by Tony Vidler
That is perhaps a bit excessive in today’s environment (and for ageing waistlines), but the concept is more important than ever before.
People often ask how to create and cultivate centre’s of influence who can help drive new prospects and clients to their business. My answer? “Go to lunch”.
In all seriousness, go to lunch once per week with someone who is, or could be, a potential centre of influence for you and your business. Make it a long’ish lunch (but not an afternoon off). So that is maybe 50 lunches, not 250 like Tom suggested.
The objective is really quite simple: get to know each other. Build trust and respect. See how you can help each other in business. Be interested in them…and they will be interested in you.
The key point is that a long lunch is a luxury for many busy professionals today, and they do not dedicate the time needed to really get to know other professionals. Naturally they do not tend to refer clients to people that they do not feel they know well enough. It is also highly likely that they do not know enough about what you do, and how you do it, and what your philosophies and values are.
Invest time in people in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. Get to know them, and try to help them. They will get to know you and try to help you.
It will pay off, and be good for your business.