His #1 New York times best-selling
books Never Eat Alone and Who’s
Got Your Back propelled him
into the spotlight by redefining
relationship growth. He is now
considered the world’s foremost
expert in professional relationship
development. At 32, he became the
youngest CMO in any Fortune 500
company. Today, as CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, he advises companies everywhere on how and
why to change, and the importance
of positive relationships to that
Given our problems in the industry with our ability to engage and
influence HCPs, Keith’s experience
on changing both behavior and
culture can be very valuable to us.
True to his teachings in Never Eat
Alone Keith really never does eat
alone! At our breakfast together I
was immediately put at ease with
his open, generous approach.
He really is dedicated to helping
whomever is in front of him.
One of Keith’s key messages is that
in order to change culture, you
have to change behavior first –
then the culture changes naturally.
But how do you change behavior?
Here are some of the things he
pointed out that help effect that.
1 People get into the industry
because they want to help. This is
important: recognizing that most
people in this business believe in
the causes it serves, not just the
money it offers. What is needed is
a way of getting back to their original intent, what he calls “
engineering to gravity.”
2 Shareholder value comes from
customer value. In every business
he’s studied, he assures us that if
you focus on the customer, the
economics catches up. “The greatest aspiration we should have is to
be as generous as possible to our
targeted customer base.”
3 Employees are as important as
customers. A conduit to focusing
on customers has to be focusing
on employees. “If they’re being
squeezed,” he says, “they don’t have
the opportunity to serve.”
4 Start internally. Keith says that
high-return sales strategies depend
on elevating and collaborating,
internally and externally. And
you have to focus on the internal
elevation and collaboration first.
Whoever is managing the key strategic accounts has to know how to
effectively create solutions internally in order to deliver the robust
5 Practice, practice, practice. The
old level behavior was to push a
script. The new level behavior is
to come up with patient-based
solutions for efficacy, for instance.
What are the specific practices that
will allow that to occur? One of the
things you have to do is process
that dialogue and process the solution internally. That behavior has
to be practiced and processed until
it becomes a ritual -- and then it
becomes a culture.
6 Changing the crisis of trust.
The recent bad publicity and image
of the industry is what he calls a
negative relationship. In order to
create a positive relationship, you
have to pass through some form of
candor or transparency. Keith ad-
vises being frank and vulnerable,
doubling down on authenticity.
Saying things like “I would imagine you’re going to think someone
in my position is just concerned
about how many scripts you’re
going to write. But let me explain
to you why that’s not even a good
business model. It’s more important to us for a long-term relationship that you trust us.”
7 How relationships happen.
“You’ve got to bond to the [cus-tomer] on an emotional, an empathetic level. The art of selling is the
art of empathy. Your job is to build
a relationship and to be of service.
That’s what it means to be a trusted
advisor, which is what we teach.
8 Change the behavior to change
the culture: Keith says you have to
ask which constituencies need to
change which behaviors, and that
the first constituency is you. What
do you need to do to show the organization you’re willing to change
your behaviors? He advises leaders
to tell their stories about how they
humbly need to make a change in
themselves. This gives permission
for the organization to make their