Written by Tony Wight
The Transformation of how business has changed over the last 50 years has truly been impressive.
We have seen:
· The rise of the Internet / World Wide Web
· Advancement in Technology
· Communications and IT
· The Financial Revolution
There can be no doubt that the Computer has undergone the most profound technological development since the Steam Engine ignited the Industrial Revolution two Centuries ago; or the agricultural revolution ignited Civilization itself 10 Millenia ago. None of the biggest changes in Business in the last 50 Years would have been possible had it not been for the computer.
Whilst technological advancement is something to be celebrated, I cannot help but wonder if there are any negativities attached. As we all embrace technology I wonder if one day our face to face communications skills will be lost.
As a result of technology, we are as a people becoming more and more impatient. Especially in business! Speed is everything in today’s tech driven business World. To speed up even more, some so called progressive Business’ are scrapping in-person meetings-in favour of the latest high-tech solutions for communication. Sure, it will save time, but is there an element of quality that will be lost by cutting out the human element?
Prioritisation of speed, over face time, grossly underestimates the power of human interactions.
Almost every face to face meeting I attend now, the Client will say something along the lines of: “thank you for coming. No Agencies have ever visited us”. I find this astounding! Why would you not visit a potential customer or an existing Account? Has the human element that used to define business relationships really become of so little consequence?
So, whilst of course we should embrace tech and all the social media platforms for meetings, in my opinion nothing is more effective than a face to face meeting, or regular service visits with your clients. This is since face-to-face meetings:
· Builds Trust
· Shows your personality
· Opportunity to analyse and use body language
· Vibrant Interactions: i.e. Mimic behaviour and actions – helps build rapport.
My conclusion is that whilst we should of course embrace technology, we must not underestimate the power of face to face meetings. Technology has been revolutionary in the business world, with things like communication via email, mobile phones/ social media/ WebEx etc. Face to face meeting are still essential when it comes to building long standing and fruitful working relationships.