This morning, I sent an email to a successful contractor, with an introduction of someone who might be able to bid/work for that organization as a sub-trade.
I had no direct business interest in the relationship. The sub-trade representative, who I met at an association convention, expressed interest in similar topics to the relevant general contractor, with passion and sincerity, and then mentioned where she lived — the same city as the general contractor, who I know has equal passion and concern for the matters she discussed.
The immediate thought: Maybe I should put these in touch.
So I asked the sub-trade representative to send me a brief note outlining her background — observations in a very noisy drinking environment may be valid, but certainly should be verified after the fact. Satisfied with the context, I forwarded the email.
We’ll see what happens from here.
Maybe nothing. Maybe opportunity.
Some people are naturally very good at this type of networking/relationship building process. They know that the goal in effective networking is not to seek self-serving opportunities, but to truly help others out. Of course, successful networking has powerful payback opportunities. Assuming the sub and general contractor hit it off, both should win from the relationship — the general may be able to add a worthy supplier for competitive bids and production capacity, and the sub-trade may have won a worthy new client. There’s nothing in this deal for me; and that is okay.
If you have the ability to do this sort of connecting often enough, however, you’ll make lots of friends. And there’ll be plenty of opportunities for business development in the future. The general contractor, of course, is one of our clients and the sub-trade might be more inclined to do business with us because of the referral. But I’ll consider this networking achievement a success if both benefit from the connection regardless of my self-interest.
That, to me, is networking at its best.