How many people do we need in our network?

For us business owners, we know the value of connecting with someone new. Whether they could be a prospect, a friend, an information source or a referral source, they are someone most of us take the time to meet.

For those just starting out in business, the question is often,

How many people do I need to know to make this work?

Well, if This is word of mouth marketing/referral marketing, then it may be a number different than most business builders think.
Depending on the number of clients you need to support your business, and how marketable your services/products are, the number will vary.

Say, for instance, you sell something to customers who will never buy again, because you sell solutions, then you must be constantly attracting and selling to new clients. If your average $ transaction is low, the number of clients needed is higher. The more people you know, the better your chances of getting new business, IF you have a good relationship with them and they need what you have.

If your business is about maintaining, supporting, training or something other than problem-solving, the client turnover rate is much less, if you’re doing a good job and pleasing the customer. Yet you still need to get your message out to a great number of people before your service solution makes a sale.

So how many people, on average, do we need to know to get steady business?

Most business owners and professionals in business for at least 7 or 8 years will know, on the average, 1200 people. Seem high? No, it’s actually an average, and one that is often exceeded by people very involved in their community. Considering all the folks we’ve met in life, from high school until today, we’ve touched many lives and have quite the list of names to show for it.

The trick is in making use of people we already know. And since some of the people we know will be those we’ve not seen or spoken to in years, some will be in other areas of the country, some will be inaccessible, we have whittled down the list tremendously. Possibly from 1200 to 750. Is this enough?

Consider the fact that if we know 1200 people, the remaining 750 people in our list knows an average of 1200 people, too. Wow. Now that’s 900,000 in our network.

However – there are only a few who will move into action on our behalf. Maybe a dozen. Quite possibly even fewer. Which still means 14,400 people are at our disposal in our network.

So how many people do we have to know? Actually, the question really should be, how many people are we willing to regularly connect with?

If our message needs to reach a great number of people, let’s at least give it to a handful – as in the social networking diagram – regularly. The only way they can share the message is if they know it. And the only way our message will be repeated is if we have delivered it, made a powerful connection and motivated the listener to spread the word. And a several steps closer than through social media is through face to face connections.

How many people are in your network? Better yet, how many of them do you connect with regularly, sharing a message worth repeating? Connect….connect….connect.

Individual communication coaching

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On September 8th, 2010, posted in: Connecting, delivering by