Transitioning Personal Networks Into Business
January 29, 2021
The next generation of A/E/C professionals is an impressive wave of talent. They’re diverse, well-educated, and altruistic, with a personal network seamlessly connected with technology. They’re eager to advance their careers and change the world for the better. They can often see the potential of working with personal connections, but lack the skills to transition those connections into a business relationship.
The challenge for A/E/C leadership is to teach them business skills, like networking and taking a consultative approach to conversations. New graduates and professionals need to fill in the knowledge gaps related to business acumen and marketing skills. How can we as marketers and business developers help them during this time when personal and business worlds are colliding due to the pandemic?
The first step is to help young professionals gain an appreciation of people they already know. They may assume their connections are limited. But, as they sketch their personal network on a whiteboard, it’s always a joyful discovery. They soon realize they have a solid foundation to build a business network. Clusters of potential future business relationships include the following:
Current and future clients. Have them list past clients and colleagues either at their firm or nonprofits where they volunteer, in addition to friends and family members.
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This article, written by Greg Kanz, APR, CPSM, first appeared in Marketer journal.