I’m Keith Ferrazzi and This is How I (Net)Work
Bio (100 words): Keith Ferrazzi is the author of the NY Times bestsellers “Who’s Got Your Back” and “Never Eat Alone.”
Ferrazzi has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Inc., and Fast Company. He was the youngest person to make partner and hold the position of Chief Marketing Officer at Deloitte Consulting.
As founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, Ferrazzi transforms detrimental organizational behaviors into new habits that increase shareholder value. Greenlight’s behavior engineering methodology for diagnosing and instilling the highest ROI behavior change is based on a decade of field engagements with iconic global organizations.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Why do you network?
When done right, networking is the first step to developing a new business relationship. So I network to constantly keep my personal sphere of influence strong and deep.
How has networking changed?
The internet and social media have lifted the limitations of location. You no longer have to attend countless mixers and meet-ups hoping to make a relevant contact.
It’s now possible for someone in Bangor, Maine to connect with almost anyone, anywhere, as long as that person is on social media.
What is your networking philosophy?
Always lead with generosity.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about networking or business relationships?
It may sound cliché, but my dad told me to never be afraid to ask since the worst that can happen is someone tells you “No.”
How do you start building trust with key people in your network?
As I said above, always lead with generosity. If you show someone how the relationship benefits them, with no expectations for quid pro quo, you pave the way to open it up to more candor and intimacy.
You let that person know you’re not in it just for yourself. Nothing can kill trust like having a self-serving, “score keeping” agenda. But you have to be patient.
One act of generosity may open the other person to developing a friendship, but you still need to earn their permission to be candid before you can fully earn that trust.
And you need to be open to their candor as well.
Can you recall a “magical networking” moment that had a major impact on your life or career?
This might sound a little braggy, but how I came to know Secretary Clinton taught me a lot about the importance of treating everyone, from the CEO to the receptionist, with the same level of respect.
I was at an event with Secretary Clinton, who was still the First Lady at the time. While everyone lined up to meet her, I noticed her executive assistant (who I’d rather not name) was there as well. Rather than just be one face in a sea of many, I reached out to the assistant and struck up a conversation about her life, what she was up to, and how I could help her.
Over time, she and I developed our own friendship, but the next time they were in Southern California she invited me to an event where she personally introduced me to Secretary Clinton.
What apps, software, tools and/or social media sites do you use to grow and nurture your network?
LinkedIn “My Network” Tab – It keeps you up to date on all the important milestones in your LinkedIn network. Great for pinging friends to wish them a happy birthday or congratulate them.
MINE – In that same vein, MINE is a news aggregator from RelSci that sends you important news about your network. Helps you know how and when to reach out and be generous.
And, of course, Facebook/Twitter/Instagram for obvious reasons.
What networking habits do you wish you would have started earlier in your career?
Come on! I “wrote the book” on networking! On a serious note, though, I could have been an earlier adopter of social media. At least as a way to strike up conversations or to reach out in generosity.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Don’t let your fear of looking foolish or being embarrassed hold you back from reaching out to people. No one is a success on their own, so get out there and be generous.