The Power of Face-to-Face: Why Business Owners Should Meet Their Biggest CustomersOct 19, 2023
Over the last few years, I’ve started to ask my clients a question that I’ve asked myself: When was the last time you spent time face-to-face with your biggest customers? Not just talking about this or that transaction - but really just connected with them in a way that clearly communicates that they matter to you.
Even though my work with clients puts me in face-to-face contact with them in discussing strategy, growth and sales - getting some time with them over a sandwich matters. A lot.
For all the ways the digital age has made business easier, it’s also begun to chip away at the strength of our relationships. The flesh-and-blood nature of “old business” carried with it some intangibles that today’s owners shouldn’t neglect.
Despite all the changing tools of today, one thing remains remarkably stable. The strength of your revenue is directly tied to the strength of your relationships.
So, if you’ve got a little bit too comfortable with Zoom calls, here are a few reasons you should still hop in a car or a plane and invest in face-to-face time with your biggest customers.
In-Person = Faster Relationship Building
When done right, face-to-face encounters expedite deeper relationships. We’re inundated with emails, texts, and calendar items, but when we are in person, we can have someone’s full attention. Not only are these in-person meetings more personal, they’re also great for getting things done.
Discovering “Personal Touch” Opportunities
When in-person, it’s far easier to discover important intel when it comes to providing a “personal touch”. From favorite restaurants to upcoming milestones, spending time in person provides you with a far fuller picture of your clients as people. From there, you can tailor your relationship to demonstrate your attention and care for them on a stronger level.
Demonstrating Your Commitment to Their Success
If you are tired of clients only reaching out when something is wrong, this is one of the most important ways you can counter it. Especially with your biggest clients, invest time in regular intervals to seek out their feedback.
This communicates your own investment in their success as well as your commitment to becoming an even better partner for their business needs. If they believe that you are (and will continue to be) a strategically aligned partner, you're in-progress areas don’t count so much against you.
Building Brand Loyalty with People Loyalty
Especially in the commoditized space, many customers will make their decision based on single factors like current price or convenience. While you should always seek to be competitive, strong personal connections can help you better compete with “shiny object” alternatives.
I’ll put it this way. At Value Prop Interactive, we put a high emphasis on having a clear competitive advantage. I’ll be the first to tell you – that in-person relationships are one of the most powerful but neglected differentiators. If you haven’t met with your top customers in a while, it’s an easy win.
Revealing Upsell Opportunities
In my experience, there are things you observe in person at a client site that you just can’t see on a Zoom call. Specifically, you see opportunities where you are able to add more value and solve more problems your client hasn’t yet brought up. This is one I personally advocate for with all of our clients – your best clients are willing to give you more if you are able to find it. Investing time to be in-person is critical.
So, if we know in our gut that in-person engagements still matter, why is it hard to maintain a steady diet of face to face? It’s because of our reasonable obsession with efficiency. It’s a hard choice to block out a few hours or even a few days to invest in a client.
That being said, efficiency is not always best measured by how many tasks we complete, especially not when it comes to our best clients. Remember, the strength of your revenue depends on the strength of your relationships.
Invest in your relational assets, and you invest in your business in a critical way.
Keeping it Real
One more thing - and I think in many ways the most important thing. Never lose sight of your customers as people. They actually care about a lot of things beyond their business. Some of them will even become friends. So, I don’t mean you have to go all “touchy feely” - but be a real human when you connect with them, and you will build powerful and often lifelong relationships.
Want another easy win to re-ignite your revenue growth?
We just made our 10 STEPS TO GROWTH Mini Course free for a few weeks! It’s usually $199, but we have pulled back the curtain to help more business owners stop spinning their wheels and get some revenue traction.
Plus, if you love the course, you can grab a free 1-hour consultation with me where we talk through the challenges you’ve been facing and identify a critical path forward to get you started.