No matter what our technical communication capability and comfort, we must be confident in the original medium—in person.

Susan RoAne is The Mingling Maven®, and my go-to person for tips on networking and building strong connections. Susan understands that when we network effectively (as she teaches in her seven books), we build strong connections, increase sales, and easily identify referral opportunities.

Showing up counts. Read Susan’s story and learn how to show up and make it count!

“In the main ballroom, they listened in rapt attention as the senior vice president described her mandate: “Stop relying on technology to communicate with clients and increase your number of face-to-face meetings.”

More than 1,000 consultants of a Big Four consulting firm gathered in Florida from all over the world for a global conference, networking, and golf. The attendees were cell phone-wearing, laptop-carrying, smartphone-holding adults of varying ages who were hearing that they now needed to adopt an in-person component to their business communication. Many of the attendees were uncomfortable with the prospect of meeting the face-to-face mandate.

Leaders Communicate

In a recent 2010 study of 863 C-suite executives sponsored by the Economist Intelligence Unit, more than two thirds indicated that in-person meetings are imperative, and in the long run, save money. In-person meetings and appointments build business, referrals, and sales!

Another Perspective

No matter how many text messages or emails we send and receive, online global conferences and webinars we attend, Skype calls we make, or blogs we read and write, we also need to be comfortable and confident in in-person situations whether it’s one-on-one or in a group or crowd.

That’s why I wrote Face To Face. Whether it’s an interview, a client presentation, a business lunch, a division meeting, or a friend’s wedding, we need to know how to interact, how to behave, and how to connect with others in a diverse shared social space.

As more people circumvent face–to- face opportunities, those who capitalize on them will stand out from the crowd in both their professional and social lives.

Facing Face To Face

What can we do to get better? It’s much like the answer to the classic question: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice, practice, practice

A game plan to “work” any room in-person:

  • RSVP and say, “yes” to meetings, conferences, gatherings, fund-raisers, and business mixers.
  • Do due diligence and prepare. Check out websites, Google, or Bing names of sponsors, members, speakers, and attendees.
  • Prepare a seven- to nine-second self-introduction that is an engaging pleasantry.
  • Read the news: online or in print. Read both local and national coverage so that you can be knowledgeable and conversant. (This includes sports, entertainment, book reviews, and restaurant/food features).
  • Prepare three to five topics of conversation in case you get stuck for subjects of interest.
  • Leave your Bluetooth, gizmos, and gadgets out of sight.
  • Approach those alone or groups of three or more who sound and look like they are having a good time.
  • Let people know what you need/results you seek.
  • LISTEN to what others say they need and OFFER to help.
  • Go to have a good time, and you will.

“Rinse and repeat” every chance you get and you will become at ease in the face-to-face space!

Comment & Join the Conversation

Book your sales calendar with face-to-face meetings and events—in-person pays off.

What are your greatest face-to-face challenges? How to you clear the in-person hurdles, and what’s your win rate when you do? Comment here: I personally respond to all comments.


Susan RoAne
Susan RoAne aka The Mingling Maven®
©2012 Susan RoAne International Keynote Speaker and Author of the classic bestseller How To Work a Room and Face To Face: How To Reclaim The Personal Touch in a Digital World et al.
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