In today’s business world communication is increasingly digitised. We email customers, video conference with clients, promote our products through Facebook – we can even sell products online in an instant without so much as a glimpse of the person on the receiving end of the transaction.
In many ways digital communication has streamlined the way we do business… but most experts agree that – when it comes to building long-term client relationships – nothing beats good old-fashioned, in-person face time.
Why? There are three key reasons face-to-face communication beats digital hand over first, time after time.
1. Not all communication is spoken
It’s widely accepted that around 94% of human communication is unspoken – consisting of body language and paralinguistic cues (the way you say something) rather than words.
That means body language, facial gestures, tone of voice and emphasis are hugely important when it comes to effective communication – and all of those things are virtually non-existent via digital messaging… even if you pepper your business correspondence with emojis.
Face-to-face communication, on the other hand, allows both parties to read between the lines of what’s being said, understand one another more easily, and build a stronger rapport more quickly.
2. Business is always about people
Regardless of what product or service you’re selling, when you really think about your business is all about people. Your customers. Your clients. Your partners. Your users.
People respond to people, which is why media outlets and marketing agencies always choose emotive photos of happy, smiling faces over simple product shots.
Multiple studies have shown that customers are far more likely to do business with someone they like, and whom they trust. They’re also more likely to be a repeat customer (and recommend your products or services to friends and family) if they feel they have a good relationship with you.
Face time gives your prospects the opportunity to talk to the people behind your brand. This face-to-face time can help them to feel valued, while establishing and building trust in your business.
3. Face-to-Face is simple… and, sometimes, faster
Email, text and messenger platforms have all been developed to make communication faster, easier and more effective – but when it boils down to it, talking with a client or potential customer is almost always a lot more simple when you do it face-to-face.
Unlike email, where you might wait hours – or even days – between replies, a two-way conversation is fluid. It occurs organically in the moment, with less chance of distractions and interruptions. This fluidity helps demonstrate that you know your stuff while fostering trust – but it also keeps things simple. And when it comes to selling, simple is almost always better.
You customers want to get to the heart of what’s in it for them as simply and easily as possible – which means in-person communication can also help you achieve a sale or a “yes” far more quickly than if you were emailing back and forth from behind your respective desks.
Ready to get build a rapport with new prospects and strengthen relationships with existing clients?
See you at The Great ECE Expo in Christchurch and Auckland!