Communication in a Face-less Age

Guest blog post by Tyler Hague, LEED AP, Colliers International

We have all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” In today’s world of constant communication and networking through social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, many people forget how important face-to-face communication truly is. Couple social media with email and text messaging and you will find it no surprise that many sales professionals may never meet their clients personally let alone get to know them.

I was recently at a sales conference that proved that point to a “T”. Over and over I heard the phrase, “It is really nice to put a face with a name.” This really resonated with me and my own use of social media as a networking device, as working in sales is a highly competitive and personal business that typically comes down to one selling themselves over the commodity to which they are supposed to be pitching.

Social media can and never will replace physically meeting a colleague or business prospect, nor can it serve as a platform to get to know your client. Social media is productive as a mass communication device and yes, it is quite convenient, but it lacks all of the emotion, mannerisms and personality of face-to-face communication. Social media is in effect a sterilization of personal communication where it does not always convey the message a user meant to communicate.

While I agree that social media is an accepted means to follow up to a face-to-face introduction, in our business it has never been more evident that personal relationships are still king. Pick up the phone, take a client to lunch or drop by their office. You never know what that face-to-face meeting or interaction can lead to.