I love the internet and there’s no getting away from online communication these days. With emails taking over and correspondence sticking strictly to nonverbal communication, are we really losing touch with reality?
I can’t say I don’t email a lot, I probably should pick the phone more than I should but I’m all for convenience and sometimes, emailing someone is easier. However, in certain circumstances being face to face with a client or a prospective customer is worth its weight in gold when it comes to building a relationship.
I have several customers that I’ve never met before as they either live outside of the region or merely prefer emails and telephone calls. I like to put a personality to a face and shake hands with someone, share a conversation and enjoy their company but over email, it’s all but lost.
I network a lot and I make sure I leave time in my diary to go and meet people. Mainly because I feel I can portray my business better face to face as well as to make an impression on what could be, my next customer. If I were to just connect with them on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, I doubt I’d get as far as I do with generating new business.
Meeting in person after bumping into each other online is super important and it really does help in strengthening the potential business relationship. I see a lot of people at networking events just lost and staring vacantly into thin air; they’re probably missing the comfort of their desk, hiding behind an email and being in their virtual world.
Proper conversation has been replaced with 140 characters, acronyms and cat pictures. In real life, face to face with a real human being, conversations have feeling, sincerity and warmth; something that emails rarely deliver. Now I’m not saying switch your internet off and forget about technology, but use the platforms we have to boost our face to face connections and really make the time spent out at events more worthwhile.
I say go out to networking events, business get togethers and other events where you can meet other people and strike up conversations. The art of conversation needs to be brought back and the Lit & Phil in Newcastle is a perfect example of why conversation is so important. It opened in 1793 as a conversation club, with many a great name meeting there to simply talk and debate; such as Joseph Swan, Robert Stephenson and W.G Armstrong.
Next time you email someone, just think for a second ‘Should I call this person or maybe ask to meet them?’ You never know where it might lead!