Anyone in your network qualifies as a business contacts. Business contacts are incredibly important to the growth of your business, so developing relationships with them is critical. Business contacts come in two separate categories: influencers/users and users. You need to be able to tell the difference between these categories of business contacts and foster the correct relationships.
The people that are both influencers and users make the best business contacts because they can use the services themselves and also encourage others to use these services. Every client you have can be a good referral, but influencers and users are most deeply entrenched in the referral market.
TRUSTED BUSINESS ADVISORS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
This sub-category of influencers/users includes accountants, bookkeepers, attorneys, business managers and consultants. You call these people to help solve your small business problems, so other small businesses are calling them too. If you are maintaining a network for your accountant, you want to make sure he/she will recommend you to others within his/her business contacts network.
NICHE TECH PROVIDERS
Niche technology providers for small businesses are very influential and can make excellent business contacts in the influencers/users category. These people are in the IT field, but do not directly compete with you and include accounting software specialists, phone systems dealers, industry niche software applications, software developers, system builders and website designers. Typically these businesses deal with companies that will fall in your sweet spot, and they can easily recommend your IT services to their clients if you develop them as business contacts.
All business contacts are critical to your success, but some, such as those in the influencer/user category are more powerful than others and should receive more attention.
Blogged By: Joshua Feinberg