Increase your commercial business by increasing your sphere of influenceHoward CherninIncrease mortgage sales
How many people do you know?
Probably more than you think. If you started to list your
business associates, accountants, lawyers, insurance brokers,
friends, relatives, your mail carrier, whoever cuts your hair, your
children's teachers, your veterinarian, your next door neighbor,
and everyone else you encounter on a day-to-day basis, how many
names would you come up with?
One very successful businessman, Joe Girard, calculated that the
average number for most people was 250. Girard was one of the top
car salespeople of all time, earning himself a place in the
Guinness Book of World Records for selling more cars than anyone
else in the world in one year.
As for the secret of his success, it was no secret. Girard laid
it out clearly in a book he wrote, titled "How to Sell Anything to
Anybody." The principle, which he called "Girard's Law of 250," was
that every individual has what he called a "personal sphere of
influence" of approximately 250 people. He pointed out that every
one of those individuals also knows 250 people, meaning that once
you get to know that person and he or she becomes part of your
network, you're also gaining access to the 250 people in that
A simple truth about human nature is that people prefer to do
business with someone who they know and trust. Don't you regularly
use the same accountant, mechanic and dentist? The same concept
holds true for every aspect of business. The people who know and
like you--who comprise your personal sphere of influence--form a
network that represents your business' strongest base of potential
Not only are the people in your network potential customers,
once they've become satisfied customers, they're likely to pass
along a good word to the members of their sphere of influence.
After all, when you need a new service, aren't you inclined to go
with someone recommended by a friend or associate? This means that
the 250 people they each know will all become your potential
customers as well.
Of course, there's no need to limit your sphere of influence to
250 people. We all meet new people every day at work, at social
events, while waiting in line at a store or even while commuting to
work. Carry a notebook so that you can record the names and contact
information of new people who join your sphere of influence. You'll
be amazed at how quickly it grows. You'll also be surprised at how
many new business opportunities arise out of cultivating your
existing (and ever-growing!) referral group.
Once you've started building a business relationship with
members of your sphere of influence, it is critical to provide the
highest possible level of service. Otherwise, you could lose their
business along with any potential customers they might have
provided. It is important to be consistent, since this is the best
way to build a strong reputation.
To build your business, you don't have to look very far. Given
the 250 people in your sphere of influence, new business
opportunities are all around you. After all, it isn't just who you
know or even what you know; it's who likes and trusts you and knows
what you can do for them that's the key to building your
Howard Chernin is senior vice president of Quantum Corporate
Funding Ltd. He may be reached by phone at (800) 352-2535 or e-mail