Face-to-Face Vs. Online Networking - Dr. Ivan Misner®

Face-to-Face Vs. Online Networking

AnnoyedBusinessMan

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While I was in Stockholm giving a presentation on networking recently, a European newspaper reporter with a major publication arranged to do an interview with me. Upon arrival, he really started putting me on the spot about online networking, telling me it is replacing the face-to-face process. He was almost militant in expressing his point of
view and was essentially telling me that traditional networking is going the way of the buggy whip.
 Honestly, I was surprised and a little annoyed at first that this reporter was being so confrontational about networking and I finally asked him:

“Why are you here to do this interview?”

He seemed confused and asked, “What do you mean?”

I said, “I mean, why did you drive all the way out here to this big stadium to meet with me in person just to do this interview? We could have easily done it by phone.”

He looked at me and said, “Interviews are better face-to-face.”

“Exactly! I rest my case,” I replied. “Networking is much the same . . . it beats communicating online, or over the phone, because nothing can ever fully replace an in-person conversation.”

The reporter relented. “Yeah, I get it,” he said, “that makes sense. Some things are much better in person. It’s true.”

Some things are just better in person. Networking is one of them. This doesn’t mean that online networking isn’t valuable–far from it. Online networking is a powerful tool in our arsenal of networking strategies. However, it shouldn’t be the only tool we use because sometimes it’s simply not the best one. For me, the bottom line regarding face-to-face networking vs. online networking is that I don’t think it should be an “either-or” scenario; I think it should be a “both-and” scenario if you want to build a strong personal network.

Until the time comes when we can have a face-to-face meeting with a holographic image like the Jedi Knights of Star Wars, it’s probably still a good idea to network in person whenever possible. 250px-obi-wan_headshot.jpg

By the way, when the world advances to a point where we can do the “Star Wars Networking” thing, I have dibs on being Obi-Wan Kenobi. Come on, it only makes sense.  You have to admit you see the resemblance, right?  I mean, if you slap a dashing smile on his face, we’re practically brothers!  OK, OK . . . maybe I went too far with the “dashing smile” bit, but just remember that I called dibs first. 🙂

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7 thoughts on “Face-to-Face Vs. Online Networking

  1. Great blog Ivan! Face to face, belly to belly networking will never be replaced.
    As far as the Star Wars thing, you played football in your younger days, so you would be Jabba the hut, hut, hut!

    Shawn McCarthy BNI ED Ventura Ventura, Ca.

  2. Hello Ivan My name is Sergio and I am a student at the University of New Mexico. I was reading through your blog and it is very interesting. I would like to use you as a link. I would also, like to know if you can take a look at my blog and comment I have to open up to a community it is part of my grade. Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.

  3. Hello Ivan,

    I am glad you asked that reporter why he came to interview you face-to-face. I think BNI members need to learn to do both social networking as well as traditional face-to-face. I setup a LinkedIn group for our local BNI chapter and recently was contacted by 2 people who wanted to come join our group. So social networking definately gives you an edge in today world. Those guests would not have found our chapter without my LinkedIn Group, but ironically they used social networking to find a face-to-face networking group.

    David Stinner
    BNI Circle of Excellence, Buffalo, New York

  4. Great topic Ivan, and as you are obviously aware, one close to my heart. I will be quoting you extensively next week, “not either/or”, but “both/and”. As with anything, define the goal and then figure out the mechanism(s) to reach the goal.

    Dibs on Yoda!!

  5. You Made Some Good Points There. I Did a Search on the Topic and Found Most People Will Agree with Your Words. As an Adicted Sports Betting Punter, I am Always Searching Online for Articles that Can Help Me. Thank You!P.S: Please Take a Minute to Visit My Website as Well: http://www.squidoo.com/SportsBettingSuccess

  6. This is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you – I’ve searched Google for hours looking for an article to back up my point that: Yes, social networking is great and very progressives; however, I want to see someone face-to-face.

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