Technology-driven networking is all the buzz at the moment. Everyone is talking about how many friends, followers and connections they have, which "apps" they use, the best phone for sharing "tweets" and video and so on. It can be exhausting to keep up.
The introduction of new technology into the networking world can help speed up the process and make it easier to build new relationships, but is there a cost to the convenience and efficiency?
Is technology making us lazy networkers?
Today I read a post by Sandy Norton called "Is Your Networking Effective or Is Technology Making You Lazy." She raised some really interesting points about people hiding behind technology and using it as an excuse to "not follow up." In her words:
". . . the most important thing in networking is Follow-up! Follow-up! Follow-up!
Have you ever sent an email to someone that you network with or are trying to build a relationship with and never received a response?
What about sending a Tweet and no response?
Phone call and no response?
Request an RSVP and nothing?
LinkedIn request and no response?
This is not a new situation but one that I find has gotten much worse with social media. Isn’t the whole idea of using social media for networking is to build business relationships?
If you think about it, you certainly wouldn't stand and stare at someone who asks you a question or shares a comment with you in a face-to-face conversation, would you? The same should be true with our online and electronic "conversations." Being respectful and professional never goes out of style and common courtesy is ALWAYS a good idea.
We seldom think about the damage we do to ourselves through our actions — or, our "inaction." Norton states it like this:
". . . As it has always been, your decision to ignore people and not follow-up properly will affect your reputation and bring questions about your integrity. With social media that affect can be faster and much more far reaching and damaging than in the past. Many companies have learned this the hard way. "
Let's use the power of technology to foster healthy, happy relationships with our clients, vendors, referral partners, business colleagues and all the myriad of people that we meet on a daily basis.
Don't be lazy — follow up today.