Marco & Cristian: a networking story

  23-Nov-2017
 

Chamber members Marco Levada and Cristian Iconomu met at a Chamber event in 2014. Over the next two years they developed a business relationship that has increased Marco’s annual business revenue by 50% and Cristian’s by at least 35%. This substantial increase is the result of relevant referrals being passed both ways, and jobs undertaken by each where services of the other are factored into the quotation.

So how did it all come about?

Getting to know each other

On meeting at a Chamber event for the first time, Marco sought a one-on-one meeting with Cristian. He thought Cristian might be able to offer him some advice on IT issues for his wife’s business. But once they got talking, they hit it off on a personal and business level and discovered much in common. They were both involved in, and fascinated by, technology and change. Their customer base was similar. And as B2B service providers, they faced similar challenges.

Even better, as they got to know each other, they realised that not only did they have services that were complementary but not competing, but when it came to personal strengths and knowledge, each could fill a gap for the other.

With Marco in telecommunications (Telpro) and Cristian specialising in IT networks and infrastructure (Preterion), there was a significant opportunity. Such services are frequently required at the same time, and occasionally for the same reason – for example, a relocating business will need to shift both phone services and IT infrastructure to the new location. The moving event can also be a catalyst for a company’s decision to upgrade old technology they’ve been using.

From associates to partners, then friends

Marco and Cristian began seeking out each other’s advice regularly. This graduated to referrals, and then to providing quotes that incorporated the other’s services, and working together on those jobs that had both an IT and telecommunications component.

The benefits kept coming. Working together, they quickly realised that their personal strengths were also complementary. Cristian was the ‘techie guy’. The Mr Fix It. The researcher. The how-can-this-be-done guy. But a smooth networker and savvy sales person he was not. Marco, on the other hand, could whip up a professional proposal, give a convincing presentation with ease, network and follow up leads with confidence. Again, they could each fill a gap that helped the other.

Now, some 3 years after that first fortuitous chat, Marco and Cristian are as much personal friends as business associates. And because they spend so much time together talking about technology, they’ve fallen into exploring ideas and opportunities, and are working on the assumption that it won’t be long before they’ll be running a new business together that has evolved from a shared idea.

 

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