May 302010
 

I walked into a bank for the first time in years yesterday…

You see, I tend to look at banking as a line item on my checklist and all I want to do is check it off in the most efficient way possible. Walking in and waiting in line to complete a financial transaction is not efficient in my eyes. So, I’ve spent years becoming really good at online banking, frequenting ATMs and calling 800 numbers to answer any questions I may have. And I’ve been very happy. But yesterday, I had to set up an account that I was unsure how to structure and because my boyfriend goes to the same bank, I figured I’d tag along and do everything I needed to while I was there. (Side note: my boyfriend is the exact opposite of me when it comes to banking. When we walked into the bank, he was greeted by a symphony of hellos from the employees who obviously knew him well. And when he pulled out checks he wanted to deposit, my mouth dropped out of shock as I asked, “you don’t deposit those at the ATM?” He laughed when I later commented, Wow…you’re so old school!”)

We sat down at a desk across from one of the Account Managers (who my boyfriend was talking to about movies, just as they did every time he came in) and I immediately began asking the questions I needed answered in order to open the account appropriately. Though the gentleman answered kindly and knowledgeably, you could tell I had caught him a little off guard in my forwardness. My boyfriend sensed the discomfort and jumped into the conversation with more movie talk. I sat back and surrendered to the situation: I was in a “belly to belly” situation here…I needed to play the game of relationship building in order to get my needs met.

This situation got me thinking…as we’re deep into the age of the Internet, just how important are those “belly to belly” situations?

The Internet has changed the game for all of us business owners and here’s why:

1) You now have access to a Global market.
2) The playing field has leveled (you have the same resources at your fingertips as giant corporations).
3) The point of entry is a comparatively cheap (you don’t have to have a $1 million marketing budget to get the word out about your company).

This boils down to the fact that you and your business have great potential to hit it big. The trick to the Internet game, however, is learning to use this “global” tool to make your audience feel intimate and local. With the advent of Web 2.0 and Social Media (interactive and user-centered experiences), out of touch, non-interactive and static websites are quickly losing business to their connected, interactive counterparts. All this being said, it is still about being in touch with what your customers want so you can offer it to them when they need it.

One of the biggest complaints about the Internet is that it’s allowing us to become way too disconnected and out of touch with one another. Even though Web 2.0 answers that issue with its interactivity (c’mon…how cool is it that I can know exactly what my college roommate is up to on a daily basis when I get onto Facebook?), it’s vital that as a business owner, you never lose touch with the foundation of those “belly to belly” interactions that may feed your business.

There are two kinds of business people out there: those who love to network and those who loathe it. A few of us fall smack dab in the middle…we know it’s vital to business so we do it, and we enjoy it just enough to continue with it at our own pace. No matter where you are on the networking spectrum, it’s imperative for you to accept the fact that those in-person interactions are the best places to not only build relationships with clients, but also build relationships with business allies who can elevate your own game.

The bottom line is that in order to thrive in business today (let’s be honest, none of us want to “survive”…we want to thrive!), you must utilize the tools around you – from the “old school” ways of belly to belly relationships to the new ways of the interactive online world.

Even though I was frustrated sitting in the bank for an entire hour, I was thrilled when I downloaded the iPhone app that keeps me digitally connected to the accounts I had just set up. I recognized in that moment that this bank had done an amazing job marketing. They knew they had a world of customers just like me, who wanted to be “left alone” to do my banking business (just give me the tools and I’ll do it fast!). And they also knew they needed to service people like my boyfriend, who wanted to know everyone’s name and make every transaction in an actual banking facility. All they did was make sure to have their services and products available in ways that appealed to us both.

So, what do your clients want? How do they want to have access to it? How are you integrating your “belly to belly” interactions with those of your online presence?

Katie Krienitz is the Chief Operations Officer for The Wealth Building Annex (http://TheWealthBuildingAnnex.com), a mastermind and resource community for Entrepreneurs. She’s also a Relationship Author who sells her book online. You can find out more about Katie at http://KatieKrienitz.com or http://MyTrueLoveTV.com.

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  35 Responses to “Business Networking: Old School vs. New School”

  1. I wholeheartedly agree! Why cast a small “net” when we can cast a much larger one by successfully combining the old school with the new school.

    Do old school methods work when done correctly? Yes!

    Do new school methods work? You bet!

    There is no limit to our success when we stay open minded, teachable, and take massive action!

  2. I wholeheartedly agree! Why cast a small “net” when we can cast a much larger one by successfully combining the old school with the new school.

    Do old school methods work when done correctly? Yes!

    Do new school methods work? You bet!

    There is no limit to our success when we stay open minded, teachable, and take massive action!

  3. Good post Joe,
    I agree that we need a little bit of new school and old school in our business:)

    J
    The Cartoon Coach

  4. Good post Joe,
    I agree that we need a little bit of new school and old school in our business:)

    J
    The Cartoon Coach

  5. Katie,

    We agree with you 100%… and that bank understood it as well… you have to know what your clients and customers want and be able to provide it for them, in a way they want to receive it. As well, we cannot and should not ever give up on the “belly to belly” interactions.We feel it is all a part of being human and can never be replaced.

    Joe,

    Thank you so much for posting this article on your blog. It is entertaining and very educational all at the same time.

    Thanks,
    ~ Pat and Lorna
    http://TheCoolestCouple.com

  6. Katie,

    We agree with you 100%… and that bank understood it as well… you have to know what your clients and customers want and be able to provide it for them, in a way they want to receive it. As well, we cannot and should not ever give up on the “belly to belly” interactions.We feel it is all a part of being human and can never be replaced.

    Joe,

    Thank you so much for posting this article on your blog. It is entertaining and very educational all at the same time.

    Thanks,
    ~ Pat and Lorna
    http://TheCoolestCouple.com

  7. Great Post Joe. I agree it is very important to have those face to face interactions with people. You miss so much just being on the computer. I am like your boyfriend I love interacting and getting to know people. There are time when I am busy though and I want to be in and out so I can understand where you are coming from. I look forward to learning more from you.

  8. Great Post Joe. I agree it is very important to have those face to face interactions with people. You miss so much just being on the computer. I am like your boyfriend I love interacting and getting to know people. There are time when I am busy though and I want to be in and out so I can understand where you are coming from. I look forward to learning more from you.

  9. Great article by Katie Krienitz, Joe. Thanks for sharing it – a great reminder that not only is online business about relationships, it is also about being able to meet the needs of all different types of people in our business.

    –Lori

  10. Great article by Katie Krienitz, Joe. Thanks for sharing it – a great reminder that not only is online business about relationships, it is also about being able to meet the needs of all different types of people in our business.

    –Lori

  11. Thanks Lori! Katie is a wealth of knowledge. Meeting the needs of others is the one universal marketing concept out there.

  12. Thanks Lori! Katie is a wealth of knowledge. Meeting the needs of others is the one universal marketing concept out there.

  13. Perfectly said Eddie. We are only limited by our imagination.

  14. Perfectly said Eddie. We are only limited by our imagination.

  15. Dazzling article . Will definitely copy it to my blog.Thanks.

  16. Dazzling article . Will definitely copy it to my blog.Thanks.

  17. If it were not for old school we wouldn’t have new school of ideas. Great article!

  18. If it were not for old school we wouldn’t have new school of ideas. Great article!

  19. Thanks Leslie! We needed someone to show us where to start.

  20. Thanks Leslie! We needed someone to show us where to start.

  21. Even in this cyber age of internet marketing and social media, belly-to-belly relationship building can not only still work, but I believe it’s even more critical than ever. Yes, it’s great to have all the technical conveniences of things like online banking and shopping, when it comes down to really having our needs met, people still (just as you did in your situation) want to do business with people. There’s something about that warm-blooded connection that simply meets a human need.

  22. Even in this cyber age of internet marketing and social media, belly-to-belly relationship building can not only still work, but I believe it’s even more critical than ever. Yes, it’s great to have all the technical conveniences of things like online banking and shopping, when it comes down to really having our needs met, people still (just as you did in your situation) want to do business with people. There’s something about that warm-blooded connection that simply meets a human need.

  23. I also interact with people from both ends of the Old School vs. New School tactics for building business. I find a delicate balance of both is needed in order to reach the largest market base. Totally agree with your assessment here that it really gets down to understanding the individual you are interacting with at the time…what is there preference, find it and meet their need and you will be able to build lasting business relationships!
    Krista

  24. I also interact with people from both ends of the Old School vs. New School tactics for building business. I find a delicate balance of both is needed in order to reach the largest market base. Totally agree with your assessment here that it really gets down to understanding the individual you are interacting with at the time…what is there preference, find it and meet their need and you will be able to build lasting business relationships!
    Krista

  25. Hey Joe,
    I’m I guess what is known as old school. I love the fact that the internet have levelled the playing field but if I have problem on the net, everyone wants you to email them and I just want to pick up the phone and talk through my challenge with a real person. That’s probably why I use safe bets like Aweber and blue host because they have people I can talk to lol.
    So I guess I want the best of both worlds.

    Great post and keep smiling

    Chris 🙂

  26. Hey Joe,
    I’m I guess what is known as old school. I love the fact that the internet have levelled the playing field but if I have problem on the net, everyone wants you to email them and I just want to pick up the phone and talk through my challenge with a real person. That’s probably why I use safe bets like Aweber and blue host because they have people I can talk to lol.
    So I guess I want the best of both worlds.

    Great post and keep smiling

    Chris 🙂

  27. Maki…as always, great post here.

  28. Maki…as always, great post here.

  29. Thanks for the reply Chris, also thank you for the report on your site. If you read this and you havent taken advantage of Chris’s FREE report go check it out now!!

  30. Thanks for the reply Chris, also thank you for the report on your site. If you read this and you havent taken advantage of Chris’s FREE report go check it out now!!

  31. Thanks for everyone’s comments! Joe, you have a great community here and a great platform. I loved reading all of your comments!

  32. Thanks for everyone’s comments! Joe, you have a great community here and a great platform. I loved reading all of your comments!

  33. Oh, and just for the record…

    I had some issues with my checks a few weeks later and no matter how many times I called the 1800 number, I was getting the run around. I went into the bank and spoke with the Account Manager. He fixed everything in 2 minutes. So, okay…I guess we all need services of both “schools,” huh? 🙂

  34. Oh, and just for the record…

    I had some issues with my checks a few weeks later and no matter how many times I called the 1800 number, I was getting the run around. I went into the bank and spoke with the Account Manager. He fixed everything in 2 minutes. So, okay…I guess we all need services of both “schools,” huh? 🙂

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