The construction industry is like any other marketplace. In order to be successful, you have to build strong ties, and maintain their integrity going forward. So the question becomes: how do we build relationships in the construction industry? I looked to Kevin G., Market Reporter, for an answer.
Acknowledging a Shared Interest
Solid business relationships start by sharing a common goal.
For instance, team member Erica came into contact with City of Austin rep, Gabriel, while looking for content related to its advertised construction projects. Upon making her request, Erica was faced with an obstacle: why should the city share its content?
The answer was simple. The city’s goal was to receive the highest quality bids, proposals, and qualifications possible. Erica’s goal was to post project content in order to attract interested parties. Both Erica and Gabriel shared the same interest, so why not work together to achieve the same goal?
In the end, Erica was able to get the content she needed for interested bidders, and the city found the additional exposure they were looking for. A win-win scenario.
They say it’s all about who you know, and the old adage is true. When you make the right connections, you’re much more likely to be a success.
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Prime example: T.D. Farrell (a general contractor) was looking to generate more subcontractor interest for a mall remodeling project located in Wisconsin. Team member Joelle received their call for assistance, and knew that a positive experience would benefit everyone involved.
“By listening actively and asking questions, I was able to work with the Wisconsin team to create the project as he intended,” said Joelle. “He was very appreciative of our efforts throughout the process, and he says he may have more projects for us in the future.”
You couldn’t ask for a better outcome for both Joelle and T.D. Farrell. By reaching out to an industry source that worked to attract interested subcontractors, T.D. Farrell improved the quality of quotes they stood to receive on this mall remodeling project. And by taking the extra time and care to create the project entry as the general contractor wanted, Joelle established herself as a reliable outlet for T.D. Farrell to return to in the future.
Listening to Needs & Concerns
One of the most common frustrations in the industry is that there can be more requests for information than there are people to release it. Many firms are one-person operations, so it’s essential to have a streamlined process set in place to distribute project information as it changes. But even then, there are elements out of our control. And the most common issue? Well, technology of course.
Volkert Engineering and team member Alexis had an established method for the exchange of information, but Alexis began to notice a lack of response from Volkert earlier last year, so she took it upon herself to reach out to her contact, Keturah. Alexis discovered that Keturah had never stopped sending out information, and Alexis could tell she was becoming more and more frustrated with requests for the same information.
Despite the tense situation, both parties spent over an hour on the phone performing test emails back and forth, and working with their respective company’s IT departments to identify the problem.
Got to love technology, right?
After this exhausting battle of man versus machine, the two were finally able to set the groundwork for a new method of contact that satisfied both parties. Both women were extremely appreciative of the other’s patience and time spent. The experience not only strengthened their business relationship, but established a bond of mutual respect.
Respect is not only a value in business, but a tool. It came in handy very recently for me, when I received a phone call from my contact at Dungan Engineering, Debbie.
“I get to bug you this time,” Debbie said with a playful chuckle.
My chats with Debbie are always enjoyable, even when we’re discussing not-so-pleasant topics.
On this occasion, Debbie had become slightly frustrated by multiple contacts for information. I knew Debbie had a lot on her plate, and that multiple inquires only added to her workload. We had a strong working relationship, and I certainly didn’t want to create any rifts over something that could be easily fixed.
By establishing new methods of contact, we were able to overcome her concerns. I was happy to work with her because I knew that respect for each others time and business was a two-way street with us—even though she bragged about the above-freezing temperatures in the area where she lived. Don’t worry—I wasn’t jealous or anything.
Building Relationships Is Key
Maintaining strong business relationships is an ever-changing process. It’s the key to success in any field. If you adhere to strategies like these, you’ll find yourself with a strong portfolio of contacts within the construction industry.
Are there any other strategies to building strong relationships within the industry? Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section.