You realize the value of networking with Centers of Influence (COIs), and you understand how to get clients to share the names of their COIs. You’ve scheduled a meeting with them, and carefully prepared. However, after diligently following the appropriate discovery steps at the meeting, you found you weren’t prepared for the COI’s objection.

Here’s an example of how to handle it:

COI: “I partnered with someone else once and it was a horrible experience. The guy cost me a client.”

YOU: (appropriate emotional response) “I’m sorry to hear that. You mean to tell me that you actually went out of your way to partner with someone in my field, and it literally cost you a client?”

COI: “Yes, they cost me a client.”

YOU: “I really hate to hear that. I’m sorry that you went through that.”

Next, you need to get some details on the COI’s experience.

YOU: “Look, I want to thank you for being candid with me and letting me know that. I want to acknowledge you for even having this conversation, given what you just shared. I must admit, I find it rather disturbing. If you don’t mind me asking, can you tell me more about what happened?”

The COI’s answer to this question will help you determine if you want to respond using a reframe, a negotiation, or a walk away.

In the previous 12 blogs, I’ve shared the steps you need to take to develop valuable COI relationships. If you haven’t read them, I encourage you to do it now.

How successful you are at developing a COI network is up to you. Have you started the process?  Remember, this isn’t an overnight process… it can take time. That’s why it’s important to start today.


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