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The Strength of Weak Ties

I recently learned about Business Networks International. It is an organization of people who provide referrals for each other. One special feature of the organization is that, to prevent competition among chapter members, only one person from a professional specification or specialty can be a member of a given chapter. BNI’s website claims to have passed over 6.5 million referrals and generated over $2.8 billion worth of business for its members.

The organization’s website is:

http://www.bni.com/AboutUs/tabid/54/Default.aspx

 

This is an excellent example of how weak ties in networks can be great sources of referrals for income opportunities. By weak ties I mean a relationship where two people are connected through membership in BNI, but with very little if any overlap in terms of friends, family, coworkers, etc.

If I were an accountant, I have probably already gotten some referrals from friends and family. Getting referrals from co-workers (other accountants) would likely be limited. But getting referrals from lawyers, realtors, therapists, contractors, etc., has a huge potential – especially if those professionals have a weak tie relationship with me and a commitment to recommend me to others.

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