4 Virtual Networking Tips for Salespeople

December 20, 2021·10 min read

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Vidyard’s top SDRs Courtney Christie and Gillan Wyatt share their virtual networking tips and their transition from in-person conferences to online events.

A few years ago, virtual networking wasn’t even a concept and now people are searching out virtual networking tips and applying them daily. The world of sales has sure changed drastically in a matter of months and our ways of interacting with customers and peers have too.

In the sales industry, we all typically look forward to attending sales conferences, trade shows, and events. Historically these types of events were often at large halls filled with other sales professionals looking to make their mark, network, and grow their business by making in-person connections.

Fast forward to the global pandemic hitting, and all sales events and conferences switched to virtual formats and now they are often hybrid—with an option to attend either virtually or in-person. Now, sales reps have been left to figure out how to translate the in-person repertoire they know and love to the virtual and hybrid realm.

At first glance, one would think that because of the landscape change to virtual events and conferences, there’s no longer the opportunity to connect and network with potential customers since our physical booths, where that historically happened, are gone. Well, think again!

We sat down with Gillan Wyatt, Sales Development Rep (SDR) at Vidyard and Courtney Christie, former SDR at Vidyard, to discuss the industry changes and learn about their journey from networking at in-person conferences to the switch to virtual events. Both Courtney and Gillian have been trailblazing virtual networking at sales events by using video as much as possible, and boy, have they seen results!

Watch and Learn

Want to learn about virtual networking at events? We made a video version of this blog so you can do precisely that!

Take 4 minutes and join Vidyard’s Social Media Manager Charlie Rogers as he discusses pro tips for making the most of virtual networking at events.

  1. Contents
  2. 1.The Shift to Virtual Events and Conferences
  3. 2.Top Virtual Networking Tips for Salespeople
  4. 2.1Tip 1: Be a Part of the Event
  5. 2.2Tip 2: Commit Yourself 100%
  6. 2.3Tip 3: Use Video As Much as Possible
  7. 2.4Tip 4: Communicate with Your Teammates
  8. 3.Using Video to Follow-Up with a New Lead
  9. 4.Parting Advice from Our Virtual Networking Experts

The Shift to Virtual Events and Conferences

As conferences and networking events move over to the virtual world, attendees have had to quickly adapt and get on board. In the past, sales teams would have a booth set up at events and have the chance to interact with the passing crowd, getting to know the people who came to their booth. Now virtual events and conferences are mainly focused on the keynote and series speakers and breakout or training opportunities. Some virtual event platforms let attendees communicate in chats, but each platform varies.

“The biggest difference that people are struggling with (switching to virtual networking events), especially for booth exhibitors, is that missing factor of being able to pull people from the crowd and interact with them that way, or start organic conversations.”

Courtney Christie Profile ImageCourtney ChristieVidyardFormer SDR

This change in dynamic and form for conferences has had implications for event attendees who are there to prospect. Whether in-person or virtual, prospecting is hard. A whopping 40% of sales reps say that prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process. But fear not, because we’ve found through experience that many virtual event platforms have thought of this and have built in some great avenues for sales reps to communicate with potential prospects.

Top Virtual Networking Tips for Salespeople

Virtual networking opportunities at industry events vary from platform to platform, so don’t be afraid to get creative and take advantage of these opportunities when you can. When sales reps first start in the virtual realm, they often go at networking the same way they would have in the past—the sales team would book off time in their calendars for the events and then wait for people to come to their booth, similar to how it used to happen in person.

Virtual networking platforms still have “booths” where people can come to get in touch with you, but guarding the booth and making sure that you don’t miss any opportunity to chat with someone is no longer the go-to plan.

Learning how to build bridges and connect with people across the platform is how you’ll get the most out of your time at the virtual sales event or conference. With the help of Courtney and Gillian, we’ve rounded up these tips to help you succeed.

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