3 Ways to Connect and Build Business Relationships With Anyone
Networking has changed entirely. Zoom meetings are the new corner Starbucks, and we're all trying to make connections from behind a screen. Circumstances have pushed us to go beyond just collecting business cards, so if you’re feeling stuck, try these simple daily practices to keep up your networking momentum.
Make an unforgettable impression
Pick up the phone and just say hello to a client, connection or coworker. Re-establish the relationship and become the topic of conversation — in a good way. Any chance you can give people to be themselves and not have to perform will be welcomed. Phone calls seem too daunting? Send a text. Either way, get the conversation going. Keep it simple. All you need to say is: "Hey how’s it going?" Don’t overthink it. Just do it.
Leave them with something to ponder
Email an article or an intriguing blog post that relates to your colleague or client’s industry or interests. The MLB and NBA are coming back to our TVs, beaches are open, events are shifting to virtual formats, etc. Focus on discussing positive changes rather than how things aren’t “normal” anymore. Ask questions about how things are going for them in a way that inspires new ideas, especially when there may be an opportunity to collaborate.
Be the relationship creator
Make your circle smaller. Start connecting and introducing people to one another via email or social media. This introduction should come with no strings attached. It doesn’t mean someone will get a sale or a new job. All it means is that two people should be introduced for the opportunity to find some common ground professionally. The message should be quick, concise and to the point. Explain how you know both of them, tell them why they should meet, and let it go from there. Chances are they’ll reciprocate the favor to you down the road.
Related: So You Want to Meet a Big Name?
Remember that consistency is key. I have followed this simple plan and have seen my business double over these past several months. For the remainder of this year (and perhaps the foreseeable future), we will continue having to make creative adjustments, including the ways we interact with other people. Stop making excuses, and start looking for new avenues to keep business and networking alive. Small things like this make a big difference in the long run. Create and add value to your network, and watch it pay dividends later on.