Stuck in a Networking Rut? 4 Unconventional Ways for Business Leaders to Get Out

We often like to exclaim that healthcare is largely a people’s business. There is nothing wrong with this statement, only that it holds for every other business out there. All enterprises across industry verticals are run for the people and by the people based on a hierarchical structure. 

Whilst customers form those people who determine profitability and employees drive efficiency and productivity, business leaders need more for overall success. We are talking about lucrative connections that help in business expansion. 

Networking is the lifeblood of an organization in the sense that without it, you may feel like you’re living under a rock. Good business opportunities may just pass you by unnoticed. In case you’re stuck in a networking rut, this article will help. Here are four strategies, unconventional ones, to get the desired results. 

Volunteer for Passion Projects 

Corporate volunteering, though taken as a buzzword, has soared tremendously in the past three years. Originally, it is focused on deepening employee bonds and strengthening company culture in a hybrid environment. 

However, that does not mean business leaders can count themselves out. On the contrary, it would be beneficial to volunteer for passion projects one cares about. This will enable like-minded individuals to unite and share their insights and general thoughts. 

Consider interesting examples like taking on an environmental initiative, helping at a local animal shelter, or revitalizing a nearby park. As you come across people who are driven by a common purpose, you may find potential clients or collaborators. 

Usually, the bonds formed in such an environment are much more enduring and authentic when compared to traditional networking. Personal fulfillment can birth unforeseen business opportunities and will certainly foster deeper trust. 

Embark on Business Adventures 

Conventional means of attending an expo or formally going to business meetings are great, but they take away the opportunities you could otherwise avail of informally. In other words, you need to look above and beyond free business conferences that offer limited value. 

The truth is sometimes, great business collaborations happen over a can of beer or around a campfire. Yes, it is time to embark on curious business adventures that don’t have business written all over it. It could be an entrepreneurial camping trip, a boot camp, or something as simple as taking a business class on a flight. 

Did you find these surprising, particularly the last one? Though the process will not be straightforward, you will be surprised to know how many deals are struck inside the flight cabin. In fact, studies have found that even small business owners consider airplanes to be their favorite place to network. 

All it takes is to dress in a sophisticated manner, direct eye contact, proper timing, and a genuine smile that accompanies an introduction. In case you’re concerned about the expenses, let’s clarify that we’re asking you to invest in discounted business-class flights. It is possible to fly high, pay low, and maximize your comfort as well as networking opportunities. 

This does not need an eyebrow raise. According to Business Class Experts, the key strategy is to look for regional and seasonal savings opportunities. You can rely on seasoned travel professionals to help you get the best deals. We are hinting at savings as high as 30 % to 70%. So, travel in luxury next time and introduce yourself on the way to other business leaders you find.  

Attend Workshops Outside Your Industry 

Engaging within your industry is self-explanatory for better networking. This does not mean you cannot charter into untapped territories. Try to attend a couple of workshops or meetups from an unrelated field to gather illuminating experiences. 

This will put you in front of individuals with diverse perspectives and skill sets. In some cases, you may be shocked to find common grounds or complementary business opportunities within other industries. 

At the least, the cross-pollination of thoughts and ideas will get your creative juices flowing and catalyze the process of innovation. There may be collaborative ventures waiting to be discovered outside your comfort zone. 

Speak at a Webinar or Event 

Another fail-proof networking strategy is thought leadership. People only like to hear from those who have already positioned themselves as a reliable authority in their domain. This means you must seek out opportunities to share your hard-earned knowledge, preferably for free. 

Perhaps there is a relevant seminar or webinar taking place within your industry. Sign up for it, not just to attend, but also to speak at the event. This is the easiest way to get your message across the room instead of just a few handfuls of people. 

It also opens the doors for interested individuals to speak with you after the event. You must be willing to connect with as many attendees as possible to build a stronger relationship. In case this is new for you and you’re overwhelmed, consider working on your public speaking skills and confidence. Do not worry as you will get there soon enough.

Ultimately, it’s true that networking can seem like a challenge at times. It is more than just attending an event or even boarding a flight. It requires patience, time, and genuine interactions. Sometimes, the encounter may seem off no matter how hard you try. Other times, you may find that the conversation flows naturally. 

Like any other relationship in life, those in business cannot be separated from their human element. Keep in mind that the more you look, the more you’ll find so take the unconventional route too.