Networking Face to Face – Bring it on!!

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Shout out to all those face to face networkers

 

Your business doesn’t have to rely on the internet to succeed and soon we will finally be able to meet face to face.

So how did we build our business before online meetings?

I am part of various networking groups run by different organisations and it’s certainly helped the business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But meeting on ZOOM, teams or similar can also be frustrating at times and have these meeting finally run their course?

I’m not saying get rid of online meetings, social media, websites or other digital marketing because this is extremely powerful to help grow your business.

It’s easier than ever to jump on a quick video call instead of burning a hole in the ozone layer driving miles to that next meeting.

But now restrictions have been lifted we should consider the power of human interaction and communication, shaking someone’s hand and looking them square in the eyes.

  • Do you network with people in your industry in person?
  • Do you attend meetups & business after-hours events?
  • How have you been selling to new customers?
  • Is it across a screen or face to face?

If you haven’t fully discovered the benefits of face-to-face networking, this post is for you!

I hope this article convinces you to get out from in front of your computer & start doing business in person!

Steve Jobs, inventor of the iPhone, knew a long time ago that face-to-face meetings would never go out of style. “There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat. That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions.”

As it turns out, Jobs was onto something. According to a study by Great Business Schools, 84% of people still say they prefer in-person meetings, confirming what Steve Jobs already knew: that people have to be in a room together to really get the ideas flowing. (Source: www.medium.com)

 

So here are the some of the Benefits of Face-to-Face Networking and Meetings

 

  1. Receive Honest Feedback and be direct

Stop hiding behind that computer screen and keyboard and receive feedback to your face!

One of the key advantages of meeting people in person is that we receive honest feedback.  Or at least we would like to think so.

We’ve all been left waiting hours, even days for someone to reply to an email, haven’t we?

When you ask questions in person, you receive an immediate response.

We can also have discussions with the people we meet at meetings.

This speeds up communication & lets you reach mutual understandings more quickly.

Similar can be said for being able to ask someone a direct question regarding a referral you may have passed the week before.

“Excuse me, but that referral you passed me last week wasn’t the right fit for my business” or

“You still haven’t contacted my client who’s details I passed you, why not?” or

“I am still waiting on that quote from you”

Have you seen how people hide on screen?  Play with their mobile phones?

It’s always the person that’s quick to criticise others.

There really is no hiding place when you meet face to face so let’s see who up for the challenge to be honest and straight up.  That way some proper business can be done.

 

  1. Showcase your personality

Get out those PJ’s and showcase that true potential of yours!

Let’s admit it. Do you really get an opportunity to showcase your full potential and personality online?

It’s easy to show off your personality when you meet people in person.

That’s one thing technology can never replace, that personal touch.

In person, you’ll build your credibility while gaining valuable insight into the personalities on the other side.

What someone wears, how they present themselves, their smell are all attributes that set us apart before we have even referred them to a friend for a service they do.

For those people that have joined networking groups during the pandemic what will people think of you when they meet you face to face?

What impressions do you think people have of you by meeting online for so long?  Don’t be scared!

Get out those pajamas and get that shirt and tie on and showcase that amazing personality and show people what your made of.

 

  1. Building Human Relationships

Trust isn’t built over a video call or a text message is it?

A colleague or client who never sees your face is not likely to feel the same connection to you as someone whose hand you shake on a regular basis or eve the latest fist pump.

  • They hear you.
  • They read your words

It’s the personal touch.  Face-to-face interaction and socialization lead to a sense of community and camaraderie, which leads to a stronger working relationship in the long term.

Most business executives prefer to communicate face to face, according to Forbes magazine

That’s because it’s easier to build meaningful relationships that way.

You need that human connection!

You can feed of each other’s energy & passions.

Online meetings do not allow us to get close to one another, often we talk over one another or due to poor connection issues speech is delayed and messages get interpreted the wrong way.

 

  1. Reading Body Language and Communicate

Smile, clap and Cheer!

Have you heard the expression: “you just had to be there”?

We all have!

There really is no substitute for actually “being there”!

And that goes for communication, too.

Body language is key & there is lots you to learn from somebody’s mannerisms and communication skills.

Meeting in person is the best way to avoid misunderstandings.

Ever written an update on your status on Facebook only to have someone misinterpret your message & overreact? Or been caught up in a Wassap conversation for someone to get the wrong end of the stick.

It’s an everyday event on social media.

Meeting in person can completely stop breakdown in communication.

When you click “Publish” online, it’s with the hope that others will share your point of view & understand your message.

There’s little room for explanation until someone objects.

Having that same conversation in person lets you tailor your message for who you’re speaking to at the time.

I have seen lots of business being passed online during the pandemic and it really works.  But what I struggle with is the smiling, clapping and cheering we do to acknowledge when someone has done something well.

Take my BNI group I meet with on zoom every week.

We are supposed to clap when someone passes 3 or more referrals that week.  Hardly anyone claps anymore.  Have we got lazy? Or is sending thumbs up message on the chat the new normal?

I can’t wait to get back face to face so I can see and hear people clap and cheer.

 

  1. Quicker and more effective

Get to the point!

Whether we’re talking with our own team or communicating with a client or investor, email can cause more problems than it solves. Problem-solving is done better face-to-face.

The same can be said for online networking meetings.  If someone has a dispute with someone because they haven’t contacted a recent referral passed or are still waiting for that quote they promised a week ago, then you can deal with the problem at hand at the meeting face to face.  There really is no hiding place.

It might take ten emails to hash out a minor detail that could be handled in two minutes in person.

You might go back and forth all day trying to find a solution to a problem that you could solve in a half-hour meeting.

Instantaneous replies can build off each other. A question won’t sit in an inbox for three hours.

We all live in a fast-paced life.  So, let’s move quick and be efficient with our time when we see one another

However we must all admit that the pandemic has taught us all a lot when it come to meetings and networking online.

It does have many pros

  • You can meet easily
  • It’s free and sometime more convenient
  • You can meet someone that is far away or in a different country without wasting time travelling

There are many environmental benefits of course…

If you’re a parent like I am, I encourage my children to get off their phones, stop playing computer games and don’t be fooled that friendship is how many likes or comments you get on that latest TikToK or Facebook post

  • Make some real friends
  • Get some real connections
  • Cuddle
  • Hug
  • Smile
  • Work Hard

You’ll reach that destination that little bit sooner.

 

I hope you have enjoyed the read.

Stay Safe and Enjoy your next meeting either behind the screen or face to face

 

Jamie Reynolds – CEO A Matter Group

Proud Social and Business Networker

 

 

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