Developing and keeping those relationships over time takes work. But generally, I find mutually beneficial relationships are easy to find and easy to keep.
One of those business contacts recently called me and actually pitched me on business. She reps a big firm that wanted to work with H&R Block and our social team. The problem was, we recently decided to work with a similar vendor.
She was a little taken aback and asked why I didn’t think about doing business with her. She asked why I didn’t give them the first try at the relationship.
My response: you never asked.
You can’t count on people to reach out to you if they don’t know you’re interested in their business. Even if you’ve known a contact for a long time, you still need to reach out. The art of the asking is no art at all: you just have to ask.
When I gave her that feedback, she was quiet and thought about it for a second.
“We get along so well and I guess our professional friendship is great but I never thought of just straight-up asking you,” she said.
I’m sure it’s an oversight she’ll not repeat.