Technology is remarkable, some of it new, some of it old, and if we leverage it effectively during the COVID years, we have a win-win!
Recently, one of my referral sources posed the question:
Can we grow our network and develop trusting (advisory) relationships with new people in a remote environment?
We must adapt to succeed, and learn to use and rely on technology until we can safely meet again in person.
In 2018, I wrote, “I’m not convinced that reliability and trust can be easily established by participation in [virtual networking groups (“VNG”)]”, and I questioned whether VNG could really be considered a community.
As with most things, circumstances and experience have taught me some valuable lessons. I’ve learned that humans must engage with one another, and adapt to interact with others however we can.
Notwithstanding my skepticism, during lockdown I became a committed member of a weekly Zoom networking group. Winning on Wednesdays (WOW) can be best described as the speed dating of virtual networking. The format of the meetings gets my heart racing with excitement!
Long ago, I learned that two of the keys to developing trust is to be CONSISTENT and PRESENT. It’s hard not to be present when you have less than 2 minutes to introduce yourself in one of WOW’s Zoom breakout rooms. Over 70 people participate in weekly WOW meetings, so the best way to be a PURPLE COW is to conduct one-on-one follow-up meetings. Juan Vides (co-founder of WOW) is terrific about encouraging these “follow-ups,” which contributes to making WOW a supportive community!
I was reminded by a wise and intriguing holistic business coach/consultant I met through WOW that the efforts I put forth into creating/building relationships at the end of 2020, would reap benefits for me in 2021. I like to take good advice, so I put the proverbial pedal to the metal and drove hard into VNG through the end of last year.
I met A LOT of wonderful people digitally in Q4 2020, the kind of people with whom you click immediately! I guess after nearly a year of Zoom-only interactions, I adapted to the loss of physical demeanor as a means of getting a read on people. And, I suppose that after 10 years of conducting a virtual, “laptop” corporate legal practice from home, I’ve finely tuned my listening skills to where I learn a lot of what I need to know about people from speaking on the phone.
Many of the people I met last year have terrific networking and follow up skills. During Covid, I noticed more people “stepping up” and/or out of their comfort zone to initiate contact with me, endeavoring only to connect for the sake of connection! As a result of these new relationships, I’ve been invited and look forward to participating in two additional on-line, VNGs in 2021. So, there is hope on the horizon for developing trust and meaningful relationships during these unprecedented times.
Aimee B. Davis Law P.C. is committed to advising its clients and resolving issues relating to the legal and business matters that are important to them. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (917) 617-2243 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.