Do you remember when you got lost on a road trip and had to pull out a map to get yourself back on track? No voice-assist GPS. No recalculating. Even as a Waze user, I’m confident that need be, I could find my way using map-reading skills. Without digital tools, I could still get there.
But is the same true of my business communications? If I didn’t have a mobile device to connect with customers, would I still be able to make meaningful connections with my clients?
In this age when digital is our go-to communication channel, it’s important not to lose the human touch. Forcing ourselves to step away from our phones and PCs—and make personal contact a priority—can help us be more successful, and here’s why:
In-person interaction is more effective. There is value in meeting face-to-face. Interpersonal interaction captures peoples’ attention, engages meeting participants and leads to greater collaboration. It also allows you to ask questions with free-flowing dialogue that can help uncover details that might otherwise be overlooked. Looking to drive productivity? Boost sales? In-person meetings might help get you there:
- Research shows face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than those sent by email (Washington Post).
- Remote meetings generate on average 10.43 ideas, while in-person meetings generate an average of 13.36 (Hubspot)
- The close rate for in-person meetings is 40% (Hubspot)
- You are twice as likely to convert prospects into customers with an in-person meeting. (Forbes)
Nonverbal cues help clarify communication. The groundbreaking (and still relevant) 1967 study published by the Journal of Consulting Psychology found 93 percent of communication is nonverbal. Eye contact, gestures, tone and inflection, posture, and body language all affect our understanding of context and meaning.
You can’t read nonverbal cues in an email. So, in addition to digital touches, make the effort to meet customers in person to ensure the intended message or information doesn’t get lost.
Personal connections build relationships. Greeting your client with handshake and getting to know them on a personal level helps build relationships and establish trust. No matter which business or industry we’re in, we all work with people. In-person contact is genuine and real. In conjunction with digital tools, it can help you nurture the authentic, long-term relationships that drive business success.
How often do you meet with your team? Your clients? Chime in our Facebook page.