In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “The Tipping Point,” he discusses connectors. Connectors are the people who “link us up with the world … people with a special gift for bringing the world together.” They are “a handful of people with a truly extraordinary knack [… for] making friends and acquaintances.” As entrepreneurs we are required to be serial networkers and to be successful networker, it is critical that we excel as a connector.
Being a connector is an effective way to position your brand. You are defined by the people you work with and know. As you connect quality people with other quality people, your contacts are reminded not only of you and your company, but of the high quality services you provide. If you are defined by the company you keep…the higher quality contacts you have defines your brand’s position in the marketplace.
Gladwell believes that connectors are a select few people in society. However, I contend that any entrepreneur can succeed at connecting. It all starts out with your mindset as you network. When I initially meet someone, the first thing I think about is how I can help this person? I think of people they should meet, networking groups they should join and lastly how my company could possibly help them. I do think of Bop Design’s services and how they could help, but I almost never bring it up in the first conversation. Even if I have the best intentions, people typically respond with skepticism if you bring up how you can help them with your services. On the other hand, if you discuss how you can help them by being a connector, they respond with much less cynicism. You leverage your current relationships to build a new one.
As a connector, you serve as a true resource for your customers, partners and new contacts. That is a great position to hold in the marketplace. We all can be connectors as long as we have the proper mindset in the networking world.