Strive for Depth and Breadth of Contact
Recently I heard a statistic that 65% of all college graduates who find jobs do so because someone referred them to the hiring manager. I would venture a guess that this percentage is even higher in business. In mine it’s 75% currently and I fully expect that to increase over time.
Since referrals are so critical to each of us we need to understand the importance of developing and nurturing relationships at every possible level within our client’s organizations, especially our key and target accounts.
Consider the depth of your contacts. Say you primarily work with one or two departments, do you know everyone in those departments? Everyone? If so, you’ve achieved 100% depth of contact and you need to work continually to strengthen those relationships. If not, you should make an attempt to get to know those you’ve not met within the next 30 days.
Next, consider the breadth of your contacts. If you have a good working relationship with one manager or team, how many other managers or teams might become clients? Identify these and make a plan to get introductions, recommendations or referrals from your existing contacts within the next 30 days. If your company should be doing business with five divisions and currently works with three, there’s untapped potential that you should make a targeted priority for growth.
The depth of your contacts will determine the breadth of your contacts. It will always be true that the more people you know in one department, the more people you’ll gain access to in others. Strive for 100% depth of contact.
That brings us to the next layer of questions. Who are the people that you know that no one else knows? Who are the people that you have the best relationships with? Who are the people they might introduce you to? How else might you leverage those relationships? Can you refer them business? Can you introduce them to another company that would be a good strategic alliance?
In addition to the ‘who you know’ is the ‘what you know’. What have you learned about your client personally? How about their business, industry, market trends, etc., that no one else knows? Anything? What are you doing with that information? How might you leverage that knowledge to further solidify your relationships and deepen their trust in you? Can they share confidences with you without reservation? How might you personally help them be more successful?
The whole point of having deep and broad connections is to provide insight, offer help and solutions and become a valued source to your client’s entire organization. You want your company to be the one they turn to first. When you can accomplish that, you’ll have the ‘in’ your competition can only dream about.
Tags : Topics : Human Interest