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Chances are, you have a group of people in your database who you’ve done business with in the past or with whom you have a personal or professional relationship. You probably consider this group your sphere of influence (SOI). But do these people actually know that you consider them part of your SOI?

According to Contactually.com, “Your sphere of influence are people in your personal and professional network with whom your opinion or services hold some weight.” If you are in sales, you tap your SOI to support you in the form of referrals or testimonials…and for good reason. In today’s marketplace, getting social proof and recommendations go a long way toward creating brand insistence.

There are good reasons to stay connected. The 2017 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers states that 64 percent of all sellers found their agent through referrals. Additionally, 89 percent of buyers said they would work with their agent again or recommend them to others if they knew how to find them. Your SOI is the primary source of transactions and repeat business, yet most salespeople neglect to nurture this group in any sustainable way to maximize their exponential influence. It’s time to start taking care of your “people” in ways that make them feel connected.

Here are a few proven tips:

– Expert community builder and SOI expert Tammie Slay in Frisco, Texas, goes over the top in making her SOI feel like family, and it pays off big. When social distancing was announced, she figured out how to connect her SOI with struggling local community vendors by hosting “drive-by events.” She included fanfare like big balloon arches, flags, matching t-shirts and giveaways to create excitement, fun, high visibility and social connection for her team.

– To help a local, privately-owned bakery, Slay and her team set up a “Drive by for a Free Pie Event.” While the pies were mini-sized, the activity itself was big, and the event generated additional sales for the bakery.

– When Slay found out that local students were selling candy bars to purchase school supplies, she took it a step further. Slay bought the candy bars and delivered them to her Top 50 MVPs with a note explaining that her team had donated money to the school in their name, and asking them to consider additional donations. More than just a candy bar, she engaged her SOI to feel emotionally connected to benefit the school.

The results of Slay’s efforts were outstanding, and she has racked up an additional 58 transactions (and counting) so far this year, in addition to helping local businesses in her community.

No matter what activity you deploy, all relationships require nurturing. We all depend and thrive on connection. Don’t let social distancing hijack your connection strategies. Take care of your people, and they will take care of you.

For a free Top 50 MVP eBook and plan, visit http://bit.ly/2zSyD4k.

Terri Murphy is a communication engagement specialist, author, consultant and master coach with Workman Success. She is the author of five books, a TED Talk speaker and the founder of Women’s Wisdom Network Community on Facebook. For more information, visit TerriMurphy.com or email Terri@TerriMurphy.com.

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