Keith Ferrazzi is the author of, “Never Eat Alone: Expanded and Updated” and founder and chairman of Ferrazzi Greenlight. He joins the show to discuss how digital networking provides unique opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Ferrazzi shares the best practices to achieve the same meaningful connections while using newly available digital networking tools. He explains the difference between a relationship and a meaningful relationship and the value that is created when introducing other people to each other. He then walks listeners through how people can properly introduce other people to each other.
Keith Ferrazzi is the Founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight. He provides market leaders with strategic consulting and training services to increase company sales and enhance team performance.
Ferrazzi Greenlight strategically leverages the insight of its executive team, whose careers span the highest echelons of corporate America, along with principles from Ferrazzi’s bestselling book, Never Eat Alone. Never Eat Alone has been recognized as one of the best business books of 2005, 2006, and 2007. His recent book, Who’s Got Your Back, guides readers to develop an intimate inner circle, a handful of people who they trust completely to hold them accountable to ever higher levels of achievement.
Ferrazzi created The Relationship Masters Academy, an online learning academy for “people skills” that delivers an exclusive program aimed at sales people and business professionals.
Ferrazzi is a frequent contributor to CNN and CNBC. He has authored numerous articles for leading business and consumer publications, including Forbes, Inc., The Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, and Reader’s Digest.
Ferrazzi was previously Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Sales at Starwood Hotels, where he oversaw marketing activities for global brands including Sheraton, Westin, The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, and W Hotels. Ferrazzi also served as Chief Marketing Officer for Deloitte Consulting, a leading global management consulting firm, where he developed and managed the industry’s first globally integrated marketing organization.
Ferrazzi’s foundation, Big Task Weekend, is an impactful, invitation only event that brings together a diverse group of visionary leaders from top organizations to facilitate partnerships to solve the world’s biggest challenges.
Narrator: Speakers, publishers, consultants, coaches, and info marketers unite. The Speaking of Wealth show is your road map to success and significance. Learn the latest tools, technologies and tactics to get more bookings, sell more products and attract more clients. If you’re looking to increase your direct response sales, create a big time personal brand, and become the go to guru, the Speaking of Wealth show is for you. Here is your host, Jason Hartman.
Start of Interview with Keith Ferrazzi
Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome Keith Ferrazzi to the show. He is the author of Never Eat Alone: An Expanded and Updated Addition. And we’re here to talk to him today about relationships and networking and the importance of keeping our eyes on the ball in the digital age. Keith welcome, how are you?
Keith Ferrazzi: I am well, thank you very much. I’m looking forward to the call.
Jason Hartman: It’s great to have you coming to us from Los Angeles, my home town. And you’re founder and chairman of Ferrazzi Greenlight, and is that an advertising agency?
Keith Ferrazzi: No, not at all. We manage behavior transformation in large organizations so managing cultural transformation, behavioral transformation to accelerate growth in companies like eBay, General Motors, Intel, large organizations with complex human change needs.
Jason Hartman: Let’s talk specifically about the book first, and I want to circle back to the corporate work, but Never Eat Alone: Expanded and Updated. Tell us about that, and let’s dive into what it really means to be in a relationship nowadays. I think the whole meaning of friends has changed.
Keith Ferrazzi: When the book came out originally, it was almost ten years ago, and the intention was to guide people through building the kind of authentic and generous relationships that are critical to their professional success. And what’s interesting is I lead with the words authentic and general because most people think of the word networking as an accumulation of contacts, and my fear back then ten years ago before Facebook was even out was that some of the social media would turn people into even more transactionally oriented than they were before, and I think a lot of the people have felt over the last ten years that that is exactly what social media has done.
It’s made us even more transactional. The collection of names, the abundance, the overwhelm to some extent of these connections. And I felt it was time to do a rewrite because the same principles apply and it’s not the tool’s fault. The fact that we have amazing tools like LinkedIn and others. It’s not the tool’s fault that we think transactional in a relationship and decide only to connect and add as oppose to relate and engage. The tools are phenomenal mechanisms to reach out and learn more about each other. But at the end of the day if you want to conduct business with an individual in sales, if you want to recruit individuals to your team, if you want to be a great leader of individuals, we still have to relate. And relationships need to be led authentically and generously.
Jason Hartman: How much of this Keith, needs to be physical, face to face?
Keith Ferrazzi: It doesn’t at all.
Jason Hartman: Okay.
Keith Ferrazzi: Video helps – the nuance of seeing a person’s face and expression. One thing can be said with a certain tone that can be misunderstood so much more easily if you didn’t see the individual as well. The wonderful thing about the tools and technology today is that you can admire somebody and reach out to them and begin to follow them without any permission on their part to follow them online. And then as you are more generous to them by retweeting them, sending them things that may be of interest, then all of the sudden you can build an online relationship. From there you can export that relationship into the physical world if there’s enough need and demand and value to both parties. But on the other hand you can also keep very successful alive connected online.
It doesn’t mean that somebody has to be your dining partner every other night, but on the other hand you’re a-level priorities, the individuals that are crucial the success of your business, you might want to export those and nurture those in the physical world. But the world has opened up and we’re now truly global and truly virtual. I recently did a whole series of pieces for Harvard business review. You can just search under my name under HBR, and the whole series was called The New People Rules in an Increasingly Virtual World. And we have to begin to adapt in how we use the technologies so that we don’t just use them transactionally, but we use them to really connect.
Jason Hartman: Most certainly, and I’m wondering, text and Email have certainly been a great way to misunderstand each other so I definitely agree with you about the video…
Keith Ferrazzi: Well then again we’ve also had physical meetings where people wonderfully conflict avoidant and never said anything to each other face to face either. So I think the balance is there are four core values of great relationships. One of them is intimacy, real true connection and care that people have when they get to know each other. The next is generosity, the way in which one serves the other person in a relationship. And frankly, you’ve got to lead with generosity because nobody has time for you if you’re not leading with their intentions and their needs foremost.
And the next is candor, the ability once you have a relationship, to be truthful, transparent, bring out the high performing attributes of great relationships. Candor, and then ultimately accountability, the kind of butt kicking accountability that deep relationships have we need more of in our organizations. And we need more in our lives. So those four words are the guiding words of accelerating great relationships. The two, intimacy and generosity really drive the connection and then candor and accountability make those relationships higher performing. And you follow those rules online and you follow those rules in person, and you’ll do well.
Jason Hartman: I was wondering though, when I asked that last question, is it possible to have a relationship as you define it without meeting, talking, obviously not having a video skype call, just literally through posting or Email or text only?
Keith Ferrazzi: I think Email is a long form communication. I think it might be difficult in 140 characters, but over an extended period of time… what are the outcomes of great relationships? And it’s trust. And the trust can be gained and gathered through showing up in some form or another with respect, with connection, with authenticity, showing up… think about it, how many people feel like they’ve got a relationship with Oprah who watched Oprah for all those years and she doesn’t know you? Right? So your ability to connect in mediums that aren’t just face to face, it’s actually possible but you’ve got to make sure you exercise and create empathy, you exercise and create mutual value.
It is possible. I’m not sure whether or not you’re going to end up doing significant deals together without ever having spoken or ever having seen each other on a video face to face, but perhaps you could. As I said, there are lots of brands, and people are just brands, there are lots of brands that end up transacting and you haven’t really made a physical connection. So depending on what your services are that you’re offering, it is possible that people can end up doing business with you, so to speak, in the virtual world.
Jason Hartman: And with the Oprah example that you gave, that of course is the branding relationship and brands being that form of shorthand. And I’d like to talk to you about that ideal, Keith, the title of the first version of your book, Never Eat Alone. In that book, and maybe the updated version, did you outline any sort of agendas or targets or things that we would want to achieve during a dinner or a breakfast meeting?
Keith Ferrazzi: I’d follow my four basic principles. The first thing you want to do is if you’re getting somebody to dinner, lunch, breakfast, meeting or a phone call, the first thing you want to figure out is how can I be of service? What are you offering? And sure you could be offering your personality and your charisma, but you could also be offering information transfer, knowledge, you could be offering having done your research something that could help this individual in their charity desires, in their business success.
So come loaded with what we call five packets of generosity. Just think about how you might be of service. Then when you’re there, let your guard down. Be authentic, be real, be you. Talk about what’s going on in your life, which is really an invitation not to share excessively, but it’s an invitation to open up empathy so that person can talk about what’s going on in their life.
And when that is received, you find ways to continue to build on that. And then over time, as they said small doses of candor and accountability strengthen the integrity of the relationship. But in the short term I always say there’s two simple rules: Find a way to help, find a way to care.
Jason Hartman: Great advice Keith. What are those five packets of generosity again? I think you were alluding to those when you said research.
Keith Ferrazzi: Packets of generosity means you do your research. If you were to have done an online search of Keith Ferrazzi before this call, you might have said wow he’s really interested in the reinvention of foster care. He has two foster children himself, he’s working with the government of Colorado to focus on foster care reform in Colorado. It’s not my state, but I have a kinship with finding politicians who want to make a difference in this space, so I’m going out of my way to do it. My foundation, Greenlight Giving does a lot in the developing world with high potential youth. And you might have said to him, there are people I know that you should meet, Keith, that are interested in this.
In addition you might have come and said I understand you’re starting a new business. I saw online that you’re starting a new mobile technology company because I’ve been tweeting about it and talking about it. You could say I’ve got a friend that’s recruiter, I wonder if you’d like to be introduced, or I’ve got some friends in the high tech community down in Los Angeles, perhaps
I could introduce you because it’s always nice to have fellow travelers as entrepreneurs. You could say Keith, tell me a little bit about Ferrazzi Greenlight. We have a lot of interesting guests on this show and perhaps somebody I’ve had in the past would be of service to you and I could make the introduction. So there you go, now you’re on your way to four or five packets now.
Jason Hartman: Right, good things. So Keith, how do we do this though if somebody isn’t a well-known person or doesn’t have a big online presence? There really are a lot of people out there, even now that don’t have a big online presence.
Keith Ferrazzi: If you do a search you’ll see their updates for their college magazines. It’s amazing what you’ll find out about them. Or you go to the route we always use to, with an administrative assistant, you talk to their friends, or you hypothesize, you understand what their job is and you understand generally who they are. You show up with a few ideas, but you show up curious and you explore in the conversation.
Jason Hartman: Great points. Hypothesizing and just being curious. Being open and asking questions, but not so many questions that it’s like a job interview. Just a natural curiosity.
Keith Ferrazzi: You’ve got to reveal yourself as I said earlier. You’ve got to let your own guard down and reveal what’s going on in you, otherwise you’re just an interrogator.
Jason Hartman: What else should people know about the concept of nurturing and developing these relationships in those four areas that you mentioned?
Keith Ferrazzi: Probably the most important thing, and just a good point to spend on and end on, is putting your plan together. Relationships are critical to our success, we all agree. But what are your goals, and who do you need to get to know better in order to achieve your goals? We call that relationship action planning. It’s very important. As you think about what you’re trying to achieve personally, professionally, career-wise, sales, entrepreneurially, identify the most critical individuals and put your list of 25 critical relationships to achieving your success, then follow my rules. Go do your research to figure out how you can serve them. Prioritize them, 25 people is a lot, so maybe start with the five most important. Reach out to them authentically.
Whether you know them or not, you can use lots of great online tools today that help you connect with individuals. Start following them online, build your online relationship with them, find mutual introductions through things like LinkedIn or other software out there, then go down the pathway of being of service until you can begin to nurture the relationship in service of mutual goals, yours and theirs.
Jason Hartman: Absolutely. Great advice. Well Keith tell the listeners where they can find you and find out more.
Keith Ferrazzi: Keithferrazzi.com and from there you can navigate to our research, we’re very generous. We’re not trying to sell you anything frankly, we’re just trying to help you be successful. All of our work is done in the large fortune 1000 companies, and we write a lot, we’re very prolific and we’re just trying to give as much advice as we can to be of service to individuals, so come on along for the ride and I look forward to finding ways of being helpful.
Jason Hartman: Keith Ferrazzi, thank you so much for joining us.
Keith Ferrazzi: Thank you.
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Transcribed by Ralph