Webinars, phone calls, social media campaigns, podcasts, networking groups, and virtual meetings have become the norm. More so than before due to all the craziness.
(Related: 6 More Reasons to Lead a Zoom Webinar)
Are you leveraging and getting the most out of your virtual networking meetings?
Here are some reasons to schedule a virtual networking meeting through Zoom, Skype, or even by phone.
- You’re concerned about the prospect’s, client’s, or referral source’s health and welfare.
- You’re concerned about the prospect’s, client’s, or referral source’s business and want to help.
- You want to explore ways of exchanging referrals.
- The other person can help you in some way and is willing to meet with you to discuss.
- You can help the other person in some way, and you are willing to meet them to discuss.
- There is a membership opportunity to a group, association, etc. that needs to be explored.
- A recruiting opportunity.
- The other person has presented themselves as a prospect.
- You have presented yourself as a prospect.
- It’s purely social. (Mutual members of a networking group for example.)
That’s about it. There must be a good reason to initiate and ultimately schedule a meeting (especially since there are so many happening now of the virtual variety) so be clear on the purpose, the benefit (to them and you), the desired outcome, and the next steps. Here are some very basic best practices to keep in mind!
Be prepared for your meeting. Spend a few minutes on LinkedIn and learn what you can about the person (or people) you’re meeting so you feel confident and they feel important. It will also help you prepare questions, discussion points, and desired outcomes. Confirm your meeting with a calendar invite and include the Zoom link (or link for whatever platform you’re using) or dial-in information. In fact, you’ll make a great impression if you create and send the Calendar Invite. If you haven’t sent or received a Calendar Invite, confirm your meeting the day before with a quick email. Firm up the date, time, appropriate media (or medium), and share your excitement about meeting and learning more.
Be early. Try to account for connectivity issues, confusion with usernames, passwords, meeting links, and conference codes. Besides, if you jump on a few minutes early, you make a good impression and may be able to establish rapport before you get down to business.
PUNCH up your meeting! (What kind of acronym would you expect from a boxer?) PUNCH is a format that may be helpful in keeping you focused on your Purpose, Understanding, Networks, Call to Action, and How to move forward. Use this PUNCH-line as an agenda for your virtual meetings (and “live” meetings too!) to stay on track and get the most out of your virtual networking.
Use this PUNCH-line as an agenda for your virtual meetings (and “live” meetings too!) to stay on track and get the most out of your virtual networking.