Successful Rainmakers and business developers know that when building a relationship with a new client, or going deeper within an existing organization, it is essential to assemble a diverse group of contacts. Having an established network of trusted advisors or advocates can accelerate your success and improve your effectiveness by increasing the value of your products, solutions or services to the client. The down side of an established network can be their personal or professional biases, their position, their ability to access critical information, or political forces or hierarchies at work that may place them outside the power circle.
Consider the flowing three groups that can advance your success and provide valuable information to better serve your clients.
- Users. These are employees such as field staff, manufacturing or production line workers, customer service staff and administrative or support personnel. These people can provide important insight into the company, how it operates, its culture and values and how it serves its customers. They are often ignored in the information gathering process yet have invaluable insight and knowledge that you can tap into.
- Coordinators. Often positioned deep within the organization, these people are content experts and specialists such as executive assistants, project managers, and production or manufacturing managers. They coordinate and facilitate interaction, build cross-functional connections and know the shortest path to information or resources required. These individuals can advise you which groups, processes, systems or resources must be aligned to make the process work and to achieve effective outcomes. They can also provide valuable insight on the political hierarchies and mine fields to maneuver.
- Elders. These are the seasoned and often battle-scarred sages that can provide rare insight into the organization, its culture, values, people and other critical factors that will provide an inside track to help you serve the client. These individuals are not always on the senior executive team and can be found in management or supervisory roles relating to research, manufacturing, distribution, finance or heading up special projects given their unique insight and tenure. You may have to dig deeper to find them but the pay back may be great.
The best rainmakers and relationship sales people know that the key to success is always based on knowing the right people. Take a step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to someone “new”. Try this with the person whose desk you have passed for years and always exchange a pleasant greeting without really knowing what they do and how they may be able to assist you. They may be the missing link for you to add more value to your client and the key to greater success.
Reach out and let me know how it works!