I’ve written about the importance of forming and maintaining professional relationships before. But reading the novel The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, authored by Malcolm Gladwell, has only encouraged me to keep doing so. In the work, Gladwell tries to explain how and why certain things expand rapidly – fads, viruses, crime, and hit products, to name a few. All of these things begin on small scales. Why do some things become hugely popular, while others don’t? And how do they do so in what often seems to be an incredibly short amount of time?
His answer, in part, is due to individuals he names “connectors”. Connectors spread products, ideas, and perspective through word of mouth, viruses through contact. In the business world, connectors are of equal importance. You not only need to act as a connector, but link up with other connectors. If you have a close group of friends and supporters – great. But work on establishing relationships outside that intimate and limited circle. The acquaintances who you establish a friendship with are the persons who will really move your product. They have access to new and different groups of contacts.
Call it networking. Call it working the room. I don’t care what you refer to it as. But in all my different businesses, inventRight, Hot Picks, and Spinformation, I take out time from my schedule to call potential new friends and relations. I reach a hand out – how can that person and I work together? How can we mutually benefit one another? I’ve seen it work time and time again. And there really isn’t a relationship you will make and later regret. Spend the time to “connect”. It’s an underused tool.
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