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Never Underestimate the Power of Face-to-Face

The year is 2015 and we are we are moving at the speed of light, not just technology but WE are all moving at a pace never before seen in civilization.

This post is not to encourage you to “slow down”, or “stop and smell and roses”. Although that is great advice for many, that is not where this post is going.

We are constantly trying to improve efficiencies in our day.  This often involves scheduling a call instead of a meeting, or an email instead of a call.  The majority of the time this is not only necessary, but a better use of time.  It cannot, however, replace a live connection between two professionals.

There is no business that I feel this is more applicable to than recruitment and staffing.  The job of a recruiter is to find top talent and sell the skills of the identified contractor, either internally or externally to the client.  If I were to ask you to talk about someone you had met recently, and someone with whom you had a series of email exchanges, who do you feel you could describe more effectively?

The benefits of a face-to-face meeting are shared by everyone.  As briefly touched upon, if you’re a contractor, meeting with a recruiter allows them to better sell your skills and “intangibles.” It also allows you the opportunity to get to know the client, the market, and better understand what is out there for you.  Often times this valuable information is lost when exchanging emails specific to ONE opportunity.

It is important to note that because we are so busy, it is crucially important that both parties have a real benefit of the “get together”.  A good way to ensure this happens is to not only ask yourself what your objective is in the meeting, but also ask the question of the person across the table.  Then, do everything you can to have those objectives met.

Most importantly meeting someone is the foundation for a better working relationship.  A degree of partnership and trust is established.  This can go a very long way in business.  It is difficult to establish these levels of trust and partnership exclusively using phone calls and emails to communicate.

At the height of the cold war, Margaret Thatcher famously said of Mikhail Gorbechev after meeting with him in Stockholm, “I like Mr. Gorbechev, we can do business together.”  Suffice it to say, that a breakthrough of this magnitude and the forming of positive relationship builders such as “liking” the other party would not have happened with a call or written communication.  As recruiters and independent consultants, we are not responsible for world peace.  We are, however, responsible for building and nurturing business relationships that contribute to mutual success.

We are all busy; all of us as a group have NEVER been busier.  Try not to use that fact as an excuse to not build great relationships and partnerships — they are the foundation of business.