It goes without saying that the way we build and maintain relationships has undergone a significant transformation. We all have COVID to thank for that! That isn’t a bad thing… remote working has presented us with both opportunities and challenges. When it comes to developing meaningful connections in the professional realm, building new business relationships, it has given us pause. How do we go about business development today? How do we forge new business relationships in this new dynamic? As a main lead in business development, here are my thoughts.

The Social Scene

If you aren’t on social platforms, it’s time to do so!  I can see the eyes rolling now! Really, social media platforms are not just for sharing memes and cat videos… although those are really cute! Which social platform or platforms you use to garner relationsips  is totally dependent on your intended target audience. Let’s face it, social media offers us some pretty powerful tools for connecting with potential business partners and clients. LinkedIn, in particular, is the go-to for professionals. But that’s not the only platform for professionals. Instagram can also be a good resource to round out your  “online presence”. Remember, potential clients and potential business partners have a social life too! Be consistent and stay fresh. Share relevant content, and engage with posts from others in your industry. That’s how you’ll gain traction and start building a  one on one relationship with your industry’s community.

Alive and Thriving: Networking Events

The restrictions that COVID placed on us have eased off significantly. So networking both “physically” and  “virtually” offer up  amazing opportunities to meet new people, and start forging relationships. Whether your objective is to develop business or become more visible in the industry you work in, industry conferences are the place for you to be. Make  the most of of these network events. You can sponsor a conference. We did that recently at the Pharmaceutical Marketing Congress and it provided awesome visibility. Or if that’s too much to take on, sponsor an event within the conferences or be part of a talk or panel that is being featured. If you can’t do that,  take part in the Q&A  after panel discussions or talks. Whatever you do, approach  conferences with intention. Research the event, the attendees, and topics beforehand. Prepare engaging questions and insights to stand out during discussions. Remember, events, whether they are physical or virtual are not just about collecting business cards; they’re about making genuine connections. Post-event, don’t forget to follow up with personalized messages to solidify the connections you’ve made.

Keeping Ahead of the Curve

Keeping abreast of “the new” within your industry is a must. Potential clients and business partners need to do that too. Seek out online courses and workshops that are relevant to your industry.  These provide an excellent opportunity to acquire new skills while mingling with like-minded professionals. These learning platforms allow you to connect with individuals who share your passion. Collaborative learning environments can lead to both personal and professional relationships… and offer the added plus of greater visibility within the business community.

Serendipity and Kismet

Do you believe in chance? In fate?  Maybe that’s a topic for another discussion. Whether you call it open mindedness, serendipity or kismet being open to encounters and unexpected opportunities in whatever form or platform they come in, is definitely a must in business development.  Virtual connections can sometimes lead to unexpected collaborations or introductions that you didn’t anticipate. Be receptive to the possibilities that the digital world can offer, and you might find yourself forging new business relationships in the most unexpected places.

The way we forge new business relationships has evolved…but that isn’t anything new in business. Business is always evolving…we just have to keep in step … and step it up in order to thrive in this new dynamic and build valuable connections that propel your business forward.

How have you stepped up your business development strategies? Please share them here or contact me here. (And that’s another way to start new relationships!)