Top 50 Business Networking Statistics for Salespeople

Check out our compilation of key networking statistics, including networking’s benefits, associated failures, and future outlook.

Networking is a great way to generate new business, get hired for a new job, or find high-value employees. However, professionals often feel apprehensive about networking or ignore it entirely. To help prove the efficacy of networking and build your strategy, we’ve created a list of the top 50 best business networking statistics to point you in the right direction.

Here are the categories for the stats we’ll go over in this article:

  • Benefits of Face-to-Face Networking: The statistics behind the benefits of networking and how sales professionals feel about it. Read more below.
  • Relevance of Remote Networking: The statistics regarding the growing relevance of online and phone-based networking. Read more below.
  • Hiring Benefits of Business Networking: The statistics showing that networking is also a useful recruitment tool. Read more below.
  • Networking Failures: The statistics around sales professionals’ hesitance to network and the reasons behind it. Read more below.
  • Benefits of Nonverbal Communication for Networking: The statistics behind nonverbal forms of communication allowed by face-to-face networking. Read more below.
  • Post-Pandemic Outlook on Networking: The statistics behind the networking’s outlook in a post-COVID business landscape, where some are cautious about in-person interaction. Read more below.

Benefits of Face-to-Face Networking

95% of business professionals say face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

79% of business professionals say that in-person meetings are the most important way to meet new clients and sell business. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

Remote meetings generate 10.43 ideas on average, whereas in-person meetings generate 13.36 ideas. (Source: HubSpot)

In-person meetings have a close rate of 40% on average. (Source: Oxford Economics)

The conversion rate reported by business travelers without in-person meetings is only 16%. (Source: Oxford Economics)

More than 70% of business travelers report that the optimal number of meetings to close a sale is between one and three meetings. (Source: Oxford Economics)

An average company would sacrifice 17% of their profits if they eliminated business travel. (Source: Oxford Economics)

Companies, on average, earn $12.50 per dollar invested in travel for face-to-face meetings. (Source: Oxford Economics)

68% of entry-level professionals value face-to-face networking more than online networking. (Source: HubSpot)

On average, 28% of business will be lost if your contact with prospects is strictly online. (Source: Oxford Economics)

49% of business professionals believe that in-person meetings allow for more complex and strategic thinking. (Source: Team Referral Network)

75% of professionals like in-person conferences because they lead to more social interaction and bonding with both clients and coworkers. (Source: Team Referral Network)

41% of business professionals believe that networking at business events is the most effective way of finding new clients. (Source: Oxford Economics)

Before the pandemic, in 2018, only 16% of business professionals reported that they frequently attended video conferences or webinars. 25% of respondents said they never attended either. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

Networking in person is a timeless go-to for sales professionals, and it boasts some impressive benefits over other forms of networking.

Relevance of Remote Networking

40% of people say they network more online than in-person. (Source: Fit Small Business)

84% say that they prefer remote video meetings over other forms of contact. (Source: HubSpot)

54% of business professionals say they are traveling less for business purposes. (Source: GreatBusinessSchools.org)

83% of people work remotely at least part of the time. (Source: GreatBusinessSchools.org)

65% of businesses primarily use email to communicate with their clients. (Source: Project.co)

70% of millennials say going into the office isn’t necessary anymore. (Source: GreatBusinessSchools.org)

Even before the pandemic, in 2018, 60% of business professionals reported that they made very frequent teleconference calls. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

In 2021, 63% of people plan to focus more on digital communications than they did before. (Source: Deloitte)

In 2018, 57% of business travelers reported that their companies imposed limitations on business travel. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

The average business travel budget was cut by 17% in 2018. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

The top 3 social media platforms used by B2B organizations are LinkedIn at 96% and Facebook and Twitter at 82%. (Source: Business 2 Community)

There is a groundswell of support for keeping online networking as a primary form of networking, and the prevalence of email and social media within the business landscape makes this a viable option.

Hiring Benefits of Businesses Networking

85% of all jobs are filled via networking. (Source: LinkedIn)

70% of jobs found on LinkedIn are found through personal connections. (Source: LinkedIn)

80% of professionals believe that career success can benefit through professional networking. (Source: LinkedIn)

35% of Linkedin users got job offers from casual communication on the site. (Source: LinkedIn)

Referrals make up 40% of new hires. (Source: Undercover Recruiter)

67% of employers and recruiters say the recruiting process via referrals is shorter. (Source: Undercover Recruiter)

51% of employers and recruiters say recruiting through referrals is also less expensive. (Source: Undercover Recruiter)

47% of referral hires stay over three years, and referral hires stay longer and are more satisfied in their positions on average. (Source: Undercover Recruiter)

Networking is an effective way to attract quality candidates that enjoy their job and stay with the same employer for a long time.

Networking Failures

One in four professionals don’t network at all. (Source: HubSpot)

41% of networkers want to network more, but say they don’t have time. (Source: HubSpot)

38% of business professionals have trouble staying in contact with their network, despite knowing it’s important. (Source: LinkedIn)

Only 41% of professionals are willing to travel for in-person meetings. (Source: Review 42)

Despite networking’s popularity, many sales professionals are aware that they could be doing it more often, and more effectively, than they are.

Benefits of Nonverbal Communication for Networking

77% of business professionals prefer in-person conferences due to the ability to read body language and facial expressions. (Source: Team Referral Network)

During most conversations, we normally make eye contact around 30 to 60% of the time. (Source: Quantified)

In order to create an emotional connection, people should be making eye contact 60 to 70% of the time. (Source: Quantified)

55% of communication is related to body language. (Source: UCLA Psychology)

72% of professionals say they are influenced not only by looks, but by the handshake, too. (Source: TechJury)

Not all communication lies in what you say, and in-person networking allows you to utilize the many nonverbal cues that other business professionals look for in a conversation.

Post-Pandemic Outlook for Networkers

84% of business professionals surveyed think that group meetings should be happening immediately, as of March 2021. (Source: Northstar Meetings Group)

Over 75% of meeting planners plan to hold their first in-person meeting sometime in 2021. (Source: Northstar Meetings Group)

Almost 60% of planners will ideally hold their first meeting by Q2 of 2021. (Source: Northstar Meetings Group)

Only 19% of planners plan to wait until 2022 to conduct their next in-person meeting. (Source: Northstar Meetings Group)

Nearly 75% of scientists surveyed want virtual meetings to become the norm after the pandemic, mainly due to the fact that they can be attended from all corners of the world. (Source: Nature)

In the same survey, 70% of the scientists said that virtual meetings allowed them to attend more meetings during the pandemic period than ever before. (Source: Nature)

49% of those researchers cited easier accessibility, 21% cited the lack of carbon emissions, and 19% cited the cost effectiveness. (Source: Nature)

The primary disadvantage of virtual conferences, according to 69% of the scientists surveyed, is the poor networking opportunities. (Source: Nature)

Networking is clearly going to look different depending on the industry after the pandemic, but it seems as if the lasting changes will be due to reasons unrelated to the COVID-19 virus.

Bottom Line: Networking Statistics

With all of these helpful networking statistics, you should have a good idea of the importance of networking for finding work, recruiting new hires, and generating leads. Even though the pandemic has taken a massive toll on networking over the past year, business professionals still appear to be confident that networking is the way of the past, present, and future.

If you're looking for more key statistics, check out our roundup of top sales statistics to help you sell better.

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