After 16 months working from home and carrying out all meetings via Zoom and MS teams (as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic), the Make Me Local crew could not be happier to be back working in the office again. We have not only missed each other, but we have missed seeing all our clients in person too. The virtual way of meeting has been invaluable to us during the last year, and it has definitely made us deliberate on how we will incorporate video conferencing tools to increase our efficiency, both in terms of time and communication.

However, for us, nothing beats meeting clients face to face and it’s not something we plan to completely abolish anytime soon. We believe face to face meeting is still important even in today’s digital climate. Here are our reasons why…

Building great relationships with clients

Everything we do for our clients is tailored to their needs. In order to help their business grow and achieve its goals, we need to get to know our client’s personality, the personality of their business, and understand their business in meticulous detail. This enables us to create content and find opportunities that will attract new customers for them. This is obviously much easier to do in person.

Making arrangements to meet clients in person allows us to demonstrate how much we value their time and business. If we can make the effort to visit their place of work, wherever it may be in the country, it helps show how dedicated and motivated we are as a team to make our relationship with them work.

Over the years, we have found that having regular face to face meetings is key to building strong long-lasting relationships with clients. We connect better, we communicate better, and we understand their business better when we are in regular contact. Meeting in person allows us to actively listen to our customers without the distraction of emails, phones, or other office members. Complete personal attention.

Establishing and growing trust and loyalty

Loyalty and trust are key to our company ethos, mainly because we believe that they are key to building genuine, committed and strong relationships with customers. No matter how much we like connecting socially online, meeting in person is vital to relationship building, both personally and professionally. In fact, 85% of people believe face-to face meetings contribute to stronger, more meaningful business relationships

As humans, we naturally crave meeting and interacting with the people we are in business with. Especially at the beginning of a relationship, where trust has yet to be established.

Clear communication of goals and objectives

Nothing beats face-to-face meet ups for clarity. So much can be conveyed with facial expressions and body language that just cannot be picked up on the likes of Zoom. Without non-verbal cues, information can easily be misinterpreted or not picked up at all. This is particularly true via email – how many times have you read an email and misinterpreted the tone as rude or dismissive just because the reply seems curt and unfriendly? Whereas if the same message were to be conveyed in person by someone with a smile on their face and a cheery demeanour, you probably would have taken it as it was intended – friendly but to the point. Body language and tone of voice are immensely important in establishing a loyal client and can be lost when communicating virtually.

Increased focus and productivity

Not only do face-to-face meetings feel friendlier, but they tend to be more productive too. There is no opportunity for distraction when meeting in person – no checking your phone under the desk, no stroking the dog on your lap while you sit through someone else’s update, no trying to finish off an urgent piece of work while sitting through the monthly round up. Just undevoted attention.

Obviously, a meeting that is poorly organised and unnecessary will be a waste of time whether it is in person or not, but a short, well planned, well organised meeting in person can actually save your company time and money. Not to mention building life-long, trusting and loyal business relationships. So, next time you go to send an email or schedule a virtual meeting, pick up the phone and arrange a meet up instead. It will do both your soul and your business a world of good!

P.S. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get back on the business networking bandwagon, it’s invaluable for relationship building.