Sunday, 24 June 2012

Two Degrees of Separation

Six degrees of separation implies that through of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend, you could connect with anyone in the world.  The math has been done, and the empirical results justify anywhere from 3 to 6.6 degrees of separation is about right.

Social media is a tool that is supposed to make the world and even smaller place with fewer degrees of separation.  Here’s the reality.  Your friends are your friends because you can spend time with them.  No matter how fast your internet connection is, there are still only 24 hours in a day.  Your close and personal contacts are based upon quality and quantity time.

When you use social media and social networking (through the Chamber of Commerce, or a service group) you may build numerous contacts who are 2 degrees separated from you.  You might also develop a few friends or business acquaintances who are only 1 degree away from you.  Just because you met them at a chamber mixer and gave them your card doesn’t mean they’ll trust you with a $10,000 diamond purchase.

Here’s where you can use this paradigm to your advantage.  When you really want to impress someone who is 2 degrees separated from you, find a common person who is 1 degree separated from them and 1 degree separated from you and your business.  It’s called “getting related.”  When you’re meeting someone new, you talk about various minutia until stumbling across a common interest.  Those common interests often have common contacts, like, “oh, you’re into curling?  I’ve got a client and good friend who is president of the men’s league.  Do you know Bob?  You do?....”

Think of it as connecting the dots.  Rather than talking about you and your business, talk about people you’ve served and try to find those common connections.  People want to deal with known quantities.

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