At Cydcor, we’re in the people helping people business. That makes networking with our clients, community, and the independent ICL businesses in our network, central to what we do. Whether you’re just starting a career in business, or an entrepreneur trying to expand your horizons, you likely hold networking in just as high a regard!
There was once a time when networking happened in university classrooms, social clubs, and even in the bar on Saturday night, but these days most people have gone digital. Over 700 million professionals use LinkedIn to connect with peers in their industries and even Instagram is being used to forge new business opportunities and collaborations.
But while the digital revolution, accelerated by the pandemic, has boosted the power of online networking, are we losing sight of the in-person opportunities that are right under our noses?
At Cydcor, we strive to create progress through innovation, which means incorporating all the new technologies at our disposal. We also believe that one-on-one personal connections are what drives both a solid business and a happy life. That was one of the many reasons why we had so much fun at our National Conferences last August!
Let’s explore the benefits of seeking out in-person networking opportunities, in a world that puts an emphasis on the digital.
In the wake of the pandemic, one of the things we quickly realized is that trust is difficult to foster in online spaces. Harvard Professor Frances X. Frei and Leadership Coach Anne Morriss, writing for Harvard Business Review, discuss what they call the “Triangle of Trust,” which cites authenticity, logic, and empathy as three key drivers of trust.
Thinking about our difficulties in creating trust in online spaces, authenticity comes to mind. Social media, direct messages, and other forms of communication allow us to filter and edit our thoughts and ideas before we hit send, but that makes it difficult for the person on the other end to get a picture of the real us.
Trust is key in business and in life. Building relationships with the people you want in your network is all the more easy when you are able to show up authentically to them. The easiest way to come across as the real you, is to network in real life!
Communication Is Easier
We’ve all heard that 90% of communication is nonverbal. While that commonly shared stat is a bit inflated, findings from body language researcher Albert Mehrabian revealed that 55% of communication is nonverbal, 38% is vocal, and only 7% actually comes from the words being said.
If you’re trying to engage a new business partner, start a professional relationship with a prospective employer, or simply grow your network, communication is your greatest tool. Online communication negates the power of body language and can, in text formats, make it difficult to infer tone.
We’ve all been there – wondering how many exclamation marks to put in our emails (enough to sound enthusiastic, but not too many that we sound over eager) and going through careful editing to make sure none of our ideas will be misinterpreted.
When networking in real life, these problems solve themselves in real time. Our bodies communicate our feelings in addition to the words we are saying – and any needs for clarification can be addressed in the moment.
You Can Focus Your Efforts
Look, online networking is still a powerful tool. You should be using both online and in-person means to grow your connections both personally and professionally. But all the options online can make networking overwhelming at times.
Platforms like LinkedIn connect us to professionals from all over the world. This is great, but with the entire globe at our fingertips, where do we even begin?
In-person networking allows us to narrow our focus onto our specific local community. Less options means we spend less time wondering who we should be connecting with – and more time actually forging meaningful professional relationships.
You may be surprised about the opportunities that have been right under your nose this whole time. We can often get so wound up in the global perspective of the internet that we miss out on what’s happening in our own backyards.
Ideal Environment for Collaboration
We’re not just networking to meet new people (though that’s what’s so fun about it). We’re looking to build relationships and work alongside people who complement our skills and strengths. The goal of your networking efforts is to start collaborative partnerships, so part of the process is creating environments to do just that.
When you network in person and within your local community, you’ll end up in town with the people you are working alongside. This makes any partnership easy to logistically facilitate. There’s no working around multiple time zones, sending projects back and forth over email, or the like. Just as networking happened face-to-face, so can the ensuing collaborations!
The work you accomplish won’t be the only thing strengthened by such an environment – your relationships with your business partners and associates will be deepened by the proximity you share.
So now that we’ve explored the power of in-person networking, you may be wondering if we have any tips for networking face-to-face. Stay tuned for our next blog, where we’ll be sharing how to meet strangers, forge connections, and grow your network!
We are Cydcor, a recognized leader in outsourced sales and marketing services located in Agoura Hills, California. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation for consistently exceeding client expectations and driving outstanding revenue growth, Cydcor has been helping Fortune 500 and emerging companies achieve their customer acquisition, retention, and business goals since 1994. Cydcor takes pride in the unique combination of in-person sales, call center, and digital marketing services we offer to provide our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.