Networking is one of the crucial parts and processes of a business.
It is by networking that you get to meet other like-minded individuals, as well as make your business known. While you might want to stay at home watching your favorite TV show or sports, getting out there and networking is more beneficial to the business. Thankfully, technology has made networking much easier, thus no need to fly across the state to meet other business executives and clients.
This article outlines the top 3 technologies you can use to improve your networking capabilities
1. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
A CRM system is a must-have for every business. This system makes it possible for both you (the company) and customers to interact thus creating a relationship. As long as you are ready to spend some time networking with your clients, the bond becomes even stronger, which again helps your connections grow. With a CRM system, you should be able to address most issues and form relationships pretty well.
Although CRM systems today are powerful and more efficient, they are but a database.
For this approach to work, you will want to have everybody you meet in the database. As long as they are entered into the database, it will be possible to make follow-ups without forgetting what you last talked about. You can start building a relationship by just adding them to your mailing list (with their permission of course), sending them a thank you email or set a reminder to help you check with them (even if it is twice per year). It would be advisable to meet every other person you meet equally. Someone you meet for breakfast today might not be a prospect now but could be a loyal customer later on.
The CRM system should help you stay in touch with all prospects in the long run. This way, he/she will think of you when in need of the service/product you have to offer.
2. A Business Card Scanner
Although technology may have defaced many traditional networking methods, the business card has remained relevant and valid to this date. Business executives and entrepreneurs still use the business card to network and even reach out to potential clients. While you may want to toss the stack of business cards aside, each card should be viewed as a potential business.
As hinted earlier on, someone may not be a prospect now but could be one in the future. His/her friends and family might be direct prospects too. As long as your first meeting was a success, you need to cultivate the relationship even farther. Handing them your business card, or even better, investing in a business card scanner app will come in handy for this purpose. The scanner app helps you scan the card with your phone, then enables you to edit it to fit the specific need. The app also eliminates the need to type up every business card you get, it scans, edits, and uploads the card details to your CRM system automatically. Business cards are yet to become obsolete. The app redefines their use making it easier to reach out to your contacts, as well as saving you the time and effort of having to carry tons of them in your pocket.
LinkedIn is one of the best platforms that makes it possible for professionals to network. If you haven’t been active on LinkedIn, it is time you started. It not only holds a huge database of professional resumes but also provides an avenue for people to network.
After participating in a networking event, take some time to connect with persons you met on LinkedIn. Instead of sending them a generic message, take time to personalize it and mention how much you enjoyed getting to know them. Most people are more than willing to network, hence 99% of these will accept your invitation. You can also use LinkedIn’s search engine to find potential prospects among other connections that could benefit your company.
Connecting with people on LinkedIn helps you by:
1. It opens the door for future connections. LinkedIn messages stand out from generic email messages.
2. Enabling you to peruse the contact’s connections and profile. You get to learn of things you have in common with the contact.
3. It opens all sort of opportunities with other professionals on the platform. As mentioned earlier. LinkedIn is a professional’s social media where they come together. You can use the platform to reach out to various professionals, even when it merely means having a professional relationship.
From the facts and tips outlined above, it is evident that you can use technology to build your networking empire. All you need to do is make proper use of technology, and know where to look, and how to benefit from it. Many businesses and companies use these strategies to create new connections and build a client base. You too could benefit significantly from these.