Everyone is busy these days and phone calls, emails, texting and virtual meetings are convenient solutions to communicate with vendors and customers. However, the most-effective way to really connect is the face-to-face meeting. While it is probably not realistic to see vendors and customers every week, routine in-person meetings are still the best way to preserve business relationships.
When having in-person meetings make sure to keep in mind that body language is a key component of communication. You can gauge what the person is thinking not only through verbal communication, but also by their body language. In most situations, body language is more honest than verbal communication. This will give you a better indication of how your vendor or customer is really feeling allowing you to better serve their needs. Here are some other advantages to the in-person meeting:
Fewer Distractions. In a virtual meeting, it is easy to become sidetracked. Multitasking participants may be checking email or tending to other projects. Surroundings can also serve as a distraction – some people participate in virtual meetings from their beds, cars, or even poolside.
Participation. By having everyone in the same room, you are more likely to have engaged participants. With a face-to-face meeting you may be more likely to get a direct answer.
Trust. From the handshake to eye contact and smiling, these non-verbal expressions communicate a lot about a person and help build trust and credibility. These cues are missed on a phone call or email.
Human Connection. The human emotion of excitement is contagious. By meeting in-person you are able feed off each other’s energy.
Phone calls and emails are a great way to stay in touch, but it is also important to see your customers and vendors in-person at least once a year, and possibly more, depending on the relationship. It may be time consuming and a bit more costly, but face-to-face interaction can build trust and help maintain a strong business relationship that ultimately increases your sales.
Univest Bank and Trust Co. is Member FDIC, Equal Opportunity and SBA Preferred Lender.