The internet is the greatest research tool of modern times as it is frequented by people for most of their day, but you should not rely on it 100%. Google CEO Sundar Pichai states that he believes the future will be more flexible.
During the pandemic the virtual became habit, but that doesn't mean it is enjoyable for everyone. People still feel the need to socialize with colleagues, partners and collaborate on projects. These yearnings are reflected in networking, which in its essence works on the relationship between professionals.
In an interview with Time magazine, Pichai says he is betting on a hybrid future where workers can make plans beyond work in their routines, but still have contact with the company they work for. "I see the future definitely being more flexible," the CEO said in the interview.
"We believe that personal contact, being together and having a sense of community is super important when we have to solve difficult problems or create something new. So we don't see that changing, and we don't think the future is just 100% remote or anything like that," Pichai commented.
The virtual environment makes it much easier to communicate with those who are far away, however through it you can't realize important factors for a partnership or clientele depending on the level of your product.
One of the objectives of a face-to-face meeting is the fact of passing on transparency and trust, especially when it comes to the corporate universe. These aspects are not reflected with 100% success through an online meeting, which can create insecurity between both parties.
The Robert Half consultancy has come to the conclusion that it is best to reconcile the two. After an internal survey regarding virtual and face-to-face networking, they found that 83% of professionals are satisfied with the outcome of virtual networking, but that 80% of those surveyed say that the first contact should be conducted face-to-face.
"Many people, due to shyness, choose to make the first contact through social networks and then initiate a closer relationship. Many people, due to shyness, choose to make the first contact through social networks and then initiate a closer relationship. "When you already have a personal contact, it is easier to establish the virtual one later" - stated Fabio Saad, senior manager of Robert Half's Financial Services Division.
The survey participants reported that meeting face-to-face will always be better for broadening and strengthening networks. Saad is of the opinion that by simply taking advantage of the best qualities of both modalities, it is possible to get closer to the perfect networking.
The impact of networking
The basis of networking is the theory of "The small world problem", which dictates that we are 6 connections away from anyone else in the world. This drives companies to invest in professional networking in order to get that contact, investor, business partner that they are planning to have.
For this it is necessary to have a clear vision of your objectives for your brand. In this same vision, understand a little more about how networking corresponds to each area of your business:
When choosing a business partner you should not only select one who has a good knowledge of the area, but also someone who believes in the potential of your brand, who inspires you, and who matches your company's profile.
Professionals who think in line with the company's values generate inspiration, the improvement of ideas, and creative growth. Networking aims to help companies find professionals who share the same principles and understand the relevance of their values.
A good contact network helps professional relationships to cooperate with the success of your career through the exchange of information. The goal is to generate for both parties a mutual exchange of experiences and thus enhance the knowledge of both related.
It is advisable that the first thing that small entrepreneurs do when starting a business plan is to build a good network of contacts, because in order to plan the next steps they should take it is important to have the help of professionals who have been in the market for a longer time. Business networking makes it possible for small and large entrepreneurs to have this exchange of knowledge for the improvement of both.
Your business partners should not be chosen at random. For your company's success you need to be side by side with partners who seek the same result as you, so that they have harmony during planning and add up to build ideas and solutions. Networking is able to filter your audience so that you know to whom you should give that responsibility.
Stand out from the competition
To stand out among so many companies, you need to present something modern, useful, accessible, and different. Networking helps in the exposure of this product/service by telling your story, your company's values, the culture you build in it and through it, your social and market vision, and so on.
To attract attention in a positive way, you need to tell others about your purpose, the meaning of what you do, and how your product acts as a solution to some problem.
The purpose of networking is not to sell, but it helps your product to become known to more people and to show quality to them. In this context, Jay Abraham - a businessman recognized worldwide for his marketing strategies - says that there are 3 main points to improve your business through customers, they are
- Increase the number of consumers;
- Increase the average transaction value;
- Increase purchase frequency.
In the initial phase of your business, you need a good amount of customers, who should be aware of your brand values and match your company's target audience. They will be the first customers, responsible for sharing and promoting your product in an instant and natural way.
Now that you understand a little about the concept and the importance of networking, here are some networking strategies that you can perform to strengthen your network:
- Assemble contact monitoring lists (ClickCard's app can help you with this);
- Post updates on websites, blogs and social networks;
- Send e-mails, make periodic phone or inbox contacts;
- Participate in business, specific and technical events related to your area of activity
- Meet in person about 1 to 3 days a month and 3 to 5 days each month in virtual meetings.
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