Fitton (known as @pistachio on Twitter, after the horrible paint color of an early home
office) revealed her five guiding principles for building relationships:
Start with people closest to you and work
The people who know you best can be stronger advocates because they know you
and believe in you.
Give before you ask.
Promote other people’s work before you ask them for a favor. Fitton said being
bullied in school made her post-“I care what people think of me,” so she’s
fearless about introducing herself and putting herself out there.
Get to know someone first.
Fitton acted out a scene from The Little
Prince in which the little prince gradually gets to know the fox and gives
him his space. Fitton said Twitter is a great application of that concept
because you can view someone’s tweets before you interact with them.
Be scrappy and act on all opportunities.
According to Fitton, entrepreneurs are people who are driven to get up and fix
a situation, even if it’s not their job. For instance, in a conference that’s
either too hot or too cold, the entrepreneur is the one “hacking the
Don’t go alone.
Fitton told several stories about reaching out to people after hearing them
speak at an event and winning them over gradually. Her 100,000+ Twitter
followers would seem to prove her point.
Douglas (@MattDouglas on Twitter) followed Fitton’s presentation with several anecdotes
of his own. “First make a relationship, then do business,” he urged. Douglas
demonstrated this by asking attendees where they’re from, what they ate for
breakfast, and other tidbits which he later worked back into the conversation
to build rapport. “What you’re doing is going to change, but if we’re having a
conversation I can get to know you as a person,” he explained.
Douglas’ other memorable (and much tweeted) advice was “if you’re having a bad
day, go to bed. You’ll feel better.”
on the Tech Cocktail Boston Sessions, check out C. Todd Lombardo’s sketch notes from the event. The next Tech Cocktail event in Boston is July 17.
Susan Johnston is a journalist and contributor to VentureFizz. You can follow Susan on Twitter (@UrbanMuseWriter) by clicking here.