Monday, October 10, 2011

Determining Your Centers of Influence , part I

Ever ask someone, “Who are your centers of influence?” I am always amazed at the answer when I do. Ninety-nine percent respond by describing their average customer. This identifies a significant disconnect between the leverage that is possible in networking and the lack of focus that most people have in their efforts.

If you don't know your centers of influence, you can't focus your effort. If you can't focus your effort, you can't articulate who your centers of influence are. If you can't articulate who your centers of influence are, you can't empower others to help you connect to more centers of influence.

So what’s a center of influence and why is it critical that we know as many as we can? Simply put, a center of influence is someone who can help us by virtue of who or what they know. Centers of influence are the source of just-in-time knowledge and relationships. Centers of influence can help us in any facet of our life.

If some one in your family becomes seriously ill, the right center of influence can help you find the best doctor. When your car breaks down, you need a center of influence who knows the best mechanic. When you want a night out on the town, it’s opportunistic to have a center of influence who knows a great babysitter who’s available when you need them.

Centers of influence are not customers. They are people with knowledge and relationships that will save you time and investment by helping you make meaningful connections. Centers of influence help you find short-cuts between where you are and where you want to go.

Next week we’ll reveal a simple exercise to help you identify your centers of influence for business development.

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