Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen

The book may be seven years old, but The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is still very relevant and one of the most influential pieces of non-fiction I have ever read. You could say it played a role in the development of Treasure Valley Consultants Network.

If you haven't read the book, I urge you to do so. One particular chapter will give you insight into networking. While it doesn't address networking specifically, it discusses three types of people in the world who have the power to produce social epedemics:

  • Connectors - Those with wide social circles. They are the "hubs" of the human social network and responsible for the small world phenomenon.
  • Mavens - knowledgeable people. While most consumers wouldn't know if a product were priced above or below the market rate, mavens would. Bloggers who detect false claims in the media could also be considered mavens.
  • Salesmen - charismatic people with powerful negotiation skills. They exert "soft" influence rather than forceful power. Their source of influence may be the tendency of others, subconsciously, to imitate them rather than use techniques of conscious persuasion.

Looking at these three types of people, are you one of them? Personally I consider myself a Connector. Are you strong in one area but not so strong in others? The trick is to know and understand these types and learn how to mutually leverage one off of the other.

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