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No, this post is NOT about social media! It’s about a new world of business conversations…. and how we may all need to adapt.

The past few months have robbed many professionals of their traditional networking opportunities. Events and conferences have been cancelled. Cocktail hour is frequently held in your own kitchen. Sporting events, golf dinners, theater nights…. there’s a long list of social occasions that are no longer available.

Some people have intensified their efforts on social media. However, many professionals soon find that these are just messaging platforms where everyone is broadcasting and few are listening (except maybe the broadcasters, who as usually only listening for a response to themselves). In other words, this is no substitute for the relationship build that used to happen over a drink or a coffee.

Is there no alternative?  Fortunately yes, and it’s not something new. It’s a tool that has been with us for decades, but has been somewhat neglected in recent years, in the cacophony of messaging. It’s called the power of referral and introduction.

For those of you who are allergic to BNI-type formulae, let me assure you that this is not about attending business breakfasts or making spurious referrals. It’s a fundamental shift in how you think about your services. To be successful, it’s essential to stop the “me-and-my-story” narratives, and instead become an interested Explorer.

Our ways of meeting people are changing, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Below the water line, there is a deeper shift in self-presentation needed. Once that is done, a host of new ways open up whereby others can open doors for you. Even without social events.

Does this really work?  In my thirty year experience of business, it’s the ONLY thing that consistently works. Everything else comes and goes, the power of introduction is permanent.

To register for the webinar “The Art of Referrals: How to get others opening doors for you” on October 22nd, see here