Most people don’t think of business as a social process. Yet, in every way, business depends upon socializing in order to succeed. Why? Well, all of the actors in the average business transaction are social animals. This means that if you take the social aspect out of business you are left with a dry, lifeless and, most importantly, static process. In short, a process with no chance for success, either for the owner of the business or their customers.
People depend upon social contact to make important decisions, whether they realize this fact or not. In some cases, the socialization is obvious. People begin relationships precisely because they are attracted to each other. This attraction stems from things that happened while the people involved were socializing. This is why people date. A date allows two people to gather in a social setting where they can both get a feel for each other. As they date progresses, some subtle and some not so subtle verbal, facial and body posture cues send signals that reinforce or undermine preconceived conceptions. The end result is that both parties either continue the process or end it, based, in part, on these queues.
Can you imagine beginning a personal relationship without socialization? It would be ludicrous, right? So why would anyone want to begin or continue a business relationship without using the same social process? Yes, in some sense, the stakes are not as high is a business relationship. Yet, in another sense, they are. While you can’t get your heart broken due to a bad business relationship, you can, at the very least, lose a significant amount of time and money. So, how can you bring a more social setting into the world of business? The answer is face time.
Face time refers to the process of meeting your customers, clients and contacts for face to face meetings. Just like dating in a personal relationship, face to face meetings allows both parties to eyeball each other. This up close contact gives people the same verbal and non-verbal cues and clues that they receive in a social setting revolving around a personal relationship. These cues and clues are then used to begin to build a bridge of trust between the people involved. This bridge of trust, or relationship, is the foundation upon which any successful business contact is built. After all, the goal of the business relationship is customer satisfaction on one side and a successful sale on the other. Face time allows both parties to get what they want.