You want to be that person. It doesn’t hurt to be known as “the contact” within your company. To be that person, you have to spend the time building your knowledge bank. How do you do that when you are so busy with your own job? It is a good question and I don’t want to put more pressure on you, but you can work on it in small snippets of time. Take 5 minutes to find out who your company’s competition is. What companies seem to run through marketing personnel at a regular pace? Who has new products coming out in the marketplace?
These examples are company specific but you can also create your contacts outside the firm as well. Who has the best service in printing; where can someone find a course on software training; do you have a connection in a certain industry?
My family laughs at me but when someone says “do you know where I can get…”, I can usually tell them. When they ask if I know someone with certain skills, I usually do. It comes from talking to people, and being curious about what skills they have. I don’t know everything, certainly, but I know people. That is a big asset, especially in business. Don’t restrict your contact list to those who are in a position to be useful to you. Meet people on their own turf. Make friends with those that you can help.
I always say “I don’t know who I know.” But when a question crops up, I can usually think of those people in a different context. That is where my mental rolodex starts spinning. Luckily, it usually stops in the right spot.
So spend the time – start now. You won’t be sorry.