The cornerstone of a great business starts with the people around it. Growth in your business comes from establishing relationships and building connections. Cultivating lasting personal and professional connections starts with communication. The saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is fundamental to grassroots and public advocacy. So, how do you build connections in this business? Here are some tips I’ve learned:
Pick up your phone
While sending an email is a good first attempt at outreach, making a phone call shows you’re a real person. It’s easy to fall into the comfort zone behind our computer screens, especially when you’re reaching out cold. After you send an introductory email, it’s great to reference it when calling and then this new connection has your number and email on hand for future correspondence.
Schedule a lunch or coffee
Get out of the office and go meet these new people! Taking time out of your day to meet someone in person shows that you care and that you’re interested. A lunch or coffee aren’t big commitments but they establish a face to name connection and build trust. People feed off facial expressions and body language which is impossible to get from an email or a call.
Sometimes it takes a few (or many) calls and emails before you get someone to reach back out to you. That is okay and is the name of the game. People are busy so when people don’t get back, it’s not personal. Keep chipping away and keep updating!
A thank you goes a long way. Sending a quick email or text shows your appreciation. This is also a good opportunity to sum up what you’re working on and offer to help on any future projects.
Building genuine connections can be tough in grassroots. Starting a new personal or professional relationship with a solid communication foundation is incredibly important. Using these tips has proven to be helpful in our business, hopefully they help you with yours!