In the thirty years I have spent in the construction industry, I have learned the power of relationships. Many years ago, I enjoyed reading Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty by the legendary Harvey Mackay. In this book, Harvey Mackay uses real examples of how he created lifelong relationships which were beneficial to both parties involved.

I too have developed lifelong relationships within the industry that have created opportunities. Many times, I have been asked, “Brian, do you know anyone who provides this service?” It is always fulfilling when I have a trusted relationship with a service provider that I can refer them to. In fact, when I do not have someone to refer to, I feel like I have let the inquiring person down. That is when I ask someone in my network if they know someone to refer them to.

Grow Your Networkpower of relationships

I have had numerous preferred vendor relationships with trusted providers. At times, this would prevent me from forming relationships with their competitors. I have learned that my preferred vendor may not always be available and at times the individual I had the trusted relationship with moves on to another opportunity, creating a void where I once had trust that was earned by experience. So, I encourage you to be open to growing your network even when you have trusted relationships.

Be Intentional

When you have the opportunity to network within your industry, create a plan. Get the attendee list ahead of time and highlight people and companies you are interested in meeting. Find out if you have mutual connections and ask for an introduction. If possible, get on their calendar prior to the event to ensure you get the time you need to start a relationship-building conversation. Research their company and their profile on LinkedIn to be prepared to ask questions that are relevant and personal for them.

Don’t Take Anyone for Granted

When you attend a networking event, don’t be selfish in your quest to meet people in the room. Although you may have something to offer or need a specific service, where you are seeking out specific providers, don’t shy away from learning about someone who provides a service you don’t currently have a need for. Again, you may need their services in the future, or you may be able to refer them to someone in your network who does have that need.

Follow Up

I have exchanged cards with individuals many times with the intention of making a connection and developing a relationship only to lose the card or forget to follow up. Choose quality over quantity when meeting new people at an event. Showing genuine interest in someone and learning what they offer takes time; don’t get distracted by trying to meet everyone at a single event. You can create 2-3 quality relationships and then expand your network by asking these new connections for introductions later or at the next event. Schedule a time for follow-up and then follow through with what you agreed to. Send your new connection a handwritten card with some details from your initial conversation confirming your interest in them.

You can discover the power of relationships in business by being inquisitive, being intentional and learning how you can support the other individual with genuine care and concern for their needs. Do not be selfish with transactional based connection. Grow your network and grow your results.

Now that you have enjoyed this article, It would be an honor to grow a relationship with you. Give me a call or send me an email, I would love to hear about your journey in business and life.

Check out my YouTube channel Build Up – YouTube for frequent tips on leadership, communication and culture.

Visit:  Build Consulting Services

Join the Voices For Leadership Book and Community – Voices For Leadership

Brian Brogen, Build Yourself & Then Build Others!