Find those who know more than you do!

The trick is to find those who know more than you do and start building good business relationships!

When I first started in business I had no idea how to build business relationships. I wasn’t sure what to say on the phone to suggest a meeting. When I did get to meet with others, I didn’t really know what to talk about – I felt they knew so much more than me about business and I didn’t want to look too naïve or desperate to sell our services! Does this ring any bells with you? Then you’re not alone. Most of us have been there, and we know what it’s like.  So the easy way to start building business relationships is by find and mixing with the right contacts and connections and build your Centre of Influence (COIs).

What’s a Centre of Influence you ask?

Centres of Influence are those people who can help you find the best way and help you accelerate your route to market. These are people who are generally very well established, are good networkers and who can introduce you to the kind of markets (or people) you need and are looking for. They themselves have built their credibility, they are an authority in their sector.

What’s in it for them?

You’ll need to demonstrate how you too can help the Centre of Influence, you will need to prove that you are trustworthy and fundamentally you are an authority in your sector, give them the chance to get to know and also importantly to like you. Your aim is to become quite good friends, with like minded people.  They are a key part of any successful entrepreneurs networking mix. These people act as catalysts, introducing you to relationships and opportunities of great value to your business.

But remember it’s not about you

When a Centre of Influence gives you a lead or makes an introduction for you, show your  appreciation immediately, they have made the effort on your behalf, they need to be thanked and acknowledged also keep them informed, they like to be kept in the loop.

Always remember, building a Centre of Influence network requires drive and persistence. You’ve got to stay at it month after month, year after year, regardless of the size of the network you already have in place.  It’s easy to get lazy, you may think that you’ve got enough business or that you’ve exhausted all of your leads. But that’s never the case, with a little energy and enterprise, you can continue to expand your network and boost your growth.

Lorna Burroughes

Thrive – developing connections for growth

If you want to keep up to date with networking hints and tips or would like to find out more about how to make business connections and networking in Norwich and Norfolk, please email enquiries@thrive.buzz or ring us on 01603 597727