The last two-three decades have brought society a lot of advanced technology, and the communication industry has made a lot of progress in the lives of billions of people around the globe. The invention of the cellular technology and the smartphone in particular have changed the way people are connecting with each other dramatically. With search engines like Google, Bing and Wiki, you can now find just about anything you need or want within seconds.
Social media is also playing a big role in the communication industry, and people are connecting that way for both social and business purposes.
These advancements have their pros and cons.
The pros are pretty obvious. Not only that it saves time and money but it makes life much more convenient. People nowadays can communicate with each other in the comfort of their homes, wearing pajamas, without much or any preparation, without the need to get in the car hitting a bad traffic. People are wiring funds from one side to the other side of the globe within seconds with the tips of their fingers. Business people are able to make conference video calls to make critical decisions without having the need to hop on a plane wasting thousand of dollars on hotels and rental cars and saving precious time.
However, there are plenty of cons as well!
With all this advancement and said convenience, people tend to spend less time meeting in person. And why is this so critical? Since as human beings we are still the most social creatures in the world, and as such we MUST use our social skills in order to survive and thrive.
Meeting a person online vs. in person is very different! For instance, creating trust and bond with another person is rather very challenging and almost impossible if you don’t see that person face to face.
The way a person wears clothing, smells, shakes your hand and reacts are key aspects in developing subliminal signs of confidence and trust. People use different body language, have a different intonation, different manners, morals, values and ethics that are very hard to be noticed and determined unless you meet them in person and spend some time with them on a personal level.
Whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, a CEO or simply looking to sell your services or products you should understand the essence of interacting with other people and the importance of meeting people face to face.
Not only will you be able to learn about those people and understand how they’re managing their businesses but you’d also be able to express yourself better and improve your communication skills and ability to express yourself. Occasionally you’d be able to form even close enough relationships with those individuals to the extent that they will tell you some of their success secrets, things that they won’t reveal to you unless you gain their trust.
In certain cultures, like the Chinese, they won’t do any business with you before they take you out for a drink and spend the night together.
Even in America, some folks are adamant about having a cup of coffee or even a business lunch before they would start willing and dealing.
In some industries where great amount of money is involved, people won’t put trust in you before they met with you in person.
It is very well known that some people are spending thousands of dollars a year playing golf just to have the chance to play with some wealthy people, gain their trust and eventually start doing business with them.
As for myself, I’ve been in the real estate business for the last 30 years, and since from the beginning I invested time energy and money getting involved in the community. I’ve been a member of BNI (Business network International) Franchise for the last 18 years and recently joined The San Carlos Chamber Of Commerce in California. On top of that I’ve been taking part in different Meetup activities like hiking, meditation, Yoga and such were I’ve met thousands of people and had the chance to expose myself and my business.
Here is a list of the advantages you’re bound to gain while networking:
You learn how to improve your communication skills.
You can improve your elevator speech (it’s a way to share your expertise and credentials quickly and effectively with people who don't know you).
You are able to establish trust with other people faster and more effectively.
You learn about other people’s businesses and get to refer them clients.
You expose yourself and your business so you can get quality leads and referrals from the people you network with.
You are able to improve your services and products and your marketing and sales skills by listening and watching others.
To sum it up, you have to interact with other people and meet them in person in order to improve your social and business skills.
By not doing so, you’re actually reducing your chances to scale up and create wealth.