By now, most of you know that I’m not a huge fan of the “let’s meet for coffee” meeting. But that doesn’t mean I won’t do them. Certainly, I do business most often in the virtual space. I’ve never met the majority of my clients in person. They’ve read my book, read articles I’ve written, and seen my client testimonials, so they know I know what I’m doing, and from there it’s just a matter of talking on the phone to make sure we’re a good fit before they hire me.
But when you do business (especially in the Midwest), one must be prepared for the face-to-face meetings. Here’s why these meetings are so important in business and how you can do them the right way.
Why Face-to-Face Meetings Still Matter in Business
Face to face meetings still matter because sometimes, you just want to look somebody in the eyeballs and gauge their sincerity in person. Because I’m trained to hear subtle nuances in paralanguage (the “extra” stuff in your voice like pitch, pace of speech, tone, little shifts), I don’t need to see you in person to know if you’re giving me the runaround or holding something back.
But most people don’t have my training and need to look you in the eyes to assess your integrity. And sometimes, a handshake means everything. So as much as we are in a digital world, face-to-face meetings still matter a lot in business.
How To Be Smart About Your Face-to-Face Meetings
Since you’re going to have to have face-to-face meetings, you’re going to have to be smart about them.
Plan Your Time
One of my beefs with face-to-face meetings is that I really don’t have a lot of time to go out and have coffee with everyone who wants to. So I try to steer as many meetings to the phone as possible, so that I can maximize efficiency. The other reason I don’t like face-to-face meetings is that I rarely wear a watch, and I tend to become so fascinated in the conversations I’m in, meetings tend to drag on too long. When I’m on the phone, I can keep an eye on my clock and make sure I’m adhering to my schedule and being respectful of the other person’s time.
When you go to a face-to-face meeting, make sure you do wear a watch or set an alarm on your phone so that you are respectful of the other person’s schedule and also don’t take too much time out of your schedule. Plan ahead when you’re going to leave and stick to that schedule religiously.
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