In the late 1960s, psychologist Stanley Milgram mailed 160 people living in Omaha, Nebraska, a package labelled with the name and address of a stockbroker who lived in a community just outside Boston. Each recipient was instructed to write their name on the back of the package and send it to a friend or acquaintance whom they thought would get it closer to the broker.
By looking at the list of the people required to get the package to the stockbroker, Milgram would learn how closely connected someone from one location was to another person chosen equally at random.
He found that most of the packages reach the stockbroker in six steps. And that’s where we got the concept of six degrees of separation.
That flies against intuition, doesn’t it? The idea that anyone in the world can literally reach anyone else through only six intermediaries – preposterous!
The answer is that not all intermediaries are equal. In his seminal book, The Tipping Point, author Malcolm Gladwell examines the premise that a few people in a population spread an inordinate amount of information. And because they are involved in so many different social circles, they likely know people and things that you don’t.
These types of connections represent a source of great power, and the more you have, the more powerful you become. The key to success is finding those connections and telling them about your business.
The Exmerce trading community is a group of some 500 businesses that choose to connect in a network. Those connections have real power when it comes to disseminating information – some more than others. However, moving back and forth, up and down throughout this association, it is possible to become connected to every business in Southern Alberta within two or three degrees of separation.
The Exmerce trading community is important for a far greater reason than the number of people who belong to it. Its true importance lies in the number of people and businesses that it connects you with and the speed and efficiency with which those connections pass along information.
By expanding the number of its members’ acquaintances, groups like the Exmerce trading community are more likely to be the source of such a targeted push than a single business operating alone.
The connections you’ll make can be extraordinarily powerful. They have the potential to give you access to markets you may never even be aware of.
The power of Exmerce, in a nutshell, is the power of word-of-mouth.