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9 Best Tips To Building Business Relationships Early In Your Career

What's the best way to build business relationships early in your career?

To help young professionals build business relationships earlier in their careers, we asked CEOs and established business professionals this question for their best insights. From being open to learning from others to starting your networking early, there are several strategies that may help you connect and build relationships early in your career.

Here are 9 of the best tips to building business relationships early in your career:

  • Attend Networking Events

  • Get Involved and Foster Relationships

  • Hone Your Emotional Intelligence

  • Be Open to Learning From Others

  • Follow Up on Connections

  • Start Networking Early

  • Volunteer to Connect

  • Be Everywhere All the Time

  • Connect Through Authenticity

Attend Networking Events

The best way to build new business relationships when you're getting started is by talking to as many people as possible. This means attending networking events, personal parties/events you are invited to, talking to more online leads, etc. Go socialize!

Nicole Courtney, Courtney Valleywide

Get Involved and Foster Relationships

I have joined numerous associations and groups to network and to work on committees. It takes time to foster fruitful relationships so get going as soon as you can. Utilize LinkedIn, networking happy hours, and local associations to find others in your position with more tenure; that type of relationship can open doors to introductions and inside information about your industry.

Taylor Baker, CCS Facility Services

Hone Your Emotional Intelligence

Something I learned in my past life as a preschool teacher was the power of strong social emotional skills. They hinged on actively listening to others' needs, honoring their thoughts and opinions, and showing empathy to nurture meaningful bonds. I relied on those skills to help young children develop holistically, but it turns out that emotional intelligence is also exactly what you need to build strong relationships in the business world. You can't function well in a team or progress in your career without knowing healthy ways to communicate. As you pursue career success, remember to hone these skills.

Meryl Schulte, Markitors

Be Open to Learning From Others

I believe that the best way to build business relationships at any point in your career is to go out, meet people, and show genuine interest in their passions, their projects, and their successes. We tend to be so focused on our own journeys that we forget to pay attention to the journeys of those around us. Everyone has something to teach us, and it is up to us to show the interest and curiosity that opens the door to those teaching moments. If we go into a conversation with the sole intention of telling them about ourselves and promoting our business, they will have very little interest. We have to show the outward interest and it has to be genuine.

Johann Warnholtz, Marketing Specialist

Follow Up on Connections

Attending networking and volunteer events are by far the most important to get your foot in the door. The next step is putting yourself in a position to genuinely connect with your peers at the event with a great first impression. From there, it’s about catching up at coffee shops, sporting events, happy hours, etc to further develop your connection.

Start Networking Early

Building relationships should start as early as possible, preferably in college or even earlier. It starts with being there in the moment with people, and letting them know you are there to support them. It is not a good idea to meet someone and then ask, "Can I have a job?" It doesn't work. Let people get to know you, and more importantly, you need to get to know them to build your connections. Have a system to follow up with people you feel you can support, and who may be able to support you in the future. Above all else, be yourself and focus on creating a connection, not a job or sales lead.

Brent Scholar, Scholar Consulting

Volunteer to Connect

Volunteering with diverse organizations in your community will help you connect with others in your area with shared values and interests. Volunteering is often project-focused and doesn't have the same social awkwardness that traditional networking opportunities can create. It's also a great way to explore and grow new skill sets outside of your day-to-day work.

Be Everywhere All the Time

I feel the best way to build business relationships early on is to be everywhere all the time, or as much as you can. It's important to make a strong presence. Scheduling one-on-one meetings, attending networking events, joining organizations/committees/leads groups, sponsoring events, researching projects, targeting specific markets,etc. You want people to associate you with your company and vice versa. I also like to try to be creative and think outside the box. What can I do that's different from my competition? How can we stand out?

Crystal Pierce, CCS Presentation Systems

Connect Through Authenticity

Be yourself! People gravitate to people who are genuine. Ask questions and seek knowledge from people you're meeting. Don't underestimate how powerful a good follow up to previous conversations can be. People appreciate when you recall details of past conversations. Get connected on Linkedin and/or other professional social networks and then celebrate their posts and wins. Offer to create connections to others in your network that might be of benefit to them.

Brandie Hopwood, RestorationHQ

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Terkel is a knowledge platform that connects brands with expert insights. Connect on LinkedIn.



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