Amongst our team here at McQueenie Mulholland, we try to get out a bit and attend many of the South West’s best networking events and seminars. We absolutely know that business is as much about who you know, as what you know, and building up relationships with our customers, competitors and friends, is very important to us.
And together, we’ve discussed the approaches that we take to meeting people, either at events or in other scenarios, and what works best when it comes to building up lasting relationships that ultimately lead to business.
We laugh about particular characters who we see from time to time, and who walk straight in to networking events and give each person their business card. We all know that person. There is little or no introduction, and it is assumed that their business card is exactly what you’ve been waiting for! You’ll hang on to that business card, even if you’ve never actually spoken to that person, and the next time you need the services that are outlined within it, you’ll ring that person up and buy from them.
Well, no, of course not. We all know that this is not how people do business. Is this how you make friends? Or find a new partner? No, or at least, not in our experience.
Instead, you buy from people whose story inspires you, whose personality fits with yours, whose ethics and beliefs are aligned with your own, and most importantly, who you genuinely believe will do the best possible job for you. And when looking for new business, you strike up a relationship with somebody, you find common ground and you build up a relationship with them that allows you to showcase what services you’re offering.
Above all, you remain human. You do not take other people’s business for granted, and you appreciate them letting you try to prove yourself to them. Yes, remain professional at all times, and yes, ensure that you get across clearly and succinctly what you can help them with. But do it in a nice, human way and, at least in our experience, you’re far more likely to come out of it with a long term relationship than approaching it in any other way.