How many of these go into a good
networking relationship?

Yesterday I talked about the lesson of relationships being important to continued success in business. The example was our local Kroger store. Lisa and I had to start shopping there when the one we’d gone to for years closed down. This new (to us) place just doesn’t hold the same magic as the first one and it’s all about our lack of relationships with anyone there. The problem is that we never seem to see the same people working there twice.

And that’s the topic of today’s lesson.

As we’ve already said, the best business comes from established relationships. Those relationships don’t happen when you only see the other person once. I think most of us understand that when it comes to our personal friendships. Heck, we’ve probably seen our closest and dearest friends hundreds, if not thousands of times.

So, why do we think it’s going to be different for our business relationships?

If you think about it, it’s really common sense. For someone to refer business to us, they really have to know who we are, what we do, how well we do it, who we’re looking to serve, and how much we care. Chances are, they’re going to have to like us, too. That just can’t happen after a five minute conversation at a Chamber networking lunch.

Heck, it probably won’t even happen after only one or two coffees or lunches.

The best networking relationships unfold over time. You see each other periodically. You maintain contact in between. You share ideas and information. You learn about each other and do each other favors.

Wait a minute. That almost sounds like a friendship. I guess it’s not a bad way to do business, too.

Photo credit: Phanuphong Paothong