Business Development: Building Authentic and Deep Relationships

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I love Keith Ferrazzi’s book Never Eat Alone, which is all about building relationships. Mr. Ferrazzi spoke at Live Talks Los Angeles this morning about building authentic and deep relationships. Business attorneys (and all attorneys) sometimes frown on talk of marketing, branding or sales but, like every other business, building relationships is at the core of developing a successful practice.

Noting that the demon is in our own fears and insecurities, Mr. Ferrazzi encouraged everyone to be more purposeful about moving our relationships forward. He called it accelerating intimacy. He explained that he is not suggesting something fake, just purposeful. As an example, he asked us how many of us had been engaged in small talk before the event began rather than, what he calls, a personal professional check-in.

Authentic usually means vulnerable. The personal professional check-in means talking about both your personal and your professional life and revealing something of yourself–concerns, joys, fears, etc. Another rarely done act is to tell people how much they have influenced you or why you admire them.

On a practical level, Mr. Ferrazzi talked about (1) identifying the individuals you would like to build a relationship with, (2) ranking the people in your world so that the As get more attention than the Bs, etc.

Once you have identified these people, you need to ‘ lead with generosity’ in service of others.

Lastly, he spoke of self-evaluation. What are the habits, rituals and practices that create your ‘glass ceiling’? What practices hold you back (specifically–practices rather than concepts) and how can you change those.

I highly recommend his book. I have read it several times (and now I simply need to start implementing it!)

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