Coffee with Robbie #11 – How to build relationships with successful people

Welcome to episode 11 coffee with Robbie.

This week is about building relationships. How to you build relationships with people who are inherently busy? How do you build a relationship with successful people?


This is the most obvious. If you do not have a specific person, you want to meet. These strategies do not really help. When I met James Altucher who is my idol. These are the tactics that I used to meet him. He is one of the busiest that I have ever met. How do you decide whom to target. There are two things

  • Somebody that you admire, somebody that has given back, that you have learnt from.

When you want to learn about how that person has achieved success. It does not matter what industry they are in. you are just interested in meeting that person. You think that just by meeting that person and building a relationship with that person. You can learn more from them or they can become your mentor

  • Someone that has been successful in your industry.


When you think of how to start a relationship with them. It is the easiest way to break down the barrier.

There are too may selfish people out there. You are probably one of the most selfish people I have never met. That is a big reason why successful people put up walls. Too many people want to take. They do not want to provide any value. To determine if you are selfish. There is an easy way. In the last three to six months, how many people can you say you have gone out of your way to help without having any expectation in return? It is always about teaching and helping first. For example, if you want to meet a successful person in your industry. You know about something that they do not. You can offer three tips that can help them grow their business.

There is a man called Deepak Malhotra. A Harvard professor. He is well known for negotiation. He wrote a book about it. Yesterday, he gave me an advanced copy of his new book that is coming out. The question is “how and why? I have never met him in real life, we do not reside in the same place, and we are not in the same industry.

Why would he send me a signed copy of his book? It is because I helped first. When he announced the new book coming out which I was going to pre-order, I said, “Here are 2-3, things that you can do to get more sales from your book. I sent him a LinkedIn message. It was tactical. He actually implemented one of them. I helped him first. I did not ask for anything in return. I do not know how this man can help me. I admire his work and I have learnt from it. I did that by helping first. If you are thinking about meeting somebody.

The question is “how do I help them first?” There is no code that can break down that barrier. Except you are helping first. That is the main goal. Think of the people you have helped in the past. If there is someone, you want to meet and you do not know how to go about it. Ask yourself “how can I help the person?” that is the easiest way to break down barriers. Respect the fact that successful people need help too. They want to advance. If you can help them achieve that by helping in areas that they are not good at and you are good at. Help them with no expectation in return. That is the best way to build any relationship. Anything that you da. Ask yourself “am I really helping?”


Too many people do not show up.

For example, networking events or communicating online. If you show up consistently, they will remember who you are. The successful person goes to many events or talks online. You have learnt from them from free. These people have shown up. If you show up. They will recognize you and that is the easiest way to start building a relationship. It is not just showing up at events. It is about showing, that you are passionate about what you do. By creating great content. Doing great things or by talking about them.

It is a great way to say, “I am in this as well, I am not just looking for some quick tips” you are not just there to build relationships so that you can be introduced to their network. Too many people are selfish. If you show up by building great content. By adding value to your community. They will recognize you. It is not an easy task. however there is a goal. There is a person you want to meet. This is the easiest way. It puts down their barriers.

They understand that “this person is putting a lot of effort into showing up”. It allows them to say, “This person, is someone I do not mind talking to and building a relationship with” because, they are busy and they have shown up. They recognize people that have shown up as well. That is an easy way to gain respect. Many people are asking for career advice. I always tell them to “show up!” They are not showing up at all. Why would anyone help you, if you are not helping first and if you are not showing up?

If there are events you want to go to, you need to show up. If they are hosting a networking event or giving a talk online. Attend, participate and help them. If they are hosting an event. They want people to does not matter how successful they are. They want people to help them. Show up!


Here is how I classify persistence. “Annoying plus value equals persistence” I professional and legally stalked, a man named James Altucher.

It took me four years and I eventually met with him. The first words that he said were “you were the most annoying person that I have ever met” that is fine. Then he said, “I looked you up, I realized you took over 250 coffee meetings for 400 days. That is awesome; do you want to talk about that?”

I was constantly reaching out, but I added value to him. I showed up, I helped first. Every email to him was “how can I help you?” I wanted to help first and he recognized that. If you are just annoying without adding value and without showing up. It is just annoyance. If you are, annoying and you have value. It is called persistence.

Busy people really appreciate persistence. If you really want to meet someone. You have to be annoying, you have to how up, and you have to add value to them. “Annoying plus value equals persistence” it has worked with James Altucher. It has worked with many people that I have connected with. They understood that I was adding value to them and it is okay.

When someone sends me an email and says, “I know you take a lot of coffee meetings, do you want to meet up with me next week?” I used to take a lot of coffee meeting before. What I would do is I will say, “thank you for sending me an email, I am busy this month, do you mind reaching out to me next month and then we will get something in the books. Out of 10 people, only about two people send me an email the next month. I am giving you permission to reach out to me a month later. I am doing this o purpose. Not because I am really, busy. I can make out time. I want to see if they are going to show up, if they are persistent or does this person really want to meet me. If the person meets all these requirements.

Then, I am always happy to give back. If they do not reach out in a month. To me, that means they are selfish. It means they never really wanted it in the first place. You are not bothering a successful person, if you are adding value to them, if you are showing up and if you are persistent.

These are the four ways to build relationships with successful people.

It works!

Thank you.

PS: Read the only resignation letter template you’ll ever need.