Todd Tyler

How to tap into the power of your professional network

Targeting your centers of influence

One of the most powerful tools at any business owners' disposal is their personal network of relationships.  Within your network, you have centers of influence.  These are the people that know you well, trust you, are familiar with your work and are likely to give you a ringing endorsement.  They also have influence over a group of people that are good prospects for your business. 

 

Make it reciprocal

Once you've identified your centers of influence, refine the list to people that you can also refer business to.  Healthy referral relationships always work in both directions.  Great opportunities here are ancillary service providers that are a natural extension of your services, such as tax and legal advisers.

 

Leveraging Web 2.0

If you haven't tapped into the power of the social media tools available, then you're missing a golden opportunity.  Even if you don't use them to market to clients and prospects, you can make use of them personally to grow your personal and professional network.  Sign up and create a profile on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.  Once you're plugged in, connect with people in your personal and professional network. If you're like me, you'll reconnect with many people that you've lost touch with over the years.  These renewed relationships are great from a personal perspective, and also provide opportunities for your business.  You can also leverage your existing relationships to build new ones through the social media sites, which creates greater opportunity for you to spread the message about your services.  A little tip here, always make business secondary when networking on the web.  Imagine your interaction more as a social gathering (think backyard barbeque) than a business networking meeting and you'll be fine.

 

Create an effective, full proof follow up process

Make sure you have a bullet proof process to follow up with referrals in a timely fashion and that you have a clear track to lead them down that outlines your value and how they can become a client.

 

By following these simple steps, you can leverage the power of your network to help you build your business more efficiently and effectively than you ever imagined possible.

 

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3votes

Posted By: Todd Tyler 12 years ago

Category: Networking

Tags: Business Development, Marketing, Sales, Social Media, Social Networking, Web 2.0