Building business relationships is a delicate balance. It will require you to listen carefully to the needs of your new connections, effectively communicate, and build an immediate and long-term relationship. By achieving this fine balance, you can and will grow your professional network.

Staying Connected, It’s What Savvy Business Professionals Do

We live in the world where business connections are almost as valuable as the products and services that a company sells. Well connected people all complete the following five tactics.

    1. Following up. — After making a new business connection, it is important that you follow-up in a timely manner. The timeline should match what you initially established when you first met your new business connection. Whether it is over email, on the phone, or an in-person meeting, make sure that you have thought about key talking points and conducted some preliminary research on your new business connection. This research should include pain points for his or her company and/or industry.
    2. Networking and the initial introduction. — The iconic Will Rogers’ quote, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” features words to live by. Well connected individuals recognize that first impressions are the key to successfully networking and building new relationships. During your initial introduction establish how and when you will reconnect with the individual.
    3. Developing the relationship. — Well connected individuals recognize that developing a business relationship takes time and diligence. The relationship should be nurtured by listening to the business needs and goals of your new connection. Be sure to connect on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can also develop the relationship by becoming engaged in your connection’s online communications. For example you might share or comment on a blog post that their company has published.
    4. The first sale. — The first sale is a chance to create a relationship for life. Above all, the first sale should go smoothly, you should answer all of your new customer’s questions, and you should create an environment that encourages a second sale. “Dropping the ball” during the first sale will make it that much harder to achieve a second sale.
    5. Maintaining a long term relationship. — After the first sale is completed, well connected individuals know that the relationship must still be maintained. Establishing a good communication timeline, as well as communication preferences is key to maintaining a long term relationship. Find out if your new customer wants to hear from you on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Putting their needs first will help you to create a positive relationship that will potentially result in increased sales.

Through these five tactics, well connected individuals are able to build large networks of business professionals whom are interested in mutually beneficial relationships. By maintaining these relationships, well connected individuals can increase sales, while simultaneously growing their industry network.


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