Who is your “go to person?” Who do you call when you need a plumber or have a car repair or need a new dentist? Everyone knows a person that knows someone. Jerry Seinfeld had “a guy.” Are you “that person?” How does one become “that person?”
I’m a very loyal customer. I always ask sales people if they are commission. If they are commission, I call them back. If, and only if they’ve done their job and earned my business. I have business cards for the first person in Georgia that we bought a car from – and subsequently bought four more cars from him. I also referred countless people to him. I’m “that person.”
A Good Connector Listens
A good connector first and foremost talks to people and listens to what they value – how they work– what is important to them. I meet people for coffee. I don’t talk business – I talk life. Who are they? What makes them tick? Who are their children? Where do they come from? I recently met someone for an iced tea and at the end of the hour, they asked if I wanted to see their portfolio. Sure – that was important – but what was more important was we spend an hour together and I knew all about them – not their product. I know what their product is. Once you’ve seen one widget, you’ve seen most widgets. I knew we would have another time to talk product and I knew I would refer them when the opportunity arose.
A Good Connector Remembers
A good connector remembers people and remembers what they do. I may not always have a name right there but I probably have them in my contact list in my phone. Remember that old commercial – are they phone worthy? If I'm comfortable referring you - you are in my contact list. I may label you as "Firewood Jeff" but you are in there and searchable if needed.
A Good Connector is Not Afraid
A good connector is not afraid to connect. I recently had a client that wanted to go above and beyond what I felt were my capabilities. I didn’t feel I could provide them what they needed.
Recently, I had admired and noticed the work of another entrepreneur in my tribe – although we had never been in the same place at the same time. We happened to be in the same place at the same time and I had the pleasure of making the introduction to each other. While I had never met this entrepreneur until then, I had already set up the idea of the introduction to my client and was able to make this connection. It was a win-win for all three of us. For me because I will see my client taken care of then return to me with a better understanding of why and what they need from me.
A Good Connector Has No Expectations
A good connector connects without expecting anything in return but good will. Recently I was briefly involved in a networking group. I didn’t stay long because to me – networking in the truest sense – is helping others in business without monetary reciprocity. In this case I didn’t feel that relationships were being built on merit, but on who paid the best referral fee. I was not comfortable with that model.
My reputation is part of a connection and I want to make sure my referral or introduction was not driven by monetary gain but by truly doing what is best for my associate. Don’t get me wrong – money is great. I love money and would not turn it down. I believe in a truly connecting relationship money is not the issue – good will is first. (I prefer you not even mention it - just send me a check if you get business but I don't expect it.)
A Good Connector Lets It Happen
A good connector may follow up however they step back and let the relationship they created build – or not build. Sometimes the connection is just not meant to be. Maybe the skill set is not quite what is needed. Perhaps the time frame isn’t workable. Or maybe they just don’t “gel.” That’s okay. I often make the comment that I set up the blind date but the engagement and marriage is up to them.
The tip is to be on the lookout for connections and make the connections when the need arises. It is satisfying to make good connections. It is satisfying to promote other’s businesses and help them succeed. It is satisfying to watch others grow and build. Satisfaction guaranteed.
How do you make good connections?
Working the Connection - Be A Connector is one of the tips by Lori Lyons in Insider Tips 2 - a 20 author collaboration of even more business and life building tips. For more information or to order click here.