What is a COI?
COI’s are “people who know the people you want to meet”. COI’s don’t buy from you. They are not distributors or resellers. Example: In my business, which companies have access to people that may need help with their sales organization? Consultants, lawyers, accountants, CEO groups, marketing firms, etc… What COI’s do you have in your business? Why Bother? COI’s already have credibility with your audience. Your audience will take their call, take their advice and value their recommendation. For you, that means warm, interested and pre-qualified leads coming into your business already believing you are worth talking to. But Be Careful! In my business, like many of yours, one often meets people who could be a great COI. After you chat a bit, you grab a coffee, talk about your businesses and then promise to refer leads back and forth. So far so good. The problem is that after that meeting what happens next? Not much. 2 reasons:
- We are often looking for instance gratification from our relationships, so if neither of you have an immediate referral or introduction to make, the relationship cools out fast.
- Because, while good intentions exist, life “gets in the way”, we get busy and we forget.
- With every COI marked in my CRM with the “status” field listed as “COI”, when I want to access them (like the person we all met 3 years ago at a networking event who’s name we can’t remember), all I need to do is run a report, voila … they magically appear;
- I schedule reoccurring tasks in my CRM to “connect” (mostly via email) to my COI’s on a standard frequency. Some every 90 days, some every 6 months.