After serendipitously crossing paths as guests on the same radio program on day—Judy and I having a passion and love for networking—we naturally connected with each other. Judy has graciously agreed to grace us with her expertise in a series of guest blog posts. Every Wednesday January 7-February 11, I’ll post one of Judy’s tidbits that will all make us better professionals.
A power connector creates high-quality connections between individuals and their
networks. Power connectors seek to add value by putting the best people in touch with the
best resources, with the goal of creating greater success for all concerned.
Three Important Truths About Building Strong Business Relationships
You walk into a gathering of some of the key thought leaders, influencers, and
business people in your industry. You know many of these people by reputation, but
you’ve never had the chance to meet them face-to-face. This is a golden opportunity
for you to get to know individuals that could be essential to your future success.
As you look into the room, what are you thinking? And how will you approach the
people whom you hope to turn into valuable business contacts?
In my thirty-year career (as a Fortune 500 executive, CEO, and now as an angel
consultant specializing in putting early-stage companies in front of angel and
venture capital investors) I’ve had the chance to enter many rooms where lots of
people with money, fame, or power (sometimes all three) congregate to do deals
with each other. Especially at the beginning, I was the “odd woman out.” I didn’t
know anyone, nor did I feel I had much to offer that would create connections with
such high-powered people.
That is, until I discovered three important truths about building strong business
First, everyone needs something. Whether it’s a batting coach for their kid in Little
League, a new source of funding for their start-up, a good dry-cleaner or virtual
assistant, a friend on the city council, a recommendation or testimonial, an
employee or employer, or someone to purchase their billion-dollar company—all of
us are seeking for help of some kind.
That leads to the second truth: whatever people need, they will most likely find
it through their connections with others. The people in your network are some of
the most valuable assets you can have, both personally and professionally—and the
people in their networks multiply that value exponentially. A 2011 study by the Pew
Interest Group showed that the average person in the U.S. had 634 social ties in
their network. Multiply those 634 people by the people they know, and it means you
can reach almost 402,000 people just through the friends of your friends.
But the third truth is the most important: building strong relationships is easy
when you help people get what they want and need. Whenever you meet
someone—whether they are President of the United States or the guy at the corner
coffee shop—keep one question in your mind: “How can I help?” Then get to know
the other person, find out what’s important to them, and do your best to help them
get what they want or need.
Ultimately, the best way to help people is to connect them with those who can
provide needed resources. That’s what power connectors do—use the power of the
individuals in their networks to help others gain access to the answers, deals,
money, access, power, and influence they require.
Judy Robinett is the author of How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+150 Rule (McGraw-Hill, May 2014), a book that provides instant, effective strategies for meeting the people you need to know and bonding with them fast to further your goals and theirs. Robinett is a business thought leader who is known as “the woman with the titanium digital Rolodex.” She has been profiled in Fast Company, Forbes, Venture Beat, Huffington Post, and Bloomberg Businessweek as a sterling example of the new breed of “super connectors” who use their experience and networks to accelerate growth and enhance profitability.
Judy can be reached at:
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