Networking Nugget: Who’s in your circle of influence?

If you haven’t sat down and thought about who’s in your circle of influence or even understand what is meant by this you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to build your business. I’d like to share with you a simple way to grow your business which I have shared with 100’s of entrepreneurs over the years.

Create a spreadsheet with an A, B & C tab. On each tab create the following headers:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Business Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone Number
  • Cellular Number
  • Notes (capture anything you know about them like how many children they have, what their hobbies are etc.)

On the A list capture those people who “believe in you and want you to succeed.”  These are the people you would elect to sit on your board or around your boardroom table. These people can talk about you as a person, know your skills and are able to talk about you in great detail. This list will be fairly short because these are the individuals who are committed to helping you succeed..

On the B list capture all the people you have ” worked with or for.”  These individuals can talk about your abilities, skills, work ethic, etc. and are the people who can refer you based on your skill/ability others.

On the C list capture the names and contact information of those you have met through business colleges, mixers, fundraisers, associations etc.  Although these people do not now your skills or abilities, if you have made a good impression they are more likely to refer you to a friend/colleague when they are asked “do you know anyone who does…..”

Once you’ve capture all of this information create a communications strategy to engage them. Make sure they know what you are doing. Take those on your A list for coffee and ask them for their help, call and or create communication tools to connect with those on you B list to let them know what you are doing now and encourage them to refer others in need of your services. You can create a referral program to reward these individuals as well and remain connected to them throughout the year.  Follow up with those on your C list (which will grow if you are out networking) and start to build a relationship with them so they can migrate to the B or even A list eventually.