I read once that the most collectively oblivious people in the world are neighbors. I’m afraid I’m one of them. In these days of iPhones, Twitter, blogs and other internet phenoms, our face-to-face social networking has stalled. Well, it’s almost dead.
After 8 years of living in my home, I just discovered that one of my neighbors invents things and has patented a really cool kid’s toy. Another has beaten non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. And I found someone in my neighborhood who shares the same story with her teenager that I do. You mean I’m not the only one … ? I wonder if I got to know more of them if there would be a potential employee, client, resource or valued friend?
This all to point out that while we make great connections via the computer, there is an untapped source of human contact so very close yet we ignore it. It’s easy to be too busy, too distant and too involved in ourselves.
The same holds true with our most treasured asset in the business… our clients. Remember them, those folks who value our talent, trust our guidance and then pays for it? And, for the most part, the reason we continue doing business with them is that we really do like and respect them. Think back to the first work you created with them. A relationship started and then continued to grow … because we fed and watered it (and not with a mouse.)
We all understand that e-mail and phone conversations cannot replace those face-to-face contacts that strengthen relationships, but it becomes too easy to rely on the former. Remember that there is a competitor trying to get in to see your client—in person and often. That should be the catalyst, that should start the change.
Get out. Continue to build and strengthen your in-person network. You never know who you might find down the street.