Dear Friends & Colleagues:

This week I’m offering complimentary signed copies of my new book, How To Win Client Businessto the first 10 people who sign up for my weekly blog. Wow! What a deal. Whoever said there’s ‘no such thing as a free lunch’? Or, in this case, a free book. For those interested, I hope you enjoy the book and the blog on the topics of how clients buy and how to win client business.

This week’s excerpt is from Chapter 12: The 200 People You Need to Know. In this chapter, we segue from Skill 2: Demonstrate Your Professional Expertise to  Skill 3: Build Your Professional Ecosystem. I discuss the two hundred people who will make your career. While many of us strive to build 1,000’s of connections on social media (because we are falsely led to believe this is the holy grail to our success), I’ll dispel this myth and offer an actual solution that will have a meaningful impact on your ability to win client business.

In addition to the text excerpt below, I’m providing a short 5 minute audio version as well – narrated by me. So, if you’d rather listen to a sample from Chapter 12 in lieu of the text excerpt, here you go. (Note: If your preferred format is audio, the audiobook is now available on Amazon and is beautifully narrated by Barry Abrams – one of the best in the industry.)

Here’s this week’s excerpt. I hope you enjoy it!



Chapter 12: The 200 People You Need to Know

It Won’t Make the Cash Register Ring, So What’s It Good For?


Respect and trust are the currency of our trades. You may be a strategist, litigator,

auditor, or designer by profession, but at the end of the day we’re all in the

relationship business. And the foundation of authentic relationships is respect and

trust between those who need help and those who can provide help.


Each of us has roughly 200 people who would make all the difference if we

knew them. Not 2000 or 2 million – but 200. Having a close relationship with these

200 people could make our careers.


For Dominic Barton – the former managing director of McKinsey & Co. we met

earlier – the number is 500. When Dominic reads, he imagines that he is reading for

his 500 friends and colleagues. If he finds something that could be helpful to one of

them, he sends a handwritten note along with the article or book.


Whether your number is 200 or 500, our professional world is much smaller

than we might at first realize. Our relatively small network of professionals provides

an enormous source of value for everyone involved – through the currency of

shared respect and trust.


Genuine Relationships, Not LinkedIn Connections


Here’s a simple exercise. Take a few minutes and scroll through your LinkedIn network.

Put each person into one of two groups:


  • Group One: Those you know well enough to ask a favor
  • Group Two: Those you barely know at all


I’m willing to bet that at least 90% of those in your LinkedIn are people

you barely know. My guess is these are people who sent you a LinkedIn request

and in less than two seconds you clicked “Accept.” This group does not signify a

meaningful relationship. Group Two is not your 200 people – at least not yet. Our

200 people are those we can call when we need help and those we assist when they

need help.


The reason I make this distinction between Group One and Group Two is

to make a point about relationship building. Our vast LinkedIn network doesn’t

equate to real-world relationships. Close relationships are built over time in getting

to know someone, working side by side with them, and in giving and receiving

assistance. Our goal as rainmakers is to build genuine relationships, not amass a

gigabyte of names in an online Rolodex.



Click here to order your copy of my new book, How To Win Client Business, today!