The short answer? Both!

After two-plus years of being limited to almost entirely virtual meetings, we’ve learned that there are huge benefits to doing things online. But many people were also chomping at the bit to get back to seeing each other in the flesh. So that begs the question – which is better? It turns out that we need both and for different reasons. So while you may be tempted to toss your ring light forever in favor of jumping back onto planes…not so fast. Let’s look at the pros of both types of meetings and see why you need to keep them all in your diary.
Continue Reading The Battle of the Meetings: Virtual vs. In-Person – Which is Better?

When networking, it’s easy to focus on the event itself and forget that one of the most important parts of the process is the follow-up. Networking, and relationship building, aren’t a one and done – they’re a process. And that process takes careful tending.

But the good news is that with a few simple steps, you can make that follow-up part of your post-event routine so that following up becomes as natural as brushing your teeth…well, almost.
Continue Reading Networking: Don’t Forget to Follow Up!

There have been many jokes and memes about how we have all forgotten the most basic of social skills after being locked down for two years.

But in all seriousness, it sometimes feels like when you don’t flex a certain “muscle,” you forget how to use it. In some ways, the last two years have really dragged on, but in others, they’ve flown by. So it can come as a surprise when you’re getting excited to return to that first in-person event only to realize that you may feel a little rusty.
Continue Reading Help! I’ve Forgotten How to Network!

What better way to celebrate International Networking Week with a throwback to a post I wrote about international networking (updated for these modern times)?

With virtual platforms bringing us even closer together these days, the ability for us to connect with counterparts from across borders is easier than ever. But that means we can’t forget that everyone doesn’t do business in the same way that we do. That’s incredibly fun because it means we get to learn about other people and cultures, but there can also be a few pitfalls. Entrepreneur shared this great article back in 2014 on the keys to success for navigating networking internationally and I added a fifth suggestion based on my own experience – these five tips hold true today.
Continue Reading 5 Ways to Be Intentional About Your International Networking

Everyone is dealing with “zoom fatigue” these days, so it’s that much more irritating when you do make the time to hop on a virtual business development or networking session only to have it turn into a flop. I’m sure you’d rather have been billing or spending the time with your family or doing literally anything else, right?

Let’s instead look at some of the things that may go wrong and what you can do about them – I’m not talking about the famous “you’re on mute!” (I think we all know how to handle that by now) or other technical issues that crop up, but rather the true networking negatives.
Continue Reading Dealing with Networking Negatives in the Virtual Age

The obvious answer to the title question is of course, yes.

Last night, I had the opportunity to join William McLaughlin, the Business Development Manager for Southeast Asia at ZICO Law on a webinar for NEXL, a business development platform. We had a robust discussion around this topic which I’ll share when the recording is available (updating to share the recording here, but in the meantime, let’s delve into some of the questions that I’d considered in advance and where lawyers and law firms are today when it comes to business development.
Continue Reading Can Using Business Development Effectively Give you a Competitive Edge?

“I just can’t do one more online meeting. “

“You can’t get business that way.” 

“My clients need me more.” 

Have you ever said, or thought, any of these things about a virtual event or while involved in a conference organization during the pandemic? It’s not the first time I’ve heard them, which is why they merit a mention here.

When you say these things out loud or to yourself, it’s likely that your first reaction is that you’re fed up, the organization is faulty, or you’ll just hang on until things get back to “normal.” But consider for just a moment that maybe the networking barrier in these scenarios is actually you.
Continue Reading How Zoom Fatigue May Be Blocking Your Relationship Development Efforts (And How to Fix It)

If you’ve been following along here at Zen for any length of time (or even just the last few weeks), then you’ll know that I love September and the promise of a fresh start that it brings (also because the fall is my favorite season).

A LOT of us have been feeling bogged down lately – by the pandemic, endless Zoom calls, heat and humidity, worldwide unrest, the list goes on. There is a lot that we CAN’T control. But there are some things we can control – for one, our attitudes and our ability to reach out and help someone else.
Continue Reading Fresh New Ideas for September That We Love (And You Will Too!)

In just over a week, it will be September 1st. As I mentioned last week, I like to think of September as a brand new start, much like the school year used to be. It’s a chance to begin again and look at your goals and plans with a fresh set of eyes.

While business development is an ongoing effort and doesn’t wrap up simply because the calendar year comes to a close, I’ve found that when I have ongoing projects, giving myself firm deadlines to complete them motivates me far more than having some abstract end date.
Continue Reading 4 Weeks to Plan Your 4th Quarter Business Development Victory

There’s no quick fix for relationship development. But there ARE some quick things you can do today to advance either the first step in your relationship with someone or the next step. When you think of networking and relationship building as a series of smaller actions that you can take to help weave the fabric of stronger relationships, it stops feeling so overwhelming and starts feeling like something you can build into your everyday schedule. So whether you’ve got five minutes or an hour, you can strengthen your network today:
Continue Reading 5 Quick Tips to Build Better Business Relationships