Why Face-to-Face Meetings Are Still Better Than Technology When Building Relationships

We live in a digital age where most things are now at our fingertips and technology keeps getting better and better.  The one thing that technology can’t replace is building long-lasting relationships through one-on-one connections.  A study done recently by Randstad polled workers in 34 countries around the world to ask them about technology and communication in the workplace.  Over 50% of the persons polled stated, “technology makes them feel less connected to people in the real world.  Furthermore, “over 90% believe that face-to-face meeting(s) is the best way to interact with someone.”  I’m out with business owners and CEO’s every week on multiple occasions and I can tell you that nothing replaces that one-on-one experience.  When I meet with people, that conversation starts a bonding process that helps me understand my prospects  likes and dislikes, commonalities and differences.  It’s what makes meeting face-to-face so valuable to the sales process.  

The opportunity  to physically get in front of your prospects and channel partners can open doors where technology cannot.  For example, body language can tell us many things.  When you’re face-to-face with a client body language can tell us, among other things, if the client is interested or not interested, engaged or not engaged.  With technology, even Skype or FaceTime, body language is diluted and in most cases not even present.  There are other examples as well.  One study’s findings  stated, “the lack of physical proximity decreases brainstorming and other communications that use a personal touch.”  Through face-to-face meetings, other opportunities arise and impromptu brainstorming sessions can lead to new discoveries about your client, their business and how your products and services can help them achieve their goals.

Now, by no means am I completely dissing technology.  Several technology platforms (including this one) have afforded me new ways to interact with clients that just weren’t available a decade ago and that of course can lead to opportunities as well.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t depend on technology to help run my business, track my clients and communicate with my audience.  It’s a necessary part of your marketing and business development planning.  At the same time, there’s nothing better for building relationships than sitting down with someone to share a good meal, take in an O’s game or simply share a beer.