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News and advice for job seekers and talent managers.

How to Turn Webinars into Networking Events

In a time of social distancing, sales professionals no longer have in-person networking events and conferences to attend. These events have always been important to sales pros as tools for generating leads and making connections that can help their careers. Now that in-person opportunities are unavailable, it is wise to maximize online events. Use these strategies to turn webinars into networking events.

Participate

To get the most from your experience, resist that urge to be a passive viewer and instead, take opportunities to participate in the webinar.

Every webinar will have at least one way for you to participate like group chat, a group social media wall, a Twitter hashtag, etc. Use this to your advantage. If someone asks a question you can answer, do so and then strike up a conversation with that person. Ask your own questions and network with people who answer you, as well. If you have a great conversation, ask to connect with that person via LinkedIn.

Direct Message Other Attendees

Many webinars also allow participants to interact with one another through direct messages. There is no beating around the bush with this, you simply find the name of the attendee you are looking for and message them.

Just make sure to incorporate context when you message someone cold during a webinar. Direct messaging has a connotation of being very personal and being too direct or butting into someone’s webinar experience might turn them off to speaking with you.

Engage the Speaker(s)

Webinar presenters will almost always encourage questions during webinars, so make sure to ask thoughtful questions as they arise. This will allow you to be recognized publicly and draw positive attention to yourself from the presenter and from the audience.

Most speakers also provide you with at least their LinkedIn profile, but sometimes their work email address or other social media profiles, as well. After the webinar, follow up with each speaker, preferably via LinkedIn. If your question wasn’t addressed, ask them directly in your message. If your question was addressed during the webinar, ask a followup question. Don’t forget to include a connection request with your question to grow your network.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

As a sales pro, you know the importance of being bold and direct in your networking approach. Using a webinar as a networking platform is no different and may require you to step outside of your personal comfort zone if you want to build your professional network. Try different things and see which tactics work best for you.

It’s Time to Grow Your Career

If you are a sales professional interested in inside sales roles in the exciting field of industrial safety equipment and PPE, you don’t have to wait for your network to pan out. You may browse our current sales openings or contact the expert recruiters at The Charis Group today to talk about growing your career.

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