It is not what you know it is who you know

11th December 2012   |   Jamie Barrett   |   Reading Time: 2 minutes

In the difficult economic climate we have all faced in the Construction Industry over the last 5 plus years, we have had to look at ways to promote ourselves, our companies and for some our businesses. Many of us have turned to networking.

So what is networking?
Networking is where you attend events, seminars, gatherings make connections and build lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. Networking is a very powerful marketing tactic to achieve sustainable personal and business growth.

Who do you network with?
The truth is you never really know where your next potential employer or client will come from, so the importance is to surround yourself with people and organisations with similar interests. Networking can put you in touch with business–to-business opportunities as well as tomorrow’s client.

What should I do?
Always take the time to thank your network colleague and keep in touch. Remember networking is about developing relationships and not just contacts. Helping and finding ways to support the people in your network will help build trust and respect. Remember to focus on the person you are talking to and take interest in their story.

What should I avoid doing?
Boasting or exaggerating the truth in conversation never goes down well. Remember peoples’ time is precious, so remain focused on the conversation and avoid idle chit-chat or inappropriate talk. Personal questions should also be avoided, at least until you get to know the person better. Never be rude, always be professional, do not forget to thank your network colleague for their time, take their contact details and follow it up.

What are the top 5 benefits of networking?

1. Developing a resourceful network of great suppliers and advisors;
2. Improving your self-confidence and self-esteem;
3. Learning new ideas, industry tips and insider trend and information;
4. Uncovering new personal and business opportunities;
5. Raising your personal, company or business profile.

What next?
Get involved. There are plenty or organisations, professional bodies and companies offering networking opportunities in the construction industry every week within your region. Sign up to these organisations’ newsletters, email listings etc. to find out when the next networking opportunity is taking place – and you never know who you might meet.


The Author of this blog is the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Building for Hampshire & IOW and his business partner Darren Foy is Chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for Hampshire. If you want to find out more about networking with these professional organisations, please feel free to contact them.