Reported by foodem.com, the online wholesale food marketplace-
I often wonder if people make an effort to give others “face-time” anymore. In the digital age, meetings, business deals, even hiring employees can be done from your home or on-the-go using laptops, tablets or mobile devices. With the advent of online tools such as email, Skype, Google+ (hangouts) and other video chat/webinar software, the “in-person” one-on-one is slowly fading.
I’ve lost count of the number of web-based meetings I’ve had in the past year, but once I boarded the Foodem team, one-on-one meetings are a staple. And I must say, they really make a difference. Although Kash Rehman, founder of Foodem, and I only meet for an hour at most, it’s great to talk face to face. In my opinion, it’s often better than virtual interaction. Outside of extending and strengthening a business bond, personal face-to-face communication offers various opportunities which are lost virtually.
Here are 3 reasons why business owners and clients should schedule face-to-face meetings…at least sometimes.
- You’re off the record: A phone call versus taking someone out to lunch can result in a huge disparity in information that can be gained. For instance, if you’re Skyping with a client who’s at work, they may not be able to disclose certain information due to little or no privacy. Meeting them for coffee may result in a candid conversation where you learn more about their company dynamics or how better your company can serve their needs in an unfiltered way.
- Make use of not-so-small talk: It goes without saying, good business relationships reach beyond the boardroom. The foundation begins when people share who they are and learn about one another, which is not easily done via email or text message. Meeting in-person allows people to reveal intimate details about themselves and find commonalities like favorite sports teams, the love for animals, or parental challenges. Small talk is a big deal.
- Make an impression: While words can be used to describe one’s know-how, experience, interests and background, there is still room for a “good” impression to be made. Body language, mannerisims, nor personality is easily expressed during an email exchange.
Today’s world moves at lightning speed and sometimes there’s a lack of time to get everything done, including scheduling a meeting, let alone physically being present. At the same time, you should remember the advantageous affects in-person meetings can have on business relationships.