As a young professional in the world of corporate finance, I have learned in my career that my knowledge and experience in deal execution won’t get me too far (because after all, being technical won’t get you deals…).
Eventually, every industry is a “people industry” and those who have the support from others are more likely to make their way to the summit.
I only came across the term “super connector” last year but was instantly fascinated by it. However, while I know being one would likely help me get more deal referrals, I also know it is more about giving value to my professional circle so that people in it can receive support to achieve their goals.
I have since then become more proactively in reaching out to other professionals who share similar values as me, and I have great joy knowing that a lot of us wish to contribute to our community, and more importantly, those who are way more senior than me are happy to lend me a helping hand.
Not sure if that’s the reason, since then I have started getting referrals from my circle and I am incredibly humbled by that.
I am not sure if I can call myself a super connector, but I am definitely proud to say the power of my professional network has multiplied since I adopted some of the tips below.
1. Get into Conversation by Asking Engaging Questions
Well, if you want to become a super-connector in the professional world, spice up your conversation with more engaging questions. Stop asking people what they do or where they are from (and how you can help them…). People can get frustrated replying to the same questions repeatedly, and of course, it shouldn’t be their job to figure how you can help them.
Arise the curiosity of people when interacting with them and start asking more thought-provoking questions. This interaction should be authentic, show that you are genuinely interested in knowing the other person. You can ask questions like:
- What are you passionate about?
- What do you do in your spare time and why?
- Which fiction or non-fiction book have you read recently?
- Which skill do you find interesting to learn?
- What excites you most about your job?
- Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
It is essential to ask positive questions, and these questions must make another person feel acknowledged. They should feel that you are genuinely interested to know them.
2. Always be a Good Listener
The essential trait of the super-connector is to listen well and learn about another person. It is necessary not only to listen to another person but also to value his/her opinions. Listening will help you to understand the needs and requirements of another person.
When you listen carefully to another person’s needs and dive into their dreams, you can find ways to help them. Adam Rifkin mentions the five-minute favor that can prove life-changing for another person. You can even share some knowledge, provide concise feedback, take the essential details related to the person, etc.
3. Makes Time for the Connections
Super connectors make time for their professional connections. You are advised do a follow-up with your acquaintance after your first encounter with them and let them know that it was great meeting and knowing them.
I like asking people out for lunch. We all need to have lunch anyways, so why not spend that time gaining more knowledge about what else is going on in the industry, and building rapport with another professional who may share my joy and pain?
Along with the follow-up, connect to help the people you meet in need. For example, you can introduce a startup owner with the perfect digital marketing strategist that can provide advice and budgeted plans. The super connector connects the new connector with the existing connecting nodes. They can connect everyone over a quick video chat, phone call, or make his/her new acquaintance meet the old ones. Being a connector between everyone, you will also need to seek and check whether the new person is passionate about connecting with everyone.
4. Nurture Your Relationship
Get a clear mapping of what you want out of your new and existing acquaintances. Filter out the right people that you want in your life. And nurture your relationships with them.
Interact with these people at least once a month (instead of work, I like to text these people random things such as the new good restaurant in their area). People are busy, so if you don’t remind them of your existence and more importantly, your sincerity in building a relationship with them, they will likely forget you (because if I were them, I would too).
5. Associate to Build a Powerful Community
To build a powerful community, you need to be transparent in your communication to let people and groups associate with you.