Becoming a Master Connectorstring(27) "Becoming a Master Connector"
Master Connectors are the individuals within every community that other people go to when they have a problem and need to find a solution. Master Connectors naturally attract people to them, both customers and the people who need someone to help with finding solutions. Becoming a Master Connector makes business easier because people are coming to you rather than you always having to go find them; it is a way to generate more referrals and more revenue for your business.
It’s no secret that some people do better than others in life. Is it because they are lucky? No, I think it’s because of two things. One, the harder you work, the luckier you get. And two, it’s about working smarter, not just harder. Becoming a Master Connector is about working harder and, more importantly, working smarter. Master Connectors exemplify the philosophy of Givers Gain® by helping others with the attitude: If I help you and you help me, we will all do better as a result.
It Starts with Attitude
The good news is that becoming a Master Connector doesn’t require years of experience. It only requires a positive attitude, a “give-first” state of mind, and a willingness to commit to learning how to become a Master Connector.
Master Connectors do more one-to-one meetings with fellow members of their networking group. They give more referrals, and they’re the first to step forward to mentor someone when help is needed. They bring more visitors to their networking meetings, and they help interested visitors to become members. It is not surprising that they build strong, long-lasting relationships and receive more referrals than most people.
The Connector Effect
In my book, The Connector Effect, co-authored with Graham Weihmiller and Robert Skrob, we talk about the “Connector Effect” as your ability to attract people to you. It grows in proportion to your referral network and your ability to solve problems for your friends, family, and your best customers by referring those people to the members in your business network. The more members that you have within your network, the more problems you’re able to help solve for people you know outside of your networking group. You connect people who have a need to the trusted members of your network who can help them. And because your referral partners also trust you and your expertise in your field, they pass referrals of their friends, family, and clients to you.
My Path to Master Connector
When I started BNI® in 1985, I really wanted to be a connector. That was my focus, I wanted to connect people. So, every two or three months I would mail a two-page paper letter to hundreds of people that were in my database, which, at the time, consisted of my Rolodex. The cover letter said, “One of the things I like to do is to build relationships and connect people. Attached is a single sheet of paper with the names of professions that you might have a need for. If you do, just call me and I’ll put you in touch with somebody who handles that.” The second page of the letter had a list of trusted business professionals that I knew and did business with. It did not have their names, it did not have their phone numbers – it only had their type of business profession.
It took about six months to a year, but people started calling me and asking, “Hey, do you know this person? Do you know that person?” I didn’t give the phone numbers in my letter because I wanted to make the connection personally. And that is how I started my path to becoming a Master Connector and ended up building BNI.
Master Connectors love to help people. They practice lifelong learning and continuously hone their skills by doing six things a thousand times rather than doing a thousand things six times.
They know that business networking is more about farming than it is about hunting, and they know how to reap the harvest related to the connections that they make.