In business networking, the online world has perhaps become too much of a crutch when it's so easy to meet people through social media channels. As a franchise business, you've perhaps realized this yourself when trying to find like-minded peers in your industry. This isn't to say you've forgotten the value of using the offline world to link up with people.
Yes, the word "real" is a term we should never forget because the online universe can start to take us away from reality's value.
Here's some reasons why face-to-face networking is still essential and why it's vital to the franchising industry.
Putting a Face to a Name
Networking in the real world lets you easier place a face to a name rather than going by an online picture. Because many people place images of themselves online that mislead (or don't use a picture at all), it becomes difficult gauging who it is you're talking to.
Recognition goes a long way in being able to connect with people on a more personal basis. This allows you to follow-up with the person later through stronger identity and not just trying to remember a name.
When you network offline, you frequently run into leads you didn't expect and not available in your online channels. These new people can round out your networking and lead to valuable contacts. That's especially the case when you approach them first, which always leads to a good first impression.
Even if they aren't an initial worthwhile contact, they'll perhaps link you up with other franchisees.
Reading Body Language
If you're a master at reading body language, you certainly can't do that talking to people online. Live video chatting can sometimes help, but doesn't give you all sense of a real conversation.
An in-person meeting helps you study body language so you get a feel for what the other person is really thinking after an initial handshake.
Avoiding Misunderstood Language
How many times have you linked up with franchisees online and said something they misunderstood? On social media, especially, the way we word things might cause confusion if written on the fly or not carefully structured.
Face-to-face networking allows your real voice to say what you mean. Now you can truly convey ideas to fellow franchisers and not end up with ambiguous responses.
FC hosts a variety of different networking events that are specifically targeted at bring together operation personnel from various franchise brands.
Our sessions are designed to empower attendees to build on their skills and knowledge, and the add value to the business they are a part of.
For more information about how you can join our CEO, BLG or Operations Breakfast networking groups contact Dan Sheehan.