Trade shows are not always about boosting sales. After all, there are times when your company could benefit from developing strong relationships with others in your industry. Connecting with key suppliers and industry partners allow you to pursue new opportunities and can prove essential to expanding your operations.
Unfortunately, many business leaders get bogged down in the daily activities required to run their companies. Taking time to work on managing relationships is often just as important to your success as making sure deliveries are on time. In many cases, developing a strong network of reliable and trusted partners can help eliminate some of the challenges you see every day. Maintaining these working relationships is never an easy task, but if you make a commitment to the process, you could see dramatic results.
Tip: Make a commitment to each partnership
During a hectic trade show, it can be easy to forget the name or company of a new potential supplier, so you should always be prepared with business cards or a badge scanner to help you collect important contact information. This will make it easier to continue conversations after a trade show. Part of the process of building a reliable working relationship is showing that you will hold up your end, and delivering on early promises is the best way to do this. If you tell someone you will email, then send an email right away. Waiting will increase the chances that you will forget, letting a potentially profitable partnership slip away.
After you make initial contact, you generate a lot of opportunities for the other party to learn about your industry. Be sure to take advantage of these. Forbes noted that it is important to solicit feedback from those you work with regularly, as this can help you identify areas of weakness or uncover potential challenges. Returning the favor will help strengthen the partnership and could result in new products, services or savings that will benefit your organization.
Tip: Clear communication needs to flow both ways
Give and take is an essential part of building a relationship that will be able to overcome various challenges. Forbes also stated that patience was needed to develop strong ties to other industry professionals. Don't force a partnership that won't work, nor should you move too fast, as these actions can cause unnecessary friction. Waiting a little longer to complete a project without problems is well worth the time.
Of course, effective relationships should be about more than just completing joint projects. IMedia Connection reported that business owners should strive to be more than an email address to key partners. Take some time to get to know those you work with regularly outside the office. After a trade show is an excellent time to grab a drink and talk about common interests, and it is always easier to do business with people you like and respect.
Tip: Be more than an email address