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So you tell two friends and they tell two friends and so on and so on

It was Albert Einstein who said: “The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest” and although it is an awesome power it is still dependent on three factors to succeed which are the amount of money, interest rate and length of time. If all three conditions are perfect, this power undoubtedly will make you wealthy. Let me also point out the obvious that if any of the three factors are imperfect such as: the amount of money is insignificant, the interest rate is low and the length of time is too short this awesome power may dwindle to tremendous disappointment. In this article I am going to point your attention to another awesome power, which is that of your connections network.

Imagine having the access to a huge network of people with many of them being your potential future clients and others as recommenders of your products and services. This is actually easier to accomplish than you think with a couple of prerequisites. The first being that you are doing notable work that generates successful results for your clients that is appreciated, while the second is that you have established good relationships with people in your network such as your clients, friends, associates and suppliers.

Take a look at the chart below and let’s explore the potential and numbers for a moment. If you know one client, one friend, one associate and one supplier (represented by the blue color and level-1 relationship) and they each know and would recommend you to one client, one friend, one associate and one supplier (represented by the purple color and level-2 relationship) that would represent 16 new contacts at your disposal. Now imagine if these contacts know and recommend you to one of their contacts (represented by the yellow color and level-3 relationship) which would then grow the potential to 64 new contacts for you to explore. To understand the significance of this potential, multiply level-1 and level-2 numbers by the multiple people you know and the ones they know. This number of contacts you may reach could actually be astonishing and overwhelmingly huge.

(Click on image to enlarge)

The challenge is that most of us do not explore the possibility of increasing our contacts network by asking for referrals and unfortunately we fail to do it systematically and frequently. I believe the best time to ask our clients for a referral is when they share with us how successful they’ve been as a direct result of our work together. I would then simply say: “Mary, as you are probably aware, networking, referrals and building relationships over the long-term have been the key to our success. Do you have some people in mind who would benefit from my help? I can use your name or not use it, or you may wish to introduce us as a win/win/win.”

And finally, LinkedIn is a site that has been created to leverage the Internet to successfully grow this concept of level-1, level-2 and level-3 network of your connections. More on that in my future articles here and on my blog. Until then, you are welcome to join my own network by checking out my own profile on LinkedIn. And why not take a moment to identify your network and how to grow your connections. You may be astonished to discover a new and awesome force you did not realize exists.

© Chad Barr 2008 All rights reserved.

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