How AI Will Influence Networking for CEOs


Building a business while also nurturing a professional network demands attention to detail and efficient time management. Time is among the most valuable resources we have as CEOs, so it’s important to cultivate a network that not only gives us something that we can contribute to but also serves us as well. It’s all about truly connecting with our contacts, getting to know them better on both a professional and a personal level.

A well established network can help CEOs capitalize on new opportunities, build new deals, find the right talent, and can even help in nurturing relationships with colleagues by sharing our network with them. However, it may sometimes feel that keeping tabs on all of these moving pieces is too much, and we end up letting precious relationships go cold. This is where leveraging technology in your networking efforts becomes crucial.

It’s all about creating the time to pay attention to what’s important. And with the right artificial intelligence (AI) tools, you can automate menial networking tasks and focus on nurturing your formal and informal networks.

However, AI, at least as we know it today, presents some challenges. For one, there are concerns among professionals that using AI to connect with people displays a lack of authenticity, which is not something that can be forced. But I would submit that we are most authentic when we feel most like ourselves, and not when we are pressed by time.

Navigating these challenges requires us to understand how AI can serve us. And it’s important to start now, as learning how to use AI is best done early. The industry’s market size is expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2030, and by then, those who have learned how to leverage it will be ahead of the curve.

Let’s explore ways that AI can not only optimize how you manage your networking time but also help your teams work more cohesively and efficiently.

Creating new connections
Opening up conversations with new contacts can feel awkward. You might feel that you are being too friendly, or not friendly enough. In this case, one of the best yet most obvious AI tools to use is OpenAI’s ChatGPT. You can have a conversation with it and describe your intentions for an email to a new contact. Within seconds, it can generate text based on your input that you can tailor to fit the conversations and email exchanges between yourself and new contacts.

On a more familiar level, there are AI assistants that are specifically designed to act like your personal networking PA. AI assistants like Covve’s AI can receive instructions through email, in natural language, to add a new contact, with a note on where you met and what you need to discuss next and a reminder to reach out. The system will then structure and process that instruction.

For more elaborate networking tasks, AI tools such as ChatSpot can spread networking efforts across teams. This tool combines ChatGPT and HubSpot’s CRM system, enabling better cross-team communication and helping to keep people on the same page for an entire organization.

Keeping track of which prospects you’ve reached out to and logging progress can get messy. With tools such as ChaptSpot, CEOs and their teams can gain clearer insights into their organization’s network, automating menial tasks, creating more time for everyone to be more creative.

More cohesive workplaces
AI is becoming increasingly popular among business leaders, but not necessarily for company-wide networking. According to Deloitte, while 91 percent of business leaders said they have an enterprise-wide AI strategy, they are typically using AI to generate insights, optimize processes, and lower costs. This represents a missed opportunity.

Deloitt also noted that AI-enabled applications can be very useful in connecting professionals with other people with similar interests and help them grow their professional networks, both within and outside of their organization.

This is a process that we at Covve have found extremely valuable. For example, I have team members who move between countries or simply reside in a different one to where our offices are located. Having an AI application that can match one team members’ interests with those of another is great to have as it encourages greater team cohesion.

While having the option to work from anywhere is something we have gotten used to since the pandemic in 2020, interacting with the team virtually simply is not the same as it is in-person, by the water cooler, in the hallway, or at a desk. AI can bring offsite team members together, which is crucial in maintaining a healthy and inspiring culture.

How can AI help? AI can help companies foster collaboration and personal networking by using intelligent matching to connect employees based on skills and interests. AI-powered collaboration platforms can help with communication and knowledge sharing. AI can also perform social networking analysis to identify influential individuals and hidden experts.

What’s more, AL can facilitate personalized learning and development and suggest relevant training opportunities, while sentiment analysis and feedback can improve team dynamics. And virtual networking events and AI-supported decision-making can further enhance collaboration.

Final thoughts
Using AI to facilitate networking is about creating more time for yourself and your employees to get creative, engage deeper with your contacts, and create a more cohesive environment for your teams. Start exploring how the various AI tools at our disposal today can help you make this happen, and discover the right fit for your team. You won’t only be doing yourself a favor as a CEO, but can also foster a more engaging workplace.

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