Do you know who the "hubs" are in your market?
I mean the people like Lois Weisberg, whom Malcolm Gladwell calls "connectors" in a 1999 pre-Tipping Point New Yorker article, "Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg". (BTW, this was my introduction to Gladwell and I quickly developed a crush on him — or actually his writing.)
Here’s a short excerpt:
Lois, it must be said, did not set out to know everyone. "She doesn’t network for the sake of networking," says Gary Johnson, who was Lois’s boss years ago, when she was executive director of the Chicago Council of Lawyers. "I just think she has the confidence that all the people in the world, whether she’s met them or not, are in her Rolodex already, and that all she has to do is figure out how to reach them and she’ll be able to connect with them."
Nor is Lois charismatic — at least, not in the way that we think of extroverts and public figures as being charismatic. She doesn’t fill a room; eyes don’t swivel toward her as she makes her entrance. Lois has frizzy blond hair, and when she’s thinking — between her coffee and her cigarette — she kneads the hair on the top of her head, so that by the end of a particularly difficult meeting it will be standing almost straight up. "She’s not like the image of the Washington society doyenne," Gary Johnson says. "You know, one of those people who identify you, take you to lunch, give you the treatment. Her social life is very different. When I bump into her and she says, ‘Oh, we should catch up,’ what she means is that someday I should go with her to her office, and we’d go down to the snack bar and buy a muffin and then sit in her office while she answered the phone.
So who are the connectors in your industry? (They may not be the most charismatic). Are they part of your network? Are you a "connector"?