Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Zoom has spread like a virus around the world, and it has in essence replaced the in-person networking events for client development, which many businesses relied on for finding clients. Pre-COVID-19, some of us were using Zoom to meet with clients long-distance, but rarely did we use it for networking locally. COVID changed everything. (I use “Zoom” as a name for any on-line video conferencing by whatever platform, such as Webex, Skype, or Gotomeeting.) At first, Zoom was for transferring information from experts to a muted, and often unseen, audience. Later networking returned but through Zoom. However, Zoom networking requires a different set of instructions for it to be successful as a clientele builder.
For the next three weeks, I will be sharing my instructions for before, during, and after the Zoom event. Today we will focus on those things you could do before a video conference to network.
Before the Zoom Event
1. Remember your overall purpose of networking is to meet people one-on-one.
I define networking as developing relationships with enough people by helping them get what they want and you in turn get what you want. Finding out what each other wants usually requires deep discussions. Therefore, networking is best facilitated by meeting with people one-on-one.
2. Set some preliminary goals for the calls.
For instance, a goal could be to follow-up with three people on a call. Goals are best constructed as action steps that you have control over.
3. Determine the parameters of the scheduled Zoom call.
Is the call for networking or just for an exchange of information? How many attendees are expected? Who will attend, and what are their demographics and psychographics? Will the attendees be unseen or muted the whole time? Who are the featured speakers? These are questions you can usually ask of the organizers of the meetings, and from their answers, you can determine the networking possibilities.
4. If possible, research the attendees and consider adding them to your LinkedIn connections and to your database.
Some scheduled Zoom meetings have a list of attendees, perhaps on a sign-up program. If so, I recommend researching the attendees and consider adding them to your LinkedIn connections and to your database if you believe you will be developing a relationship with them. If you are going to connect with them, I suggest you add in your Note (always add a Note when you Link) something like, “Hey John, I see we are going to be on the Zoom call tomorrow. In the meantime, I wanted to become a connection on LinkedIn with you.”
5. In many instances, it is important to pre-connect with the leaders and speakers on the schedule Zoom calls.
For example, when a national speaker is coming to speak to your association, by pre-Zoom linking, he or she will pre-Zoomably (pun intended) love to connect with you.
6. Ask yourself the five Marketing Strategies questions.
Just as in in-person networking, you will have more pre-Zoom success if you ask yourself the five Marketing Strategies questions: (a) Who am I? (b) Who are they? (c) What do I say? (d) Where are they? (e) How do I get their commitment? If you want further clarification of these questions, you may contact me.
You are now ready to Zoom. These are the Zoom Networking Instructions I am learning to follow. Let me know what you think.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog on what to do during the Zoom event!