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The Sphere of Influence, Are You Tapping In?

Posted by on July 24, 2008

sphere of influence

It’s not always easy to reach your target audience and this is true regardless of what market you are in.  Sometimes you have to go through several channels before you can reach the decision maker and the process can be time consuming and tedious.  Even when you finally reach the decision maker, they can be unenthusiastic with your product or service and may simply turn you away.  However, it’s not always necessary to go directly after the decision maker, instead you can go after the sphere of influence.  Going after the sphere of influence accomplishes two main things.  First of all it provides you with a warm introduction to the decision maker from an internal source.  Second, it allows the decision maker to lean on his/her sphere for support or advice.  This means that if you can get the sphere of influence on your side, you have a much better shot at getting the decision maker on your side as well.

A sphere of influence is comprised of the people that surround you and give you advice or ideas on various topics.  Think of your friends, family, and co-workers as great examples of spheres of influence.  If you want to find a good restaurant around town, you may ask your friends what they recommend.  If you are looking to transition jobs or move to a new company you may ask your co-workers for advice.  If you want advise on areas to relocate to or advice on how to budget finances you may ask a family member.  All of these people make up your sphere of influence and these people are crucial because they shape you who are, what you consume, and how you live your life.

Similarly, in a corporate environment, decision makers have their own spheres of influence, usually co-workers.  If you find that it is difficult to get directly to the decision maker then begin buiding relationships with the “sphere.”  Notice I said building relationships, this doesn’t mean spamming someone or trying to pitch a product to everyone in the “sphere.”  This means building relationships with them.  For example, why not take out the receptionist to coffee or take the adminstrative assistant out to lunch?  Usually there are co-decision makers that readily influence the ultimate decision.  Build a relationships with them and then THEY will introduce you to the proper decision makers.  Not only that, but if you can get can someone other than the decision maker to get excited about a product or a service, then you have a much better shot at getting the decision maker excited about your product or service as well.

How are you tapping into the “sphere of inluence?”

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