When you need an auto mechanic or an air conditioning repairman, where do you turn for help? Sure, some people turn to the yellow pages. But most will turn to friends and family and ask if they know of anyone who can do the work.
The best place for your business to be positioned is to be the business on the tips of the tongues of the people asked to make the referral.
THE 300 RULE
Preachers, funeral directors and people in a few other professions have learned “the 300 rule” through their own personal experience.
“The 300 rule” states that the average person knows 300 people on a friendly level. Wedding planners tend to make reservations for 300 guests. Funeral directors tend to need to make room for 300 mourners. You get the idea.
DOODLING WITH CIRCLES OF INFLUENCE
Imagine your circle of friends, family and acquaintances, a.k.a. your circle of influence. Now, draw your circle of influence as a circle on a blank piece of paper.
Next, contemplate the people in your parents’ circle of influence. Some people who know your parents also know you. Therefore, you will share some influence with the people your folks know. Now draw your parents’ circle of influence on your piece of paper.
Your circle and your parents’ circle will intersect in one area, although the larger majority of the two circles will not intersect. If you are like most people, the two circles on your page at this point looks very similar to the MasterCard logo.
Now imagine drawing a page full of intersecting circles, each circle representing the circle of influence of the people who are within your own circle of influence. Imagine trying to encapsulate an accurate rendering of where your circle and the circle of your friends will actually intersect.
Some circles will share a large area of space, while others will barely cover one another.
Actually, you can only imagine at this point what your piece of paper will look like. The actual layout of the circles imagined in this analogy is simply too overwhelming for the mind to comprehend.
THE BIG PICTURE
300 multiplied by 300 equals 90,000. By using the analogy of doodles in the previous section, the average person can actually network with up to 90,000 people! Even factoring in the overlap, one can still probably network with 50,000 people through their own circle of influence!
Simply amazing, isn’t it?
HERE IS THE SECRET TO YOUR SUCCESS
There are 300 people on this planet whom you have a reasonable amount of influence. Take advantage of this fact. Make darn sure that every person within your own circle of influence KNOWS that you are in business for yourself, and make sure they understand what your business offers.
When your friend is asked to make a referral, they will recommend you.
PASSIVE VERSUS ACTIVE REFERRAL NETWORKING
When people ask your friends for a referral and your friend mentions your business, that is passive referral networking.
Active referral networking is when you can get your friends go directly to their friends and say “Hey, I have a friend who just started a business. If you are in need of what he offers or you know someone who will need his services, would you please give my friend a call or make the referral to his business?”
If you can get even a portion of the people in your own circle of influence to actively refer your business, then you have built the foundation to build an advertising campaign even more effective than the average local television advertising campaign.
Think about that for a moment.
Most people only dream of reaching 50,000 potential customers with their television advertising dollars. You now have the knowledge to reach 50,000 people without spending a single penny.
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