There’s no doubt that in the current state of the world, virtual networking is important. But, how do you know that you are creating relationships effectively, and utilizing all of your resources to make as many meaningful connections as you can? On August 21st, Clint Babcock of Sandler Training spoke to the Tampa Bay Chamber about the importance of: referrals, LinkedIn, and networking to help increase your reputation in the community.
Referrals, according to a study done by Sandler Research Center, are the most successful way to obtain new business and clients. Referrals can be made through word of mouth, testimonials, or through other groups that you are a part of. One way that Clint suggests increasing the number of referrals that you can get, is to have a “power group” of people that you network with on a daily basis. The members of this group can refer you to people they know, who might want to connect. Getting referrals from people widens your network, and can easily be done through people who you already know.
LinkedIn has been an important resource during the pandemic, as it allows you to connect professionally and network virtually. It is important to not be afraid to out yourself out there– and if you request to connect with someone, you should do so with the note feature to leave a personal note for the person you want to add to your network. A personal note makes your request stand out, and shows that you are interested and have a purpose for connecting. It is also not necessary to accept everyone’s requests, especially if you do not know the person on the other end. Clint suggests sending an unfamiliar request a personal message before connecting and asking them what caught their eye on your profile, and how you can help them.
There are plenty of ways that companies have adapted to networking during the pandemic, such as using Zoom, phone calls, e-mail, or socially distanced events. One tip that Clint points out for events, is that you should always get to know the host of the event. More likely than not, the host will know everyone in the room, and might know just the right people to connect you with, possibly sparking new business, or at the least a new connection. For online events, it is also a good habit to contact the host prior to the event to get the list of attendees, and find a few to reach out to before the event. You should always be curious, and ask good questions— but do not sell. It is important to have a rehearsed 30-second pitch for yourself, so you are able to open up a conversation comfortably and smoothly.
While there is no “one right way” to network, it is always helpful to continue learning new tips that can lead to more successful relationship building. Before this year, networking was mostly done in-person. But, as businesses continue to need clients and customers, we must continue to build strong relationships with the goal of hopeful returns in the long-run.
Categorized in: Work
This post was written by Elevate, Inc.