Current IT field related information

11 Nov 09 Keeping Long Term Business Relationships

Forming long-term business relationships is a very important practice.  Without them, you are force yourself to replace the resources you would have from a trusted business relationship.  But how do you maintain these relationships?  Well first, you have to think the right way; you’re not looking for friends, but associates.

Keep track of all your personal associates.  Keep a good record of when and where you first made contact, how often you usually keep in contact with them, and the last time you had a meeting.  Usually programs like Microsoft Excel are good for forming a quick chart that you can change and read on the fly.  All of this can be useful later.

You have to keep using your business contacts so that they do not forget about you, but don’t call them everyday.  Keeping an accurate record of how often you communicate allows you to keep on that system, so that you maintain the relationship by keeping up with them as often as you should.  You can also keep track of their opinion of you this way.  If they usually call you right back after an attempt to contact them, you are high up on the importance list.  If you find they do not usually make an effort to contact you, you’re not that high priority.

Make your contact time count.  Remember, you are not friends; the whole purpose of this relationship is to keep advancing each other professionally in some way.  So keep your messages short, and to the point.  Provide valuable information quickly, and they will return the favor, and turn to you more often.

But make sure that the business relationship is a two way street.  It’s called a relationship for a reason, both of you are looking to benefit from what the other offers.  So if your contact is there for you, make sure to return the favor.  That’s one of the most important ways to keep a business relationship over a long period.

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30 Oct 09 How To Network Professionally

I’ve written many times stating the importance of networking yourself in your professional industry.  But how should you go about networking yourself?  We all know that networking is important if you want to succeed and take your career as far as possible.  But how do you get your name out there?  Where are you supposed to turn when you’re just starting out?

Well first off, make sure you know why you should be networking.  Most jobs that are available on the market aren’t even advertised.  In fact, some of the best jobs out there are never even advertised before they are filled.  By making a name for yourself, and connecting to as many people as possible, you create more chances to find out about these opportunities.  Whether through connecting with someone whose company is hiring, or finding out through a friend that’s applying with the same company.

To network effectively, it’s as simple as making the effort to find professional relationships.  Career related seminars or conferences are a great way to get yourself out there.  The same goes for websites that feature social networking for professionals.  Resources like LinkedIn should be taken advantage of, as they are decent resources for making fast friends.

Beyond that it’s easy to make the little connections.  If you have children, try to talk with the other parents around you at school related events, or extra curricular activities.  You may find someone on the same career path, and that friendship could pay off in the long run.

Just remember to return all the favors you receive.  Networking is a two way street, it’s not about meeting people to benefit yourself, and then forgetting about them.  To make strong professional bonds you have to help, as well as take the help they are willing to give.  Tip them in to opportunities at your company, or openings you know of around you.  That’s the only way to network effectively, and keep yourself in a positive light with those around you.

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