Merge's Blog

Don’t let your business relationships become rusty

Do you remember playing with magnets in physics class in high school?  I do.  That “thunk” as magnet and piece of iron came together was always greatly satisfying.  Yes, I know, science nerd :), I embrace the label!  But did you notice that the attraction between the magnet and the piece of iron was never as strong or powerful when the iron was rusty?

Something worth considering when it comes to building and maintaining business relationships.  Recently, a colleague told me about an email he received from one of his past business associates that he had not spoken to in years.  “He’s looking for a job, and he said he wanted to reach out to me. He wanted to know if I would be willing to talk to him one afternoon about opportunities and possible introductions to my connections.  Merge, I haven’t spoken to this guy in over six years,” said my colleague.  “He has never invested any energy or effort in seeking to build a relationship with me, and the first time he calls me, he wants something from me!  Yes, I’ll meet with him,” he said.  “But I’m certainly not as inclined to help as I would be if this was someone with whom I already had an existing and positive business relationship.”

Just like the attraction between the magnet and piece of iron is not as strong when the iron is rusty, business relationships are not as productive or profitable when the connections are old and dated.  What are you doing to keep your business relationships current and polished?  What are you doing to make certain that you are connecting periodically with the important people in your professional life in a way that is helpful and adds value? Please share your ideas by adding to the Comments below.

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