A stick figure outrunning the other stick figures (Credit: Thinkstock)

Centers of Influence.

We basically define them as people who can send business to us. Accountants and lawyers come to mind.

Try a different mindset. Look for the people who can connect you with other people — the ones everyone trusts. There’s a story here.

The Established Local

We have a 50ish friend retired from the Air Force. He and his wife are regulars at the local pub. He grew up in the area. He’s a nice guy who seems to know everyone.

We needed an arborist (tree guy) for something specialized. Our tree guy recommended someone. We got in touch. The arborist said: “i think we know some of the same people. Do you know (local)?” I said yes. “Does (local) know everyone around here?” The arborist said: “(Local) and I were in kindergarten together!” I called (local). Mentioned the conversation. He said “(the arborist’s) dad coached out Little League team.”

The moral:  Some people, without great wealth or official position, know everyone because they are “nice guys.” Perfect for introductions.

(Related: Preparing for the Morning After)

The Professor

This is an Asian example. It works in other cultures too. Education is often considered the ladder to success. Parents skimp and save to give their children the best opportunities in life. The children return the favor by studying hard. They are those kids in the front row.

The students develop mentoring relationships with professors, logically in the field of study aligned to their chosen profession. They keep in touch with these professors years after graduation. They consider them trusted advisors, placing great weight on their advice.

The moral: You likely have some college professors as friends and clients. They probably have a circle of former students who still keep in contact. Do these professors know how you help people? As their former students become successful, they start needing advice of how to handle money.

The Fund Raiser

At cultural institutions they are called directors of development (or advancement.) Their role is to constantly cultivate large donors for contributions to their charity. This is usually “repeat business.” Donors give over and over.

Why? Because they like the development professional! They consider them friends. They are invited to each other’s homes. Attend parties together. They know they will be asked for money now and then, yet they enjoy each other’s company.

The moral: These people know everybody. They are in an ideal position to introduce you to people, especially if you attend the same events. You are likely a donor to their charity your yourself. Why? Because that’s how you met them. When you ask: “Do you know (X)?” or “How can I get in front of (Y)?” They are in an ideal position to facilitate a social introduction.

Expand your definition of what makes a person “an influencer.”

— Read What Can Insurance Agents Do During Stock Market Declines?on ThinkAdvisor.


Bryce SandersBryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides high-net-worth client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor,” can be found on Amazon.