FORBES Insights‘ latest report shows that executives prefer face-to-face meetings. Wow – As “The Queen of the Business Lunch,” I could not have put that better myself. The reasons why they preferred IN PERSON, face-to-face meetings? There is no comparison:
- To build STRONGER, more MEANINGFUL business relationships (85%)
- Ability to read body language and facial expressions (77%)
- More social interaction, ability to bond with co-workers/clients (75%)
- Allow for more complex strategic thinking (49%)
- Better environment for tough, timely decision-making (44%)
Complaints about technology-enabled meetings were that they often resulted in disruption and delays. The ONLY reasons anyone said they preferred technology-assisted meetings were bottom-line, such as saving time, money, or location flexibility.The choice is yours: STRONGER, MORE PRODUCTIVE business meetings or technical difficulties?
As a Business Relationship Expert, I discovered a long time ago that those relationships that were built over a business lunch, an outstanding networking event, or even a round of golf lasted forever. We bonded. Apparently, I’m not the only successful executive who knows that, although I may be the only one who wrote a book about building business relationships over lunch (“The Art of the Business Lunch: Building Relationships Between 12 and 2”).
A compromise can be reached, too, by holding smaller meetings with an assist from technology. But to build long-lasting, solid business relationships, seize some face time!
BTW, the Ritz-Carlton weighed in on the report to reach out to business travelers by offering “Meetings Within Reach,” a value-added opportunity for organizers of on-site seminars, executive retreats, and other corporate events. Their message is “It’s not extravagant IF it produces results.” I’d like to give special thanks to Bruce Himelstein, Ritz-Carlton’s senior vice president of sales & marketing. He acknowledged that technology can never replace the “traditional methods of dealing with people in person…” I rest my case … there is NO Substitute for QUALITY “Face time.”
Notice: I am currently seeking annual contracts with companies who would like to send me out to speak to their clients on the importance of quality face time and how to build productive business relationships. E-mail me to explore the possibilities.