It’s no secret that there’s a lot of competition in the professional world. Sometimes, it seems as if everyone is out for themselves, and that you’ve got to be cutthroat in order to get anywhere in a career. The fact is, however, this is the exact opposite of what one should do when trying to take a career to the next level. Succeeding in business is all about networking and building strong relationships, something that can take months and even years to do.
No matter what type of career you’re working towards furthering, a strong network of business relationships is essential – here are just a few ways to help build one:
1. Start Online
Since so much modern business takes place online, there’s no better place than the Internet to start when trying to build relationships with other business professionals. This is especially true if you have a website and are hoping to build awareness about it, which can be incredibly hard without help from others in your industry.
If you’re looking for a “link share,” the best way to get one is to send a personal email to one of the higher-ups at a company you’re interested in connecting with. Start off by explaining who you are and what you do, and don’t hesitate to tell the person what you like about his or her company. As business guru Rich Gorman says, “Let the conversation flow naturally, and then you will find yourself in a better position to ask for a link.”
2. Attend Networking Events
Even the smallest of cities are home to frequent networking events. Business brunches, conferences and other events are perfect for connecting with local business owners, and there’s nothing more important than diving into your local business community. While the Internet has a great deal to offer to those who are trying to build their careers, one would be remiss to pass over the local community.
Check with your chamber of commerce to find out when and where networking events are scheduled and make an effort to attend as many as possible. After a while, people will begin to recognize you and perhaps even see you as a major player in the community.
3. Don’t Neglect The Follow-Up
Business professionals are busy. Many people get offended when their emails or phone calls are answered with haste, which is understandable. Often, things simply get overlooked; it’s not as if these people don’t want to respond.
This being the case, you should always take time to follow-up with individuals who have been unresponsive. Following-up will not only help to get the attention of the person you’re trying to contact once again, but will show persistence on your part – a trait that many CEOs and business professionals admire. Your follow-up email or call doesn’t have to be long or wordy; simply stick to the point and let them know you’d like to speak.
Building business relationships can be a trying process, but a little bit of work can go a long way.