Why do businesses and (some) professional advisors not get it? Connecting and meeting are two completely separate terms and yet we seem to believe that “having thousands of connections” is akin to being connected. Well, it is, but not really!
It is vitally important that we differentiate between meeting and connecting.
Whilst we undoubtedly use meeting and connecting interchangeably, especially when discussing business, they are two very different types of interaction. I know – it sounds “nit picking” right? I’d argue not. Misunderstanding the difference is at the heart of why so many networking events fall short and why many networking platforms are now nothing more than social media platforms peddling content “for likes”.
You know the one. Scroll for more than a few seconds and you are sure to see a myriad of mental health stories (often faked by content marketers to generate “Likes”) “How to make a million”, unbelievable successes (emphasis on the word “unbelievable”!) and depressing lows. But what has this got to do with generating business, leads or meaningful relationships? Nothing.
While many employers are out there trying to establish business networks for their employees, they’re often hameorraghing cash and monitoring KPIs which deliver no value – monetarily or otherwise.
Once we understand the difference between the inherent value of actual meetings (virtual or in-person) and connecting, we begin to build a platform for success.
But meetings need to be qualified. Simply exchanging information doesn’t provide meaningful insight about a person. Imagine a platform like Linkedin. One comment, a “like” on a post or even a connection using a phrase you do not like or think is appropriate, can mean that person is discounted as a potential client, service provider or other.
We’re all susceptible to making these snap judgments because we never get to know them on a deeper level. In many ways, the constructs used by social media platforms allow us to discriminate, despite their rhetoric being to the contrary. Think again about LinkedIn. We get to know so many identifying characteristics of a potential business contact before we ever (or not) speak to them.
We know their gender, their race (profile picture), their pronouns and often their sexual orientation; all of which have absolutely no bearing on whether that individual is a great potential business contact or not. Why do social media platforms enable such unconscious discrimination? Some may argue these identifying characteristics stir division, increase interaction and therefore drives revenue from ad spend (derived from impressions). Obviously you will make your own mind up on this.
Why did we develop the Board.Ai platform and how is it different?
Connecting “in person” (Zoom or otherwise) is without doubt a more substantive glimpse into someone. Don’t you feel more energised when you’ve met someone face to face or discussed their journey? Now ask yourself if you feel the same when you click a button to “add a connection”?
Board.Ai is a connecting platform. It focuses on getting beyond the headlines of a profile statement.
It is a truly level playing field, asking no questions of your gender, race, religious or political persuasions; its only objective is to take your weekly objective (find a fractional or non-executive style role, hire the aforementioned, expand your contact-base in your desired sectors or to find co-founders or funders). That’s it.
It also has a “Business Challenge” area which allows business operators and directors to connect with external experts in fields such as accountancy, corporate finance/business sales, legal and finance. This is a panel approach and members of Board.Ai are able to access this expertise at any time.
Board.Ai is now open and operating in the UK, USA and UAE. To take advantage of a free 30 day trial, sign up for free: https://board.ai