Yes. Treat everyone with the same respect.

We all have good contacts, people that we get on with and have an on-going business relationship with. And it’s the right thing to do to regularly work on our relationships with them. But what about everyone else, including people we’re meeting for the first time or only speak with briefly and occasionally at events? And what if there’s no obvious connection between us?

The smart thing to do is to treat every contact with the same respect. We may think that there isn’t a natural synergy and we may not be able to help each other. But I’ve heard of so many occasions where someone has been in touch out of the blue – days, weeks, months or even years later – to let a one-off or occasional networking contact know of an unexpected opportunity for new business.

So whether or not we think it’s someone who may be able to help us or who we can help, by treating everyone the same, we give ourselves as many opportunities as possible to build relationships. Just chat – you never know where the conversation might take you!