8 Tips on Developing Network While Traveling
Mixing business with pleasure should not be frowned upon. Family vacations or personal getaways can still be an avenue to subtly grow your business network. Of course, it would not be the primary reason for the trip. However, if the opportunity presents itself, it is natural to grab it.
If you own the business, the line between personal and business hours can really be thin. Networking comes naturally as you are always on the search for how to better your enterprise. On the other hand, if you are an employee, you clearly define your limits and that this is your personal time. Nonetheless, you can still try to expand your network to find possible business opportunities should you plan to start one of your own. Moreover, you might just come across a good niche that will open doors to establishing your own company.
People network is one of the essential business elements. Read on for some advice on how to grow your connections outside formal settings.
1. Explore Beyond Tourist Destinations
The road less traveled can either surprise you or bore you. Either way, it gives you a view not many visitors have seen. This paves the way for fresh ideas or different perspectives on things.
Besides, people outside tourist areas are often more authentic as they are not trained in hospitality protocols. Real connections are highly likely to develop there.
2. Centralize Your Contact Directory
It would be easy to collect contact information if you have an app that allows you to have a centralized contact database. Traveling paves way for you to meet a lot of people. Consequently, those people usually have different preferences when it comes to messaging.
It is faster to just save the number on your phone rather than opening the particular messaging app. A central contact database that can be accessed by numerous messaging channels can be handy in this case. Some contact management apps even allows your centralized directory to appear in autocomplete on the recipient field in WhatsApp, Zoom, Gmail, and even in most CRMs.
3. Dress Nicely
In reality, the book is judged by its cover. Traveling clothes must really be comfortable but house clothes won’t cut it, at any point of your travel. Leave the pajamas in the hotel room. Once you step out to enjoy the sumptuous buffet breakfast at the dining hall, don your soft well-made shirt and neutral color shorts. You’ll never know who you’ll meet while enjoying that Tanzanian peaberry coffee.
4. Create Labels on Your Phonebook
Organize your contact list like how you (ideally) organize your desktop files: in folders or labels according to their characteristics. This will give you an easier recall as to whom the contact number belongs to. It is helpful this way especially if you have met a lot of people.
For example, the Sofia you met on your 4-hour train ride from Madrid to Pamplona and the Rodrigo who sells an export quality chorizo from Donostia can be placed under the label “Spain”. On the other hand, the cool surfer dude Alex you met in Biarritz and the kind vineyard caretaker Jean from Bordeaux can be under the label “France”.
5. Read Local Posters
Enjoy the local scenario not just behind your camera. Observe small details around. Try to read printed notices on walls, billboards, and even light posts. Most may be in the local language you can’t understand. But if the picture or the layout interests you, an online translator has your back.
You might discover a friendly party or social networking event in the area. It can also be a new bar opening which would offer good discounts. A little deviation from your itinerary can add some thrill to your travels.
6. Learn to Greet in Their Language
As mentioned above, online translation is a good tool. Locals like it when you put the effort into speaking their language. Memorizing the basic phrases like ‘good morning’, ‘thank you’, and ‘how much’ in their dialect can establish a good rapport.
It helps you to connect at a more personal level. This may eventually lead to good deals, nice discounts, or fun story exchanges. Sometimes, your funny accent in saying their “hello” may be enough to put a smile on their face.
7. Hand out That Business Card
This may be the digital age but that rectangular card still has its touch. It can be a physical reminder of your person. Besides, some people still have brick phones or uses only their desktop. Some don’t have their phones all the time as it may be an inconvenience to their jobs or routines. So, instead of always trying to find pen and paper to leave your number or get theirs, you can whisk out that nice business card to them.
There are also mobile phone apps that scan a business card and save the details directly to your contact. This kind of app saves you time in manually entering details into your smartphone.
8. Don’t Intend to Network
Of course, it’s a vacation. It is a break from your hectic weekdays. You don’t need to make new connections. Celebrate your “me” time as much as you want.
Anyhow, if the moment presents itself, it’s better to seize it than regret not having to. Meeting an interesting person may not happen daily. Also, not everybody appears in search engines. So, it is good to expand your personal or business circle right then and there.