As you prepare to spend time with your loved ones over the long weekend, be sure to use the occasion as an opportunity to connect with your business network and build authentic relationships too.
Building authentic, professional relationships in today’s corporate world is key to fast-tracking your career success – but only if you invest in them consistently, something a holiday often sees us completely forgetting to do. We become so focused on meeting last minute deadlines and making arrangements with family and friends that we forget to see our corporate contacts as friends as well. Building strong relationships with them in the same way that you do with your personal network, will ensure that they become a group of people who always choose to do business with you.
What this means for you over the long weekend, very simply, is choosing not to be tempted to skip phone calls and put off meetings until you are back from your break. Instead, see the holiday as a unique opportunity to connect with your professional network using our quick and easy tips to building better relationships:
- Send them a greeting
Whether it’s through email, LinkedIn or WhatsApp, send your key contacts a festive wish for the holiday season – it will cost you nothing, make them feel great and most importantly, keep you top-of-mind when they need business help.
- Identify a way to help them alleviate stress
Prepping to go on holiday means wrapping up projects, meeting urgent deadlines and coming back to a backlog of new and urgent work. Give thought to how your service offering could benefit some of your professional friends during this stressful time and share your solution with them – it will make them feel important and supported and moreover, a quick and easy way to help them for free will go a long way towards compounding the relationship capital you may one day need to draw from.
- Add a memorable message to your out-of-office assistant
In all likelihood, you will not have to time to reach out to your entire network on an individual basis but creating a quirky message for them to receive if they reach out to you will make them feel remembered and more importantly, help them to recall you in a positive way, even if you can’t be of service to them immediately.
- Create a routine
While on holiday, take some time to figure out how you can consistently build on the relationships you have – or need – with your business network. Then, add these actions to your schedule so that they become a habitual exercise. Frequent contact is fundamental when it comes to maintaining the relationships you may one day need to tap into. It enables you to really get to know your contacts and add value to them before you ask for it in return.
Most importantly, as with any holiday season, remember that even the smallest gestures go the longest way – so long as they are authentic and consistent. As the old adage goes, you have to be a friend to make a friend!