Is Face-to-Face Business Relevant in a Digital World?
As technology and innovation evolve faster than the speed of light, will business relationships continue to matter? Gary Vaynerchuck wrote that we are going so fast, that after 4 comes 8, not 5. OMG – you KNOW he’s right! By the time we learn something new, there is something else even newer to replace it. Walk out of any Apple store and you can bet that tomorrow, they will release a new, improved version of whatever you just bought! It can be hard to keep up.
Brian Tracy, (who will be starring in my new film, “The Secrets of the Keys”), once said that most people who CLAIM to have 10 years experience at their job actually have just one year of experience, ten times over. It takes most people just about a year to become so proficient at their job that they could do it in their sleep. From that point on, they never really learn anything new … or go beyond the scope of what they know. That is one of the reasons I loved being in sales – no two days were ever the same. It never got stale. Interacting with my clients kept me on my toes and kept my work exciting.
Fast Forward to Business Relationships, Circa 2015
We are being pulled in so many different directions today. It often seems that no one has time to socialize because we have more to do, more to learn, and more distractions than ever before. Purchases are made on mobile devices, we connect with each other digitally, and we share our lives on Facebook. So where does that leave the face-to-face BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP? Can we live without connecting with one another … in PERSON?
At a business lunch recently, Michael Su, whom I had hired as Cinematographer on my new film, The Secrets of the Keys, and I were talking about business relationships. He knew my background as “The Queen of the Business Lunch™” and said that being a business relationship expert was a great topic. As “Devil’s Advocate” I asked, ‘Yes, but does anyone DO business lunches anymore?” To which he replied, “WE are at a business lunch right now.”
Big “DUH” – right? I want to get to know the people I am going to work with or with whom I am already doing business with – to share my ideas for a project, get their perspective, etc. There is no better way to do that than by meeting face-to-face and socializing – sharing a meal, a round of golf, even coffee or a cocktail. After all, I wrote the book on that! (The Art of the Business Lunch: Building Relationships Between 12 and 2, Career Press, currently in 12 languages.) It’s the best way to build your business and increase sales! I’m also well aware of the fact that time is our most precious commodity, so is it still as important as ever to make time to meet with everyone we can?
The CASE for FACE-to-FACE Business Meetings
I have discovered that in spite of the speed of business today, and our complex mix of new digital “relationships,” connecting face-to-face is still as valuable as ever, if not more so. Being able to break through the digital wall that surrounds each of us is a talent – or “soft skill” that we need to develop.
While we may not be able to get out for a client lunch (or POWER LUNCH!) like we could just a few years ago, people still manage to get out when it matters. We attend sporting events, we play golf, we go to happy hour or to our friends’ houses for dinner. And, when it comes to business, people STILL prefer to do business with people they like. If I can pick up the phone and call you and get an answer right away, you can bet it’s because we are friends. Sometimes, this is because we are business associates who have become friends and sometimes it’s the other way around – we were friends who found ourselves working together.
There is nothing better than face-to-face contact for building and growing your business. Click on the red box on my home page to receive a FREE copy of my report on The 7 Steps to Networking Success. The information might surprise you! And, if you’d like me to share my tips for building one-on-one, face-to-face business relationships, and help your team develop their soft skills, contact me now for a presentation that will help you to build your bottom line.