Pick Up the Phone to Build Trust With Your Executive Network

by Meg Guiseppi on March 16, 2010

I spoke to my friend and colleague Pete Kistler, CEO of Brand-yourself.com, for the first time last week, although I had been a guest blogger at the Brand-yourself blog for about a year, and then a weekly blog columnist since last December.

Neither of us had ever picked up the phone to connect. Meeting in person would have been great, but not geographically feasible. Like many people these days, with networks spanning the country and even the world, we communicated solely through email and other social media.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the convenience and immediacy of email and Twitter, but I need more than virutal conversation. I know I’m not alone in this feeling. People communicate best through face-to-face encounter, second best through verbal exchange. Social media talk ranks last, in my opinion.

I need the shot of adrenaline I get from a spontaneous shared laugh that is lacking in an emailed or tweeted “LOL”.

I need the nuance of verbally sharing in an associate’s excitement at reaching a milestone or celebrating a major accomplishment.

I need to fully examining a topic by verbally batting ideas and solutions back and forth in conversation.

Without that phone call with Pete, I wouldn’t have grasped as easily what he and his accomplished team are offering with the launch of their new online reputation management platform, and how it can help me.

I believe that, without hashing out details in conversation, Pete wouldn’t have benefitted as much from my expertise and how my experience helping executives with their online identity can help him.

We both came to understand how we can bring value to each other, in a variety of ways. I doubt we would have gotten there through emails alone.

Note to self:  Improve my ever-expanding personal brand communications plan by better balancing virtual with real-life networking.

I WILL regularly checking in with my network by phone.

Social networks are great, but they don’t reinforce personal brands or build trust like reaching out and calling someone.

Related post:

How to Build a Powerful Executive Network

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meg Guiseppi March 23, 2010 at 6:24 am

Hey Tim!

Great talking with you (by phone) earlier in the year. I think you make a terrific point – a phone call probably is worth at least 10 emails – maybe more!


2 Tim Tyrell-Smith March 22, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Hey Meg – As you know I am a big believer in the telephone. While I love email and Twitter and, of course, blogging, nothing beats a phone call to get a really good exchange going. Little is lost in translation and an opportunity to truly connect presents itself. In fact a phone call is so productive, that I’ll bet a phone call is worth at least 10 e-mails! Great post for job seekers and anyone looking to build a network!

Loved talking to you a few months back!

3 Meg Guiseppi March 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm

I appreciate your comment, Tom.

Because taking the time to make a phone call, or arranging to meet in person, is so rare, the very fact that someone takes the initiate will make her or him memorable.


4 Tom Crowley March 19, 2010 at 11:51 am

Thanks for the reminder/re-enforcement… it is too easy to fall into the trap of the ease of electronic communication. As a job seeker and in speaking with other job seekers, the most common complaint voiced is the “Black hole” of today’s job search process and the seeming lack of human involvement.. I know results will be better or at least the communication is better when instead of hitting the “Apply Here” button, the application is preceeded by a phone call or heaven forbid a visit. The same is true when networking for contacts or opportunities… it’s a lot easier to ignore a Linkedin update or an email than a ph. call of a face to face mtg.

5 Meg Guiseppi March 18, 2010 at 6:05 am

Thanks for visiting and commenting, Animal.

I’m not sure that people always spend that much time thinking before they publish posts and tweets, but online response is somewhat less spontaneous than verbal discourse, so it may result in more thoughtful exchanges. However, virtual communication doesn’t come close to the emotional connection we feel from the nuance of real-life conversation.


6 Recruiting Animal March 17, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Some twitter messages are about going to the washroom at a restaurant on the corner of 5th and Main and in many blog postings the ideas are not worked out well at all.

But the average person is not a good conversationalist and, online, the time he has to think before being obligated to communicate improves the quality of the exchange

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