LinkedIn has long been the go-to spot for making and bolstering business connections. However, there was once a time when "face-time" was something more personal than a video chat program (spelled "Facetime", no hyphen). It meant actually meeting your contact in person and talking to one another in real life. Crazy, huh?
But the value of a face-to-face meeting with a client or customer cannot be overstated.
According to a Forbes Magazine interview with Michael Massari, Senior VP Caesars Entertainment,
"No matter what industry you work in, we are all in the people business. Regardless of how tech-savvy you may be, face-to-face meetings are still the most effective way to capture the attention of participants, engage them in the conversation, and drive productive collaboration. If we don’t continue to nurture strong and positive personal relationships with our clients and coworkers, we won’t build trust, understanding, or a sense of a shared mission – all of which are critical elements to successful partnerships and business success."
Face-to-face meetings have three significant advantages to phone and video chats:
- Body language is a big part of human communication. Not only facial expressions, but subtle body moves can say a lot about how the other person is receiving your message.
- Engagement is more concrete when someone is actually in front of you. On a phone or video chat, it's easy to get distracted by someone or something actually in the room with you, be it a secretary with "just a quick message" or your pet wanting some attention.
- Face-to-face meetings tend to be shorter than impersonal phone or video calls. People tend to remember conversations that get to the point without going through lengthy presentations.
LinkedIn's new feature, "Discover Members Nearby", helps you get that valuable real face-time with people. If you're at a conference, for example, that's a prime opportunity for meeting and making connections with your first-level contacts. With this feature turned on, you and your contacts can find each other in the crowd and make a more personal connection so vital to business.
Some folks may have concerns about being so readily available. Personal safety and security concerns have been addressed. In short, you can always turn it off. (In fact, it's turned off by default.)
Yes, we do live in a very connected age. However, it seems with each new way to connect, we get further and further apart. LI knows how important the human connection is, and "Discover Member Nearby" helps you make that connection and take your business relationships to the next level. It helps put a human face to the increasingly digitized world we should never underestimate the power of "the Face".
Image courtesy of nikhom khotjan / Shutterstock.com
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