StaffStat is currently in start-up mode, and as such we must be frugal and thrifty. When it comes to expenses, we stretch our dollar and often seek the most ‘bang for our buck’ and ideally spend on what brings back the best return on investment.
As a start up, we want to be in front of as many people as we possibly can. While we can provide demos and training sessions remotely, it is always ideal for us to get in front of our prospects and customers. This helps with establishing, building and maintaining a rapport.
As humans we are hard-wired to relate to a face, to a voice, to an actual person. Relaying information via telephone, email and virtual meetings is valuable in time and cost savings as well as accessing a vast market as location is irrelevant. However, I place much value in time spent face-to-face and believe it will always bring back a large ROI.
Recently, I had the opportunity to provide onsite training to a new customer, providing three separate sessions over the course of the day. While visiting the area, I ensured that I filled my calendar with other meaningful meetings with prospects and current customers. While these meetings certainly could have been held remotely there is certain value in a face-to-face meeting.
Today, I will share the benefits and takeaways I have found through in-person meetings.
The benefits: In-person meetings provide the opportunity to establish, maintain and foster interpersonal trust and this is invaluable and enhances the relationship. The ability to connect and engage is developed while placing a face to the name and the company is difficult to establish during remote sessions. The opportunity to have off-the-cuff conversations about your product or service will have a greater impact when delivered in person. In-person meetings drive participation and increased interaction.
What I learned: In person meetings can assist in clarifying meaning. If there are questions or individuals who require assistance, their answers can be addressed with a hands-on approach. If there are communication or translation difficulties, these are better handled in-person as opposed to a call where information and meaning can be lost. When completing training sessions, some learn better when they are in a classroom structured environment and are able to see a face behind the product they will use every day.
What I left them with: A human connection. After each meeting I received more personal correspondence and now my customers know the face they are speaking to in future ‘virtual’ conversations. In-person conversation establishes emotions and feelings, something that technology and ‘virtual’ meetings cannot embrace.
If timelines, budget and logistics approve, based on my experience and the mutual benefits I will always push for in person meetings.