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More Than A Round of Golf: Centers of Influence and Their Value

More Than A Round of Golf: Centers of Influence and Their Value

Growing your portfolio by adding new clients is critical to success in business development. But, business development is lead generation and lead generation is time-consuming, right?

What if the secret to finding new clients was in discovering that you’re keeping secrets from your
Centers of Influence (COIs)? I know what you are thinking, “I take business associates out for golf routinely – they understand our relationship and that I want referrals.” No, they don’t. Simply playing a round of golf with an influencer in your community or in your industry doesn’t equate to getting referrals from them. Do you ask?

The Roper Organization has conducted studies on influential people for decades.Their research suggests that winning the confidence of just oneCOI can create six loyal customers. If you want to improve your hit ratio and work smarter, not harder, take a closer look at this under-utilized strategy for business development.

Start with a three-tier preparation for engaging your COIs:

Define Your Value
Don’t make your COI guess about your value or create their own story. Articulate your value for them, and keep it simple. Take the time to tell your story in a compelling way that differentiates you from others who offer similar services.

Points of Contact
Centers of Influence tend to be active volunteers and activists in their own professional development.They are skilled at networking and will advocate for a trusted business associate. You can seek them out through professional organizations, business associations or networking groups. Join now and get active.

Ask Clearly and Concisely
Approaching COIs should be about more than a round of golf, of course. But, when it is golf, be sure you present your ‘Ask’ in a clear and concise way. Be direct. Be specific.

Finally, the most important part of maintaining consistently valuable COI relationships is follow-up and feedback. Recognize the effort of your COIs who give you a lead or make an introduction with a handwritten note or card. Learn about their business and how you can reciprocate referrals. Request feedback from clients and prospects, when applicable.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavior change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company. Learn more at www.raddon.com

Client Stories | Community 1st Credit Union

Client Stories

November 1, 2017 – Community 1st Credit Union partnered with Center for Practical Management to facilitate performance improvement and leadership effectiveness in the organization. In March 2017, the credit union was a featured client on an educational webinar with Raddon: “Turn Your Problem-Solving Call Center into a Profit-Making Contact Center”.

Contact Center Grows Loan Volume 30% YOY

 “What truly developed our staff was the consistent routine of communication in the engagement,” said Mark Estes, Contact Center Manager for Community 1st Credit Union. “This engagement was not only for development of our reps either. It was inclusive of developing our leadership skills as managers and coaches, too. I can’t say it enough. CPM’s program played a crucial role in the success we’ve experienced.” 

Estes leads a team of 11 representatives in the Member Relations Center. He takes pride in the team’s hard work, collaboration and of course, the performance results. He also acknowledges that success was a team effort. “We embraced the challenge of showing the rest of the credit union that we could not only match retail branches, but that we could beat them on a monthly basis, too.” Within two quarters of the training program, Estes’ team hit a record-setting loan month with $1.4M.

When he gets asked how they achieved these results, a question Estes gets asked often, he says the answer is simple: Learn to focus on the right stuff. “I was able to shift my attention from being a secondary lender to focusing, almost exclusively, on leading and development of my team to be the best they could be.”

“After a core conversion, our strategy was to focus on the development of more specific objectives, such as stabilizing turnover,” said Melissa Beastrom, Executive VP of Strategic Initiatives. “Center for Practical Management’s program structure and continuous-improvement methods helped us develop our managers, no matter where they were at in experience or talent. It also engaged our staff with one another which is something that I believe had a very large impact on all the teams. Everyone witnessed that they were being supported by their manager, on up to the top executive team because we wanted to be supportive of their success. We are very happy with the results. This has changed the culture of our contact center. I encourage other credit unions to look into Center for Practical Management’s development programs.” 

Community 1st Credit Union is headquartered in Ottumwa, Iowa, offers 17 retail branches, and serves nearly 60,000 members.

Curriculums and training materials are available to clients, license-free in perpetuity, following contracted engagements with Center for Practical Management. Contact us for a no-obligation conversation and pricing proposal. 

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavior change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company. Learn more at www.raddon.com