Years ago, I learned that there is a correlation between the number of quality relationships and the number of referrals generated in a strong networking group. If you have a networking group of 16 members, that group has 120 relationships among all the members. However, a networking group of 32 members has 496 relationships among the members. Doubling the size of a networking group from 16 to 32 members has over four times the number of relationships. See the above graphic for an example of these relationships as chords of a circle. This video further explains this concept.
The Number of Quality Relationships Generated by the Members of a Strong Network
The number of relationships grows exponentially as the size of the group gets larger. For example, if your networking group has 50 members, that networking group has 1225 relationships among the members. We have a few BNI chapters with 100 members. Therefore, they have 4950 quality relationships among their members. However, it is not the QUANTITY of members in your networking group that is important. What is important is the QUALITY of the relationships that you have with the members of your strong network. Growing more quality relationships in your networking group will increase the number of referrals generated by your members.
The formula: Number of Relationships = 0.5 x [(Number of members) x (Number of members – 1)]
The bottom line is that the more connections you have, (based on quality relationships of course), the more referrals you generate. Grow your business by growing a strong network of quality relationships. For decades, I have seen groups that are twice the size of other groups in an area generate several times more referrals than their smaller counterparts. The math is pretty significant and consistent. If you know your connections well enough to be able to call and ask for a favor–and get it–that is a powerful network.
Effective networking is about building strong relationships. If you approach the first months or year of your involvement in a networking group with the sole motivation of building relationships first by getting to know the other members well, you will be far ahead of the game. One of the most important things I’ve learned over the years is that it is not really what you know or who you know. It’s how well you know them that really counts. People do business with people they know and trust. The more relationships you build with your members, the more referrals you can give to your members, and the more referrals you will receive from them.