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One of my favorite sales-related quotes comes from Seth Godin. He has said, “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.”

Today’s post will focus on the first part of that equation—relationships. And one type of relationship in particular—your centers of influence.

What’s a center of influence? A center of influence is a person that’s well-connected and really understands the value of what it means to build networks. They get what you’re trying to accomplish, and they’re strategic thinkers. As a result, they are willing to open doors for you, and to provide insights beyond what you might learn otherwise. It can also be organization, one that provides an environment for you to build those strategic relationships. Think about your network. What people or organizations in your circles fit this category?

If I look at my own experience, one way I built and nurtured a center of influence was by creating a forum for learning executives. The forum became a center of influence by providing an environment where leaders could connect, learn, and develop their own networks. As a result, it also became a strong source of new business development opportunities for me.

For any modern seller, centers of influence are an integral component of our strategic network.

That’s also the type of person we should strive to be for others. A center of influence in our own sphere.

Despite the benefits provided by centers of influence, too few people take time to create and sustain these valuable relationships. Many times, we avoid cultivating our centers of influence because it takes time and skill, and may push us outside our comfort zone, among other reasons.

You can cultivate centers of influence by incorporating the following strategies into your approach:

  • Establish relationship building as part of your purpose.
  • Join the highest profile committee or organization that ties directly to your goal.
  • Connect others in your network to people, to ideas, or with resources to help them reach their goals.
  • Develop strategic alliances with others who have similar goals, similar target markets, and complementary offerings.

For more information on centers of influence, watch this short video.

I also invite you to download my ebook,  36 tips to Build Lasting Strategic Relationships.



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