One of the best kept secrets in life is the fact that leaders have influence over others. Leaders in fact have followers.
A great strategy is to plan to gradually earn the respect of leaders via education and the sharing of valuable information. In time your new center of influence will provide you with the names of their followers. By virtue of this action you will have been given a warm lead.
For years, I was in the seed business in Western Canada. One proven tactic was to put new seed varieties in the hands of the farmers who are regarded as community leaders. This was a very effective way of getting your seed variety noticed and scrutinized by a respected local authority.
When I was a kid, I remember going visiting the small town my grandparents lived in. This small town had 1,500 people and even as a teenager I recognized this town was led by as few as twenty or twenty five people. You know, the two ladies who run the local community club – that if they didn’t work as hard as they did the club would shut down! The drug store owner, the family that owned the main gas station and hardware store, the local clergy perhaps and the gentlemen who seemed to coach all the kids in hockey and baseball and keep the local swimming pool open.
These leaders have influence and have deep connections within the the town or community. Their opinion matters to many. Why? Because their opinion is based on fact of observation and not emotion, prejudice or conjecture. Earn the respect of a leader and you will put yourself in a position to be given a chance with their followers.
Just one warning though – when you are given a chance, don’t blow it by not being a leader yourself, right?