We are all aware of the idea that through only 6 consecutive contacts we can reach anyone else in the planet. A 'degree of separation' is a measure of social distance between people. You are one degree away from everyone you know, two degrees away from everyone they know, and so on.
What about the quality of the contact?
Logic would suggest that the closer you are to knowing the contact personally the more helpful it would be. However, emerging research suggests that when it comes to influencing others, it is not your contact that matters, or, indeed, their contact but the conversation that happens one stage further on.
So if, for example, you were looking to encourage someone to buy your product or service, then your immediate sales discussion will apparently have less influence than the advocacy of your customer’s contact. Or put it another way, the conversation might go like this:
“I’m looking to get some financial advice – do you know anyone?”
“ A chap I know always raves about a company called XYZ Ltd – you might want to give them a try?”
Chris Lorimer is an
experienced consultant who has helped many organisations to grow through his unique 4 Ps approach.