Kyle Samani is a Co-Founder and CEO of Pristine, the leading company pioneering Google Glass in healthcare and the broader enterprise. He’s also a regular public speaker and blogger at kylesamani.com. Follow him @kylesamani.
Recently, YEC spoke with Kyle about his experiences networking, and his advice for others aspiring to improve their own experience. His best advice is below.
I always focus on giving and trying to help. I find that most business people are too focused on their own business and don’t allow serendipity to happen to them. By offering help, even when it’s not asked for, I’ve built relationships that continue to reap rewards. Those whom I’ve helped have returned the favor 10 times over.
Combine Thought Leadership and Networking
I’ve found immense success in combining thought leadership and networking. I began writing multiple blog posts per week 18 months ago and it has reaped immense rewards. I’ve included links to my blog on my business card and try to drive offline traffic through there. It has worked wonders. After meeting me at conferences, many people read my blog and come to understand that I am a subject matter expert. It has paid dividends on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Networkers can multiply the value of their network by playing matchmaker. If you can match two people together who can help one another tremendously, both will be forever grateful to you. That is powerful.
Cultivate Existing Relationships
I find that conferences are a phenomenal opportunity to build out one’s network, though very few people take advantage of serendipitous opportunities at conferences. I spend 100 percent of my time at conferences doing two things: reinforcing existing relationships and actively seeking out new ones. Depending on how many folks I know at a given conference, I can spend 10 to 50 percent of my time cultivating existing relationships. Relationships are everything; build and cultivate them.
Follow Up Immediately
To simplify my networking I always follow up the same day. And I live and breathe on our CRM, RelateIQ, to help me manage follow ups. RelateIQ is spectacular. It is hands down the best business networking tool I’ve ever used.
Create Value First
Even when you have a specific goal or intention when approaching someone, never just ask. Always offer to help first. If you can help, they will reciprocate. Always create value for others, and then they will help create value for you.
Keep Things Professional
The biggest networking faux pas I’ve ever made was that I once asked a CEO of a publicly traded company for his personal cellphone number. That was a bad idea.