It sounds cliche, but sometimes business is all about who you know. According Josh Zolin, CEO of Windy City Equipment, one of the major perks of working in skilled trades is the relationships you form and the support you can both give and receive. “Often a benefit of skilled trades is all the people you get to meet, all the people you get to help. Which is a common narrative, right? All the people in the industry that I’ve talked to, and I’ve talked to a lot of them, they all circle back to the same thing. And that’s the ability to help people, which is great,” Zolin said.
Being able to form solid and lasting relationships is not just beneficial for those looking to network, but for companies who need their staff to connect with their clients. “Ability is one thing. To do, you know, whatever it is that you’re hired to do, whether that be fixed equipment or sell equipment or you know, whatever. But the flip side to that, is the relationships, how well you can get along with others and what you can bring to the table for your customers that will keep them coming back,” Zolin explained.
Zolin is an advocate for creating win-win situations and he feels that creating relationships is one path towards doing that. For example, he’s reached out to clients he has strong relationships with in the past to help his business, without asking them to buy anything. “Because we have that type of relationship where I can call them up and say, ‘hey, you know, I’m not trying to sell you anything. I’ve got a question for you. You know, I’m curious about my own business, and I’m hoping you can help me’,” Zolin said. Both parties can learn from each other and support each other, which ideally, is what business relationships should all be about.