106 Ways to Improve Your Connector Skills

Real Estate Agent with Better Homes & Gardens Mason McDuffie Real Estate

networkI recently stumbled upon a great blog post which featured a list of 106 Tips to Become a Master Connector. 

After reading through the list a few times, I found that some of the items really resonated with me and I thought I'd share my thoughts on a few of them.

Make friends
Those who are best at it don’t network - they make friends. A widening circle of influence is an unintended result, not a calculated aim.

People do business with people they like.  After a particularly bad experiences last year working with a client whom I didn't like, I decided to collaborate or do business with people whom I'd like to be friends with.  It just works out so much better this way.

Connect with super-connectors
Some people know many, many more people than the rest of us. Such people should be the cornerstones to any flourishing network. Once you become friendly with a super-connector, you’re only two degrees away from thousands of different people.

My friend Chris Heuer, founder of the Social Media Club, is a great example for both of the last two tips.  We've been friends since we met at an unconference that he put together in 2005 and he's a super-connector.  I've met so many people and have been exposed to many great ideas through him and his fiance Kristie Wells.

Don’t try to balance your professional and personal life
Balance is a myth. Real connecting insists that you bring the same values to every relationship. As such, dividing your life between professional and personal spheres no longer made sense.

Whether we like it or not, this convergence is happening.  Coincidentally, I just joined a facebook group that deals with this.

Be informed about whom you meet
If you are informed enough to step comfortably into their world and talk knowledgeably, their appreciation will be tangible. The idea is to find a point of common ground that is deep and rich. Then you’ll have an opportunity to bond and impress.

When I read this one, I thought of when I met Matt Mullenweg at a party a few years ago.  I was still fairly new to the tech scene at the time and I had no idea he was the man responsible for Wordpress.  When he introduced himself, I knew I had heard his name before but I just couldn't place it.  I remember asking him quite loudly if he was the guy who created memeorandum.  All of a sudden, it was like one of those moments when everything seems to freeze; you know...phones stop ringing, crickets stop chirping and all the attention focuses on you.  He humbly corrected me and a connection was made. OK, maybe it's not that funny, but I still chuckle when I think of that moment.

Ironically, when I met Gabe Rivera, the man behind memeorandum & Techmeme, it was at Wordcamp, the Wordpress convention.  It's kind of funny how things work out sometime.

Make warm calls
Use these four rules for warm calling:
1. Convey credibility: mention a familiar person or institution.
2. State your value proposition: what can you do for them?
3. Impart urgency and convenience: in most instances, the sole objective of the cold call is to get an appointment.
4. Be prepared to offer a compromise: go big at the outset, leaving room for compromise.

I'm not really big on talking on the phone.  I'd rather use social networking tools like Facebook, Upcoming and Twitter to stay in touch and then connect in person, but I realize that I'm limiting myself and my network by excluding those who aren't using those same tools.  To help remedy this, I've committed to making one warm call a day.  Wish me luck ;)

Ping all the time

80 percent of building and maintaining relationships is just staying in touch (or “pinging”). Pinging takes effort. You have to keep pinging and pinging and pinging and never stop. You have to feed the fire of your network or it will wither or die.

This is why I like services like Twitter.  Through Twitter my friends and I post little updates and interesting tidbits throughout the day to stay in touch.

Do your first follow up soon
Give yourself between 12 and 24 hours after you meet someone to follow up. E-mail is a fine tool for dropping a quick note.

I'm great at this one

Don’t forget to do your second follow-up
In a month’s time, drop the person another e-mail, just to keep in touch.

But I'm not so great at this one.

Always remember the other person’s name
Nothing is sweeter to someone’s ears than their own name.

Another thing that I can improve on.  I don't know why this is so hard for me.  Quite often, I forget someone's name before they're finished introducing themselves.  Hopefully these tips will help me with this one.

Finally.  Here's an actionable item that I'm looking forward to working on.

Create a Relationship Action Plan
There is a process involved in building a network. Your Relationship Action Plan consist of three sections:
1. Your goals up to three years from now in three months increments.
2. Names of people that could help you reach each goal.
3. Strategies to reach the people you list in point 2.
Once you have your plan, post it in a place where you will see it on regular basis.

So, there you have it.  I encourage you to take a look at the list and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production're all over it....I love coaching....
Jun 11, 2007 11:50 AM
Mike Mueller
Tech and Social Media Consultant - Walnut Creek, CA

Wonderful Post Andy! 

BTW: I was just thinking about Pinging you and there was your post! 

Jun 11, 2007 12:16 PM
Ricardo Bueno
Diverse Solutions - Los Angeles, CA
Great stuff! Like Dickey Fox says, "it's about personal relationships!"
Jun 11, 2007 12:26 PM
Christopher & Bernadette Hurley
Go Hurley Group - Sugar Land, TX

Excellent post, this is real quality stuff here. I'm so glad I read it.

Thanks and good luck with a blog that tops this one.

Jun 11, 2007 12:38 PM
Andy Kaufman
Better Homes & Gardens Mason McDuffie Real Estate - Berkeley, CA
East Bay Sales & Investments

Hi everyone, thanks for the kind words.

Mike, I'll be pinging you tomorrow. 

Jun 11, 2007 07:03 PM
Connie Bensen

Hi Andy,

Just browsing your online spaces... It's ironic, just yesterday I tweeted that I was going to add some new friends this weekend (you're #2! but you get credit for connecting first). We follow many of the same people I see. Thanks for adding me on Facebook.

This is a great post - thanks! I love connecting with people. And I do so at a deeper level than just names. Last May at a leadership conference one of the speakers said that people who get closer to their people make better leaders. Lead on!

And thanks for stopping by my blog. :)


Oct 06, 2007 08:18 AM
Gina Kay

Hi Andy,

I'm a Realtor in Ohio. Wondering about "pinging" - it's basically notifying people that your site/blog has been updated, yes? Is the utility free that does this (within the blog site) or do you have to import it, or purchase it? 

Thanks for the list too - great stuff!  gk

Dec 31, 2007 02:52 PM
Andy Kaufman
Better Homes & Gardens Mason McDuffie Real Estate - Berkeley, CA
East Bay Sales & Investments

Hi Gina,

In this instance, the term "pinging" just means to make contact.  To answer your question though, a lot of the blogging platforms will ping the major indexes automatically.  No need to purchase anything special.  Hope that helps. 

Jan 02, 2008 09:25 AM
Arlene Baxter
Red Oak Realty - Berkeley, CA
Listing/Buying agent, Historic to Green, 2012 REALTOR of the Year, Berkeley Association Berkeley CA & environs


Happy New Year 2010! I'm including the year because I'm responding to your blog post from two and a half years ago, but it's applicable to today! It took me until 2009 to really "get it" about social media, and of course that meant just getting started. It's a continual process of evolution, especially as new apps and technology appears. But your post was a fantastic outline of the key items that are still crucial today.

It's no wonder you are one of our local technoratti! I enjoy your reliable and positive voice oon Twitter, and so appreciate all you've done over the years to make local BAR camps a wonderful reality. Keep up the good work! Hope 2010 is off to a great start for you!


Jan 09, 2010 04:04 AM

Ok...So I will find the 106 tips on another blog.<a href=>Robert!</a>

Jan 11, 2012 09:58 PM