Being Bruce -: Networking Event Tip #15 -Are You a Connector?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Networking Event Tip #15 -Are You a Connector?

Do people say to you, "You know everybody!"? If you hear that fairly often, it's a good thing. Now practically of course you don't know "everybody", but if you do actively work at knowing people, AND if you make a habit of recommending or introducing people, you'll quickly be recognized as a 'Connector'.

Connectors are valued because if someone else is trying to recommend a whatver (insert business specialty here) and can't think of someone they know and trust, if a Connector is nearby they'll make a secondary recommendation that the person check with the Connector, they might even make an introduction.

Why would you want to be considered a Connector? Well not only will helping people find others they need or seek be doing service to those people, which is itself a good thing, but you'll gain some points in the networking game from two, three, or possibly even more people when you make a great recommendation or introduction.

If for example, someone at an event brings a new acquaintance over to you to ask for a recommendation for, let's say a personal chef to cater a small party, you will help the "someone", his or her new acquaintance, and a chef you know and, less directly, you'll likely be noticed providing the recommendation by others in the room. So you help yourself by helping others, and all it takes is knowing people.

Important sidenote: if you make a recommendation for service, do be sure you're making a good recommendation. If you gush with praise about someone who eventually does a poor job, or worse, you lose. It's certainly OK, btw, to say something like, "Gee, I just met a guy last week who does that in your area. I haven't had any personal experience with him, but check him out." That way even if the goods or service provider doesn't pan out, you've helped the seeker.

It's not hard to become known as a Connector, but if you're not already one (you know it if you are) it takes a little time as you get in the habit of meeting and knowing enough about people to recommend them.

This post is one in a series on how to make the most of in-person networking events. If you're going to go (and I suggest you do if your business benefits from relationships), you might as have the most fun possible and give and receive the greatest benefits from the occasion.

If you know of a networking event in the greater Wilmington Area [which means to me anywhere from Topsail Island, NC to North Myrtle Beach, SC] that's open to visitors, drop me a note ahead of time and I'll try to post it.