15 Apr Making Magic with Networking Numbers
Davis Blaine can attribute much of his success to the many organizations he’s founded, including ProVisors (formerly known as Professionals network Group). After selling ProVisors, he became the CEO and founder of Legacy Forum, a premier mastermind organization for senior professional service providers.
In his book, Naked Without a Network, Davis challenges each reader to think about the ideal number (magic number) of strong relationships that one can or is willing to maintain. Davis believes it is best for professionals to evaluate a network by dividing it up into three Network Cores: The A Core is for those with whom one often shares referrals; the B Core for less tight relationships, and the C Core for connections one may occasionally contact, perhaps through a mass email.
As far as the optimal number of people in one’s network, that will vary by that person’s needs, role in his firm, and his desire to build and maintain a magic number. And, just because someone isn’t in your A Core now, doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future.
It’s also important to figure out how your various connections in these three cores relate to your professional goals. Then, you can organize these connections based on industry, common connections, etc. Be sure to analyze your networking list every month or so to refresh it.
Ask your connections some important questions, such as 1) Who are your best clients or connections? 2) Who do you often use as referral sources? 3) How are you marketing yourself? Getting answers to these questions will tell you how and in what ways you and your connection may benefit from a networking relationship, as well as fulfilling your needs (i.e. referrals versus resources).
The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, states that 80% of effects comes from 20% of their causes.
Applying the Pareto Principle to networking, you can expect that 20% of most effective connections will produce 80% of your referrals. That is why it is important to identify which 20% of your network will help you get the referrals and resources you need. Once you identify some of your professional peers, attend the same networking functions that they attend, reach out to key referral sources, target niche markets and services, and work on building your professional relationships. Then, you will see the 20% of your labor manifest into 80% – or more – positive results.
At Legacy Forum, we maintain a community of professional service providers that foster deep and mutually beneficial relationships with one another. Our elite organization brings together Southern California’s top service professionals to focus on business, personal, and professional development through shared experience, knowledge and purpose.