One of my most memorable business breakthroughs was as a result of attending a charity event and being introduced to the chairman of the board who was also a business executive. Within moments we realised there was commercial business that we could be doing together. The first brief and project led to another and another and the supplier and client relationship was quickly established. Some time later this client offered to host an event to introduce their colleagues to me which resulted in even more work. Subsequently my business received approved supplier status which has opened the doors to opportunities from across the business.
‘The snowball effect is a figurative term for a process that starts from an initial state of small significance and builds upon itself, becoming larger (graver, more serious), and also perhaps potentially dangerous or disastrous (a vicious circle, a “spiral of decline”), though it might be beneficial instead (a virtuous circle).’ Wikipedia
The snowball effect means that there is a virtuous circle of good relationships, and the more good relationships you have the more you will attract. The more quality clients you have, the more quality clients you will attract and the bigger your network is the bigger your network will become. Like attracts like and popularity breeds popularity. Conversely the vicious circle means the more unhelpful relationships you have the more unhelpful relationships you will attract.
The scientist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi says that relationships are governed by three laws each of which adds something to our understanding of the snowball effect:
- The Law of Growth: As people go about their lives they make new connections and their network grows.
- The Law of Preferential Attachment: People with connections tend to get even more connections. When all else is equal, our bias is to connect with the people who are already heavily connected.
- The Law of Fitness: Fitness describes how desirable it is to connect to that person.
How can you leverage each of these laws to help snowball your relationship network? Remember the breadth, depth and quality of your network determines your life opportunities, career options, new business openings, future prospects, personal brand, income potential and much much more.
If you want to leverage the snowball effect and create a constant stream of new business you may want to consider the following steps:
- As you ‘go about’ your life this week how many new relationships do you want to add to your network?
- Set yourself a target for the coming week about how many introductions you are going to make between people. This is one of the fastest ways to become known as someone with connections who will then attract other connections.
- Consider what it is about you that makes it desirable for other people to want to connect with you? Revise your social media profiles to ensure these assets are front and central in how you present yourself to others.
Question: What have you found that snowballs your relationships and new business opportunities?