• Bonnie Upright, APR

COI vs. Database - what is the difference?

Guest Post by Jennifer Tossavainen, Regional Broker Manager

We often talk about our sphere, our centers of influence and our database. I know at some point, I have encouraged you to “stratify” those contacts by A+, A, B, C etc. based on how important or influential each contact is to you in your business or how close that person may or may not be to a transaction based on your conversations with them.

As you start to look at where you will be focusing your time and money in 2020, it is important to really focus on your definition of COI and “Database.” The way I see it, a Center of Influence person (COI) is someone who is likely to be a gateway to introduce you to people who can bring you at least two (2) referrals this year (2020).

A COI is well-connected, likes or respects you, and comes in contact with enough people to be willing and able to refer you directly or introduce you to others with whom you can forge relationships. You have heard it said a million times, "It's not what you know, it's who knows you that counts."

The rest of your database is essentially a “business network” and is a collection of colleagues and people you know who may or may not send you business – Whether they will or won’t refer business to you is often a function of how well you develop, nurture and maintain your relationship, but not every contact in your database is part of your COI.

Both COI's and database networks are valuable, but COI's, when properly nurtured, can make you a lot of money.

First, consider who is your COI and then develop your business plan for interaction with your COI. You will want to determine what action steps you will implement to both maintain your database but also further develop and nurture contacts within your database to improve referral opportunities from your COI.

I’d love to talk with you about this and other questions in business planning this fall.

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