A network/sphere of influence to aspire towards

I’ve had the priviledge of interviewing 4 rainmakers these past couple of days. It immediately becomes clear why they are successful: Their sphere of influence is broad, deep, and strong. As you read the summary of their network, think about steps you can take to broaden and strengthen yours:

- One knows 75 CIOs in various US Government agencies, with a special focus on intelligence and defense. He has served on committees advising the government about technology, been in the intelligence field, and led engagements for major technology companies specializing in government services. Imagine having a network of contacts such that 75 CIOs in the largest government agencies will take your call!

- One knows top CEOs, CIOs and COOs in e-healthcare ventures, including one healthcare portal that gets a majority of traffic in the industry. He turned around a division of an e-health portal in the 1990s, and has also started his own healthcare company (which he grew to $150 mm).

- One spent the majority of his career at one of the top international courier companies (e.g. Fedex, DHL, UPS). As a result, he is able to get on the phone with the CEOs of just about any supply chain or courier company.

- Another rose through the ranks at a major systems integrator, and now has C-level contacts with a variety of major companies.

These types of networks don’t get created over night. It takes years of excellent performance, integrity, and consciously expanding your list of contacts.

What can you do today to start, or strengthen, a relationship with somebody influential and powerful? What about tomorrow, and the next day?

I recommend that at least once a week you pick someone in your community or industry that has great contacts, and find a way to meet them. An easy way is to call them and ask to interview them for advice. You’d be amazed at how many successful people want to help others.

Have an influential weekend!

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  • http://elysiansystems.com/ leadegroot

    Hmm, I’m afraid to confess that the first difficulty is thinking of ‘someone with great contacts’ at all, let alone that I have any chance of meeting :(

  • patrikG

    Not to be flippant, but “rainmakers”? I suppose by that you mean well-connected people. It’s just that “rainmakers” sounds a bit grand to me.

  • http://www.plainsimple.org gilbertglee

    I recommend that at least once a week you pick someone in your community or industry that has great contacts, and find a way to meet them. An easy way is to call them and ask to interview them for advice. You’d be amazed at how many successful people want to help others.

    You make it sound so easy and I thank you for it! I really think this is doable and it’s good to hear this kind of advice from a successful entrepreneur like you.

    Question for you: What types of community or industry leaders would be fit for web designers to contact? Does it matter? Or are you saying meeting with community and industry leaders will lead the designer to other potential clients?

  • http://www.brettgough.com goughb

    Agreed, though it sounds difficult you will find that at first you must get over any internal fears you may have. After that it is a breeze and simple to repeat. Always keep in mind that there is one thing everyone like to do… talk about themselves and these same successful people love to do it. Give it a try. After all, what do you have to loose?

  • barot

    I am totally new to enterpreunership. Just finished academia. My question is, after you get aquainted with influential people, what do you talk about in your call? Do you ask them if they have some work for you?
    Thx. :)