Networking in-person or by phone?

Occasionally, given geographic distance, the phone will be your natural choice.

However, frequently you will network with people in your geographic proximity and you may need to choose between a phone or an in-person meeting. Essentially, your preparation will be the same. What is different that it may be easier to connect if you are face-to-face with someone. At the same token, having lunch or an in-person meeting with an individual where there is very little chemistry can be challenging, to say the least. Sometimes networking can turn into agonizing.  My recommendation: the phone can be very effective for general networking purposes and you can always practice in-person interactions at greater events such as conventions or company presentations. Your personal style, preferences and geographical opportunities will likely play a significant role in which approach you decide to use.