Identifying Centers of Influence (COI)
Centers of influence are gatekeepers of information surrounding important life events that take place within your audience’s lives. These individuals have the ability to increase your potential for success via referrals and testimonials. Centers of Influence, also known as COIs, are generally professionals in their industry and superb at networking.
Gaining the confidence of one Center of Influence offers the opportunity to acquire new prospects and eventually, new customers. And each new customer provides further opportunities to expand your prospect pool and even meet other Centers of Influence. Thus, there are exponential opportunities when identifying and securing these connections.
Take a moment to think about prominent industry leaders that may have insider knowledge for your business. Some examples include:
- Board of Education members
- Tax professionals
- Realtors and more
And in many cases, you’ll want to connect with one of these COIs to gain insight into these important life events:
- The purchase of a new home
- Starting a new business
- Having a child
- Having grandchildren
- Intergenerational wealth transfer
- Setting up trusts
- Moving to a new location, and more.
Virtually all of these examples will bring about important legal and tax events. Often, a lawyer, tax specialist or certified public accountant will provide unique insight into these changes as they often work with their customers for life.
As an example, developing a strong connection with a lawyer or CPA who has a large client network allows you to connect and communicate with their most trusted clients as they navigate these important life events.
Here are some tips to get you started in identifying and connecting with COIs:
- Develop a database of ideal contacts with brief profiles for each and share it with your team to develop and target potential Centers of Influences.
- Identify your unique skills that you can offer to a Centers of Influence. This may include insights into your network and resources you’ve built.
- Reach out to your network and ask for a warm introduction to potential COIs within their network. Be proactive while remaining professional.
- Stay current with the posts and tweets of leaders as this allows you to stay current with news and information your COIs are choosing to share with their audience.
- Join LinkedIn groups to engage in the conversations of influential employers and their business activities. And be sure to follow Facebook business pages and LinkedIn company pages to allow the posts of COIs to flow into your news feed.
- Follow prominent news outlets and publications on social media to stay current and up to date with real world events that may influence your COI’s ideas or business. Never forget that knowledge is power, and intelligence is an often sought after trait in a network.