Back in 2014, I wrote about cycling being the new golf as a means of business development. It was something I had been thinking about for a number of years and still believe there is merit. With cycling, you may spend a day or two riding with like-minded people during an event and potentially a number of other days on training rides. That is a lot of face time (lycra time?). With a round of golf, you may spend half a day together once a year. Cycling provides plenty of time to get to know someone and their business.
The next question becomes “how do I make this a year round tool?” Cycling is primarily done in the summer time, when it is nice out not when we are in a Canadian deep freeze. For many people, we use the winter months to explore other pursuits – skiing, beach holidays, or curled up with a good book. For some though, that other pursuit is cycling indoors.
For many years I have done my winter training on a bike trainer. I put my bike a trainer and watch a movie. It was boring – seriously boring – and to make matters worse, there was no community or people to talk to.
Recently I started riding on Zwift, which is in essence, a virtual world where you can ride and run with athletes from around the world. At any given time you can be exercising with thousands of other people. The program has many built in training programs; but the real magic is that it has created a community, a community where you can continue to do business development.
On the outside, riding with someone from Japan, Russia or even the US may not seem like the clients you are looking for. However, Zwift allows you to participate in, or create your own group rides. Now your have a tool that allows you to continue group rides year round. When you are on Zwift you can chat with other athletes and even show your support by giving them a Ride On!
What Zwift provides is a community platform. Getting on a bike becomes a tool that enables people to combine things they love to do with things they may find challenging. The tool you choose for business development could be anything; this is one that happens to work for a lot of people.
With Zwift, I am able to ride with colleagues from across Canada, maintain fitness in a fun way, and grow business relationships without leaving my house. We have used the community to push one another which have strengthened business relationship and found a way to stay in touch even through a long winter.