When it comes to getting ahead in business, it helps to know the right people. Professional networking can unlock new opportunities for growth and allow you to build a presence in your community. Getting your name out there is especially useful in the construction trades, where attendees you meet at events or trade shows could turn into a potential customer, referral, or business partner.

Here are a few business networking tips specifically for the construction trades to help you grow your business

  • Join LinkedIn
  • Carry business cards everywhere
  • Attend trade shows and other events
  • Develop an elevator pitch
  • Follow up

Join and interact on LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is a top social media platform designed primarily for professional networking – without leaving your home or office. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn account, consider signing up for free and developing your professional profile. This tool helps you “connect” with people you have met at conferences and trade shows, meet others in your industry, and enhance your online presence. Once you have an account, consider interacting with LinkedIn Groups where you can connect with like-minded people in your industry to ask questions, share insights, and generate new business leads.

Carry your business cards everywhere:

While you might keep your business cards in your work vehicle or have a stash at your desk, consider carrying them with you wherever you go – even when you’re off the clock in case an impromptu networking opportunity arises. You never know when you’ll strike up a conversation with a potential lead or business affiliate at a restaurant or your kid’s soccer game. Make sure that your card includes your title, a description of the services your company provides, and features your current information so your new contact can reach out to you later. Ask for their card in return so you can reach out on LinkedIn, phone, or email.

Attend trade shows and other events:

Building and construction trade shows and events are optimal grounds for meaningful networking that can help build your business. As a WBA member, you gain access to countless networking events like exclusive meetings, local association trade shows, golf outings, and other social events to help introduce and connect you with other housing professionals and new business prospects. Browse through our Member Events Calendar and Consumer Events Calendar online at wisbuild.org/wba-events.

Develop an elevator pitch:

Imagine you’re standing alone in an elevator for a few seconds with someone who could be an asset to your business or your next new large-project client. What would you say to sell them on your construction services before the door opens on the next floor? Having a short business pitch ready at all times helps ensure you are prepared whenever a potential opportunity arises.

Follow up:

Now it’s time to put all those business cards and contacts you’ve gathered to good use. Develop a follow-up system to help you nurture these new business connections so that you can determine whether they’re a fit for your company. Consider using customer relationship management (CRM) software like Salesforce or Insightly to help organize and automate interactions with your contact database. Or, you can make a note in your calendar to send personal emails to each new contact requesting a follow-up appointment or phone conversation to stay in touch.

These business networking tips for people in the construction trades can help you tap into contacts and opportunities right in your backyard. For more ways the WBA can help you grow your business, check out the resources and events available online at wisbuild.org.