The Grapes of Math 2.0
(The Compound Effect of Relationships)
Networking is like earning compound interest, which according to Einstein, is the 8th Wonder of The World. Just by adding 10 “A+” or “A” caliber *Power Partners into your Sphere of Influence and you gain the potential of 2,500 connections, to people you can help with their businesses or personal needs and in turn may help you. (The average person knows 250 people according to a study done at Harvard University). Notice I said help not sell-to; your job is to establish rapport first through sharing your talents.
Think of the people you know as gatekeepers to those 250 doors (relationships) behind them. You do not need to sell to the gatekeeper, you just need to sell them on the idea of referring you to their "doors". This occurs through demonstrating your competence and character to them, not just rushing in for the sale.
Sales through Networking can only occur through rapport, trust and relationships; so your challenge is to find and add the "givers" to your business. First be a giver to them and watch what happens! "Give it out in slices, it comes back in loaves." as the saying goes.
It is a leap of faith; take the first step! But be smart (not guarded), my business coach at Buffini & Company always reminds me:
“Givers need to set boundaries because takers have none.” ~My Coach Cami N.
Your Database/Client Relationship Manager becomes like a garden, ergo if I plant 10 grape seeds, I may yield 1-5 plants that sprout and mature, because not all seeds germinate to begin with. Just like when you sort & qualify your Sphere of Influence (all your relationships) into a CRM (Client Relationship Manager).
Your Database/CRM, like a garden, requires: weeding and tilling the soil (sorting & qualifying), fertilizing (personal notes),water (calls, emails & video text) and sunshine (pop-bys, breaking bread and client parties) and in order to create strong roots, healthy plants and a future harvest. Not every contact that goes into your CRM will germinate into a relationship that produces referrals for you. Some will naturally (A's), others if asked (B's) and many just don't (D's). Then there's those A+ clients that are like your fan club, they not only do refer you, they make an effort to do so often naturally; these are your prized "grape vines" with your vintage referrals.
The Grapes of Math: Harvard University that did a study years ago that determined the average person knows 250 people (just plan a wedding at $80+/head or create a Christmas Card List and you'll see this is true). Based on this study, I created The Grapes of Math which is the basic mathematical belief in the compound effect of networking; that each seed (relationship) that grows into a trunk and vines aka cordons (referral sources or pipelines), can produce multiple canes (connections) with hundreds of bunches of grapes aka clusters (referral opportunities), which means thousands of grapes (referrals).
Beyond the Grapes of Math, I have applied this theory to the rest of my garden. Because I live in a townhome, I'm now a container gardener and I currently care for 52 potted plants, flowers, vines and trees. The majority of my garden was given to me as gifts from my bride, sellers and tenants moving out that needed to give their plants a home and literally chutes I cut from other trees and shrubs that I got to take root and grow. The metaphors and lessons are endless in my garden; how does your garden (network) grow?
Beauties in my garden: grown from 1 gal plantings or yes; seeds and TLC!
*Power Partners: strategic alliances with other businesses targeting the same clientele as you, but offering non-competeing or even complimentary services. For example: A Realtor and a Lender both offer necessary services to buyers and they are complimentary services to each other; most buyers needs both.
If you have not read the story,
Let me share with you the story of...The Grapes of Math 1.0