With today’s highly advanced technological world, you literally don’t have to leave your home for the vast majority of life’s activities. Need to do some shopping? Okay, just log onto the Net and shop away! How about the dating pool? The Internet even has that covered, offering hundreds of dating sites.
What about business? Well, you can set up and run a successful business, start to finish, without ever leaving your favourite chair. Even still, with all the artificial gravitas and convenience that the Web offers, it’s still impossible to replace the face-to-face meeting – especially in the business world.
Various social networks and video-conferencing options are great to have around, but they’re no real replacement for the tried-and-true method of meeting someone in person, showing sincere emotion and shaking their hand before you leave. Even in the 21st century, it’s extremely hard to replace that.
There are a few reasons why this method is not only still effective, but cannot rightly be replaced. And there’s nothing special about it; it’s all common sense and common courtesy.
How well do you handle personal connections? This is one of the top reasons why meeting someone face-to-face is still effective in the technology age. Speaking through an interference-laden microphone and looking at someone through a delayed, pixilated image is not nearly as effective as seeing genuine emotions in someone’s face, good or bad, or even hearing someone’s voice in person.
In business, trust is extremely important for lasting relationships. There are few things that work to build trust more effectively than showing the real “you” to someone, and there’s no better way to do that than to meet them.
Meeting someone face-to-face also allows for instant and honest feedback. Sure, you’re most likely not going to be placated or even lied to through a Web conference, phone call or email session, but as people, we’ve learned to pick up on body language and facial expressions.
If there’s something about your presentation that a guy on a web conference doesn’t like, you may miss the slight grimace via the Web; you might fail to notice the anxiousness—the reservations—someone is having. Meeting face-to-face allows these things to come to light, and from there, the business relationship can be instantly tweaked and worked on.
Are you an international businessperson? Let’s say you started up a business in the UK and have a new potential client in Japan. That’s a long flight, a new culture, and a large investment – it’s a lot to think about when traveling. However, there are many advantages to this risk.
It would be easy and convenient to set up a Web conference, but nothing shows your seriousness about your business quite like showing up on location. Being cultured in business is very important.
Technology is a fantastic enabler in business, and it definitely has its place in today’s world – but nothing can ever replace the old-fashioned face-to-face meeting. It’s how treaties are signed; it’s how lasting relationships are formed. It’s how you take your business into the 21st century and make it successful.