Over the last 7 years, hundreds of local businesses have joined us as ABN Contact Builders, meeting two other businesspeople each month, developing relationships, supporting each other and winning new business. However, this year is the first time that a Contact Builder membership has been given as a present!
During these unprecedented and uncertain times, should we keep networking? Yes, very, very much so! Networking events are understandably getting postponed at the moment. But the events themselves are just parts of the process – and we can still do every other part!
Networking is relationship-building. And most of that goes on outwith the events themselves. With some slight adjustments we can still do all the things we usually do (or should do!) to keep developing and enjoying our business relationships and help support each other:
– Ask how we can help. There’s no better way to develop relationships. Especially just now, we need to be helping each other more than ever
– Make calls and maybe talk for a little longer than usual. Ask how the other person is doing and how they’re getting on in their non-work life too. If they’re spending large amounts of time at home on their own, they’ll be very grateful for your call!
– Use Skype, Zoom, etc for video calls. Remind each other what we look like!
– Keep group meetings going with Google Hangouts, etc
– Show interest in what others have to say on social media through likes, comments, retweets, etc
– Add our own content with updates that others may find of interest and helpful
– Use that ABN Community thingy – www.yourabn.co.uk. It’s free, has almost 7000 members, it’s good and I know the woman who runs it!
– Do you have business cards from a recent networking event and you’ve yet to follow up and make connections. Now is the time to catch up with these!
– Whether it’s via phone, Linkedin, Facebook, Whatsapp, ABN Community or however, stay in touch! We need to replace the face-to-face interaction with the next best things
In other words, networking is relationship-building and there’s lots we can do to keep developing our relationships just now. This tough time will pass in the end. And if we’ve helped each other and kept investing in our relationships, we’ll recover and move forward more quickly together when the time comes