Connecting and building strategic relationships.

Connecting Industry is passionate about connecting your business to, and creating strategic relationships with, the resource and construction sector via our three tiers of professional services – Events, Talent, and Communications – but ultimately, our services are symbiotic, where they are all designed to connect people and build relationships.

So how do you connect and build relationships with the resource and construction industry?”

Obviously, you need to have the capacity and the capabilities or be building towards them to not only get the work, but to compete with your competition.

I would like to give you some examples of a couple of our experiences with industry in the hope they may get you thinking about how your business communicates and more importantly, how you can build relationships – strategically.

I remember a major project being developed here in Central Queensland. At the time, the company was accepting applications to supply services from the supply chain and were holding events highlighting what they wanted from suppliers. This was followed with a number of those suppliers registering via their procurement portal.

After a few months, some of the businesses were contacted by the company thanking them for their interest and they will be in contact. However, there were also some businesses who were informed their submission had not been successful.

Due to this, we decided to have direct conversations with the company to see how the supply chain could do better in their applications. Besides the obvious where some of the businesses couldn’t compete or hadn’t answered the questions properly, the company told us that one of their first processes was looking at the potential supplier’s website.

If the businesses website was not up to date or it was bad in terms of professionalism, the company didn’t go any further. Most of all however, the company also wanted to know the business’ mission, vision, and values. This is important because in today’s world, companies want to work with businesses that are aligned – that is – is the business we are going to work with aligned with our values. May sound silly, but it’s the reality. What they are looking for is yes, businesses that have the capacity and capabilities, but what they are also asking themselves is, can we build a relationship and work with this business?

At the start of this blog, I said ultimately our three tiers of services, Events, Talent, and Communications, are symbiotic, where they are all designed to connect with people and build relationships – strategically.

A small example of this is we were working with a new client to develop their market position within heavy industry. The company had the product and the services, but they weren’t cutting through to potential new clients. After initially doing some strategic planning with the company, we found they were good at building relationships with current clients but had difficulty building relationships with potential new clients.

To give you the basic idea. The client said to me he loved Artificial Intelligence or AI for writing articles, reports, job descriptions, social media and even assisting with tenders. He said its benefits where numerous but mainly that it cuts down on time.

Our advice to the company was use AI for what it is but remember, it’s called Artificial Intelligence for a reason, it’s artificial and one thing it will not do, is replace people’s engagement with others, and build relationships.

Al was cutting down on time for our client however, what it wasn’t doing was communicating with people. Fundamentally, the client wasn’t engaging with people and building strategic relationships.

I believe, you cannot automate relationships. I’ve been blessed by technology for most of my professional career however, I have yet to find a suitable technology that replaces you, me, meeting in person, shaking hands, or looking each other in the eye. Want proof? Have you noticed most organisations leave out the relationship in their Customer Relations Management or CRM systems?

On the flipside, I also remember when I was trying to attract a company to present their project procurement at a Connecting Industry Event. The procurement manager said “We don’t do relationships”, trying to emphasise the importance of best value in their ‘blind tender’ system where suppliers blindly bid on a piece of business.

However, I wonder what happens when that faceless transaction needs a relationship to bail it out of a jam, escalate a problem, or expediate an unnecessary shipment. Lack of relationships is another reason some business professionals see functions such as procurement as business inhibitors rather than enablers.

So, to work with industry you obviously need to have the capacity and capabilities however, to connect with industry I would also ask you to consider. There are personal relationships, functional relationships, and transactional relationships however, it’s strategic relationships that are the most valuable but unfortunately for many businesses, are the most underdeveloped.

Strategic relationships elevate your efforts and thinking beyond your current responsibilities and encourage you to think about the new business opportunities and stakeholders that you will need to succeed. Strategic relationships accelerate access, long term personal and professional growth opportunities, and most importantly, can connect you and build relationships of value, because we believe, an organisations success not only depends on how they communicate but the strategic relationships they choose to invest in.

Kieran Moran.

Connecting Industry Director.

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