Serving leaders struggle to expand their influence with people they don’t know. I find building a network of champion connectors can help accelerate your network and opportunities for growth. But what if you don’t have the right people in your network today?
Today I share what motivates most champion connectors to do what they do. I still use many of these strategies when I’m asked to work in new fields and markets. This material has helped me develop strong relationships with many key leaders around the world and in my local library.
To be a champion connector, you must understand the mindset of the people you’re dealing with. You must know what it takes to influence others to do what’s in their best interest. Many times, before they do. Now let’s get started!
Many of my earliest champion connectors saw their role as mentoring me. Even today I find asking for assistance is a much faster way of building an extraordinary connection with others. If you’re willing to ask for help, you always find people willing to provide it. Successful people are very good at helping others. It’s your job to make sure you close the loop.
Many years ago I needed to talk with several famous CEOs on a special project. My champion connector provided me with an introduction to our state Governor. The Governor then had has executive assistant introduce me to the other CEOs.
All he wanted in return was that I let him know what happened in the meetings so he’d be in the loop the next time they got together to discuss what was going on in the business community. I also learned later after providing feedback to his team that if I didn’t follow up, he would have removed me from his champion connector network.
Champion connectors are ambitious. I was taught at an early age to understand where people are coming from with their ambition. If you know where the other person wants to go, it’s much easier to help get them there. This means you should connect with your champion connectors on a regular basis to make sure their ambitions haven’t changed. Most ambitious people know they need help to reach their goals. You should strive to provide that support.
Finally, you should have good chemistry with your champion connectors. Too many people try to connect with people they don’t like. Good champion connectors work hard to see the best in people.
This doesn’t mean they won’t remove themselves from a challenging situation. Your job is to understand what makes the person comfortable. I have several successful friends who are introverts and painfully shy. When I introduce them to one of my champion connectors I invest more time on the front end to make sure both people are comfortable before leaving them alone on a call or meeting. I also coach the champion connectors on commonalities and similar successes in their lives.
We have discussed the first two keys to developing a stronger connection with your best clients. Next week we talk about how you know if you have the right issue to approach potential clients and partners with. See you next week.