As the world transitions to a ‘new normal’, the way in which the design community networks, does business and forges new connections is changing, and in large part - moving online.
In an illuminating new Designscape webcast, Katie Tobin and Karen Willey, co-founders of business development agency, AlwaysThinking, shared their expert tips on how to get the most out of digital networking in the new environment. To help you make the most of virtual meetings and networking opportunities at Sleep & Eat Virtual and Designscape, Always Thinking have also developed a quick 'crib sheet' for digital networking that gets results. In their own words, "it will make you feel more comfortable with (and capable of) approaching people, helping you to get the most out of your digital networking opportunities."
5 Top Tips for Successful Digital Networking
1. No Hard sell Here
- Focus on the relationship, not the hard sell.
- Look for like-minded people and those you will enjoy working with.
- Don’t worry about what you are going to sell, think about how you can help someone.
2. Research Research Research
- If you know who you want to speak to in advance then reach out to them on their digital platforms.
- The more you know about them, the more you can be genuinely interested in their world.
3. Leave the elevator pitch
- No one wants to spend five minutes being spoken at — leave the script at home.
- Have a two-way conversation.
- Think about the other person — do they want to know you or your company?
- Think about how you can tell your story — the more personal and tailored the conversation, the more they will engage.
4. Have some questions ready, and listen
- Think about the conversation you would like to have.
- What questions will allow that to happen?
- What information will be helpful for the future?
- We worked with you in the past on X and Y — how was that experience?
- What was the last product range you saw from us?
- Are you still working on the same kind of projects?
- What has changed for you?
- I see that you work on X and Y — do you know which product you specified?
- Which designer did you work with?
- What is important to you when working with new designers/ suppliers?
- Do you think in the current climate your business model will change?
- Are you doing anything differently?
- I know you work with X — how do they manage their relationship?
- How do you feel about our products do you feel they work for your clients?
- What is important to you and your clients at the moment?
- Who do you want to meet?
- What do you want to get out of today?
- Remember to follow-up with people and make it tailored.
- They want the person, not the brochure.
- Let your personality shine.
- Think about small/ clear, manageable actions that will help progress the relationship.
- Move with speed if there is something they need or want.
- Take it slowly if there is nothing immediate — focus on building that relationship.
Want to learn more about the art of digital networking with the global design industry?
>> Watch the full webcast here.