Business Networking - How Do You Make Connections in a Virtual World?

A study on remote work from Xant summarizes its findings in saying,

“Sales teams are facing unique challenges – not only are they working from home, but their customers are too. They are adjusting to remote work, fighting distraction, and also facing an out of sight, out of mind mentality with their leads and potential customers.”

In fact, their research reveals that sales teams are reporting their top challenge right now as the “inability to communicate or connect with customers.”

But salespeople are not alone.

Remember, anyone meeting someone new right now is doing so virtually.

Everyone is in the same boat trying to navigate making virtual connections with new people both professionally and personally. And while some have felt natural, like messaging potential collaborators over social media, others have not, like going on a first date via video call.

Our current normal has changed how we connect with new people. For introverts, this shift has been a welcome change, whereas extroverts have typically found it harder to adapt. However, removing the in-person aspect of making a new connection does not change the reasoning behind connecting in the first place.

Ultimately, the methods to meet new people may have changed, but why we connect is still the same. New introductions require a genuine desire to offer something of value, listening, nurturing the connection, and following-up, whether the relationship is sales-related or not. The people that aim to engage, understand, and build trust will succeed whether they are connecting with other people online or offline.

Topics: Networking Hiring Customer Relationship Management Recruiting Referrals Business Development Professional Development Social Media Inbound Marketing Personal Development

Pros and Cons of Professional Gift Giving (and Gift Ideas)

Gift giving can be a challenge. While some say, "it's the thought that counts" with a gift, you want to avoid being the subject of a statement along the lines of, "What were they thinking?"

With the holidays approaching, you may be faced with the annual conundrum of figuring out who you should send gifts to and what the appropriate parameters are for gift giving. You aren't the only manager struggling with this issue.

Before you start shopping for those client and associate gifts, here are a few of the pros and cons of professional gift giving as well as some tips that can help you make the right choices this year. We've thrown in a few professional gift ideas to get you started.

Topics: Customer Service Customer Relationship Management Business Culture

Pros & Cons of Business Networking - Waste of Time or a Gold Mine?

Nobody wants to have a ‘networking conversation,’ especially those who are at the highest levels of business. They are hungry for real conversations and real relationships. It has to be authentic, genuine and sincere.”  -  Rich Stromback

Even with a plethora of information, books, classes and generous experts, rooms are full of people who have yet to develop excellent communication skills (and who you prefer to avoid). 

Topics: Leadership B2B Sales Networking Customer Relationship Management

Before Implementing a CRM System – Prepare for Success

Scoping out a potential CRM project can be relatively short. The duration depends on the complexity of the organization and the number of potential issues to be solved. Once a scope of work is defined, a CRM services company can provide a more refined estimate of what it will take to interview key stakeholders, examine existing systems and then document the detailed functional specifications for a CRM implementation. The following will help you be better prepared for success.

Topics: B2B Software CRM Customer Relationship Management