Are Client Meetings Necessary?
We think so. It’s why we meet with our clients at least once a month. Most of our client meetings are in-person; for those clients beyond a couple of hours driving distance we meet via Skype.
Magic happens when we’re face-to-face with our clients. There’s something that becomes free from constraint when you sit down with someone and brainstorm toward a common goal. It’s body-language certainly, but so much more. Our clients are important enough to us to spend personal time with.
Here are some reasons in-person meetings are essential:
- It’s more efficient. You work from an agenda, plan and make decisions together on the spot. Compare this to sending emails or texts back and forth, which always result in additional questions, explanations and miscommunication.
- The enthusiasm and energy level is higher in person. You ‘catch’ enthusiasm about ideas or events from one another, and that’s when the ideas really begin to flow.
- Brainstorming and problem-solving are more effective in person.
- Meeting helps develop trust in each other and nurtures the relationship. Long-term relationships between a marketing company and client are beneficial to both. The more you learn about each other – character, ethics, approach to business – the more trust is created.
- It’s easier to stay focused when you’re face-to-face. Multi-tasking doesn’t work for anyone though we all try it. When you’re in a meeting, you tend to focus on one issue at a time until it’s resolved.
- You’ll better understand and embrace a ‘shared mission’ of success when you meet regularly. That shared mission always has your success as the main goal and creates a team attitude.
- It’s harder to let your attention become fragmented when you are in front of someone. This means that everyone present will be more likely to engage and collaborate.
According to a Harvard Business Review research study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, a face-to-face request is 34 times more likely to be successful than an email request. Volunteers were asked to email a survey request to 10 recipients and ask an additional 10 to respond in person. In this study, researchers found that nonverbal cues by requesters conveyed during a face-to-face interaction made all the difference in how people viewed the legitimacy of their requests. In other words, people simply trusted them more in person.
Does it take more effort to meet with clients in-person? Sure. But we see our client relationships as long-term connections that are beneficial to both. Giving clients the respect of meeting face-to-face on a regular basis simply works better.