“Your differentiator shouldn’t be you and your business — it should be the loyalty and the follow-through you engender in others.” — Lucila Williams
Many of us grew up “marveling” at the famous superheroes, but I’ll never forget my first encounter with a superhero of another kind. I’ll call her the “super-connector.” She was a business woman with an impressive network built on three super powers: first, her uncanny ability to instantaneously connect with people and build relationships; second, her expertise at assessing needs and abilities; and third, her skill at putting the two together and matching connections with opportunities within her own network. This super-connector left a positive impact on everyone she met and her abilities helped them succeed.
As a financial advisor, I interact with a lot of people — clients, centers of influence, community members — it could be 100+ people in any given week. Each time I meet someone, I find myself thinking back to my own “superhero” and wondering how I, too, can be a super-connector and add value to all my interactions. Here’s what I learned:
1. IDENTIFY NEEDS
“How can I help you?” Super-connectors have the unique ability to understand a person’s needs moments after meeting them. When you first meet someone, give them your undivided attention and listen intently to what they’re saying. What are their pain-points? What do they need to succeed?
2. TAKE NOTES
Super-connectors take introductory meetings to the next level. They don’t just acquire basic contact information. They note details — first impressions, where you met, who introduced you, what you talked about and other intimacies from your first introduction. When it comes time for your second meeting, you will be prepared to solidify your connection because you paid attention to their story telling during your first interaction.
3. LEVERAGE YOUR NETWORK
There may be many financial advisors in your community and networking groups, but what makes super-connectors stand out is their ability to draw on resources outside of themselves and their teams to help others. Who do you know that would perfectly meet the needs of one of your connections? Maybe it’s someone in the legal or accounting professions that can complement the work you do with clients, but maybe it’s someone you know on a board level, a community level, or even a personal level. Super-connectors aren’t afraid to branch out with their connecting powers.
Now that you know the keys to unlocking your own super powers, here are a few ways to put them into practice:
- Allow relationships to happen naturally
- Make time for your connections
- Be transparent during all of your conversations and introductions
- Increase your value by connecting with people based on needs and abilities
The key attribute for any superhero is ensuring that you use your powers for good and not evil. The same is true for the super-connector. Success isn’t about you; it’s about helping other people achieve success and the steps you take to help guide them in the right direction.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lucila Williams, CFP® is President of LOTUS Financial Partners*, an advice-based comprehensive financial planning practice in Denver, CO. She specializes in working with women and couples nearing retirement. She is also the Founder of The Intentional Advisor, a practice management consulting firm helping financial advisors build their practices with PURPOSE and on PURPOSE.
*Lucila is an Advisory Representative offering investments and advisory services through Lincoln Financial Securities, Member SIPC.