There’s a theory in matters of business networking that more is better. Fatten up the ol’ Rolodex and you’ll soon be climbing the ladder/locking down your angel round/scoring clients. It’s not true. Relationship capital—your web of contacts and their web of contacts—like a truffle or a well-appointed wardrobe, traffics in quality, not quantity. Keep your network lean.
Rather than glad handing every suit in the room, focus instead on engaging thought leaders and influencers and offering your own no-strings-attached time and energy. You’ll find the investment pays off in unexpected ways. Here are eight ways to get the most of your own relationship capital.