One question that I am frequently asked when it comes to networking is whether quantity or quality matters. My visceral, immediate reaction is always quality – it definitely is most important. However, the truth is, it’s a little bit of both – you must have the quantity in order to identify the quality.
As it turns out, by striking the right balance between quantity and quality, you create a virtuous cycle for yourself. You essentially give your relationship base more heft. That is, you strengthen your connections, you give them more weight. With more quantity, you have more connections to select from – in that case, more is more – especially if you layer on quality to the equation. When you have a broader selection, you have more options, you know who to refer to, who to turn to, who to engage based on the breadth and strength of your relationships.
Naturally, there is no point in simply gathering a collection of business cards. It is crucial for there to be some substance behind your ties. That said, once you have established a meaningful connection with another person, your interactions will continue to build and strengthen over time. You are building networking muscle that takes time and work; the effort is worth it on the other side. Hefty, indeed.