The epicenter of the US building industry is relationships. We need our vendors to be trusted partners. We need our employees to have our backs. We need to have contacts in every sector touching the building industry. In order to get any of these relationships on a solid footing we need to ADD value to each of the people we meet.
The DNA of a relationship is transactions. Not necessarily financial transactions. Meet a builder member at a dinner meeting? That’s a transaction. Call a vendor for installation ideas? That’s a transaction. Join the Sales and Marketing Council and attend events? That’s a transaction. I submit it takes a minimum of 3 transactions to begin a relationship. The more transactions, the deeper the relationship can be. Think: “Old Friends”
When you need 30 days credit from a vendor, wouldn’t you prefer a solid relationship? If you need an employee or trade contractor for an 11pm emergency call, wouldn’t you prefer a solid relationship?
Each of us cherishes the relationships we have built in the home building and remodeling industry. These mean a lot. It is simply wonderful to have people you can trust around you where you work. If you don’t have this level of positive relationships, perhaps you might ask:
The highest value transactions are the transfer of education. Real honest to goodness behavior-changing education is highly valued. This is strong, permanent, and meaningful to both parties. Read: mentoring.
The next highest value transactions are information exchange. Perhaps this is not behavior changing, but still of great import to the recipient.
The next are social transactions. Say hi, have fun, participate in events together all are valued exchanges. No transactions = no relationships. Metro understands this and creates many opportunities for varying levels of values in transactions.
Next, you will need to think about the industry segmentations shown in this chart. Do you have a relationship in each segment ? Manufacturers, media, government agencies, subcontractors, trade associations, affinity groups, and the like, need to have your gentle hand print of value in their segment. A leader in any of these segments is called the “bell cow”. These are the leaders in any group. We hope you are or will soon rise to be the “bell cow” in your network. In the building industry, it all starts with relationships.
Philip A. Calinda, Jr.