While social media has eased the process of passing referrals and procuring new clients, nothing will take the place of good old-fashioned Face to Face (F2F) networking.
And that’s coming from someone who has three clients that I’ve never met in person and one that I’ve never talked to over the phone.
A majority of my clients are in the Springfield area, about an hour from my home and I would much rather take the time to drive and meet them in person, shake their hand, see their expression than talk over our cell phones.
Same goes for networking and meeting new clients – I would much rather meet in person over a cup of coffee than just be given someone’s Twitter handle. There is a lot to be said for being there in person, without the distractions of the workplace, computer, co-workers and to-do lists.
A distracted person isn’t going to give their full attention to giving you the right referral, isn’t going to flip through their mental Rolodex looking for the right fit for you. They won’t listen to your sales pitch, they’ll be distracted by emails, post-it notes & the big clock on their desk.
Yes, it takes more time and organization to coordinate a F2F meeting, more money in gas and a cup of coffee or lunch and more structure in your schedule to attend a once a week formal networking group, such as BNI. But if you go by the saying of time = money, isn’t it work putting in more time to make more money?