“A handshake is an email you send with your body.”
– Anthony Finucane
Today, we do business across continents without even so much as a handshake, but rather a screen-to-screen discussion where we are forced to gain as much business knowledge as possible, as well as character of the person on the other end, without any in-person interaction.
Sure, there are other signals that we can look for, but give me the choice between a phone call and a face-to-face meeting, and I will ALWAYS choose the latter.
There is something about the human connection that strengthens the character of leadership within us all.
You can never replace the personal greeting; the initial small talk which leads to future trust. The dialogue that, over time, earns you the right to negotiate, but more importantly, provides you the opportunity to sense verbal and non-verbal cues. To look a person in the eye, have disagreements, share in solutions and celebrate the success of an agreement.
And how do you solidify your agreement?
Through a handshake.
Meeting people face-to-face is critical to be successful.
Social media, emails, texts or even a WebEx should never be a replacement for the human connection. If there are costs associated with making one, that is price of doing business. If you want to distinguish yourself from your competitor, form a true, personal relationship with that client.
The easiest and most successful way to earn the trust of another person is to sit across a table from them and be yourself. Don’t fake it, be authentic. Don’t pretend to know everything, be humble. And most of all, listen more than you talk.