Sales Training – Mine your Contacts for Success

Sales Training

Mine your Contacts for Success

I am sure that you have heard the phrase “It is never what you know, it is who you know, which will make the greatest difference to how much success you enjoy” Learn the art of mining your power base of contacts and you will not only be equipped to survive in any economic climate, but you will also be equipped to thrive too. The people you know are an incredible source of information; new business leads and even sources of business themselves. Too many sales people work really hard building relationships with blank strangers, when they already have well established relationships with hundreds of other people they already know.

As you know, people buy from people they know, like and trust. Selling something, which you really believe offers fantastic value and that you believe will be an asset to a stranger, offers your family, friends and acquaintances the same value too. Why try to build trust with strangers and get them to know you, when you already have a network of people who know you and in most instances already trust you.

Who is Your Powerbase of Contacts?

When looking to mine your powerbase, obviously start with your inner circle. You will be astounded how often the people right in your space, need what you have to sell or they know someone, who would benefit from your value proposition. Once you have mined this incredible asset, open your mind and look beyond your own immediate circle, where you will include friends and acquaintances. The Dunbar 150 states that we can have up to 150 stable social relationships with other people. That effectively means that everyone you know maintains social relationships with up to 150 other people. All of whom may need what you have to sell. Wow, that is a huge amount of people, right in your space.

When you expand this beyond the obvious circle defined by the Dunbar 150, to include past employees, schoolmates who you haven’t seen for years, existing employees and even enemies, the size of the group expands exponentially and it becomes obvious that each of us has an extensive network of people we know and each person we know, also has a network of their own, making the access you have to people you already know or who know people you already know extensive.

Making this work for you – Power Base Re-activation

Success in life and especially in sales is all about activity. The more you focus, prioritise and take inspired action, the greater will be your success. The same is true when mining your power base of contacts. When you combine your relentless and dedicated commitment to mine your powerbase, with your incredible product or service, which you believe offers the best value to people; you will succeed on a scale, which will astound even you. Your success in life and sales will depend on how effectively you mine your power base of contacts and how well you inform them about your value proposition.

Focus on Customer Satisfaction

We all know that happy customers are more likely to support you in the long term, but there is an additional benefit of keeping your customers very happy, they will also gladly refer you to other people who will benefit from your value proposition too. Your powerbase of contacts is not stagnant; it grows and expands throughout your life. Each new satisfied customer becomes an integral part of your powerbase and is an incredible asset to you. Learn the art of mining your satisfied customers, they are an incredible source of leads for new prospects and if you build the relationship properly, they will even edify or personally refer you to qualified prospects too.

Re-Activating your Powerbase of Contacts

When you start the process of re-activating your powerbase of contacts, don’t even waste the time to qualify them. Simply sit down and make a list of people you know. You will be amazed at how many people you will add to your list, as you start to think about everyone you know, from family, to friends, to acquaintances, to school teachers, mechanics, waiters, neighbours, etc. The people you know are worth their weight in gold, so treat each one as though they are incredibly valuable, because they are.

Only once you have compiled your list, should you start to qualify them. Make contact with the people who know like and trust you the most first and may have a need for what you offer or may know someone who does. Do not try to sell to them the first time you make contact. When you make contact, show a genuine interest in them and what they are doing. If they ask what you are doing, briefly introduce them to what you do, but be very careful not to try to sell them anything at this point. The first time you make contact, it is most definitely not a sales call, it is just an opportunity to catch up and reconnect.

The best way to connect with these people is via the phone or direct face to face contact. Any electronic medium is a very impersonal way to make first contact. Email, snail mail or other electronic media, such as social media, is a very effective way of maintaining contact or for developing the relationship, after the first contact is made though.

It will be Uncomfortable at first

Re-activating your powerbase of contacts will feel a little like going back to gym, after a long lay-off. It all feels new and unfamiliar, when you first start, but once you have been back at the gym for a while and you have managed to work through the pain, you will be very glad you did. The same is true, when you start out re-activating your powerbase of contacts, it will feel extremely difficult at first, but once you get going, you will really be glad you did. Not only will you reconnect with long lost friends and acquaintances, but you will also improve your sales too.

Making The Call

When making the call to one of the people in your powerbase of contacts you could start the call off as follows: Hi Peter, Andrew Horton here, how are you doing? How is Cindy and the kids? How are you enjoying your new job etc.? When the question of what you are doing comes up, briefly mention what you do, don’t go into too much detail, remember that this is not a sales call. Ensure that you sound extremely enthusiastic and passionate about what you do, as you give a brief outline to them. Collect as much data as possible during the call and update your CRM system, with contact details, email address, Facebook address, LinkedIn address etc. Include details on family, employment changes etc.


The level of success you enjoy in life and especially as sales professionals is directly proportional to the quality and quantity of follow-up you offer to the people in your circle of influence. Follow-up your re-activation call with an actual meeting for lunch or a drink, where you can gather further information and build the connection even further. Follow this meeting up with an email or other contact via electronic media, via social media etc.

I know you want to be successful this year and achieve and even smash your sales targets this year. Your goal must therefore be to use every possible resource at your disposal to get people to know like and trust you. Your powerbase of contacts is a really powerful resource, which if mined correctly, will serve you and allow you to achieve the results you want.

The more people you know and the better you are able to leverage them, the better your ability to thrive. Don’t wait a second longer, get out a pen and start making your list of contacts and then invest the time to convert these into valuable and supportive allies. Fill your calendar with appointments and invest time to utilise one of your most powerful resources, namely your powerbase of contacts and this will be your year for incredible success.

Andrew Horton

Andrew Horton

andrew horton



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