As a commercial contractor, our clients are made up of other businesses, the commonly utilized term for this is business to business or B2B, meaning commerce transactions between businesses. The acronym B2B seems to dehumanize the relationship between the two businesses, but that’s not the case. Businesses are made up of people and for two businesses to work together there must be a strong person to person (P2P) connection on both sides for a B2B relationship to come about.
Everyone has heard the term “it’s a small world” and when you narrow your view to just the Construction Industry the world becomes even smaller. Your personal interactions and professional relationships with others in our industry are key to the overall success of our business. You can’t predict when a Project Manager for a competitor today will end up working for a client as a Construction Manager tomorrow. We’ve had this happen recently, a Sr. Project Manager for a competitor in the Northeast became a Sr. Construction Manager for a large retail developer. We developed a friendly and professional relationship with him while he was working for our competitor, when we were awarded a project in his neck of the woods (New England) he would provide subcontractor references and when he landed a project in an area of the country that we were familiar with we’d return the favor. We never met, but through our casual and friendly conversations we developed a rapport and when he left our competitor for a job with a retail developer (potential client), he thought of us and has provided us with bid opportunities.
More commonly, we’ll see our clients’ Construction Managers, Design Managers and Directors leave for similar jobs with a different potential client and when we have a good relationship with that individual they’ll be likely to bring us opportunities with their new employer. The same idea goes for anyone you interact with from our industry, such as inspectors, consultants, subcontractors, architects, co-workers, etc. The list goes on and on, you never know who will be in a position to provide us with an opportunity in the future.
In closing, our clients may be other businesses, but we’re developing relationships with the people who make up those businesses. No matter your position within the organization or who you’re interacting with, your relationships mean something and have an impact on the overall success of our business. We’re all responsible for maintaining positive and professional relationships with every individual we come in contact with.