A Centre of Influence is a fancy way of identifying people that have a hugely positive impact on your business. They often refer people and business to you, and are actively glowing about what you provide and how you provide it. Every business needs a couple of these gems, and once you have them, you should bend over backwards to make sure they continue to think positively about you.
But how do you find and connect with these people? Here's an Action Plan that will help make things move faster.
1. Let them know they are special Tell them they are a top client, and let them know about any special treatment or offers that entitles them to.
2. Keep them updated about your business If you want them to continue to refer ideal business to you then you need to let them know what a perfect client or opportunity looks like. If you take on a new direction, or change your products and services, why not take them out for coffee and update them on what's happening.
3. Surprise them regularly Always give them a reason to love your business. Find ways to add value to their business at no or low cost. Send relevant articles or information. Identify web sites of interest. Send them some free product for no reason.
4. Expand their networks Arrange for them to meet others in your network, or invite them to a workshop, seminar or function where they can make valuable new contacts themselves.
5. Design a 'Stay in Touch' system Once you've established the foundations with a Center of Influence, you need to keep your ideas and value in front of them. How will you do that? An eZine, personal mailings, telephone calls or in-person get-togethers?
6. Reward them for referrals When a Center of Influence sends you a lead to a new potential client, make sure you show your appreciation. A phone call, a hand written note and even an appropriate gift lets them know you that you don't take their assistance for granted. Also, keep them in the loop with your progress with this lead.
If you don't think you have any Centres of Influence, why not identify a couple from your existing clients. Use these 6 steps to build on your relationship and cultivate them as future Infleuncers. I have worked with clients who have developed relationships with just two or three good Centers of Influence who have brought them hundreds of thousands in new business. With a focused, intentional plan you could be doing the same.