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Whether you’re drumming up new business or fostering existing ties, there’s one thing that holds true: business is built on relationships. “Without relationships, you’re just another supplier,” says Carl Lucke, Vice President of Modis in Detroit. His team in Detroit has become a pillar in their community as a result of their investment in making and maintaining relationships, helping them achieve the title of Large Branch of the Year for Modis.
Why do relationships in your local community matter and how can you build them? We talked to Carl’s team to find out.
“The importance of relationships in the community is that they are vital for new business opportunities and references,” says Doug Long, Senior Solutions Consultant. “Clients prefer to do business with someone they know and trust. You have to be known to be relevant or even considered by a client.”
It’s more than just relevance, though. Kristin Frenak, Talent Solutions Consultant, also added that business relationships create brand awareness, building the potential for future opportunities or a referral of a candidate looking for a new role. This could also lead to referrals for business opportunities not with the person you’ve met, but within their professional network. That’s why Kristin says, “it’s important to keep in constant contact with your community partners so you become the first person they contact when they need assistance.”
It all begins with participation. Seeking out opportunities in your area and becoming actively involved is the first step to making new connections and building contacts. Some of the ways Modis Detroit has gotten involved in their community include:
Don’t just attend these events to check a box. “Always strive to add value,” says Zenon Sandoval, Talent Solutions Director.
“Get involved in something that interests you,” adds Doug. “Any time you are with other people who share a passion or interest, you can develop a relationship which can grow into a business relationship as well.”
Relationships often start by one person providing value, but transitioning to a win-win for both parties is essential for long term connections. To make this transition, Carl Lucke says to “be genuine and provide value. If you provide value to someone, they’re more likely to want to help you in return.”
Beyond value, truly understanding someone’s needs helps you understand how to meet them. “Focus on their agenda, not yours,” suggests Gary Sippl, Solutions Director.
With sincerity and consistency, you’ll be on your way to building lasting business relationships in your local community.