Where and how can digital nomads build long-term B2B relationships?
Working from the open road. It’s the dream of every digital nomad. Escaping the hustle and bustle of office life to produce results on your own in the exciting location of your choice. Just you and your work.
This independence might be doing wonders for your productivity and creativity, but is it helping your career or business development? Unfortunately, the answer is probably not. The way that business is managed may have changed drastically in the past decade, but a few professional truths still hold true, including: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
While “networking” may seem like an antiquated term to the millennial workforce, there is no denying the fact that building business-to-business relationships can result in more opportunities for future revenue. So, it might be time to dust off the ol’ business cards and start practicing your handshake. As a refresher, here are the three basic steps to networking as a nomad:
Step One: Meet People
Perhaps more than any other business person, remote workers have an unprecedented amount of opportunities to interact with strangers. Think about all of the places you might go during an average day of traveling:
- Coworking Spaces
- Local Businesses
- Airports & Terminals
- Public Transportation
- Tourist Sites
- Hotel Lounges
- Travel Groups
Your daily itinerary is a networking gold mine! But all of these opportunities are completely void of value if you close yourself off socially and spend your time scrolling on your phone. Regardless of where you are, the trick to stellar networking is to be sincerely interested in other people. Don’t just look at them—interact with them. Be excited to meet new people and learn from them. Which leads us to the next step…
Step Two: Make a Connection
It’s impossible to make a memorable connection without finding a commonality. This means that you can’t just start talking about what you do or brag about how many places you’ve traveled to. In fact, you shouldn’t talk at all. You should listen. It’s human nature that people like to talk about themselves, so ask questions about what your new acquaintance does or enjoys and they’ll gladly oblige. Sooner rather than later, they’ll mention something that you enjoy, too. Ta da! There is your connection.
After that, guide the conversation toward concerns or complaints that they have about their job and keep your ears open for a need that you can help fill. Whether the solution be from you or someone you know, offer resources or advice that can help them. They’ll be thrilled that a solution to their problems just fell into their lap, and you’ll have a new client. But the networking process isn’t over! The mistake that most new networkers make is believing that a conversation is over after you say goodbye, because they don’t know that the “sale” isn’t really complete until the next step…
Step Three: Follow Up
It’s relatively easy to start a conversation, but it takes a true professional to continue one. In order to establish trust and credibility, what you do after your first networking conversation is just as important as what you do during it. Always follow up via email and/or social media within 24 hours to pay a sincere compliment, share relevant resources regarding the topic you discussed, and prove that you are a committed person to do business with. Not only are you keeping the door open for the current opportunity that you discussed when you met, but you’re also opening the lines of communication for future opportunities as well.
No sweat, right? Well, unfortunately, even if you follow the process above perfectly, and are as charismatic as humanly possible, you still have one giant challenge that could be blocking you from success: the fact that you’re a nomad.
The business world is still learning about digital nomadism as a lifestyle and, consequently, is still overcoming early perceptions that wandering professionals are impulsive, directionless, or inaccessible. Thankfully, Mark van der Heijden, CEO of Wanderbrief, and Bret Farrer, Founder of Broyer Development, will each be educating participants about how to network while being taken seriously as a digital nomad. Join us on October 8-14 to learn it all, plus more keys to professional location independence, in the beautiful city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.