Last week instead of doing several Zoom meetings with my clients, I packed my bags and flew to Dallas for in-person meetings. I wondered if I might be wasting time and money.
I love technology. I really do. My company, The A Group, has been developing technology solutions for over two decades. I loved how Zoom meetings allowed me to connect with my clients and team members easily.
But I had this nagging feeling that I needed to see my clients in person. "That's so 2019 of you!" was the opposing voice. "It's time consuming, expensive and you are not going to see better outcomes," the voice of "reason" continued to whisper to me.
Eventually, curiosity won the day, and I booked a trip filled with meetings I could have scheduled remotely.
After three days of face-to-face meetings, I took inventory. Here's what I learned:
- There is something special when you share a physical space with someone. There's a connection that doesn't happen through the video lens, even on a big screen. It's a human thing, being present and breathing in the same air.
- In every meeting, I connected with a person, not an agenda. Yes, we had business to discuss, but the person became the main focus, not the work.
- I learned more about my clients' aspirations in one meeting than I had learned in the past three years of weekly zoom meetings.
- I discovered new challenges they were facing that were not part of the work my company is doing for them but problems we can help them solve.
- Even though this was not a sales trip, almost everyone I met had other projects they could use our help with. I ended up with more work on the books.
- I laughed a lot more.
- My clients were genuinely appreciative of my effort to meet them in person.
I'm glad I didn't listen to the "voice of reason" telling me to save money, time, and trouble and schedule Zoom meetings.
Zoom meetings are going to stick around for a long time. I have no intention of doing away with them.
However, I am committed to meeting with clients in person more often. It’s more than worth it.