Make Your Connections Count

CREATE A NETWORK.

 CONNECT ENTREPRENEURS

This group of people is called your “sphere of influence.” “Business success in business is not just about large sales volumes of products or services. It is about people.  People that need to know who you are and what your products or services do.  Your success is not solely dependent on your product or service. Your success depends on the breadth and depth of the people in your sphere of influence. Business success is attributed to the people that know you, like you and trust you – the people in your sphere of influence. These people should be your friends, your customers, your salespeople, members of groups you belong to, and anyone else you’ve ever come in contact with. The people in your area of influence send you recommendations, are the folks you call when you have questions and are a great resource for you and your customers.

Successful Steps for Creating and Maintaining a Large Sphere of Influence

Increase the number of people you connect with each week. Go to networking events, join a professional organization or put together a workshop.  Set measurable goals to meet new people every week. Then create an action list to accomplish this goal. Tell people that you are interested in expanding your sphere of influence. Ask what they do to meet people, and if they can introduce you to people, you would like to meet. Create rapport pay attention to the person you are talking to. Make eye contact, smile and give a good handshake. Ask questions about things that interest you, your business, your industry and your job.

People will remember you when you remember them. Learn the names of your contacts and use them in conversations. Always get a business card when you meet someone. After you leave, take notes on the map. Write down where you met her and something about her that helps you remember her when you look at her card later. Also note down all action items that you agreed with, d. H., Follow them next week or send a booklet. After meeting someone you want within your sphere of influence, always send a handwritten note. Keep it simple.  Don’t say more than “nice to meet you.” Print note cards with your photo on them to make sure people remember who you are, and your note will have more impact. Do not send anyone an invitation letter. References people in your sphere of influence. If you bring two people together and you’re fine, you become a hero. Create a ladder diagram. How often will you contact each member of your sphere of influence, every quarter, every six months, every six months? How will you contact her? By phone, with a note, with a newsletter?

Consider creating a specialized network.  A platform that can be committed to helping current and aspiring entrepreneurs thrive.  By creating your intimate network, you become the authority, the expert. You can expand your reach and provide valuable resources to your network.  Consider holding an annual event for your sphere of influence. You could partner with a someone in a complimentary business and double your sphere of influence in one night. When people refer business to you, thank them at least three times – with a phone call, with a note, and by thanking them in person, in front of other people. Everybody appreciates the recognition!

Do not focus on generating new business immediately. Concentrate on building a strong relationship with people, so they know you, like you and trust you. At some point, they will refer the business to you or become a regular customer. Create a system for keeping track of people either record information that is important to them – their spouse’s name, their professional affiliations, any awards they have won, etc. When you want to know someone better invite them to events that you know would be of interest to them. This is a simple and easy way to build a relationship with someone. Business is about relationships and helping others to master their challenges and achieve their goals, to figure out what tasks needs to be done and then doing it. Support people and you will build a wide area of influence that will support your business.

michele-thompson-ceo-sandhill-finance

Michele Y. Thompson is an author, contributing writer on MyStock911, DLAndroid24, and MortgageExpertGuide , commercial mortgage broker,  entrepreneur, and branding coach.  The culmination of her work in the United States Air Force, finance, real estate, and media consulting; along with her advanced degrees has driven her to help new and existing businesses reach their goals for over 20 years.