Many clients want to meet over the phone, through text, over email or even through Skype. However, there are so many huge benefits to meeting in person that it should be considered. Here are some of the reasons why it’s always better to meet in person, if possible.
Building Relationships through Small Talk
It may seem like small talk is counterproductive because it doesn’t solve an issue or problem, but it’s vital. You build personal relationships through spending time with a client and talking about things other than business. Of course, the deal needs to be done, but the face-to-face time also allows for small talk about hobbies, favorite sports teams, family and other interests.
This small talk is very important and allows for rapport building. Without the opportunity to speak with a client, you are just another company providing a service. Building the relationship helps to build a connection that goes past the product or service provided.
Off the Record
With so many people working in cubes or virtual offices, it’s hard to find a private office anymore. This means a phone call may not be as private as you think. Also, these environments can be cold and impersonal, which can unintentionally cause you or your client to put up walls.
When you meet in person, you have the opportunity to share details about the project without pressure. A lunch meeting is always more casual than a phone call to a business. This allows ideas to be shared freely with more color.
Body Language Doesn’t Exist Over Email
Reading body language used to be what separated a great sales person from a good one. However, with less face-to-face meeting, it’s impossible to read body language because it doesn’t exist. Meeting your clients in person will allow you the opportunity to see the reaction, not just hear it or read it.
You will be better equipped to make necessary changes, because you will be able to read fear, sincerity, empathy and other emotions through body language.
Setting the tone for a business meeting is done by the meeting place environment. If your office seems stuffy, it could be off putting for a client; and making deals over email, Skype or the phone don’t provide much of an environment at all.
However, if your office is inviting or you meet at a casual restaurant, the environment can help to create a relaxing feeling for you and the client. This can help bring down walls that are in the way of the deal you both need and want.
Meeting in person isn’t always possible as many businesses work on a global scale. However, when it’s possible to meet in person, this should still be the chosen way to speak with a client. Phone, email, text and Skype all play a big role in business, but none allow for the same connection as a face-to-face meeting complete with small talk, jokes, laughter, and of course, a finalized deal.