What is a power connector? Am I one? More importantly if I am not how can I become one? These are questions that I hear more and more as the term gets bantered around the ‘networking’ circles. People want to know a power connector because these are the ones that others gravitate towards.
Well, to better understand what a power connector is so that you can determine if it is something you want to be let’s break down the elements of what constitutes being one.
First it doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or extrovert – that honestly has nothing to do with your abilities to be a power connector as contrary to popular belief an introvert makes for a better networker.
Great networkers are not born, they can be created. And it need not be a complex process. The great news is that anyone can improve their networking and influencing skills. The networking world is open to everyone, without exception, as long as your networking values are strong, ethical and transparent. A power connector is just a networker with honed skills making them more of a value to others.
A power connector knows when to listen instead of dominating the conversation and has adapted techniques to remember key elements of the conversation they are in. They also keep an active collection of professionals they can call on when needed because they are not vain enough to think they can be great alone. A power connector stays in regular communication with their inner circle of professional relationships so that when they make a new connection they can bring a value to them by solving a need.
Great power connectors network ethically, professionally and courteously – aware that every great relationship they have was once a perfect stranger, and that you never know who that stranger in front of you actually has in their network.
Believe in themselves, give themselves permission to be great without ego, follow up with their relations, are always open for business, work with a schedule, set long & short-term goals, look for ways to be of service, cultivate relations with others better than themselves, don’t need to disparage on their competitors, are solvers not sellers, are programmed with I am – I will – I do – I have – I can, are able to focus in the moment they are in…
Below is a quick way to take a gauge on your present network level:
|Please circle or mark your response||Yes||No|
|1||In the past seven days, have you exchanged business cards or contact information with every stranger you have met and spoken to for more than three minutes, both in and out of work?||Y||N|
|2||Have you given a referral to someone in your network in the last seven days?||Y||N|
|3||Are you currently a financial (invested) member of at least TWO networks, e.g. associations, business networks, special interest groups, chambers of commerce?||Y||N|
|4||Being an active member, have you attended an event at both of these networks within the last thirty days?||Y||N|
|5||Have you sent one or more handwritten cards (thank you, birthday, congratulations, etc) this week?||Y||N|
|6||Does your current business card state clearly your name, what business you are in, and all your contact details?||Y||N|
|7||Do you check and follow up at least twice daily your voice mail, email or other means your contacts have to reach you?||Y||N|
|8||Do you have a client retention rate of more than 75% each year?||Y||N|
|9||Do you focus on the moment you are in with the ability to retain what is being spoken to you?||Y||N|
|10||Do you have a system in place where you record and acknowledge your connections, goals and accomplishments every day?||Y||N|
Score (1) point for every YES and (0) for each NO
9-10) CONGRATULATIONS – You have the values of a master networker!! Share your knowledge and skills for a higher gratification!
5-8) Well Done! If you make your network skills a priority over the coming week using your connections to help others solving instead of selling you may have your best year yet!
2-4) Start connecting with power connectors immediately. Have a value meeting with them and ask what their techniques are – schedule time with someone in the networking industry for tips you can put into practice – practice – practice….
0-1) You may have feared networking in the past but reaching out to others with these skills already honed & joining a network business group to build friendships will help you overcome that fear. Partner with a power connector for events and follow their lead.
Study the people in your network identify who the master networkers are and specifically what they do to make you feel special when you connect with them.
PRACTICE – PRACTICE – PRACTICE
REMEMBER EVERY ONE OF YOUR BEST FRIENDS WAS ONCE A PERFECT STRANGER!