For Jarle Thorsen, his success and power through exergonix and Unaico, which he founded nine years ago and has successfully managed since, is down to knowing the right people. Being a successful businessman means speaking to envestors, knowing people with money, networking with other business owners, and so on. According to Thorsen, traveling to Hong Kong to meet a business contact and build a new relationship is as valuable as knowing how to avoid a pyramid scheme. So how do you get the know the right people?

Jarle Thorsen on Building Relationships with the Right People

The most important thing is that you learnt to build bridges rather than burn them. This means you must always be respectful, professional, courteous, and friendly. Every new encounter could be the start of a valuable relationship with an employer, investor, or business partner. A relationship should only be ended when it is completely necessary. Many people who leave a job make sure they first tell their boss how they really feel, which is after they have slept off since knowing they would get a new job. This is a terrible attitude that will only destroy your network in the long run.

Secondly, it is very important to learn to network in the human way and not as the representative of a product. Networking has become a bit of a buzz word and many now see it as shallow. In reality however, it is vital to business success but it is important to understand that it is about true human connections. All interactions should be holistic and friendly, thereby ensuring people remember you. Who you know is important in every industry, often more so than what you know.

To be successful at networking, you must have excellent interpersonal skills. While this is a soft skill, it is something that you can learn to develop. In fact, the most successful business people in the world have fantastic social skills as well as cognitive skills.  To develop your interpersonal skills, start by becoming appreciative of the work other people do. Make sure you learn how to listen in active manner, which means showing that you understand what is being said. Do also pay attention to your surroundings and other people, listening to their body language as well. It is also about connecting other people together and not just to you. Last but not least, you must learn to be a leader when it comes to conflict, thereby helping to resolve them.

Finally, you have to get to know your clients and customers. While it is very important that you develop relationships with potential employers and partners as well as your coworkers, you should also develop those relationships with the people who end up actually funding your business by becoming your customer. Most people decide whether or not to buy something based on their emotions and not solely on the price. Acknowledging the importance of the customer is key to becoming successful in business.