Networking Now: 3 Ways to Build and Maintain Relationships During COVID As Told By Mom, Attorney, and Coach, Stephanie Hanna

January 22 14:57 2021

After graduating from law school and moving to Columbus, Ohio, during the Great Recession of 2008, Stephanie Hanna didn’t know anyone, the job market wasn’t looking great, and she wasn’t having any luck submitting cold resumes for job openings. 

She quickly learned that relationships were going to take her to the next level. Every one of her job prospects, referral sources, clients, and even the opportunity to run for public office came from her network; and soon, other people started to notice her success.

Stephanie’s friends started asking what her secret was.  “It’s all about who you know. Check-in with your contacts, tell them what you’re up to, and start providing value and being of service to people,” she found herself repeating over and over.

After nearly twelve years of Stephanie answering these questions, she decided to turn her skills of developing and maintaining relationships into a business, creating The Other 85. 

The name, The Other 85, comes from the idea that only 15% of a person’s job success comes from technical skills, and the rest of their success comes from the ability to connect with others, nurture relationships, build trust, and be a joy to work with (AKA the other 85%). “While we learn the 15% of technical skills to be successful in school, the other 85% of skills revolve around relationships, networking, and communication, and these are what truly make or break someone’s career,” explains Stephanie.

Stephanie saw there was an opportunity to deliver information on these soft skill topics in a way that was concise, practical, and unintimidating, so she went full steam ahead and opened The Other 85 in 2018. She still maintains her law license and serves lower-income clients in a pro-bono capacity.

“For the past 3 years, I’ve been working with lawyers and other professionals on how to build their brand and grow their business, while helping remove the stigma around relationship building and networking.”

The work she does to help her clients includes Individual Coaching, Small Group Coaching, Workshops, and Keynotes. “My approach is practical, bite-sized, and fun. I practice what I preach and bring ideas and open-mindedness to my work. I like my group sessions and workshops to be interactive where people are getting up and moving and talking to each other. Since COVID, I’ve been fortunate and able to go completely virtual,” says Stephanie.   

Especially in the age of COVID, Stephanie says that relationship building is now more critical than ever. To help navigate these trying times and help develop a person’s relationship building skills for their life in general, Stephanie wants everyone to know three tips that’ll help build and maintain relationships.

Tip 1) Make a Plan and Execute It

If the COVID shutdown has shown people anything, it’s that to stay top of mind with colleagues, bosses, and potential clients they need to make sure they have a plan or strategy to reach out, and a plan to execute on it.

“At the end of the day, we all just want to work with people we know, like, and trust, especially now that we don’t have the opportunity to make connections with people at the water cooler. We have to build relationships with strategy. Whether in person or virtual, it must be intentional, prioritized, and scheduled,” says Stephanie.

Tip 2) Take the First Step 

“Now more than ever, the burden is on you to take the first step in reaching out to people. Knowing that people are busy, schedules are constantly changing, and people don’t have the same opportunities to socialize like they used to, it’s so important to take the first step and reach out. People aren’t too busy; they want to hear from you. If you aren’t proactive about taking the first step, you’ll get forgotten. No one can accidentally run into you on a Zoom call the way they could before in an office setting or even out in public. The importance is even higher now, and people want to find a way to build that connection with you.”

Tip 3) Find Unique Ways To Add Value

“We can think of relationships as currency in terms of deposits and withdrawals. The more deposits we can make, the stronger the relationship is going to be. And if there’s ever a time you have to make a withdrawal, you don’t feel bad about it because you’ve been nurturing it and maintaining it. Nothing is worse than someone swooping in out of nowhere because they want something from you. We never want to be that person.

It can be as simple as sharing a podcast episode, a helpful article, or even a book recommendation. Anything you find that could be helpful to someone else. Sharing it is the value. It’s not up to you if they read it or not. Your job is simply to make the deposit and offer value. Even if the recipient doesn’t directly acknowledge it, it still goes into their subconscious and adds to your connectedness, trust, and likability factors. That’s why handwritten notes are so great because you remember them, and they make you feel good.”

Stephanie hopes everyone can take these three tips and start implementing them right away into their relationships. No stranger to a busy schedule, this mom and step-mom to 4, encourages people to start small and pick one thing they can do to add value to their connections. “My goal is to help people make this fun and something they can do in the long-haul to ensure their success.”

For a free guide to the 5 biggest network mistakes being made and ways to combat them, and more information about Stephanie and The Other 85, click here.

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Company Name: The Other 85, LLC
Contact Person: Stephanie Hanna
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Country: United States