NetworkingToday, we are more likely to call a colleague who works three offices down the hall from us—or worse yet, send a text or post a note on the person’s Facebook wall—rather than make the short trip for a face-to-face visit. After having spent the past several months on conference calls, exchanging voice mails and e-mails on key projects, and even attending the same company meetings, we pass key team members in our corporate hallways and have no idea who they are. Whom are you e-mailing? Whom are you asking for resources? Whom are you selling to? Whom are you listening to? Whom are you asking for help?

When technology, even with its vast operational effectiveness and efficient capabilities, determines the nature of our human interactions, is it any surprise that many believe there has been a dramatic erosion of our sense of community and our ability to touch people? Have we gone so far that we need ‘‘No E-Mail Fridays’’ and have to have corporate access to various social networking sites blocked?

In short, relationship creation alone won’t suffice— regardless of how many cups of coffee or lunch visits you schedule. Savvy professionals find opportunities to monetize their business relationships by bridging relationship creation with relationship capitalization. Bridging this gap allows for all parties involved to benefit and can help quanitfy the economic value of your most valuable and often strategic relationships.

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