Commentary- Networking: a highly effective business leader trait

Commentary- Networking: a highly effective business leader trait
August 23
03:30 2018

By Algenon Cash

Many of us have been told that networking is the key to success and many of us have committed to this myth.  The misguided concept of networking does not inspire most of us to focus on building long-lasting sustainable relationships, which is the real key to achieving success.  You must discover how to capture, amplify and maintain healthy relationships that will lead you to successful outcomes – C + A + M = PG 

I use common sense strategies to expand my sphere of influence, reach goals that will impact my circumstances, and engage in solid relationship building.  I built a multi-million dollar investment banking practice based on a fundamental idea that people want to work with people they have a relationship with.

The client philosophy of our firm is that we will do everything humanly possible to capture clients, amplify the relationship and maintain the relationship.  In order to capture clients, we must be efficient in converting connections to relationships, we amplify the relationship through our consistency and compassion, and we maintain the relationship through service and creativity.  If we properly execute on this single idea, then we believe our business will experience perpetual growth.

No one gets ahead in this world without a lot of help.

Here are some basic concepts on how to take networking to the next level and convert your connections into relationships.

Make it about them to convert connections into relationships.

1. Learn and use their name.  There is no other sound that is as sweet to someone as the sound of their name.  Practice this wherever you may go. The surest way to become special in other’s eyes is to make them feel special.

2. Ask question, ask questions, and ask questions … listen, listen, listen … believe it or not, this concept is hard to do continuously.  Here are five solid questions that you can ask in any networking event and stimulate a discussion.  Where are you from?  Is your family in this area?  What do you do?  What are some things you do for fun?  What goals are you trying to achieve?  The goal is to ask questions that provoke thought, so you trigger conversation, and you learn more about the person.

3. Research the person. After meeting someone you need to spend a little time researching and learning more about the person. Very easy to do in this day and age with the internet and other tools that are available.  People have a deep desire to be appreciated and understanding their accomplishments can help you give this appreciation.  Do not become a stalker!

Amplify the relationship through consistency and compassion.

1. Follow-up, follow-up, and follow-up. This is extremely hard to do for most people.  You need to establish a system that will help you to automatically follow-up, so that you are creating a deep relationship, but the system needs to be automatic, so it does not strain your schedule.  Eighty percent of building and maintaining relationships is staying in touch.

2. Gestures of thoughtfulness.  This might be a phone call to say hello or happy birthday.  If you notice someone or something in the newspaper, then you can cut it out and mail it to the other person.  Sending handwritten notes instead of emails.  Inviting relationships to events that might be relevant.  These gestures show that you care and understand the needs of your new relationship and they will go a long way in amplifying the relationship.

Maintain the relationship through a sincere desire to help others become successful.


1. Once you have a solid understanding of what your relationships desire, and then proactively work to create opportunities for others.  True relationships are created through quality and not quantity, so you must be sure to give value to those in your circle of influence.  That value is given through the giving of your time and talent.  Using your sphere of influence to open doors for others is a powerful way to creating true relationships.

2. Find a way to serve your community.  Contributing your time and talent to the improvement of your community is one of the best ways to capture, amplify, and maintain relationships.  Volunteering allows you to feel less stress as a result of having a deeper purpose in life.  Serving the needs of others creates interest around your personal brand and encourages others to seek you out.

Algenon Cash is a nationally recognized speaker and the managing director of Wharton Gladden & Company, an investment banking firm. Reach him at

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