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Years ago, I went through a training program on customer retention that emphasized the importance of identifying a web of influence within a client account. The web of influence not only included the main contact or champion, but other individuals within the company that could “influence” your success. Having more than one contact is of the utmost importance to maintain stability and ongoing communication to retain the account and hopefully expand the current business. After all, what if your main contact leaves the company? Without more influential contacts in that organization, you are very vulnerable.

Of course, the same web of influence approach is vital for client acquisition as well. Early in any sales activity with prospects, identifying the key players and communicating consistently with all these individuals broadens your scope of influence and enhances your chances of landing the account.

Now let’s transition to the corporate world and the topic of career advancement. Identifying your own web of influence at work is key to your own success. What are your career goals? Who a re the major players in your organization that you need to be in front of consistently to advance your career?

Identify those key players and create your own personal sales plan for promoting yourself. In your plan, include action items that will create credibility and visibility with these individuals.

Carefully craft your message and practice the delivery of your message. What information do you want to communicate? How often? Like any other sales activity, your personal sales plan requires consistency and follow up.

Continue to look for opportunities to add to this internal network through special committees or projects.

The strength of your web of influence is determined by the individuals you select, how often your communicate, and the content of your message. Maintaining this web of influence is key to advancing your career.