Today, I met with a new client team. The business is not ITP. In fact, it’s way out in the burbs. We could easily have done a phone call or video conference. But this meeting was to kick off their new brand, website, social media presence, and content marketing process. It was a no brainer to make sure it was face to face. The meeting reminded me how important it is to get face to face on a regular basis, whether it’s with a client, friend, family, colleague, or team member. Whatever you do, however you do it, there’s no substitute for face to face interaction.
There’s slack, email, text, Facetime, Google Hangouts, conference calls, chat, and 73 more options for communicating more easily than face to face. But in each of these media, you lose something. Maybe it’s your tone of voice, or your inflection, or a back story, that unless you’re face to face, it’s lost. When you’re face to face, you get everything. All the nuances, sideways glances, gestures, mannerisms…everything.
It’s Worth It
Atlanta traffic stinks (and yet we keep doing the same things over and over), so we all try to minimize any drive time we can, but when you’re getting to know a new team, there’s really no alternative. Despite the long drive, it was – and is – worth it. Every time it’s worth it. Seeing the lightbulb go off when someone on the team “gets it” about how something they know, say, and explain everyday is an awesome piece of content for their prospects, it’s worth it.
We can’t be everywhere all the time. And for a small marketing agency, you have to practice what you preach by making digital communications work really well. That means that setting – and exceeding – expectations is ever so much more important. The expectation for this client is that there will be weekly face to face meetings while we build the marketing machine. Those weekly meetings will slowly change to bi-weekly, then likely monthly, but more as needed.
Get Face to Face
I really don’t like the phone. Just text me. Long, awkward phone calls make me cringe. One-sided conference calls are worse. Video conferencing like Google Hangouts works really well for remote teams. You can make anything work, when you have to. But, no matter what, I still prefer in-person, face to face meetings whenever possible. It costs more and is less convenient, but it’s just better for the relationship. Get face to face whenever you can, regularly.