Networking and Relationship Building
Let’s face it, networking looks a little different this year. People are no longer gathering in masses. Limited gatherings is making it much harder to reach and connect to people. Without reaching more people, opportunities for collaborations are limited and sales pipelines begin to dry up. Neglected relationships and dwindling sales pipelines makes it incredibly difficult to maintain a business and virtually impossible to grow one.
Social distancing certainly lived up to its name. While originally coined to represent the physical distance between people when in social settings, it actually distanced us socially. I’d be willing to bet that every single person reading this has had at least one relationship suffer during this pandemic. Those strained or forgotten relationships can have a very negative effect on sales. Out of sight often means out of mind. Out of mind means loss sales.
Just because networking looks different does not mean that it’s all doom and gloom. Instead of looking at networking as breadth activity, we are reframing it as depth activity. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent more time on the phone and on zoom this year than probably all of my years in business combined. Sure, it certainly isn’t the same but I’ve been very fortunate for the time to meet with people in smaller groups and really begin to strengthen my relationships.
Today’s challenge comes in two parts:
Part One: Building Relationships
Replace the word networking with relationship building. Given that you’re not seeing people on a regular basis at organizational events or networking events, it’s important to maintain an open line of communication. By doing so, you position yourself and your business to be of service to others.
Part Two: Let’s Talk
I want you to block one hour each week to reach out to three (3) business connections. If this pandemic has taught us nothing, it is that we are only as strong as our network. It is time to make a concerted effort to strengthen your business relationships. Three! Call three people! Don’t be lazy and hide behind your computer sending emails or texts. Pick up the phone and speak to people. A one-hour block equates to three, 20-minute conversations. That may sound daunting but all you have to do is ask them two questions:
1. How are you?
2. How can I help you?
You would be surprised at what people will share with you in a 20-minute conversation when they know that you are asking from a genuine place and really will step in to help if you can.
The absolute best way to grow your business or your department is to focus on being of service. When you aim to serve first, you will be given opportunities to do just that and really begin to shine. When that happens, sales increase.
Are you ready to implement a strategy for building relationships but need a little assistance? Our team is here to help you define a system and schedule for networking/relationship building that will work best for your business goals. For guidance and/or assistance with relationship building tools and facilitation, schedule a strategy session today: https://larekpointconsulting.com/strategic-consulting/