Virtual video conferencing is quickly becoming the norm and a substitute for face-to-face meetings in many instances. However, there are some things that you don’t leave to chance. Face-to-face meetings with your customers and partners are one of them. These meetings give you a chance to establish a rapport and bring a certain sense of integrity to the relationship that is only possible when meeting in person.
Not convinced? Let’s take a look at some of psychological factors that occur in face-to-face meetings that cannot always be achieved via other forms of communications.
- Non-verbal Cues. 95 percent of the effectiveness of communications is determined by non-verbal cues (e.g., hand gestures, voice quality and volume, facial expressions), many of which can be construed only in face-to-face meetings.
- Human-to-Human Contact. Human contact is a basic need of human beings. Individuals need personal contact with others to satisfy primitive psychological needs, something that digital interactions cannot address.
- Sales Effectiveness. A recent study reveals that virtual meetings with prospects are 85 percent less effective than in-person meetings. While some virtual meetings are necessitated in today’s digital world, some meetings with prospects need to be face to face.
- Business Exchanges. In-person meetings enable participants to develop important exchange relationships such as negotiations, personal favors, promises, and commitments that cannot be achieved via other communications channels because of their personal and informal nature.
- Transparency and Trust. Trust is a critical part of a business relationship and occurs as a result of repeated interactions with other individuals. While trust can be built through other communications channels, evidence shows it takes much longer to build.
- Social Identities. Individuals are more likely to develop social identities and how they define themselves in terms of group membership with face-to-face interactions. Social belonging is a critical factor in how an individual participates as a member of a group, something that only occurs in face-to-face engagement.
- Side-line Conversations. “Side-line” conversations that often occur among in-person meeting participants that are often valuable in accomplishing different tasks and duties.
- Humor. Direct expressions of humor are often difficult to convey through digital communications. Meeting participants are more likely to laugh, pun, and inject humor into conversations when meeting in person.
But with today’s workplace and workspace quickly evolving, including growing numbers of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) opting to forego permanent office space and leverage rented meeting rooms, day offices, and coworking space instead, face-to-face meetings often need to be planned in advance. The following are some of the business scenarios where in-person meetings are most effective and valuable:
- Negotiating important contracts
- Interviewing senior staff for key positions
- Understanding and listening to important customers
- Pitching and closing new business
- Collaborating with other team members on projects
- Making critical business decisions that require consensus, timing, and persuasion (meeting with other employees)
- Facilitating team-building activities
Recognizing the importance of face-to-face meetings and seeking to bring integrity to their business meetings, tens of thousands of solopreneurs and SMBs in over 30 countries rely on Davinci Meeting Rooms for professional meeting room and coworking space—and the numbers continue to rise. Check to see one of Davinci’s 1,100-plus meeting room locations is in your area and begin experiencing the psychological benefits of face-to-face human interactions.