Following is part two of our “In the Spotlight” interview with best-selling author (Never Eat Alone) and popular keynote speaker Keith Ferrazzi. We closed part one with an unanswered question for Keith about the relevance of relationships in the midst of a slow economy, so we’ll pick up there…
TSG: The economy is a little slower right now, and a lot of attention is focused on the bottom line – cutting costs, increasing sales, etc. It may not seem like the ideal time to talk about relationships, but you say it’s the perfect time to talk about relationships… why is that?
Ferrazzi: A downturn in the market calls for a new sales approach – one that maximizes the value-add of genuine, lasting client relationships. For many salespeople, this is an entirely new skillset, and it’s the one that will keep them making sales and finding new leads when everyone else is sitting around twiddling their thumbs and worrying.
I have a new talk centered all around “Relationship Selling in a Soft Market” and the learning objectives include:
- Going beyond just a sale by finding unique ways to be generous and helpful to the people you work with
- Being a connector – introduce your clients and buyers to the people you know that they want to know
- Turning current clients into ambassadors who will generate new business
- Maximizing market share by forging rich, personal relationship with clients
- Using existing networks to find new clients and warm up cold calls with instant intimacy
TSG: Speaking of speaking, I know you’ve been doing a lot of that since your book came out a couple of years ago. What types of audiences do you feel you can help the most?
Ferrazzi: I’ve been coaching clients and speaking all over the world to corporations and other associations, changing the way people think about work, the workplace, and success.
The audiences that seem to most need and “get” my message are often sales and client-facing groups that see the immediate positive impact of what I teach in their relationships with their clients. Their ability to see how relationships matter in their professional lives ultimately helps them apply their personal values in the workplace.
TSG: One of your keynote presentations is titled “Breaking Down Silos” – and it’s described as fostering a spirit of cooperation and making it easier to achieve customer satisfaction and corporate goals at the same time. That’s a magical formula! What are some of the practices you advocate in that presentation?
Ferrazzi: “Breaking Down Silos” increases participants’ ability to lead teams and collaborate together in today’s ever-changing, matrix-driven world.
Deeper internal relationships bust silos, because people adopt a greater level of transparency while simultaneously holding each other accountable for measurable results. Busting silos means the entire firm works together to satisfy customers – and unsurprisingly, that means greater success and clearer, more meaningful external messaging.
TSG: In addition to speaking, what else have you been up to since Never Eat Alone?
Ferrazzi: I’ve been working on my next book.
TSG: Can you give us a sneak peek? Title? Content?
Ferrazzi: Who’s Got Your Back? – which teaches readers how to build the ironclad, high-trust peer-to-peer support networks that can vault both individuals and companies from mediocrity to major success. It’s out in May 2009.
TSG: Can’t wait! You can write about how to achieve major success, because obviously you’ve done it – youngest partner at Deloitte, youngest Fortune 500 CMO, CEO of several successful companies, best-selling author… What keeps you going? What are you aiming for now?
Ferrazzi: I am driven by a desire to help people. I always have been, and I hope I always will be. That drive surely comes from an upbringing of scarcity. I had incredible parents who fought hard to give me the ingredients for success despite the fact that we were poor. As for my next professional goal, I’m hoping my new book will allow me to touch even more people than Never Eat Alone.
TSG: Sounds great. Thank you very much, Keith. This has been an enlightening interview and we appreciate you taking the time to answer some of our questions. While we’re waiting on your next book, can you recommend any books that you might be reading right now?
Ferrazzi: Right now on my nightstand are How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds and Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this two-part “In the Spotlight” session with Keith Ferrazzi. If you would like more information about Keith, check out his profile on The Speakers Group’s site at http://www.thespeakersgroup.com/Keith_Ferrazzi, or contact us with any questions. Thanks for reading!