Networking Tips from Relationship Masters

As one of the founding coaches in Keith Ferrazzi’s Relationship Masters Academy, I love it when he posts blog posts that were crowdsourced by the participants of the program!  His latest post is about the Top 11 Networking Tips and I love this list so much I’ve just got to share it with you!
1. The best advice I received recently was on e-mail etiquette. I was coached never to use the word “I” until the third sentence. It sounds harder than you think. After about five revisions I finally nailed it, sent the cold e-mail to the most prominent attorney in the county who I had never met, got the lunch meeting 1st request, and walked out of a 90 minute meeting with a retainer check in hand. That never happened in the short 8 years of my business. So, stay away from “I” ! – Eric Frazer
2. My best networking tip is volunteering yourself to the top. The power of serving a community or faith based organization puts networking connections and relationships on a different level. Although it doesn’t generate any income for me directly, volunteering has given me the opportunity to meet new people, nurture new relationships, and build my referral network.  I’d highly recommend it! – JP Finnell
3. The best networking advice I ever received was from my late mother, who told me that if I wanted to have a good time I would.  She’s right. – Lucy
4. Never take counsel from your fears. Whenever I was called in to see someone, I always made a point to tell myself that it was because I had done something wonderful, so that I would walk into any meeting with a positive attitude. Even if the discussion turned out to be negative, I was so positive that I remained strong and could deal with the situation. – Sam B. Bruce
5. My best networking advice comes from my four-year-old son. START WITH A COMPLIMENT. Whenever he wants me to carry him (or do anything for him) he simply starts with a compliment. “Daddy you are strong, will you carry me up the stairs?” I could have another one of my kids already in my arms with bags of groceries, but I will find a way to carry him since he complimented my abilities. I have practiced this a few times in my professional networks and it has worked with great success. – Luke Thompson

6. If you’re always thinking about ways to grow your relationships, you gotta use the tools that make it easy. Every time I meet someone, I follow-up with a LinkedIn invitation (rather than a note/email). They get to see everything about me and vice versa – including shared connections and other data that can really jump-start your new relationship. – Curt Ewald
7. My best tip came from my uncle, who told me never to be afraid to call anyone. But the 2nd “best” tip was from a former boss… who once said to me, “When things get crazy, it’s time to get annoying!” His thought process was that the more annoying you are, the harder you were trying, the more effective you were going to be making sales.  I do NOT subscribe to this theory.  However, it is a phrase that helped me clarify my own position and philosophy on interpersonal interactions and professional development.  – D. Jackson
8. You are going to laugh but mine is from Bridget Jones’s Diary (I love that movie). In it Bridget was told to introduce people with “thoughtful detail.” So, when I introduce two people I try to make sure that I explain who this person, what they do, and something about them personally that the other person might be interested in. It makes their conversation easier, as I’m breaking the ice. – Greta Zeimetz
9. The distance between levels of success is usually a person, not time, because time is not a teacher. – Steven Gundersen
10. My best networking advice is also good life advice: “Make high integrity commitments, both to yourself and to others — and keep every one of them.” – Matthew Clement
11. To create a deeper relationship with a colleague or associate, get the person away from their desk – the farther you get them, the nicer they’ll be. – Keith Ferrazzi
And of course, I added my own:
12. The secret to all great networking is to be “other-focused”. If you come to any conversation with genuine curiosity and a desire to help the other person, you can then easily be more interested than interesting. Seek to serve, then it’s about them, not about you and how fabulous you are. – Suzi Pomerantz
What are YOUR top networking tips?  Add yours below!

Comments (2)

The “What do you do” opening is limiting and not the most thoughtful of questions. If you’d like to learn a great deal about a person, discover what they do with greater clarity, learn how and why they do what they do, how you can possibly support them, and how you might position your own product/service into the conversation … ask:
“Can you share a story about a client you’ve helped?”
Works every time.

Exactly, Steve! I often teach folks to ditch the elevator pitch and instead think about a story that shows whom you helped and what you helped them to do. Prospects can see themselves in anecdotes much more easily than they can in a list of benefits and features. 🙂

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