Five Reasons Why Face-To-Face Meetings Cannot Be Replaced

In this technologically advanced age where everything is just a click of a away, from setting up appointments and making calls to joining virtual meetings or conferences, it seems we have come to rely too heavily on technology.

Many times in my spare time I have pondered that there was a time when there was no social media, no Internet and even no cell phones AND companies still managed to do business (successfully I might add).

Although I wrote a very advocated article on the importance and usefulness of social media, I would like to point out that none of those could replace the traditional way of doing business. What is that? Simple. 4 words – Face-to-Face Meetings.

Here the top 5 reasons why face-to-face meetings really work better.

People do business with people.

This is true for any type of business whether B2B or B2C. For example online retail stores are good and all but does it replace the opportunity to touch the fabrics or trying on the clothes? Similarly for B2B businesses, clients feel more assured knowing who is behind the company. Putting a face to an organization can greatly change the perception. Take Steve Jobs for example: would Apple be as successful without him actively taking part in the community? It’s just the best way to build stronger, meaningful business relationships and develop accountability.

Most effective form of communication.

On several occasions, we have gotten orders or specifications wrong because we didn’t understand what the client wanted exactly. Whether it was the language and accent difference, a complicated process or simply didn’t know the customer well. But once we personally met with them, we could effectively resolve all issues and clarify the requirements. Emails are great to get numbers and figures down but if it’s a complicated process or requires specific attention to details, a meeting is always the right solution as you can point, correct and emphasize on each key element.

Delivers motivation and inspiration.

Gestures, speech, tone and postures – these are nothing that you can see in emails or video conferences. These are significant factors that create motivation, engagement and inspiration amongst the team and customers.

Instant feedback and decision-making.

Sure there are emails, chats, and other real-time online communication platforms that are worthy contenders for getting instant feedbacks. However, they can never replace the traditional sit-down meetings that allow your customers, teams and managers to sit down and discuss the problems and fix them at the spot. The lag time can be reduced and productivity improved substantially.

Networking.

Although the online world is an excellent place for networking, there are two problems with it – accountability and goals. Can the people be trusted and are their goals/needs aligned with mine? With face-to-face networking you can easily sift through the crowd and assess them appropriately. I remember one of my first networking event I went and ironically it was on social media and the web. I met a lot of interesting people and business opportunities and was immediately taken back with how useful the event was to me personally and professionally. The exposure, experience and opportunities that came out of it were terrific, which the online world doesn’t create as much.