You don’t need to have 1000s of people in your network of Relationships.
As a matter of fact, it wouldn’t be possible to deal with that many. Today we are going to be talking about gaining real social influence by building relationships with the right people. This is going to simplify things for you tremendously, so buckle your seat belts and let’s get started.
Dunbar’s number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships—relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person. This number was first proposed in the 1990s by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who found a correlation between primate brain size and average social group size. By using the average human brain size and extrapolating from the results of primates, he proposed that humans can comfortably maintain 150 stable relationships. Dunbar explained it informally as “the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar”.
Proponents assert that numbers larger than this generally require more restrictive rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group. It has been proposed to lie between 100 and 250, with a commonly used value of 150. Dunbar’s number states the number of people one knows and keeps social contact with, and it does not include the number of people known personally with a ceased social relationship, nor people just generally known with a lack of persistent social relationship, a number which might be much higher and likely depends on long-term memory size.
Dunbar theorised that “this limit is a direct function of relative neocortex size, and that this in turn limits group size […] the limit imposed by neocortical processing capacity is simply on the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained”. On the periphery, the number also includes past colleagues, such as high school friends, with whom a person would want to reacquaint himself or herself if they met again.
According to science, we really can’t sustain more than 150 relationships at any given time, and because family is already considered relationships within your circle of social influence, it is time to really start thinking about your friends.
I am not saying to get rid of your friends if you don’t think they will end up joining your business. That is insane. But I also find that true friends are few and far between. Sometimes we are “friends” with people who don’t have anything to contribute.
It is vitally important to build your relationships based on marketing, which is at its root level, the exchange of ideas. Communication is the key to any relationship, and it just isn’t possible to have more than 100 in my opinion. This is in addition to your immediate circle of friends and family.
You don’t have to delete everyone you aren’t really friends with off of Facebook or Social Media, but if they are someone you don’t and probably won’t have a relationship with, you sure don’t want them on your contact list, because that list is the core of your business.
So, let’s simplify it by starting from scratch.
One of the things you can do is go thru your list of contacts and segment them. There are professional contacts for instance, like doctors, and accountants that you may not have a real relationship with, but still need their contact information. There are others that could be put on the not important list, consisting of people who you will likely never foster a real relationship with.
And then there is YOUR CIRCLE LIST.
SO if we start from scratch, let’s start with the people we know.
You will here it often in this industry, that you should never prejudge a prospect, and that is true, but you also don’t want to waste time on someone who isn’t really a prospect and never will be. You know your family and close friends very well. These people will be in your life no matter what. Beyond that circle though, as you spread out, how can you determine who is going to be on your list of 100 people and who needs to go into another segment of your list?
You do this by picking up the phone and calling them. One at a time, you pick up the phone, not to make a sales pitch, but to touch base with that person. See how they are doing and listen to the exchange. Are they engaged in your call? Are they excited to hear from you? Is this someone that you want in your core circle of people you are going to keep in contact with and build a relationship with thru marketing? Or would it be better to fill that precious space with someone else?
You can only manage so much. IF someone isn’t right for you and your team, and vision of what you are trying to accomplish, don’t forget to give them the opportunity to take advantage, but don’t worry about it if they don’t. There is nothing you can do about it. As a matter of fact, there is nothing you can do about anyone you don’t.
You are looking for people who align with your values and vision of what you believe your organization will become. You are looking for the people who inspire and motivate you to do better.
This means part of your circle of influence needs to be people who are maybe in your upline, or at higher levels of the company.
100 people are easy to manage as far as staying in touch, and if they are like you, as far as being aligned with your values and vision, they are going to do what you do.
Don’t be in such a hurry to build your business, that you end up wasting your time on a bunch of tire kickers. Sometimes they are just doing their diligence, but other times, they are indecisive, and even if they do join, they may not be someone who you want to have in your circle of people you are keeping in contact with on a regular basis.
The Internet allows us to automate a lot of our communication, but we are building relationships thru sharing ideas, and it is best to share ideas in a two way conversation, rather than a monologue on a training call, webinar or email follow up series. This is something you cannot automate. You must be plugged into your people if you want to thrive in this industry.
If you want to stay plugged into your people, it is vital that you decide which of those people it is going to be.
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