10 Attributes to Becoming the Center of Influence Others Want to Know
A center of influence is someone who is well-known and is respected and trusted in the community. They typically have a significant affect over the thoughts and actions of others.
We all want to meet centers of influence; people that are well connected, who can help us gain access to people and opportunities we couldn’t otherwise have had and assist us in amplifying our brand.
But what if YOU were that center of influence; the one others are clamoring to get a hold of, grab a cup of coffee with, take to lunch and be honored to get just a small piece of your time?
What would that do for your brand and what does it take to be that person?
Well, it starts with adding real value to others. Consider some of these ways that you can begin to build a reputation as a center of influence:
- Be a resource for others is a perfect place to start. By offering ideas, content or commercial insights that have an impact on your network personally or professionally, you start off new relationships as an influencer and person of value.Pro-Tip: Make sure what you share is relevant to your audience and not a pitch about how you can help them.
- Detach from “the sale” until they show interest. Chances are, if you are in B2B sales, you will never close a piece of business at a networking event, from a social interaction or even during a first meeting. These are the places where the conversations begin, not the where the contracts are signed. Stop thinking about your quota every time you meet someone with a pulse. Instead, begin with getting to know them, caring about what matters to them and bring value to the conversation, even if it doesn’t put dollars in your pocket. Pro-tip: Once you have provided insights that get them thinking differently about their current situation, company or industry, when you have provided ideas that can be implemented without you, when you offer help specific to them is when you can then ask permission to switch to sales mode. First, recap all the value you have brought to the table and ask, “Ms. Client, I have some additional strategies that I would like to share with you, ones that have helped my clients accomplish X. Do you have a few minutes now or would you like to set up another call?”
- Integrity is important in every relationship in your life, so make sure it is reflected in all your conversations. Be authentic, don’t exaggerate or show off, have confidence but not arrogance and at all times be a (wo)man of your word. Integrity is core to becoming a sustainable center of influence. If they don’t trust you they won’t respect you.
- Be an optimist in all of your conversations. If you wish to be a center of influence, you have to have a positive attitude and be your best self most of the time. Be the person that people want to be around. You can’t complain or gossip, even in jest, people look up to people that stay above the fray.
- Be a connector is key to being a true center of influence. Always think about who you can introduce to each other that would be mutually beneficial. And, don’t do it for what you can get in return, do it because it is the right thing.
- Volunteer in your community. Giving back to your may not necessary directly connect to business but it is so vital to build relationships in new circles. Being a center of influence is about being well rounded and well networked. Plus, it just feels good to give back.
- Be an ambassador of a Chamber of Commerce or networking group. By being a leader in an organization, especially in one that helps others succeed, you can meet a lot of people and bring a lot of value in a short period of time. From every initial meeting you are seen as a leader in the community; a great place to build preeminence and value simultaneously.
- Inspire others to succeed. Encourage others to follow their dreams, share your experiences, and challenge them to think differently. Offer stories of others in common situations and offer insights that can help them move forward.
- Be a mentor for students, interns or up and coming executives. Offer advice and strategies that can help them succeed. Coach others and have an impact on their careers. Consider working as leader in organizations like SCORE.
- Follow-up and keep in touch. This is a challenge for many of us, but it is important if you want to add value to others. Schedule phone calls, coffee meetings and invite time to community events are great ways to stay on the radar of people in your network. Pro-tip: Take notes about people you meet. Keep the notes in your contacts on you phone and sync to your email notes so they are accessible anywhere, anytime.
Be the influencer.
RESERVE YOUR SEAT: Looking to become a center of influence? Begin with step #1 and join me for this week’s PeopleLinx Webinar:
Register for Wednesday, July 6 at 1pm ET free social selling webinar. Brynne Tillman, Chief Learning Officer and seasoned LinkedIn trainer will walk you through the ins and outs of content marketing for sales. You’ll learn about:
- Leveraging LinkedIn Pulse
- Researching topic ideas
- Writing powerful content that matters to your audience
- Getting the right people to engage
Even if you can’t join us, register and we will send you the recording.