man giving presentation to small group (Photo: Fizkes/Adobe Stock)

Many people have heard of the idea of cultivating centers of influence (COIs).  However, it makes sense to approach it from the other direction and become one instead.  Why?  Because COIs usually know each other.  As word spreads, people come to you for advice.  Some problems you can handle personally, others are referral opportunities.

This concept is best expressed in a story.  Years ago, I came across a financial advisor who saw an opportunity to coach and organize the youth soccer team in his town.  Children have parents.  Parents supply email addresses.  This includes work ones too.  This gave a clue to where people worked.  His role gave him a reason to be in touch with the parents.  He even organized the occasional soccer game for the parents.

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