Share Tweet Building Business Relationships Now….For The Future Relationships are key to any business. Whether it’s a line manager to executive, consultancy to client or worker to customer they are the bread and butter of any business. But why do so many people neglect this very thing? It doesn’t matter who you look at within the business world; whether you seek guidance from the most successful of individual they will all have a support network around them. It’s not uncommon to see people hire those they have worked with previously, recruit agencies who have done a stellar job in the past or go back to previous employment for stand out employee’s. The world of business is won and lost on relationships and the strength of each and every one. On a personal level within the business world building relationships should be a business as usual activity. Ultimately you never know what the future holds and you never know the power of what helping one person could bestow on you in the future. Changes occur, companies restructure and diversify but positive relationships are never broken. Every single day I attempt to do a nice deed for someone within my industry. Whether it’s referring them to a great web designer or helping them with a specific challenge, i try and set aside time to help other people. Sure part of the reason is because I am nice but also because I know that gratitude has to be earned and in the future I may need someones help and I hope someone is equally there for me. How to build relationships: If you are focused and passionate about your career then building relationships is easy. I can be browsing twitter on a Saturday afternoon and spot someone asking for advice and easily help them. Not all relationships are built in the office but can be equally as important. Here are some great tips on how to build relationships for now and for the future. Always work to the best of your ability: Sounds pretty self explanatory but work and ability should always be a priority. Become a standout performer and make management aware of your abilities. I’ve seen so many cases of employees returning to former companies to recruit workers for new roles. You don’t always have to be the one carving opportunities. It could quite easily be another person you have worked with who returns for you based on your qualities. Who would you recruit for your next job? A complete unknown or a tried and tested former colleague with outstanding ability? Do I need to answer that one? Stay Professional: Professional was touched upon as a key point recently in my ‘How to quit your job’ post but in the same way it’s a key ingredient for building business relationships. Management love professionalism and knowledge, couple them together and you have a winning formula. Managers want to employ people who they can leave within a meeting environment and know that everything will be ok. Any signs of unprofessionalism will go against you from a business relationship building perspective. Now i’m not saying you need to be wooden or robot like in the workplace; quite the contrary actually. What I am preaching is that having the ability to be professional when it’s required is a great trait for any business man or women. If you can show this professionalism to management then they may just seek this professionalism and ability in the future. Support others around you: I believe strongly in helping others in business and you will see similar gratitude in return. I have always tried to help business colleagues or individuals I have built relationships with in my sector as I this is a great safeguard for future opportunities. In the past two months I have helped a friend find employment, referred someone for a freelance job, helped a previous client with some search engine issues and looked at three CV’s. Help was provided in all these instances without thinking twice. By helping people you are helping yourself. Not only do you come across as a bloody nice guy or girl but also you’ll be in the forefront of their mind whenever an opportunity which matches your skills set arises. Build Perception of you ability: You may be a technical wizard in excel or a master of photoshop but if you keep your skills locked away then nobody will be aware of this. I’m like a broken record when it comes to perception but building that perception with people in relation to your ability is nearly as important as the ability itself. If people aren’t fully aware of your abilities then you will never be considered. Highlight your strengths and document these so people know where your experience lies. There’s obviously a difference between arrogance and building perception so you need to demonstrate why you are good at something and make sure the right people are aware of this. Social networks are great for building perception as you can connect with like minded individuals within your sector and highlight your abilities. Talk to your manager about a blog you wrote outside work, a piece of content you brought together or maybe a cool excel trick you were reading about. Show your passion for excelling and you’ll be remembered for the right reasons. Why this will help you long term: So you may be asking…’what’s the deal with all this relationship talk and why do I care about building a relationship with Joe Bloggs on Twitter now?’. Now this would be an absolutely great question if you had little or no business nouse but to really strike home the importance of this I’ve brought together a few areas which may further enforce why it’s so important. People will think of you: ‘You scratch my back and i’ll scratch yours’ Heard of the saying? It works great within the business world. People help people and if you have helped them in the past, built a positive relationships with them or simply shown expertise within your field then they are more than likely to think of you if a similar opportunity arises. I’ve recently had a client who I looked after when I worked for an agency approach me on a consultancy basis because of the honest approach I gave them. I worked with the client over 2 ½ years ago! They had a bad experience with another agency and decided to approach me for advice given the great relationship we had built previously. A good experience can last forever. People stick to what & who they know: People like protection, security, reliability and of course a guarantee of a good job. I would always hire someone I know with trusted ability over someone on a hunch or based on their CV. This is not only my thinking but the thinking of many on the planet. It happens in sport all the time! My most recent roles were all due to an existing relationship I had established. It’s common sense, people stick to a tried and tested result and by building a positive relationship you could be that individual. There’s too much riding on business to make rash decisions. Help now…..Job later? Offering help can lead places especially in business. You absolutely never know who you may help in the short term and how long term it could positively impact upon you. It may be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs who you lend a hand to and guess who he/she may turn to when extra paying help is required? Provide free help and support as much as you can as it may lead to something in the future. A business who you help on a consultancy basis may in the future require someone full time and it’s quite possible you may be that person. You also get to ‘try before you buy in a specific field or job role’. Help now….Job later! You’re the answer to ZERO recruitment fee’s: Recruitment fee’s can cost companies a small fortune especially when a recruitment decision turns out to be a walking disaster. A typically fee for recruitment can be anywhere between 10%-20% of the year salary of the successful candidate. If this individual then stays with an organisation for a year then it’s quite an investment to replace them. By building relationships you can either recruit and individual you know or you may be the one recruited. As mentioned above these type of recruits are the tried and tested method and are typically conducted direct meaning no recruitment fees for the company. Not only this but the money saved from not paying recruitment fee’s could result in a higher salary for you as the candidate. Couple the financial saving of recruiting someone you know with the knowledge of their professional conduct and work punctuality then it’s the sensible route for any recruiting manager. Recruiters can help significantly but if manager knows of a candidate from a previous business relationship who can fit the bill then you bet he will go down that option. Do you believe in building solid relationships in business and how do you go about this to future proof your time in business? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.