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Relationships matter

Every company has a point of difference; a value proposition.

Whether it be price, staff numbers, experience or industry specialisation, a point of difference is good way to demonstrate why you’re the right people for the job.

The reality, unfortunately, is that while your point of difference may be clear in your eyes, the decision makers who determine whether you will work with them or not could see it differently.

This is where clear communication and professional relationships can come to the rescue. The foundation of any successful business development is a process built on consistent communication of what you do and the value it delivers, which in turn strengthens professional relationships with others.

We’ve seen it time and time again where two companies, both of equal technical skill, are in the running for a job. Inevitably, the company that has the stronger relationship with the decision makers wins.

This doesn’t necessarily suggest favouritism, but more a better understanding of the winning company’s value proposition and a greater confidence and trust in its ability to deliver that value.

There are a number of ways to foster and maintain professional relationships.

For prospective contacts, a coffee meeting is a good way to introduce yourself and understand more about each other’s companies. Once contact has been made, maintain the connection by keeping tabs on what the company does and sharing with your contact any relevant articles or insights you think they might find interesting. This shows you’re thinking of them and are engaged in the work they do.

For your current clients, give them the attention and respect they deserve and your relationship will continue grow. Be mindful of what their business goals are and how you can help them achieve these.

Remember, the focus should always be on fostering long-term professional relationships, not simply snaring the next job.