How many times have you sent a text or email and that was later misinterpreted, either by a friend, family member or even a client? Although the world is becoming increasingly digital, the benefits of face-to-face interaction are irreplaceable—despite Skype and Apple’s aggressive efforts at video chatting! The following are a few reasons why you should think twice before scheduling your next call with a client.
1) Body Language
Digital communication with clients and the media has its perks. It’s quick and straight-forward; however, digital communication can be tricky, especially when the relationship is new or a special project is at stake.
Let’s say you have a scheduled call with a client to propose a new outreach plan that includes pitching a product or aspect of the business through non-traditional angle. Once you finish laying out the strategy, there is a long pause on the line followed by, “Yeah, sure that’s a good idea.” You’d probably wish you wish you were sitting face-to-face to witness their initial reaction and body language? Instead of having to dig through a series of follow-up questions hoping to figure out your client’s actual sentiments, a face-to-face meeting would have allowed you to sense their attitude from the beginning and address the issue accordingly.
2) Quality Collaboration
When was the last time you woke up without dozens of unread emails? While ubiquitous, shuffling through emails can often suck time and creativity from your work. Do you think that world’s most creative teams come up with cutting-edge campaigns through an email thread? Unlikely.
Creative collaboration through email can prevent the natural flow of ideating, a vital component of any successful brainstorming session and project management discussion. A face-to-face meeting allows you and your team to bounce ideas off each other on the spot, rather than having to navigate an overflowing inbox.
3) Establishing Trust
Trust is a critical component of any working relationship. In vendor relationships, which have the added pressure of expected results and the need for effective counsel in order to push a business’ bottom line, this trust needs to be developed especially quickly. Face-to-face interaction goes miles in establishing this trust.
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology measured the effectiveness of a face-to-face request versus an email request and found that face-to-face requests were 34 times more effective than emailed ones, due to nonverbal cues and perceived trustworthiness. Although technology has done wonders for society’s overall progress, the fact remains that we like facing each other. Technology isn’t going anywhere – we don’t want it to—but it’s important to realize the power of face-to-face communication isn’t backing down either.