In our era of email, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Skype, the face-to-face meeting is an opportunity not to squander. Amazing things happen from meeting face-to-face—no matter how digitally connected we are these days, in-person meetings are still the backbone of diplomacy and relationship building. Even though more organizations are using technology-enabled meetings such as video conferencing, certainly a must for the global or even cross-country office, most executives still prefer to meet face-to-face.

Last year, the Convention Industry Council launched "Face Time. It Matters." a grassroots industry campaign designed to promote the benefits of face-to-face meetings. According to their research, based on surveys and interviews with leading executives and focus groups:

  • Face-to-face meetings build trust and relationships
  • Live meetings result in a more effective exchange of ideas
  • Face-to-face meetings provide the human connection that powers business
  • Face-to-face meetings create jobs and powers the economy

We all know a visible, and polished online presence is essential for executives these days, but nothing can replace the impact of an in-person meeting. If the opportunity presents itself to meet executive search consultants in person, at a conference, a summit, or other industry, alumni, or social event, know how to maximize the opportunity to build a great relationship.

Search consultants, like all professionals, are busy people. Unless an executive is involved in an active search, chances are there will be few opportunities to meet with a retained search consultant in person. Thus, if you find yourself face-to-face with a consultant, be sure to make the most of the moment.

Here are a few pointers for executives to maximize a face-to-face meeting with a search consultant (again, outside of an active search, of course):

  • Leave your CV at home, but do share your business card. If you are currently unemployed, be sure to have a "jobseeker" business card with your name, tag line, and contact details.
  • Don't ask the consultant for a job. Instead, ask them how you can help them by offering your industry knowledge and contacts.
  • After your in-person meeting, follow up. Send the consultant an email reminding them you would like to help them by sharing your industry expertise or introducing them to colleagues.
  • Be visible. Find opportunities to feature your work in the media. Be active in industry associations and alumni clubs. Accept invitations to speak on panels. Be an expert in your profession or industry!

And, don't forget, just like with meeting anyone, manners, a good handshake, and a smile still go a long way.

 This article was written by Joe Chappell from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).
About BlueSteps
BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 8,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 75,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at


Copyright © 2013-present BlueSteps, Inc. All rights reserved. The Executive Job Search Engine for Professionals | Bluesteps