Business networking: get personal

Business networking seems to have totally switched to the online world, where you can follow and be followed by thousands of people.  And let’s face it, if you have a business question you can ask it online and get responses from business people all over the world.  That’s a far cry from just a few years ago when, if you wanted to do a little business networking you had to dress for business, drive to a restaurant or hotel, and pay an admission fee.

People like people

It’s true that online networking is convenient but, like the venerable book vs. the Apple I-Pad, person-to-person networking probably won’t be replaced by the digital universe. No matter how many people the internet can reach.  And the reason is simple: people like people.  They like to connect on a personal level, to share common interests, and enjoy the camaraderie that live group dynamics provide.

Face-to-face brings value

I’ve always had a great passion for business networking and I’m always amazed how just being around capable people can solve so many problems and increase my knowledge and self confidence.  I have my online contacts, but the people I have face-to-face relationships with are more significant to me and, to date, they’ve brought more value to my business.

There’s something about it . . .

I’m not sure what it is, but there’s something about shaking hands, looking into someone’s face as they speak and hearing their voice that builds confidence and trust in a way that – in spite of its amazing capabilities – digital just can’t replace.  I’ll always be a one-on-one networker.  I just think it builds stronger relationships.  And strong relationships – with the right people – leads to business deals and business satisfaction.

It has to be done right

Of course, personal networking, like its online counterpart, has to be done in the right way.  It’s just as easy to put someone off in person as it is online.  In fact, it’s probably easier.  Interestingly, my networking instruction sessions are among the most popular presentations I do, so I guess that means there a lot of other people out there who recognize the value of person-to-person networking as well.  I enjoy doing my networking workshops because they give me the opportunity to show people that something as simple as a handshake can make a loud statement about who you are.

People want to know more

I touch on online networking during my presentations and workshops, but only in passing.  There’s all kinds of information about online networking online (pun intended).  I figure that the people who attend my workshops want to know about the good old fashioned art of working a room, warming up to strangers and developing relationships to build business.

I hope you’ll join me

And, of course, I just happen to be presenting a networking workshop next week at the Markham Public Library.  If you’d like to attend, please pre-register with Wendy Tang at the Milliken Mills Branch of the library. You can a reach her by phone at 905-513-7977, Ext. 5336 or e-mail her at  I hope you’ll plan to join me.

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About Thomas Moss

Thomas Moss is a speaker, writer and coach who provides business communications services, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area, including Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Vaughan, Brampton and Mississauga. Service is also available outside of the GTA.