The growing use of technology is certainly making our lives easier but sometimes that little bit of a personal touch is needed when trying to connect with clients and other businesses.
While advances do mean you can discuss issues over the phone or via video conferencing, often meeting face-to-face is the best way to engage fully with people and it brings a number of other key advantages.
This article will look at the top five reasons you should consider holding a meeting in person. We can thoroughly recommend our meeting rooms in London for this exact use, as our facilities are widely regarded as some of the best in the capital, all at a competitive price.
Make clients feel important
A lot of successful businesses rely on making their clients feel important and you need to make sure you offer customers that special extra support. Inviting someone to a face-a-face meeting can suggest that you are willing to take some time out of your busy day to focus solely on them. A telephone conference or a VoIP call does not appear to give the same impression of 100 per cent commitment compared with booking a meeting room and sitting down with a cup of coffee to discuss a client’s needs.
When holding an in-person meeting there is no chance that the attending parties will be juggling your voice call with texting, reading the newspaper or playing Solitaire on their laptop – so you can also be sure you have their full attention when making your presentation.
Taking this approach also makes your meeting seem more important. There’s nothing as bad as having your VoIP conference cut short because of a “bad internet connection” (see: early lunch)!
Watch that body language
So much communication is done without actual words and relying solely on voice-only discussions could mean you are missing out on vital information.
Registering small body language signs can help you determine whether a client is happy with your services. Crossing their arms or failing to make eye contact could be a key sign that they may not agree with all of your suggestions so you may need to convince them as soon as possible.
Too often, a quick chat over VoIP would completely ignore these crucial but subtle hints that you would have picked up if you had held a face-to-face meeting and therefore could prevent you from dealing with potential misunderstandings in the most efficient way.
Make the most of small talk
Sometimes the most relevant details of talking with a client do not occur during the meeting itself. The incidental chit-chat as you wait for everyone to arrive can reveal a lot about a person and are vital in establishing a connection with colleagues.
Shared bonding over the bad weather or last night’s football scores are very important in drumming up repeat business or creating a favourable impression of your company – even if it is a bit boring for all involved!
It also gives you a chance to pay your client a compliment – have they lost a bit of weight? Got a nice new mobile phone? etc. These little moments help to build up rapport with people and make sure your name comes to mind when making recommendations to other businesses or friends.
While technology is great, we also know it can go terribly wrong – usually just when you need it the most. Sometimes going with the tried and tested option is the best choice. Therefore, holding a traditional face-to-face meeting can reduce the potential gremlins associated with a high-tech video conferencing event and means you can get on with discussing the important issues rather than waiting for IT support to arrive.
There is also the added advantage of being able to have physical copies of documents to hand so you do not need to rely on clients being able to open files on their computer. It can also make discussing visual plans much simpler when done face-to-face.
Some businesses, particularly SMEs, also often don’t have access to the kinds of technology needed for VoIP conferences, so physical meetings are great for sorting this issue out too.
Meeting rooms also help businesses ensure that no-one is listening in who shouldn’t be as you can clearly see who has been invited. The same cannot be said for other online meeting options.
If you need to discuss a sensitive topic or are revealing future business plans, then face-to-face discussions will make sure no-one is eavesdropping on your conversation.
This is especially pressing given the spate of cyber crimes reported in recent years, with reports emerging that even the CIA has had some of its calls targeted by the Anonymous hacking group.
Overall, you may also find that your client enjoys a break from their daily routine and spending a few hours away from their normal working environment will help boost their own productivity.
Offering the chance to discuss matters in a comfortable &Meetings room in London could be the perfect way for them to relax and put them in more positive frame of mind for doing business.