May 21, 2013
At a recent luncheon with members of the Executives’ Association of New York City (EANYC), a new Kellen Company client, we were asked whether social networking will replace live, in-person networking. It’s important to note that EANYC is the NY Metropolitan area’s largest and most experienced independent business networking organization and therefore its members have great interest in this topic.
Social networking does have tremendous benefits for business networking. It can serve as the spark to ignite a potential business relationship with someone you’d like to know or vice-versa and it can feed the embers once a relationship has been established by offering a fast and easy way to stay in touch and access contacts. The personal, one-on-one connection, however, remains a cornerstone of strong, reliable business relationships.
It’s impossible to place a value on a good reputation but we all know how quickly a reputation can be tarnished. When professionals refer business contacts or leads to one another, their own reputations are at stake. Professionals want to be confident that the resources they recommend will “do them proud.” So while social media networking may serve as an ignition point, personal interaction is what creates the fire that builds mutual respect and confidence.
Perhaps the next time you get a request to “Connect” through LinkedIn don’t just say yes. Invite the individual to stop by your office, meet for coffee or schedule a phone call together. You’ll learn much more about each other through the personal touch than you will by touching “Accept” on your mobile device.