Six degrees of separation? Or is it five? Maybe four? Even three?

By November 26, 2009Social Media

by Todd Youngblood

The idea that any of us is at most six steps away from a connection with anyone else on the planet has been around since the early part of the 20th century. A web conference/conversation with a Bermuda-based client yesterday put the notion in whole new perspective.

And it’s a perspective with HUGE implications for the sales profession. (Especially with regard to what I’ve been calling the “E-Rep.”)

In the process of trying to convince this client to dive into social media and web 2.0, I pulled up the network statistics page of my LinkedIn account. It showed that I currently have 139 connections; 20,600 2nd degree connections and 1,819,000 3rd degree connections.

This was followed by one of those painful, drawn-out silent periods… Instead of hearing the expected stream of objections, I was asked the following question: Do you know the population of Bermuda? The answer is 60,000. The next question was, ”Do you know anyone who has 400 direct connections?” There are 11 people among my direct LinkedIn connections with 400 or more.

My client, Charlie, then puts his finger on an amazing insight. “So you’re telling me if I can get 400 direct LinkedIn connections, I can in theory have at least a 2nd degree link with every man, woman and child in my country? You’re telling me it’s not six degrees of separation, but more like three?”

Do the math. It’s absolutely possible! Here’s what that means to the sales profession; the profession focused on establishing and developing relationships with decision makers: Social media – all by itself – can reduce the traditional six degrees dramatically. Maybe not down to three, but who wouldn’t be happy to take just one link out of the chain?

Quit reading this blog post right now …actually, share this blog using the button below first. THEN, quit reading and start connecting with these new-found tools!

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