Emails, phone calls, letters, social media… today there are so many ways of getting in touch with people that we can sometimes forget how important it is to meet face to face.
It can sometimes be hard to meet all your clients and contacts in person in the business world, is it still worth trying? In this post, I will explain why it is always worth making the extra effort!
What are the advantages of face to face meetings?
Face to face communication is better than other forms of communication because it helps build trust, offers a personal touch and is much more transparent than other forms of communication. It also saves time as you are more likely to leave a face to face meeting with a clear understanding of your next steps.
Why face to face is better than email
Emailing is efficient, saves time and money and is tangible evidence of any requests made by a client. However, tone and meaning can be distorted by the email recipient. While face-to-face meetings take more time and cost more, they help maintain positive relationships and reduce miscommunication.
We recommend taking the time to meet with your clients face to face and then follow up with an email highlighting what was discussed (including actions to be taken by either party) for the best of both worlds.
Does face to face mean in person?
Not any more. With the rise of covid-19, many meetings that would initially have taken place in person now happen virtually. With tools like Zoom, Skype and Google Meet; you can enjoy all of the business benefits of in-person communication at the push of a button.
What is a virtual meeting?
A virtual meeting uses audio and video tools, screen sharing and chat functionality to mimic an in-person meeting. To begin a virtual meeting, a link is shared between participants and is clicked on at a pre-arranged date and time. Some tools offer recording functionality so that the meeting can be shared with unavailable participants.
Why do we need to have face to face conversations with potential customers?
Whether you opt for an in-person or virtual meeting, the benefits far outweigh other forms of communication. These include:
- Building trust: Face to face meetings can help to build up trust between you and your clients, both potential and current. Meeting potential customers, who have expressed a wish to use your services but are unsure, can help them trust you and see that you believe in your business. This will hopefully encourage them to use your services!
- A personal touch: Meeting clients in person lets them put a face to your name and helps you to build a relationship between your companies. You will be more memorable if you are not just a business in their contact list, but also a person they enjoyed meeting.
- Better expression: It can sometimes be hard to convey your brief in words, especially in the creative industry. Meeting face to face lets your customers express their wishes and hopes for their project. It also enables you to explain how you could or would tweak their plans, how best to undertake them and let them know gently if some ideas may not work.
- Showcase passion: Meeting someone in person lets you show them how truly passionate you are about your work and helps them believe that you work well and take pride in what you produce. This does not always come across as well in email or phone conversations.
- Reduces time-consuming follow-ups: The trust and belief they will leave with will hopefully mean fewer meetings are necessary to check in on what you have done, making the process easier and quicker. If you both know the end goals, then the work that needs to be done is clearer and easier to undertake.
We believe that face to face meetings are always best! But we realise this is not always possible; however, wherever it is, try and take advantage of this and meet in person at least once, especially with new or potential clients.