How Do I Keep Networking During COVID-19?

We Need To Adapt

I have found that my professional life has been turned upside down by the Coronavirus pandemic.  My regular face-to-face business networking events have been cancelled and I even avoid one-on-one meetings as well (all the coffee shops seem closed anyway). I am determined to do my part in slowing down the spread of this virus.

So, what can I do?  During a crisis, adjustments need to be made.  We need to create a new “normal” in our business world, at least for the foreseeable future. We are creatures of habit, so let’s create some new habits in our business practices that make us better and stronger during these difficult times. You may just learn more about yourself and come out a better businessperson when this crisis is over.

For many of us, we have already made adjustments in our personal and social lives:

For fitness, we now design workouts in our home as opposed to going to the gym.

For entertainment, we watch Netflix or play games at home rather than go to the movies or a ball game.

For our faith, we now go to church service by streaming it on our laptop.

What about for business networking?  Do you have a plan? Are you still maintaining your business connections and even making new ones?

The Opportunity

The first way we make our adjustments is to change our perspective on networking. I’ve observed at face-to-face business networking events I’ve attended in the past that many of the attendees were focused on “selling” to others in the room. On professional networking websites like LinkedIn, I’ve encountered numerous members trying to “pitch” to me (“Can I talk to you for 15 minutes on the phone regarding what my product or service can do for you …?”)

This needs to stop … especially now.  During this pandemic, our focus should be to help each other.  However, shouldn’t this have always been the focus of our networking efforts?  Isn’t helping people a key business networking strategy that means you will eventually be helped as well?  If you haven’t been networking this way, now is the time to start.  Focus on building your business relationships by helping others and they will be inspired to help you.

There are many ways you can help professionals in the business community.  For example, at Tipclub we had recently developed the Tipclub Challenge App in which matched users commit to helping each other with specific business challenges over thirty days. Don’t stay out on the sidelines – we can’t do this alone. 

Don’t Give Up!

Don’t give up on networking during these challenging times! Don’t even slow down your efforts … change them! Adapt. Improvise. Innovate. Create.  Now is a perfect time to learn, grow, and refine how you have networked in the past. For many of us, this must be done out of necessity rather than desire.

We need to  come together and not only with friends and family. Our business community needs us.  And you need them.  Don’t shutdown … don’t isolate … reach out to your business relationships for help. At the same time, create new business connections. You never know, you may just make the strongest and longest-lasting business relationships of your lifetime during these difficult times.

What I’ve found is that during a time like this, people tend to shine or exploit.  Let’s all try to let it bring out the best in us.

How can I help you today?

Next week, I will talk more about new and innovative business networking methods and strategies that you can implement during these challenging times (bedside the ubiquitous online meetings and web conferences)

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