In Vistage today, S.M. presented his "Referral Network" chart. It was a tree diagram showing the trail of the customers that came as a result of a personal relationship or referrals over the last eight years. It was almost 50% of his customers and shows the power of business relationships and the linkage of the network.
It struck me that each of us has a referral network chart in life. Who connected us with whom and what part did that connection make in our lives. I visualize a network diagram that shows all the people that you have made contact with. The lines between them vary in width by the number of interactions, the quality of interaction, and the trust. This could be extended into a Facebook or Linkedin type of social network that includes shows all the inter (and intra) relationships. Of course this diagram would become unwieldy.
The NNDB Mapper tracks 37,000 public domain business connections. At Accenture, for large accounts we created relationship maps to understand how best to service (and sell) to our clients. These maps become invaluable in understanding how to better capitalize on referrals and existing relationships to create new nodes.
Our Wednesday Men's Fellowship group is studying "Unbinding the Gospel" a book about Real Life Evangelism. The "E" word seems to be cursed and "the majority (in church) hear the word and begin to feel queasy as they back quietly toward the door, trying not to attract attention as they slip from the room".
But the "E" word is just a Spiritual Referral Network. How strong are your connection lines?