It’s no secret that the key to success in business is building relationships. The more people who know who you are, the more business you can generate. Everyone has a circle of influence, whether they realize it or not. Everyone you know is part of that circle. For your business, one of your goals should be to grow and expand your circle of influence.
How to Grow Your Circle of Influence?
Growing your circle begins with building relationships, and working with people who you know right now. What introductions can your friends and relatives make that will help boost your business, or provide you with meaningful relationships? Do you know anyone in a similar industry? What about friends of a friend?
Build Relationships With Those Who Have Access to Your Target Market
Do you sell something, and you know someone who writes a blog about the industry your product is in? Anyone with access to your target audience, or your ideal customers, should be a priority to build a relationship with.
Building rapport and trust with others in your community who share a similar customer can help you have a better understanding of who your customer is, and how to help them. The goal of building relationships should not be to only get referrals—this will back fire. When you build relationships with the intent to get to know and be part of a community, and a circle that can support and influence one another, then naturally your business and the business of others will grow.
As you build strong relationships, and other people know what you do, how you help, and why you help others, will empower you to get more referrals that will give your business a boost.
Develop Authority and Trust
When it comes to your circle of influence, trust and authority are two essential things. You need to establish yourself as a credible authority in your field, and you also need to follow through and keep your word. Establishing trust in these ways will help grow your circle, because people will recognize that they can trust you, as a person and as a business authority.
When it comes to keeping your word, people are very careful on who they refer business too, and someone who doesn’t keep their word can influence if people send referrals your way or not.
Networking is powerful because it allows you to meet other business people and exchange ideas, services and information. A lot of communities have groups that you can join specifically to network and refer each others’ services. These are called networking groups, and they can be vital resources in growing and expanding your influence.
The right group will also give you more than referrals. It will provide a community, a place to learn and grow, a place to build confidence, ask for feedback, and find mentorship.
Positive communication can go a long way in establishing a positive relationship, and growing your influence. We know business can be stressful sometimes, but treating every person you encounter with respect, will go a long way. It’s important to be seen as an authority, but you also want to be seen as kind and positive too.
Network with Community Leaders
Are there leaders in your community that run a business, or are proficient in your industry? Or maybe, they are well known in you community as a leader in general, and they know a lot of people. If there are, take the time to connect with them.
These leaders can be an invaluable resource to both making a new friend and being introduced to new ones. Chances are, they know someone who knows someone who can be an asset for you. So introduce yourself to business leaders, and provide them with value, and watch the referrals come in.
Be Selective, but Not Exclusive
Remember that it’s ok to be selective when it comes to relationship building. You can’t get to know everyone and every company on a deep level, so it’s important to dedicate a lot of your relationship building time to those whom you authentically resonate and connect with. Look for people and businesses that share your values. Building a network of like-minded people will benefit everyone involved.
Having said that, it’s important to have a variety of people that you build relationships with. The point of growth is not to stand still, but to be challenged. Building strong relationships with those with alternative views or maybe even an alternative stance in your industry, can help you reevaluate your own position.
What can you learn from these alternative points of view, and how can they help you grow your business? You may not have the same approach, but what can your relationship offer these businesses?
Finding your tribe can take time, and it’s worth the time to connect, learn, and grow.
One of the most beneficial things about establishing a circle of influence are the referrals. It feels great to know someone has referred you to someone else, doesn’t it? It helps establish you as a credible authority in your field, and establishes a sense of trust for you and your business.
While receiving referrals is essential, so is giving them. Part of growing a circle of influence is the giving and sharing of value and service. Show how much you appreciate your circle by referring them to others when someone you know need the expertise that those in your circle can provide.
Reevaluate Your Circle As Needed
Being selective in your relationships isn’t a bad thing, and neither is reevaluating them. Are there connections that are no longer serving you, or you are unable to serve them? Have their values changed, and you no longer feel you can support them in the same way?
Reevaluating your circle can be a good way to determine ways you can improve on the relationships you have, and those that possibly can’t be improved on. Sometimes you have to let go of certain relationships, and it’s best to figure that out as soon as you are able to.
Establishing and growing a circle of influence takes time and patience.
It’s hardly ever something you just do once, and you’re done with it. Just as you and your business will grow and evolve, so will your circle of influence. And that is ok. Just remember to consider how you can serve and give those around you, and you’ll find your relationships and circle open up. Contact us Here >