Steve Zuckerman, Managing Director, Farlie Turner
To succeed in business and in life, you need to build authentic, trusting, and mutually beneficial relationships. It seems simple enough, but as busy executives and entrepreneurs, time is our most precious commodity. In the absence of a cogent networking strategy, we are at risk of attending unproductive events, meetings and conferences, and mindlessly squandering our valuable time. As such, we need to be very mindful about how and with whom we network.
The central component of an efficient and effective networking strategy is to build symbiotic relationships with reciprocally minded trusted advisors. Successful people rely on a handful of trusted advisors to whom they turn when they need insightful advice on how to handle complex and important situations. The trusted advisor acts as a consigliore to executives and business owners. As a result of the trusted advisor’s track record of delivering reliable, unbiased, and shrewd advice in the past, he or she has a unique level of influence. A trusted advisor’s opinion is highly respected and his or her advice is often followed. This paradigm is incredibly important because the trust and confidence that exists between trusted advisors and their contacts can be transmitted to you. If you are introduced to a potential business partner, client, or investor by one of its trusted advisors, there is an immediate inference of trust, credibility and confidence. Given this powerful dynamic, it is critical that you focus your networking efforts on building relationships with the elite subset of your network that qualify as trusted advisors. However, that is not the end of the story.
As important as it is to have extensive relationships with trusted advisors, it is equally important to be a trusted advisor. Being successful at networking, and in life in general, is about finding ways to help other people succeed and achieve their objectives. If you approach networking as a way to generate opportunities from other people without giving anything in return, you will inevitably fail, or at best, not reach your full potential. In building professional relationships, you must take a long-term view, focus on helping your friends and contacts succeed, be a genuine and trusted advisor, and give more than you receive. This is the essence of mindful networking and if you do it consistently, success in business and life will inevitably find you.
About the Author
Steve Zuckerman is author of Rain Power: A Young Professional’s Guide to Achieving Wealth and Happiness. He’s also an entrepreneur and Managing Director of Farlie Turner, an investment bank focused on selling middle market companies.