Vision 2.0 “Center of Influence” Strategy

Centers of Influence (COI) is a new term for an old business networking strategy. We want to use traditional concepts that worked well before technology, then discuss how to use information and business technologies to take the traditional concept to the next level.

Topics: Business Networking Vision 2.0 Business Transition Centers of Influence Customer Aquisition

An Excellent List of Associations and Memberships in Bellevue to Create Win-Win Collaborations

Relationships are at the core of a strategy for B2B sales success. New contacts are essential and cold calling is ineffective. Social media tools do not replace personal one-to-one contacts. To connect with prospects and referral partners, the apparent solution is to attend networking events and trade shows but you may soon realize the rooms are full of others who are peers looking for the same.  

While you can easily find a long list of nonprofit associations and organizations located in Washington State here,  the extensive list is overwhelming.

We understand the importance of connecting at events and memberships, we took a few moments to research a variety of business associations on the Eastside (in King County) and listed them below:

Topics: Business Networking Strategy Events

Developing a Career Strategy for the Executive Outlier

Today the average person changes jobs every 4 years.  No employers guarantee lifetime employment any longer for any employee.  Even CEO’s for top companies have statistically average life of less than 3 years. 

The number one strategy most employees use is the “Hope” plan.  In other words, hoping you end up someplace good.  The obvious problem with this strategy is that long term success is doesn’t happen organically.  The Executive Outlier will have a career strategy that starts with a vision.  In that vision the Executive Outlier considers several factors including: Timing, preparation and execution.  Lets review some of the basics of career strategy planning and the types of learning and skills required to keep ahead of your game.

Topics: Business Networking Executive Outlier Building a Professional Network Career Personal Development

Get More Sales by Maximizing Your  Weak Link Network

I also call this the “Who do you know strategy.”  When developing a business strategy, we go to our weak link network. Write a custom email to each person in your network and If they know someone who could be a prospect, invite the weak link to have a personal phone call or meeting.  You can then discuss their connection and the best way to make an approach.  There are two ways to make the introduction and referral: 1) In-person or 2) by email. 

Weak links are people in your network you don't connect with frequently.
These are your best referral partners.

Topics: Business Development Weak Link Strategy Business Networking Building a Professional Network Referrals

“It’s a numbers game” - Sales Hunting Strategy

If you think much about sales, "sales hunting” probably comes to mind.  Sales hunters get out to find new customers who have never purchased from their company in the past.  Traditionally this is a sales strategy I’ll call, “It’s a number’s game.”

It’s a numbers game strategy

In this strategy, sales people do whatever is necessary to talk to as many people as possible.  The idea is if you talk to X number of people, Y number of people will be interested and Z number of people will buy.  Once you know X, then it’s a simple matter to calculate the number of sales. 

This works because of a statistical reality.  At any given moment:

  • 3% of the population are looking right now for what anyone is selling.
  • 7% are open to buying.
  • 30% could be convinced to buy.
Topics: Business Development Sales Hunting Business Networking Sales Strategies

Developing Your Inner Circle of Advisors - The Triad

Why is it important to have an inner circle?

For leaders to collaborate effectively, it is essential they have people's trust.  Studies show strong leaders consistently have circles of trusted advisors.  These circles of advisors are called triads.  Within these leadership triads, games and politics don't typically exist.  As an organization, members begin telling the leader what they think the leader wants to hear.  This leads to problems since leader is not getting the truth. An inner circle of advisors, a triad, ensures truth and wisdom is shared, without games.

Topics: Business Development Leadership Culture Business Networking Building a Professional Network

Building a Collaboration Circle

What your network should look like in a few years…

As you are business networking and meet many people, there are very rare individuals you will want to keep an eye out for.  If you can learn to spot them, you will definitely want them in your weak link circle.  If you see them in the future as a strong connection, you may want to invest time to make them part of your inner strong link circle. 

They will be master and expert networkers, rare personalities. As you meet them, you will find yourself naturally drawn to them want to cultivate a friendship. 

Topics: Business Development Business Networking Executive Outlier Building a Professional Network Referrals

Creating an Advisory Board

Many sales professionals and business owners focus their strategy primarily on "get more referrals".  Instead, Master Networkers develop their network and focus on influence within the business community. To become a master networker, there is an emphasis on developing strong links inside the business community and leadership Triads.  To generate sales In this strategy, the vision is to become the trusted advisor or business community influencer. 

Topics: Business Development Business Networking Building a Professional Network Referrals