By Andrew Neitlich

Lessons from a panel of top producers

By Andrew Neitlich

I just got back from leading a seminar with 100 or so IT professionals/entrepreneurs. During the seminar, we had a panel of top producers — both “rookies” who had achieved excellent results within a year, and “veterans” who had been at it a while.

The first question was, “What tactics have worked best for you?”

In order of number of responses, here are their answers:


One: Building their “sphere of influence” by networking and asking for referrals

Two: Delighting current customers, following up with them to get more business, and asking for referrals

Three: Lead exchange groups (e.g. BNI, starting their own)

Four: Getting involved in the community, for instance the local chamber of commerce and in volunteer activities– but wisely, in ways that build real relationships with influential people

Five: Choosing a vertical market/industry and reaching decision makers in that industry via direct mail and follow up calls, along with joining their association and getting active with it

Six: Advertising via a variety of means

Seven: Cold calling

This hierarchy makes sense to me….How about to you?

  • Excellent list.

    Did anyone mention seminars or public speaking engagements?

    I think that would be 1a in your list.

  • aneitlich


    Suprisingly, only one panelist mentioned that as a top tactic. However, by the time I got done with the crowd, a number of people in the audience agreed that public speaking and seminars should be a priority!


  • I suppose public speaking wasn’t high on the list because:
    a) Most people fear it more than death
    b) Opportunities to engage in public speaking may be limited ot not immediately apparent

    But the list makes sense to me – except what is “BNI”?

  • BNI stands for [URL=http://www.bni.com/]Business Network International[/URL]

    Pretty strict rules and costly.

  • aneitlich

    BNI is one of many lead exchange groups. Yes, it costs money. But for many professionals, it’s a structured way to exchange leads and learn how to present what you do in a more powerful way.

  • BNI is great, but I’ve found that in my group, and I think this may apply to many people, the majority of people are either small business owners, just don’t “get it” or are in alternative health disciplines – as a result, the kind of people I’m looking for for my software development business (which are software dev projects that cost upwards of 25K) just aren’t in their networks.

    I’m still formulating my thoughts on this ‘tho…

  • iamsoho

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