Top 61 Business Networking Statistics for Salespeople

Check out our compilation of key business 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 business networking statistics to point you in the right direction.

Here are the categories for the business networking statistics we’ll go over:

  • 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 stats behind networking’s outlook post-COVID, and how it's changed our business interactions. Read more below.
Business Networking Statistics

Benefits of Face-to-Face Networking

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

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

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

38% of entrepreneurs say that bars and restaurants are a great atmosphere for networking. (Source: Business Builder Magazine)

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

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

44% say face-to-face networking it is a better environment for tough, timely decision-making, 40% say there is less opportunity for unnecessary distractions, 39% say it leads to higher-quality decision making, 38% say it's easier to focus, and 23% say there are fewer disruptions and delays. (Source: Forbes)

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)

75% of customers either require or prefer in-person meetings, meaning that you can lose clients simply by not meeting them in person. (Source: Oxford Economics)

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)

85% of people prefer face-to-face networking because it builds more meaningful business relationships, 77% say you can better ability to read body language and facial expressions, 75% say it gives the ability to bond with co-workers/clients and more social interaction. (Source: Forbes)

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

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)

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

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

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

25% of participants said that LinkedIn helped them establish a new business partnership. (Source: LinkedIn)

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

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

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

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

61% of professionals agree that regular online networking can actually lead to job opportunities. (Source: Marketing Expertus)

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

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)

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

According to participants, 92% say that the top benefits of online networking are it saves time, 88% say it saves money, 76% say there is more flexibility in location and timing, 64% say it allows the people to multitask, 55% say it increases productivity, and 16% say there is less peer pressure. (Source: Forbes)

LinkedIn has over 750 million members that can be used to network and find a job. (Source: Writers Block Live)

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 using 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

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)

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)

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

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

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

79% of people say that networking is vital to progress their career. (Source: Zippia)

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

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

The average employee will have 150 contacts on social media networks meaning 100 employees equates to around 15,000 contacts and possible employment opportunities. (Source: Undercover Recruiter)

Salespeople are the most hired position from employee referrals. (Source: Undercover Recruiter)

Networking is possibly the most effective way to find quality jobs that result in both personal and professional fulfillment that advance your career.

Networking Failures

Only 23.6% of 16-24 year olds network with their family or friends to find a job. (Source: Fortune)

Only 25% of people actually network. (Source: Marketing Expertus)

Executives reveal that they’d lose 28% of their business if they stopped networking. (Source: Oxford Economics)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only 42% of people who lost their jobs during the pandemic have reached out to existing connections. From that, only 39% say they’ve asked people in their networks, such as friends and former colleagues, for introductions to other people. (Source: LinkedIn)

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

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

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

Over 75% of meeting planners plan to hold their first in-person meeting sometime in 2021. (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)

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

Even though the pandemic is subsiding, there will be lasting changes regarding business networking that include virtual and hybrid business settings.

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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