When you are trying to build your firm and you are talking with people at companies who need accountants, you should make sure that you are speaking with the centers of influence at that company. These are the decision makers, the people whose opinions are sought by others in the company. Often, they are the company leaders, but this is not always the case. Once you find those centers of influence, you have to develop a working relationship with them, and you have to cultivate that relationship.
Finding the Centers of Influence
When you are looking for the centers of influence in your niche area, you should start sending surveys to your current clients. Ask them who the people in their group are that have the most influence. Find the contact information for those individuals. When you know your niche well, you will be able to approach these centers of influence with the knowledge that it takes to know the industry well enough to start garnering their trust.
Read the newsletters and publications that your clients put out. Visit their websites and become a part of their social network. By watching their interactions, reading their material and studying them, you will be able to locate the decision makers and the people whose opinions matter to the people in the company who hire you. The more research you do the easier it will be.
What Do Centers of Influence Do for You?
These individuals will be able to help you in quite a few ways. Not only will they be able to hire you for their company, they can also offer testimonials and referrals. If they have good things to say about you, chances are that it is going to be quite a bit easier for you to get work in the industry. The centers of influence are going to be able to help you meet people that you might not get a chance to meet otherwise, and that can do wonders for your career.
Whenever you are dealing with these important people, it is important to remember to treat them respectfully. Brownnosing is something that most people do not like, and you can be sure they can tell that’s what you are doing. You want to be honest and you want to provide good services; but you do not want to develop a reputation as a brownnoser because that reputation will follow you.