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- Cultivating “Advocates & COIs” From Existing Clients? [ARTICLE]
Cultivating “Advocates & COIs” From Existing Clients?
Great sales professionals don’t miss a selling opportunity, nor do they miss an opportunity to network with others to find ways to make others’ lives better and easier. By doing so, powerful relationships can be cultivated.
Leveraging and accelerating your selling cycle through engaged relationships with existing clients and converting them to engaged “ADVOCATES” is one of many strategic assets you have in selling. Along with “advocates” you can have other “Centers- of-Influence” that are not always cultivated from the ranks of existing and past customers/clients.
Examine your professional and personal lives for individuals that believe so powerfully in you and your deliverable(s), that they don’t hesitate to talk you up to others. It is these people that can serve as a valuable component in ones’ selling world.
Those people that believe so powerfully in You, can be cultivated into “Advocates” – sending business leads to you, recommending you as the solution provider for others challenges and problems. These are the individuals who promote you into the marketplace when you are not around to do so for yourself.
“Advocates/Centers-of-Influence” are people that you turn to for advice, suggestions, counsel. These are strategic people that you can bounce marketing and selling ideas off of. These are the individuals that you can turn to when you have a new product or service available and you want to get the word out – as they are well positioned in a market place themselves and may know of a number of people whom respect them, that you can cultivate for immediate and future business opportunities. These strategic relationships can serve to be additional minds, eyes, ears and brains in your marketplace and keep calibrated to what is going on 24/7.
“Advocates/Centers-of-Influence” believe strongly in you, trust you, and believe in you both personally and professionally. Therefore, these individuals can serve as a never- ending source of qualified contacts for your Sales Funnel.
Search for “Advocates/Centers-of-Influence” from your most loyal customers, largest volume customers, prospects that sing your praises but for legitimate reasons have not yet become active clients. Look inward to your organization and outward to your social/personal contacts for people that respect you, admire you and look up to you. Look for decision makers in industry, associations, clubs, social organizations, church, schools (K-18), etc., where you engage others and where there may be opportunities for both sides to gain from one another.
However, it takes dedicated, sincere, professional work to find and maintain an active “Advocates/Centers-of-Influence” network. Engage them and treat them like a powerful, qualified lead you want to convert. Consider the Rule 1-52-X® model to drip connectivity to monthly and maintain top-of-mind awareness of you in their head. Send them:
- Thank you notes or acts
- New leads for their business
- Client updates
- Organizational FYIs, media updates, celebration updates
- Personal 411 type touch-points
- Enroll them into any meaningful, value-added social media and or informational electronic subscription services you offer
In exploring precise ways to engage your “Advocates/Centers-of-Influence” look at the optics of how you first found them and what they became a customer. Those two pieces of data will direct you in engaging each “Advocates/Centers-of-Influence” on their own terms and direct you as to how to leverage them for leads in the same sphere from which they came. Example:
- If a client came to you from an internet search or social media platform, then you have just revealed that there are substantial on-line analytics that you can use to surf, find, harvest, follow-up on other virtual leads that may not be calling you …
- If a client came to you from a social network, club, association, trade organization, institution (for a military Recruiter this could be a specific school), then by identifying that as a lead source, you can now engage that client for more insights into that sphere …
- If a client came to you from another existing client, then work your older clients and not just your newest clients for more lead sources from their life touch-points and always make sure your clients know what has been cultivated, the status of each lead (good or bad), and express sincere appreciation if you want them to remain as an engage “Advocates/Centers-of-Influence” …
“Advocates/Centers-of-Influence” are everywhere and to accelerate your successful selling and market ownership, you must cultivate them, appreciates them and “thank” them for being an active indirect participant in they’re selling effectiveness. The ultimate apex that you have a powerful “Advocates/Centers-of-Influence” are when these individuals engage you on a REGULAR meaningful basis!
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