Interview with Master Networker, Marty Latman
Interviewer: Andrew Zezas, SIOR
Following is the transcript of a CFO Studio interview between Andrew Zezas, CEO of New Jersey based Real Estate Strategies Corporation and finance & operational executive, Marty Latman.
Visit www.CFOstudio.com to read about this interview and to watch the entire video interview.
Zezas: Hi, this is Andrew Zezas, your host at CFO Studio. Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Marty Latman, finance executive and networker extraordinaire. Marty is known throughout the area as a master networker, someone who truly understands the art of networking, and it’s a pleasure to have him here today. Marty, it’s so nice to see you. Thanks for being on CFO Studio.
Latman: Andy, it’s my pleasure. It really is.
Zezas: Marty, as I said in the introduction, people call you master networker. What about you, what about your career has made you such a success at networking?
Latman: Well Andy, it’s really very simple. I spend a lot of time building relationships with people. I initiate conversations and I get to know people. That’s what’s important.
Zezas: So, relationship building and networking go hand in hand.
Latman: Hand in hand. Networking is truly relationship building. A lot of people feel you have to get to know a lot of people in networking. That’s important, but what’s really important is getting to know a lot of people who really get to know you.
Zezas: So, it’s not about who I know, but it’s who knows me.
Zezas: So, in the networking process, I have to believe that you personally are involved in a lot of different networks. Is that true? Are you involved?
Latman: Yes, I am.
Zezas: Tell me which networks you’re involved in.
Latman: I’m involved in about twenty three different networking groups.
Zezas: Twenty three networking groups. Oh my gosh! How do you manage that?
Latman: I’m very good at time management. I spend a lot of time meeting people. I have different networks. I have a professional network, my peers, people that I’ve worked with, and people who are currently in transition professionally. At the same time, I have the personal network; my friends, my family, people in different networking groups, and there are other different types of networks that combine the two.
Zezas: Wow, that’s amazing! So, I think I heard you say you’ve got different networks that are separate and apart, but somehow they’re all connected together.
Latman: That’s correct.
Zezas: That’s amazing! So, let’s talk about folks who are in transition. I’ve seen you in action. I’ve participated with you in various sessions, groups and networking events. And, I’ve watched people who are in transition, both finance execs and others, gravitate to you for assistance. And, I’ve seen you help people, but are you also helping people find jobs?
Latman: Well, yes I have to say that I do. What I really do though is make people focus and I have them think what strategically they have to do to get through this period of transition, get through a lot of the clutter. That’s what it really is all about. When you’re in transition, it seems you get short-circuited. You lose sight of really what your skill sets are and what’s going on. And, I help them take a step back and say, “this is what I’m all about.” Let’s think about where we want to go.
Zezas: So, I heard you talk about strategy while in transition. So, you’re helping not just finance execs, but other execs as well, think about their careers from a strategic perspective and a way they might have thought about their companies.
Latman: Exactly, exactly. That’s what it’s all about.
Zezas: Wow that’s amazing! Tell me where people are going to network and where they should be going to network.
Latman: From a networking standpoint, you could look at different places to go to. Today, alumni groups are really a hot topic to come back to, different colleges and different alumni groups. There are lots of networking groups now. They’re throughout the state. Every time you turn, there’s another networking group. There’s social media; you have LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. People have the chamber of commerce. People sometimes lose sight of that. There are seminars you can go to where you can network. There are family functions, charitable events. If you volunteer, there are other opportunities. Basically, you can network anywhere.
Zezas: You can network with a man on the street.
Zezas: And, as networking has become more prominent, it appears that there are networking opportunities everywhere.
Latman: Everyday, everywhere.
Zezas: Wow! So, tell me about your idea of a successful networker. What does it take to become successful at networking, whether you’re in transition or otherwise?
Latman: Be a giver. Be a giver. Help somebody else. Care for somebody else. There’s payback down the line. Pay forward.
Zezas: So pay it forward. Give first.
Zezas: For a successful networker, I’ve heard you talk about a tool bag. Tell me what a successful, dynamic networker has in his or her tool bag.
Latman: Well, the first and foremost thing they must have is a positive attitude. If you do not have a positive attitude, don’t network. That’s the bottom line. There are other different pieces of material you should have like your own personal business card, an elevator pitch to explain who you are, and a short 15 second synopsis of this what I’m all about. You go to these events, carry your own name badge, so it’s bright, and people could see who you are. [Bring] your resume. There’s also what I call PARSV, which is little stories that talk about your history and where you’ve worked. If there’s been a problem and if you solved it, there was an action that you took, there was a solution. But, most important is the value that you have added to that company. That’s really important to have these little stories and to show how what you have done has added value to the store, to the company. That’s very important. There’s also a marketing profile of yourself and your references. Keep them with you.
Zezas: References. Now let me take you back. You used the term PARSV. You explained it, but what is PARSV? What does it stand for?
Latman: Problem, Action, Result, Solution, and Value.
Zezas: So, the executive in transition should be prepared to present him or herself in that realm: Problem, Action, Result, Solution, and Value.
Zezas: That’s an excellent approach. From a networking perspective, what should a master networker know?
Latman: Well, to be a master networker, you have to understand the challenges that are being faced every day. Discrimination exists. There are different types of discrimination.
Latman: Discrimination. There’s age discrimination, gender discrimination.
Zezas: In the job market, on the executive level today, you’re telling me execs have to be cognizant of this?
Latman: Exactly, exactly. There’s also a situation where you no longer have loyalty among employers and employees. It’s gone in today’s environment.
Zezas: In either direction.
Latman: Either direction.
Zezas: So, job security. No such thing.
Latman: Don’t expect to work for a company for 10 years. It’s not happening anymore. There’s also what you have to realize, there’s an emotional rollercoaster when you go through this… through networking. You always need a support system. People could really council you, call you in a circle. You also have to be able to manage your time. You ask me how many networking groups? I’m very good at managing my time, and at the same time, I look at it that these are the goals I want to set for myself. I want to go to this networking event. I want to meet five people. I want to meet this specific person. That’s what you want to do. You really want to stay focused as you go through this whole situation.
Zezas: It makes perfect sense. Marty, we’re running out of time. I want to ask you one last question. If you were to wrap this up and tell me as a networker, as a season accomplished successful businessman, executive finance, executive networker, what would you define as your credo?
Latman: What I basically say is networking is as simple as ABC. Always Be Connected.
Zezas: Always Be Connected.
Latman: Always Be Connected. Also important is what I consider is ABP. Always Be Positive.
Zezas: Always Be Positive.
Latman: People want to be around positive people. And, finally, what I generally say is that in today’s marketplace, being in transition is truly your permanent position. It’s landing that’s temporary.
Zezas: So, it’s not the transition that’s temporary, but executives could be viewing themselves as landing as the temporary part. Transition is something that will happen before and after, again and again.
Zezas: Marty, that makes a hell of a lot of sense! This has been great. I’m sure we can talk for hours about networking. I want to thank you very much for being here today, for sharing and giving to the folks.
Latman: Andy, my pleasure. It’s truly my pleasure.
Zezas: Thanks Marty. This is Andrew Zezas for CFO Studio, saying thank you for watching.
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