I wanted to title this blog “You can’t shake hands in a virtual meeting” because we seem to have lost the art of doing business face-to-face. In this brave new world of technological conveniences, business communication has become dominated by emails, cell phone conversations, and text messages. But what about the handshake? I believe in the inherent personal and professional value of meeting your client or colleague in person to conduct business. This goes beyond sales presentations. I’ve seen too many times where a client will only be met in person during the sales cycle. Once the sale is complete, the vendor seems to vanish into the black hole of emails, text messages, and phone calls.
It can be said that the black hole method is driven by profits or hectic schedules. But at what point does this affect your professional relationship with your client? Only during a face-to-face meeting can you communicate more effectively through facial gestures, body language, and other forms of nonverbal communication. Emails and text messages have no tone and are subject to interpretation or worse…misinterpretation. Face-to-face communication allows you to identify and correct potential miscommunications. It also eliminates the temptation to multitask while on a conference call so you can give your full attention. There is no better communication tool that will get your point across than sitting at the same table. The frequency of these face-to-face meetings should be worked out with your counterpart. You would be surprised at the receptiveness of an offer to meet face-to-face and how much more business can be accomplished in person.
At HCIM, we believe that the investment of time and resources to meet
face-to-face will return more value over time than the financial savings
achieved by simply managing relationships electronically.
I think the following video will help illustrate the need to restore the lost art of face-to-face meetings.
How many of these examples have you personally witnessed in the past year? If you have a story to share of something funny, outrageous, or inappropriate that happened during one of your web meetings, please share in the comments section below.
Executive Vice President, Professional Solutions