As Michael T Haas understands himself, forming business relationships is only a small part of networking. The real work comes in trying to maintain those relationships so that they can bear fruit at a later date. This is something that many new business professionals struggle with, so try to keep the following in mind to make sure your connections are as strong as possible.
If you fail to initiate communication with your contacts or, even worse, ignore emails and phone calls when they come in, you are soon going to develop a reputation as somebody who can’t be relied upon to maintain new relationships. Make sure that you communicate regularly with the people in your network, even if it is just to check up on how somebody is.
Most business relationships are built around the idea of providing something in return for something else. As such, you need to be able to offer your contacts something other than your sparkling personality to keep their collective interest. Provide expertise, services or anything else that you can think of to help strengthen the relationship, but make sure you get something worthwhile in return.
By asking questions of your contact, Michael T Haas notes that you establish that you trust the contact’s opinions on a subject. This can be vital for developing strong relationships, as it shows that you are willing to rely on your contact, which in turn indicates that they will be able to do the same of you when needed.