As a big supporter of working remotely, I will always stand by my word that engaging with clients via emails, phone calls, and video conferences can be as effective as an in person meeting. My personal perspective and sometimes sensitivity, is that time spent driving to and from meetings, back and forth to work,  is time you could’ve used to get more things accomplished.  And as a CEO, sometimes if not most of the time, every minute counts when you have 17 million things to accomplish.  With all of that being said, it can be easy to fall into a habit of not getting out from behind your desk. So I challenge you this month, quarter or year to plan time to get back out into the field and visit your clients face to face.  And while doing that, think about combining these trips to see clients with a trip for yourself, see a show, attend a concert or see an inspirational speaker.  Do this to help invigorate yourself and deepen your relationships. In this blog post, we’ll further explore the importance of client meetings and how they can benefit both you and your clients.

Building Stronger Connections

I’m not sure about you, but over the past 7 years, I’ve done the majority of my client engagement via Video conference.  Some of my longest standing clients, I haven’t ever met face to face.  I think the thing that really excites me when I get to see them for the first time, is how natural the connection is.  It’s a wonderful confidence boost and allows me to know my relationships are solid.  It also allows a refreshing space for you and your clients to think creatively.  Sometimes just stepping out of your surroundings and slowing down sets the stage for new ideas to help you and your clients succeed.  

If you have a cluster of clients in one area, schedule face-to-face meetings with them in their business setting if it’s outside of the home. Take the time to sit down with each client, grab lunch together and discuss their needs, challenges, and goals. Not only does this help you stay connected with your clients, but it also provides you with valuable firsthand insights into their businesses. By immersing yourself in their world, you’ll gain a better understanding of their pain points and how you can help address them. This is a win-win! 

Planning a Personal Event

In addition to business meetings, consider planning a personal event when you’re visiting clients in their area. This could be anything from a casual dinner to a team-building activity or a sightseeing tour of the city. Doing activities like this while on work trips can help ground you and remind you of the importance of work-life balance. Making the time to relax and enjoy yourself amidst your busy schedule can reenergize you and make you even more effective in serving your clients.

Another important thing to note, is that some personal events may be written off as business expenses if they meet the IRS guidelines. Meals and business related expenses may be written off, giving you some wiggle room for those “extra curricular” activities. Just make sure to keep track of receipts and details! 

While technology  makes it easier than ever to communicate with clients from all over, nothing beats the power of face-to-face interactions. By getting out from behind your desk and meeting with clients in person, you can build stronger connections, gain valuable insights, and demonstrate your commitment to their success. So, the next time you have the opportunity, schedule a meeting, plan an event, and see the difference it can make in your client relationships.