that helps you understand the inter-connectivity of our relationships better than Relationship Science. I never go into a meeting without first reviewing the RelSci profile for the person I’m meeting and understanding how we are connected. It makes a cold call instantly warmer, a resistant ear more open and communication more successful.”
RelSci provides a relationship capital platform that helps create competitive advantage for organizations through a crucial yet vastly underutilized asset: relationship capital with influential decision makers. Learn more at relsci.com.
Keith Ferrazzi is the world’s foremost expert in professional relationship development. He has transformed the lives and careers of clients and readers worldwide, bringing 20 years of research and experience to the art and science of business relationship development. Currently, he is founder and chairman of Ferrazzi Greenlight, a consulting and training company. He is author of Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back.
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