In Business, Relationships Rock!
by Art Rouse
In 1988, a man named Harvey Mackay wrote a book that set the business world on fire. It was called “Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.” It is an entertaining and enlightening handbook to be successful in your career and personal life. It is a networking bible. It established Harvey Mackay as a respected author and columnist.
The book chronicles Mackay’s career from a recent college graduate trying to find a job, becoming successful selling envelopes, to buying a failing envelope company and turning it into a huge success. The book has been re-printed and needs to be in every businessman’s arsenal.
As a construction Subcontractor, we are losing the personal relationships we have with our customers, the General Contractors. Invitations to bid are sent out electronically. To view plans, we go onto a contractor’s FTP site or to a service like iSqFt. We download and print plans or order the prints from a third party printing service. We send our bids by fax or email. General Contractors now have a “pre-construction” department that puts the bids together before handing them off to the project manager, sometimes with a purchasing department in between. Unless you have a relationship with a contractor, or a really low price, your lines of communication with the contractor are limited.
Getting to know the people in the company you want to do business with are more important than having the lowest price. Contractors are looking for the lowest responsible bid, and when the contractor knows you, you get a seat at the table when the job is bought out. What Harvey Mackay wrote in 1988 is relevant today, except that part about a Roladex. If you use Mackay’s principles, including the “Mackay 66,” the things you should know about your client, your business relationships will be greatly improved. For you youngsters, it is even available as an e-book.