Expanding Your Center of Influence

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I was in the backyard playing with my two youngest daughters.  It was late in the day, and the sun was low on the horizon.  The night air was cool and our shadows were long on the driveway.  My youngest daughter, Allison, walked up and stood right at the end of my shadow and said,  “Look how big you are daddy.”

When you added Allison’s shadow to mine I did look very tall.  I certainly covered more ground.  Building your center of influence is quite the same thing.  You as an individual can only cover so much ground.  You can only meet so many people.  You can only create so many business opportunities.

If you are the only champion of your cause then you will limit your success.  By growing your center of influence and having others talk about you, refer clients to you, and be thinking about your well being you can cover more ground.  Having Champions on your team will extend the ground you cover and the results you achieve.

Successful professionals are constantly extending their center of influence.  They seek out and create champions that will help them achieve their goals.  Here is how to organize your thinking and actions to grow your team of Champions.

Think of your Champions as two groups: the first is your Inner Sphere, and the second, your Outer Sphere.  Your Inner Sphere contains those people who you have developed a good relationship with.  They know what value you offer and they believe in what you do.  They trust that you will deliver a high level of service and quality product if they recommend you to one of their peers.

In order to develop deep, meaningful relationships with your Inner Sphere of Champions you should contact them on a monthly basis.  Maybe you call one month, or send them an email, or clip an article and mail it to them.  Whatever the action might be, staying in contact on a monthly basis will help you maintain a top-of-mind awareness.  These Inner Sphere Champions like you and believe in you, and because of this they want to see you succeed.

Take a sheet of paper and list those individuals who might fit into your Inner Sphere of Champions.  Go for eight names.  I call this your Great Eight.  Once you identify these people, begin a monthly program to stay in touch with them.  Remember to deliver value first before ever asking for anything.  If you are an asset to them, then over time they will be come an even greater asset to you.

It is also critical that you have already developed a super Memorable Marketing Message before connecting with them.  By its definition you must be able to communicate in under ten seconds the value you deliver, and who you will best deliver that value to.  If you have this powerful but simple statement developed, then you can make sure your Champions know it and can repeat it to others who could use your products and services.

Now think about your Outer Sphere of Champions.  Write down fifteen names. I call these your Future Fifteen.  This is like your minor league system for your Great Eight.  You should touch base with your Outer Sphere of Champions quarterly.  These are people that you may have a loose relationship with or someone that you want to meet and get to know.  These people over time have the potential to expand your center of influence as you get better acquainted and move them into your Great Eight.

Every day you should be thinking about who should be added to either your Inner or Outer Sphere’s of Influence.  You should always be on the lookout for a great idea to contact them with.  Maybe one month you purchase a relevant book, write a little note in each one, and mail those books to your Great Eight.  Get the picture?

Expanding your center of influence in an ongoing project that, over time, will pay big rewards.  Begin the process today and don’t let a day go by where you don’t think about expanding your center of influence.  Follow this ritual, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!  

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