Thursday, January 25, 2007

Six Degrees of Separation, Connectors and "The Tipping Point" continued...

I am finishing up Malcolm Gladwell's national bestseller "The Tipping Point" and would like to talk about one of the most important topics in the book: Connectors. Connectors are the people who transcend normal social groupings and merge individuals with ideas, products and people that otherwise would remain outside the sphere of knowledge.

Connectors are the "cool kids" in school, the ones that everyone knows and that seem to know about everyone. Connectors get new ideas from Mavens, and may in fact be Mavens themselves, then serve as the conduit through which the new idea/product/person is introduced to the masses. Finding connectors is the key to building a successful network marketing company so please read the following excerpt from "The Tipping Point" to see how important the role of the connector really is.

"In the late 1960s, the psychologist Stanley Milgram, conducted an experiment to find the answer to what is known as the small world problem. The problem is this: how are human beings connected? Do we all belong to separate worlds operating simultaneously but autonomously, so that the links between any two people, anywhere in the world, are few and distant? Or are we all bound up together in a grand, interlocking web? In a way Milgram was asking the very same kind of question that began this chapter, namely, how does an idea or trend or a piece of news - the British are coming! - travel through a population?

Milgram's idea was to test this question with a chain letter. He got the names of 160 people who lived in Omaha, Nebraska, and mailed each of them a packet. In the packet was the name and address of a stock broker who worked in Boston and lived in Sharon, Massachusetts. Each person was instructed to write his or her name on the packet and send it on to a friend or acquaintance who he or she thought would get the packet closer to the stockbroker...Milgram found that most of the letters reached the stockbroker in five or six steps. This experiment is where we get the concept of six degrees of separation...How did the packet get to Sharon [Massachusetts] in just five steps?

The answer is that in the six degrees of separation, not all degrees are equal. When Milgram analyzed his experiment, for example, he found that many of the chains from Omaha to Sharon followed the same asymmetrical pattern. Twenty-four letters reached the stockbroker at his home in Sharon, and of those, sixteen were given to him by the same person, a clothing merchant Milgram calls Mr. Jacobs. The balance of letters came to the stockbroker at his office, and of those the majority came through two men, whom Milgram calls Mr. Brown and Mr. Jones. In all, half of the responses that came back to the stockbroker were delivered to him by these same three people. ..Six degrees of separation doesn’t mean that everyone is linked to everyone else in just six steps. It means that a very small number of people are linked to everyone else in a few steps, and the rest of us are linked to the world through those special few."
(pg 36-37, Gladwell)

Let's talk about how the concept of six degrees of separation relates to Family and Friends business model and more generally success with network marketing. The idea proposed my Milgram's research is that connections are not equally shared amongst all. Instead, there are key connectors who serve as a link to the rest of the world. To build a successful marketing team or company you can go out every day and try to recruit every person for whom you think the opportunity is a match, or you can do some homework, practice your pitch and go after those people that hold a prominent position within several different social networks: the connectors. Spend more time recruiting people with a diverse range of contacts and interests and watch your team size grow exponentially. Successful recruiting is the key to success in network marketing. Make your next recruiting push a drive to recruit key connectors, who will act with integrity and passion in building your business.


To learn more about Family and Friends Financial go to www.familyandfriends.com or to try our innovative income opportunity for a FREE Four Month Trial call 866-895-6550 (9am-5pm EST M-F)

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