As social distancing measures continue, businesses are changing and adapting. Employee duties have shifted, titles have changed, and management policies have been reworked to support safe work environments. Many employees are working from home, using staggered shifts, or providing pick-up/delivery only for customers.
While businesses across the U.S. are working hard to maintain the health and safety of employees and customers, CEOs, salespeople, and entrepreneurs still need the support of an active and robust business network.
This can be difficult in these changing times, but it’s something that you and your network can work on.
How to Network While Maintaining Physical Distance
We like New York’s governor’s thoughts on maintaining a physical distance with friends, family, and business associates. This is opposed to a “social” distance as we are still socializing, just in a physically safe way.
It can feel challenging to network with other business leaders while maintaining a physical distance. We are used to getting together in meetings, conferences, and social gatherings. We are used to handing out business cards left and right, making personal connections, and even chatting with a small group while the rest of the networking event unfolds around us.
This type of networking is undoubtedly a far cry from a well-regulated (or chaotic, as the case may be) Zoom call business networking event. However, that is what we see more and more of as social distancing measures remain in place.
If you are having difficulty with maintaining and growing your network during this time, we at Business Success Consulting Group are here to share some “how-tos” for networking while maintaining a safe physical distance.
1. Get in touch with the individuals in your existing network or networking group.
This is a great time to reconnect with the personal connections you have made in your networking group or your overall network. This can be done with a simple email, text, or phone call.
First, go through your business cards, scroll through LinkedIn, and look through the “members” list on your networking group site.
Next, make a list of these contacts, along with their contact info. You may also want to write a quick note that will remind you of how you know them.
Finally, shoot a quick email checking in. Perhaps you want to see how that person is, find out if they are still holding that role, or you just want to say “hi.” If a connection is particularly special to you, give them a call.
2. Reach out to your networking group.
Many networking groups are doing virtual meetings these days. However, the feel of a virtual meeting is different from the in-person connections we are used to. If you would like to have a more personalized meet-up, talk with your networking group executives. Float ideas on how to connect people in complementary industries on a more personal level.
Perhaps you can have a morning coffee hang out once a week, get together for a lunch call, or attend a webinar presented by a group member and discuss it with them afterward. There are many ways you can connect more deeply with your existing networking group.
3. Try a new networking group
With so many changes occurring these days, now is a great time to get out of your comfort zone. Try one of the networking groups you’ve been invited to or checkout a new group in which you’ve been interested.
Not only will you meet new connections, but you may also find the format refreshing or create a new support network that will help you as businesses reopen in the coming months.
4. Finally, clean up your networking apps
Many of us have networking apps that we haven’t updated or looked at in a while. LinkedIn is the most common, but there are others from Facebook to Alignable. Now is the time to go through these apps, add new contacts, and talk with other business people. Not only will this app refresh make you look more professional online, but it will also help you connect with like-minded leaders.
Times are changing and businesses are adapting. Now is the best time to get in touch with other business leaders, mentors, friends, and potential customers in any way possible. Building on your support network will only help your company as you prepare for the future.
Are you preparing to hit the ground running in the upcoming months? Contact Business Success Consulting Group to create plans and processes to support your future business plans.