Friday, October 11, 2013

Dinosaur Ways

Whenever I give talks about networking, I usually get a question about social media, about whether in-person networking is a thing of the past.  I am the first to encourage the use of social media -- and my wonderful Board of Action is clanging me upside the head to use it more!


In my opinion, it is an addition not a replacement.  Both go hand-in-hand!

Case in point.

Currently I am expanding my training business to Cleveland, an area that I'm not familiar with and one where I have only a few contacts.  Using my own training, I have asked my network here in Toledo if they would be willing to share their contacts for that area.  Everyone has been more than helpful.  I have talked with quite a few people via the phone and some I have scheduled actual in-person appointments with on days that I am spending in Cleveland.

While the phone conversations are a great start, sometimes they are a little stilted.  I never know if it is a good time to talk, even if I have scheduled the call as a phone appointment.  I can't see the body language and am not able to see if they are showing interest or just waiting for the call to be done.  This even happened with one of the few people that I already know there.

My feeling is that contacting someone via LinkedIn or Facebook, out of the blue, is more awkward than a phone call.

And I think I have figured it out!  

No matter whether it is the phone or less direct methods, the connection between each person in the conversation is tenuous at best.  On the relationship scale, it almost doesn't exist.  So the party being called is careful and even defensive.  In-person meetings can jump start the relationship process because of the ability to see the other person and how he is acting.Those silent signals help to broadcast whether this is a "good" conversation or one that needs to end now!

The point of this whole thought process is that while I will be using social media in the future, it probably will not be for connecting directly
with folks.  I will be making the 90 minute drive to Cleveland to meet people in person.  I know that I am probably a dinosaur, but I hope one that is not headed to extinction!

Do I need to think in a different way?  Convince me!

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