Pamela based her discussion around one of my favorite books, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell discusses the concept of Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen. Knowing this concept is a crucial success factor in leveraging your business network. If you know which category the people within your network fall in, you are able (through those people) to reach the potential clients you wish to do business with.
Pamela elaborated on the subject with her own concept of the Three Circles of Influence in Your Network.
- Peer mentors – people in your field or related field you can use as a sounding board or to share best practices with. You may or may not be in direct competition with them, but if you defined your business and your target market well, it is unlikely you’ll have that overlap with the other person.
- Technical support – experts in specific areas, outsourcing help and resourcesfor continuing education.
- Jedi High Council – people you may admire from afar. They may be high in status, but buy watching them closely and learning from their actions (both successes and failures) you can gain further insight into what you do for a living. Who knows. Maybe one day you will have the opportunity to meet them and develop a meaningful relationship.
In the end, your business network should support you and be and advocate for what you do. Don’t be afraid to change up your network when necessary, but more importantly be supportive in return to those who have helped you along the way. Successful networking to build your consulting business is a two-way street. To read the article in its entirety visit http://www.consultantbasecamp.com/2012/03/the-three-circles-of-your-business-network/