Networking has always been an important business skill. Knowing the right people can help you connect with the perfect business partner, secure Grade-A Talent to work for your company, and win meetings with top industry professionals.
But networking has never been as crucial as it is right now. As the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, your ability to network can help your SMB stay afloat during this difficult time and better prepare it for future success.
We all hope the novel coronavirus is dealt with as quickly as possible, but until that happens, we want to share a few tips to help your business ride out the storm. Keep reading to learn four networking strategies you can implement immediately.
3 Networking Strategies
The spread of COVID-19 and the precautions many countries have taken to combat it has likely affected your SMB. Fortunately, there are still things you can do during these uncertain times to Grow your business. For example, you can improve your networking skills.
Below, you’ll find three networking strategies you can use to benefit your SMB — even if you’re stuck at home or working reduced hours because of the virus.
1. Grow Your Professional Network
As the old saying goes, “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” This is often true in business. The right contact can help your company score new leads, close more deals, avoid potential pitfalls. But you have to make the right connections first.
Now is the perfect time to grow your professional network and meet game changing personalities that have the potential to propel your business forward in the future.
Of course, in-person networking events are out until we get a better handle on the novel coronavirus. But the internet can still be used during your self-quarantine time. LinkedIn, in particular, can be incredibly effective for networking purposes. The social site has 660 million monthly users and sponsored InMail (LinkedIn’s email system) has a 52% open rate, which means connecting with folks on the platform is really easy.
2. Secure Important Meetings
COVID-19 has had many devastating effects, but it might also present your SMB with the opportunity to secure important meetings with decision makers — decision makers who may have been out of reach before the pandemic hit.
Companies are looking for ways to help them endure through the novel coronavirus situation. If you’re able to network with them and present viable solutions to their problems, you might be able to get your foot in the door and meet with important industry folks.
Then, when the virus is finally behind us, you can deepen the relationships you’ve built during this time and use them to grow your business.
3. Recruit A+ Talent
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has forced most companies to downsize and millions of qualified professionals around the world are currently out of work. In the United States alone, experts predict that the unemployment rate will jump to 32% and 47 million people will be jobless by the end of June. This is another potential opportunity for your SMB.
A+ talent will be available for you to hire if you’re able. We encourage you to scour job sites, network with capable professionals, and recruit new employees to fill important roles.
Doing so will benefit your company because you might be able to hire top-notch workers and improve your organization’s talent pool. And it will benefit the people you hire because they’ll be able to earn a paycheck again and better provide for their families.
Bonus Tip: Upskill Your Team
Speaking of your staff talent pool, you can also use the downtime caused by the virus to upskill your team. Train them to complete new tasks and deepen their knowledge on important topics.
Employee training and development has been proven to boost employee satisfaction and reduce staff turnover. In fact, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if they felt like they’re employers were invested in developing their careers.
While you’re training your team, encourage them to improve their networking skills too. By doing so, they’ll be able to boost their own careers. At the same time, they’ll be able to introduce your company to qualified professionals who you can hire.
COVID-19 is a worldwide pandemic that’s had enormous repercussions. Public health and safety is at risk and businesses the world over are in danger of closing their doors for good. While our current situation is far from ideal, the networking strategies listed in this article will help you make the most of this terrible situation. Just remember to:
- Grow Your Professional Network
- Secure Important Meetings
- Recruit A+ Talent
- Upskill Your Staff
Looking for a convenient way to boost your networking efforts during these difficult times? Lusha will help you secure reliable B2B contact information and connect with other professionals in your field, top decision makers at important companies, and A+ talent looking for work.
Get started for free today and join well-known brands like Microsoft, Facebook, and Google to find the contact details you need to network and grow your SMB.
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