Society and the business world have had to adapt to changes in the past year that came with the COVID-19 pandemic and that meant gradually creating new norms. The drastic switch to remote work as the new reality for many professionals has shifted not only the physical places we are working but how we are conducting business. Many industries rely heavenly on personal connections and human interaction in general for not only B2C, or business to consumer interactions, but also B2B relationships, or business to business. Has the way we network changed for good?
The opportunity for networking is not dead, though. In fact, with the enhanced dependence on technology, professionals of all kinds are finding more ways to be creative in making those connections with businesses and other professional individuals. Virtual networking is going as far as taking the place of in-person happy hours, lunch meetings, and other forms of previously harmless social-business interactions. Some may believe that new social behaviors are stripping the business world of personal connection and while there is less of a priority for face-to-face congregations, the circumstantial impacts create an added effort in having to make these networking opportunities possible since they are not as easily accessible.
When reaching out in an attempt to forge a dialogue or even a potential relationship with another professional, it is most important to be clear about your intentions. With almost every aspect of work and business being virtual, people’s emails and notifications are overly saturated with updates and content so don’t get lost in the buzzing of material. With that said, make sure you’re not overbearing in any requests and show some personality. It will be a lot easier for them to get an idea for you or the company you’re representing is all about and ultimately make you more approachable.
If you’re looking for a less direct way to connect and wanting to reach a broader audience for your message, try finding virtual conferences that will be appropriate for your industry or what you are hoping to achieve. At first, attending an entire conference via your computer may seem intimidating, but remember, all of the other attendees are also in front of a webcam and looking to do the same thing, if not similar, to what you are. Virtual conferences are a relatively new concept also so there is a good chance you will not be the only first timer. A good practice to make the most out of this networking opportunity is to reach out to some of the other professionals you met after the conference call; even if you did not get the chance to speak to them directly, it could be a good chance to voice your opinion, feedback, or connection to why you were interested in the company’s position at the conference. The benefit of this tactic is that it opens the door for brainstorming about collaborating and simpler offers an easier banter-type conversation platform.
Creating relationships during this time is almost as difficult, yet important as maintaining them; not only for business success, but mental health. Whether the networking you are aiming to achieve is within your own company or a part of a larger plan to expand outwards connecting with other businesses, business owners and professionals, it is vital to view the new communicating norms as an opportunity rather than a disadvantage. While others may be struggling to adapt to the new social behaviors in business, you could be filling in the gaps and curating strong professional relationships that last long after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Daniel James Consulting is a Full-Service Business Consulting Firm based in New York that designs solutions tailored specifically to the needs of your business in order to ensure you achieve continued success by designing, developing and implementing plans, metrics and platforms, be it a one-man operation, non-profit, startup or large organization. Our packaged solutions or a la carte selections include Website Design, Marketing & Advertising, Search Engine Positioning, and Graphic Design. Business Management Solutions are also available for companies of all sizes.For more information please visit: www.danieljamesconsulting.com