Third Small Thing
Once you make a connection with someone, put them in a Category or Group of your own creation. I have 5000 Facebook friends and more than 10,000 email contacts all of whom I have placed into categories. It gives you an extraordinary ability to access those people quickly and efficiently. For example, the next time your company needs some marketing help, go to your “Marketing” category and see who might be best to assist you. Or, if you need to hire some engineering talent in your firm, go to your “Techies” category and reach out to all of them with the click of your mouse. People wonder all of the time at my ability to harness great talent or connections so efficiently. My secret sauce is Categorization.
I have up to 100 different categories that I put people in including groups like: Marketing, Authors, Techies, bankers, Venture Capitalists, Sales, CEO’s, etc. I even have a category for Golfers.
Speaking of the latter, one person that is in my “golfers’ group is David Checketts. In the early 80’s, I met David at an event sponsored by Delta Airlines in Southern California. That was before his career took off as a highly successful sports Executive. Dave later went on the run Madison Square Garden and the NY Knicks, owned the Real Salt Lake successful soccer franchise, and today is CEO of the Legends – a combined business entity of the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees. We exchanged business cards at the time but never had occasion to reconnect for over 25 years.
Nevertheless, because Dave was in my Golfers category, it gave us a unique opportunity to reconnect and find a new way to work together. Specifically, here is how it came together. Early in 2011, I was searching for people to play in a golf tournament with me in Pinehurst, North Carolina. My regular partners were unable to attend so I needed to fill some mission slots. Going to my Yahoo email database, I identified the categories that I had created to contain all of my connections who were interested in golf. I tapped out an email on my computer and sent it out.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Subject: Urgent Golf Opportunity
I have a tremendous golf opportunity for someone but I need a quick reply. I am looking to fill out a team for a golf tourney March 10-14 at the world famous Pinehurst resort. This tourney is a blast. Liberty Mutual is the sponsor for the competition to be held in North Carolina.
Please let me know if you have an interest in joining me.
Warm Regards, David B
Even though David and I had not in recent contact, Dave responded with an interest in playing. I was excited and flattered that Mr. Checketts was willing to come and play golf with me. Over time and through the power of email and social media, I had stayed in touch with Dave. When the time was right we were able to come together in a synergistic way. But it never would have happened without the Categorization of my contacts.
Be part of the 5% that take the time to create categories and make a habit to add new connections to them.
If you want to be seen and heard and separate yourself from the rest of the business crowd, take the foregoing 3 simple steps to success. When I start a task such as this I often reflect on the following a story of a courageous female bush pilot.
As the story goes, while flying within the Arctic Circle, a female bush pilot encountered bad weather. She had no option but to crash-land her plane. With no means of transportation, she was desperate to get to a place of safety. Armed with a few supplies from the wreckage of the plane, she began to hike her way out. The nearest outpost was some 600 miles away. She knew the only way to survive was to make it to this station, on foot. Determined, and with dwindling supplies, bad weather, dangerous conditions and even frozen ground, she walked the 600 miles arriving at her destination. When asked by the people in the hospital how she was able to overcome the brutal conditions and walk the 600 miles, her response was simple but deeply instructional. “I didn’t walk 600 miles. I walked one mile, six hundred times.”
Start your walk today by engaging in these three simple actions that will put you in the top 5% of business connectors.