Companies are more likely to boost their bottom line by networking in person, according to a new report which suggests that, at least when it comes to establishing and developing contacts, people appreciate meeting in person.
Research carried out by business card supplier MOO shows that dealing with contacts in person is helping the UK’s successful entrepreneurs and business owners generate almost £10 billion in revenue each year.
Although workers utilise a variety of online and offline methods to deal with clients, customers and suppliers, they tend do it better when they are face to face, the study suggests.
One reason is that they are better able to judge a person by how they look or dress or the firmness of a handshake, it suggests.
The organisation questioned businesses around the UK about how they networked to help their companies expand and found that 42 per cent believed it would generate £5,000 a year or more in revenue if they were to conduct things in person.
Richard Moross, founder and chief executive of MOO, said physical contact works better because it can often reveal more about the person they are dealing with than anything revealed on social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
“Social media and other technology is incredibly helpful for keeping in touch, building relationships and just reminding people you are around and what you are up to. But if you want to win business and develop new contacts then nothing quite beats a face-to-face meeting it seems,” he added.
“Judging by the number of business owners who do business over a drink, at a social function or even on the daily commute, the informal atmosphere seems to encourage better networking.”
The survey also showed that 53 per cent of office workers say experience of face-to-face networking helps them when they come to look for a new job, while 49 per cent say networking has brought “a lot of new business” for their company.