So often, we hear that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. In science and logic that’s completely true.
Unfortunately, humans are rarely scientifically logical people.
Millions of variables, changing conditions, and raging emotions steadily demand that we develop more and more convoluted methods to get to our “Point B”, whether it be a goal, a market, or as this blog identifies, a person.
A person, yeah you know them. The online apple of your eye. That person that you follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. You researched their Skype, found their address on pipl.com, and tried 20 combinations of their first and last name at Gmail.com and their website.com until you got through to them.
Why so much effort for one person? Why so much output when there are literally billions of people on the planet? Easy, it’s because you’ve decided one specific thing. You’ve made a definitive decision.
Connecting with this person can change your life/career/business.
Fair enough, you need to connect/get endorsements from this person. Identifying them is the easy part, now comes the hard part; getting on their radar for a conversation/lunch/meeting.
That shouldn’t be hard; they’re just a guy/girl. They put on their pants/skirt the same way that you do, they’re no better a human being than you, you should definitely be able to get a meeting, except that…
Everyone in the world wants their time. Everyone in the world needs their endorsement. They can improve anyone’s life/business/twitter status by just mentioning them.
How do you stand out in a crowd of thousands…all yelling for one person’s attention.
To solve this, I think about politicians, and stars. Hounded hourly by mobs of fans, photographers, paparazzi….how do you get their attention?
Well you can yell over everyone else, and that works for the press, and paparazzi in the moment. But what happens when you’re not the best yeller, the loudest shouter, the most visible target?
You use Triangulation.
Let me explain. Have you ever seen a politician taking questions, or a start being led out of a venue by their handlers? Have you ever noticed that sometimes that a third party suddenly pulls them from the screaming press and directs them personally to someone who isn’t even yelling to answer a question?
Who in the heck is THAT person?
It doesn’t matter, what does matter is the method to become that person. And the fact that smart people have been using it for years.
Let’s refresh, science says the shortest distance is a straight line. In that case the loudest yeller wins.
Triangulation says the shortest distance is through a trusted resource. In that case the volume never matters. Getting the ear of someone who already has the ear of whoever you want to speak to trumps the crowd 100 out of 100 times.
How do you do it? Research.
Find out who the key influencers of your target are. Who do they talk to the most? Who do they interact with the most? Who gives them advice?
Connect and be a benefit to those people. Understand that saying hi and being buddy-buddy isn’t enough. Your goal is to be share-worthy. Do something that knocks their socks off. Find something they’ve been looking for. Get them some new business. Solve their largest problem.
Be someone who they would refer to their closest friends…especially one of their closest friends who just happen to be the person you want to connect with.
Think about this, if three of your closest friends all tell you that you need to meet with one person, what’s the likelihood that you’ll meet with them? Usually close to 100%
Now the dynamic changes… Your target is targeting you, and we all know how powerful it is to be the hunted instead of the hunter. Your hero sees you as a hero to the people they trust the most. Think of how open they’ll be to anything you propose?
Just to review, here’s the steps of triangulation:
- Decide on a target
- Identify their top 3 (Triangle) influencers/friends
- Connect with those influencers
- Add massive value to this group
- Ask for an introduction
Now to close, I want to give a tip for asking for the introduction. Most people will ask all of them at the same time, but that’s a mistake. Think about the amount of requests and conversations that your target has every day, you need to stagger your requests in waves.
Have each of the influencers request your introduction about a week or two apart, the repetition will create urgency in your target’s mind, “Oh yeah, I NEED to connect with them!” Grouping your requests together makes you have to go back and request meetings too often and compromises your positioning.
The best thing about triangulation, is that you’ve earned the meeting. You’re a resource, you’re helpful. To be good at triangulation, you have be worth it for people to leverage their friendships for you; and you better believe that they’ll need a good reason to do that.
So don’t yell, don’t shout. Don’t send pretty packages to their home and scare their children, and please, don’t show up during dinner with your pitch. Earn your attention through making the lives of the people that they care about better, and you’ll never have to worry about connecting with whoever you need to.
Who would have thought that the shortest distance between two points would really be a triangle…I guess that’s why nobody gets advanced degrees in Geometry.