Everyone in business knows what B2B and B2C are, but do they know what P2P is?  P2P means People to People, and it’s the way we need to think to be successful today – and tomorrow – when it comes to law firm brand awareness, brand loyalty, business development and legal marketing.

This is not a new concept. If you recall, this is the way business was done pre-technology. We used to sit face-to-face and negotiate the terms, scope of work, goals and cost of an engagement. Sometimes we would agree, and we’d shake on it.  Sometimes we’d disagree. But these in-person interactions made the business development process much shorter and more effective while expanding our professional networks.

The Technology Revolution

As we move through the technology boom – a revolution that changed the way we access, share and communicate information – we find ourselves too-often assuming that, through phone calls, voicemail, email, texting and social media alone, we can cultivate relationships and make a sale.

This is an understandable misconception. As 21st-century professionals, we are always connected and always on. Smartphones, laptops and tablets put us in an anytime, all-the-time, real-time way of life. But before we take that for granted, let’s redefine its importance.

Digital technology is the tool and, like so many other tools (the wheel, the steam engine, the airplane and the telephone), it has moved us forward and changed the way society functions. But as a tool, it is a means and not an end. This means we have to master technology and better understand its use to improve business and facilitate P2P interactions without replacing these interactions.

The Merging of Revolutions

Eventually, there will be a point where these digital marketing tools are noise we unconsciously ignore, like print advertising often is today. This will make the face-to-face and handshakes all the more valuable. Future success in the business of business lies in merging the power of the digital age with the human need to connect with others.

One way we can do this is by using digital tools to get to know more about the company, service or person with whom we are seeking to do business, thus making the P2P interaction more comfortable. Cold-calling is a thing of the past. A knowledgeable client or buyer is the new norm, and that is where the power of technology comes into play. Social media, blogs and websites are the informers and the connectors. And what are they connecting? People. Every sale or business development activity is based on people interacting with others to help them reach their goals.

 Winning the P2P Revolution

The digital explosion has shined a spotlight on the importance of humanizing our businesses. We do this by listening and responding to our audiences to change our services and brands to meet their demands. After all, people want to work with people they know, like and trust. To build this trust, the goal of the P2P revolution is to put face-to-face first in a technology-driven world. Your clients, my clients, all of us as consumers – we are all people working with other people, regardless of industry advancements and new forms of communication.

Do you have thoughts about the P2P revolution? Leave a comment or send a message to me, Terry M. Isner, at tisner@jaffepr.com.