As much as technology has made it easier for us to broaden and diversify our network, it can never replace face-to-face networking.In-Person Interaction
The majority of in-person communication is conveyed through nonverbal actions. Our posture, our eye contact, facial expressions and the tone of our speech all help us to read each other’s mood & reactions. Unfortunately, a lot of those key elements are missing in digital communication. Many of us are not physically accessible during the business day, making digital connections the default method. Communicating over the phone, or through a video call, is more personal than trying to network with others through Facebook or email. Remember we are still humans, not just a collection of electrons and neurons. Face-to-Face Networking is how world commerce first began.
Know, Like & Trust
We mention it all the time at The Beacon Center: You do business with people you know, like and trust. On the flip side, you receive referral leads from people who know, like and trust you. The one way to speed up the know-like-and-trust process is to establish and build relationships with people by face-to-face networking. Social media can make it difficult to gauge the personality and character of someone without ever meeting them in person. A person can quite literally re-create themselves as a different individual in the digital world. Forbes has even published a short how-to guide.
It’s much easier to remember someone when you meet him/her face-to-face. What is more affirming than a handshake, pressing the flesh as it used to be called? Online photos and mini-bios are helpful when trying to learn about someone. However, in-person encounters are more meaningful and allow us the ability to make lasting impressions. There are many ways to make a personal connection in the business world. A great way to meet your customers or gain referrals is through mixers. Many are held at night, but you could always schedule your own mixer during the hours that are best for you. Perhaps even coordinate with others in your field to share the work and the costs.
Why not begin by scheduling your own mixer at The Beacon Center? Where you’ll see and feel the difference of establishing connections with people in person, and where you’ll learn how to improve your face-to-face networking skills.