Networking is crucial for business success. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have forced businesses to make sweeping changes, the value of a supportive business network remains high. Every effort to expand your network is a chance to secure another loyal customer or another valuable resource. This is just as true in the age of social distancing as it was before. From emails to webinars, how your business communicates with people and other businesses will still have a profound impact on the future of your business.

People are keener to join online communities

Under normal circumstances, people could connect easily through networking events. Then, just like that, in-person meetings, conferences, and business networking events vanished, with no return in sight. Rather than seeing this as a setback, seize this opportunity to build authentic connections online and invest in digital B2B networking efforts.

With the restrictions brought upon by COVID-19, people are collectively yearning for genuine connections more than ever, and video calls can make it easier to establish such connections. Webinars and online conferences are also a great way to stay connected and unite business leaders during the crisis. More people are looking to benefit from a pool of valuable shared experiences.

Networking makes it easier to empathise

Furthermore, business owners and customers alike can gain a new level of understanding from the challenges of others overcoming the pandemic and the corresponding economic difficulties. Though there are various levels of chaos and impact, underlying themes of support and kindness have amplified what networking can offer businesses. More than just transactional deal-making, networking can be an avenue for empathy and emotional support when tragedy strikes. Sometimes our problems are bigger than business. A strong network helps us support each other without judgment and offer a safe, understanding space.

Make B2B more about what you can do to help

It’s foolish to start a conversation by saying, “I need a job.” Networking during this time should focus on building relationships, which aren’t one-way streets. Find ways to offer your help and extend your reach. This could mean reaching out to an important partner in someone’s field or pointing a fellow business owner to a relevant research paper that could help their business. Such efforts, even small ones, can make an impact on others and they will remember you for it.

Creating authentic connections

You don’t have to suspend your networking efforts during this difficult time. It’s still healthy, both personally and professionally, to build personal connections. However, remember to proceed with caution, care, and understanding. Networking isn’t just a way to get something you want. It’s no longer about rushing to events, working the room, and expanding your contact list. It’s about nurturing relationships you truly care about. Make your network personal, relevant, and fruitful to others.

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Anna

Author Anna

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