In the past days, the strategy of networking consulting included only face-to-face interaction among the people in your marketplace. Most management consulting professionals look forward to building business contacts by meeting and getting to know new people, thereby developing relationships that are grounded in their business and personal activities.
To find out potential business partners, you might have to chat with them at industry conferences and golf outings. Meeting people face-to-face and greeting people are the old styles of business networking. These strategies were necessary for businesses in the past days, and most of the methods mainly depended on finding the locations of the people you want to meet, leaving the office and having a face-to-face meeting with the clients.
Direct engagement strategies like these with the clients required investments including the cost of travel, the registration fee for conferences, and time.
But as technology advanced, the approaches and rules for business have faced great changes. The ways of networking has grown broadly making everything more flexible for everyone in a marketplace. Though many business organizations don’t know to manage business networks effectively, a lot of other business firms are taking advantage of the new changes and opportunities to accomplish their goals of networking than before.
The Factors of Change
Advancements in Technology
The advancement in technology from smartphones to social media to accessible video chats has made it possible to get in touch and communicate easily with clients and professionals from any part of the world.
Value for Time
With the major advancements in technology, slow networking strategies do not seem like a practical option for most executives while they face strong economic pressures and the requirements for progressively lean business processes.
Most of the young professionals have grown up with advanced technologies. For the same reason, they use social media platforms for easy communications and do not specifically see these platforms as tools for networking.
As the business world keeps on changing, business firms need to find ways to adapt to it. Here are a few rules that apply to the professional service networking world of today.
Be Where Your Clients Are
To carry out effective networking, you will need to know your clients and use whatever technology they use. It is not necessary that every client you work with using social media and other advanced technologies. But studies and researches have revealed that about 60% of the total buyers use social media platforms to check out business firms and their services. You will have to be where the potential clients are, and you will be missing out on a lot of them if you avoid such networks.
Tools like social media platforms allow asynchronous networking that allows everyone to engage in conversations when they have a chance thereby making the communication convenient to their time.
Establish Your Expertise Using Networking
In the older days, the ways to convey your expertise in business networking to the people in your marketplace were through print media, face-to-face meetings, referrals or speaking engagements.
But today, more ways have are available for you to reach a much bigger and focused audience. For instance, LinkedIn groups allow people to share their educational content and help to build credibility in communication that’s dedicated to continuing discussing their industry.
Create Crucial Content for Networking
The face of networking has changed greatly from being just about getting to know someone as an individual to getting to know a person as a problem solver. Sharing educational content offers potential clients a useful resource and you will be able to demonstrate how you think about various problems in the industry and the solutions you can offer for the same.
This is very important for management consulting as a lot of your expertise is about how you think about and define a problem afterward. How you conceptualize a setback could guide the solutions you choose. The content you create for networking can help clients to frame problems, and also to show them the ways you can offer solutions for it.
Give Importance to Influencers
The people who recommend service providers and solutions are involved in the decisions and are always seen as important for businesses. Nowadays, most decisions are made on in-depth researches and after dealing with large teams. The people who would need to know and make an impression with is getting bigger – to put it simply.
The need for convincing a critical mass of people on the teams is important if you need to convince clients of your experience. Online networking tools and social media make it much easier and efficient to communicate with a wide group of influencers.
Offer Valuable Services
Every business has to make sure to offer something of value to the clients if you are going to take their time either in person or online. Pointing the clients to content that is relevant for bringing a solution to their problems is an effective way to demonstrate your understanding of their problems and strategies to deliver solutions for the same.