I was born in the mechanical age and have lived to see the full flowering of the digital age. When I was a little boy, my aunt worked as a comptometer operator. Many a time I saw her magically operate that 100-key monster, producing endless rolls of numbers representing the day’s transactions. Today, of course, all that computing is done electronically, with nary a shred of paper in sight.
At first, we marveled at the magic of the digital age. Freedom from drudgery! But we all know what happened: We merely replaced one form of processing with another. But one thing has not changed: the importance of good relationships.
For the financial services professional, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other interactive websites are the newest business development tools. Seminars offer to help us manage our social-networking sites and automate our marketing efforts. I do some of these things myself, but as I have watched the new paradigm emerge, I have come to the conclusion that we make a grave mistake if we think electronic tools will replace relationship-building.