Networking is a powerful way to build your own reputation and that of your company. And networking in the construction industry is just as beneficial as in any other industry. You never know how the relationships you form today will lead to new connections, new opportunities, and new contracts at any point down the road.
Networking in the construction industry doesn’t really require any special skills. You just need to be aware and prepared, keeping an eye out for the chance to meet and connect with new people. Remain open to the possibility that every new relationship has the potential to open new doors. And always be willing to help others when you have the chance. Not only is it a good thing to do, but you may be repaid some day in ways you never imagined.
So, if you’re not all that familiar with the practice, or you just haven’t made the effort yet, here are some pointers for networking in the construction industry.
How to Network in the Construction Industry
- Join trade associations. Their meetings, seminars, and other events are perfect opportunities to make new connections with people in your industry and to spread the work about your brand.
- Attend trade shows. These are a great place to meet people and to introduce them to your construction company and the work you do.
- Always carry business cards. Give them to everyone you meet. Jot down a quick note on the back to help the recipient remember you and to provide a prompt to continue talking.
- Take other people’s business cards, too. And don’t just cram them in you pocket or wallet and forget about them. If it’s helpful, write a quick note on the back to remind you about the person, where you met, what you’d like to discuss further with them, etc.
- Avoid burning bridges. You never know when and how people will reappear in your professional life. Try to maintain positive relationships with former employers, employees, coworkers, clients, subcontractors, and others you work with.
- Circulate at job sites. When possible, spend time at your company’s construction sites. Introduce yourself to all the other parties there.
- Use LinkedIn. It’s the leading professional social networking site. Share and write interesting content. Regularly comment meaningfully on other people’s shared content.
- Speak publicly. Look for opportunities to present at trade events, conventions, seminars, local business events, and so on. Consider offering your own webinars.
- Stay in touch with people. Follow up on conversations you had with new people you met. Send a congratulatory message to others who win a new contract, complete a job, earn an industry recognition, etc. Or just say a quick hello to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Maintaining relationships does take some ongoing effort.