See and Be Seen

By: Bruce Wawrzyniak

Shaking hands silhouetteI just got back from California.  While I was out there I saw someone do a presentation where he strongly (strongly) encouraged the session’s attendees to, when at all possible, get out and meet people in person.  It doesn’t matter what his presentation topic was because this message applies across a number of situations.  And I couldn’t agree with him more.

In fact, one of the groups I belong to is known for using the following as an ice breaker – “What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in business.”  Since I hear it enough, I get tired of using the same story over and over, so I usually rotate a few in and out.  However, one that I go to often is that a boss I used to have always would tell us what essentially boiled down to ‘out of sight, out of mind.’  In fact, he would actually fly to, say, Europe, to sit in a three-hour meeting, and then fly back to the States.  It was all because if he wasn’t there, no one would think of our organization, our brand.

There had been an article posted on the homepage of this website about the major entertainment markets being hit in the current run of traveling that I’m doing.  (And yes, as seen here, Las Vegas has been added, as foreshadowed in that article.)

But it’s not the music meccas themselves (although going there certainly doesn’t hurt) as much as it is getting out and being seen.

Emailing, texting, and phone calls all have their place.  However, making a human connection, getting to look someone in the eye, see their operation, feel how the two of you vibe together (or don’t), and just flat out having time together that no phone or Skype call can provide (no matter its duration) has such a value.  Whether you’re meeting someone in person for the first time or solidifying a standing contact, getting out of your home, your office, and your comfort zone say a lot.

Meeting someone in their city shows them that you think enough of them to make the time and effort to go see them.  Similarly, it sends a clear message to them that you’re serious enough about what you do that you want to follow through on your pursuits to the extent of even traveling to further them.  Quite frankly, the gesture could be the difference maker that leads a decision maker to say, “Wow, I’m impressed.  Let’s do this!”

You can sit back and wait for people to come to you but the only visit you’ll get will be from The Invisible Man.

Let me be clear that what I’m talking about here is not attending local networking groups.  Invest in your career by spending some money on travel and go get business done in person.

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