As our world becomes more virtual, with email and social media having a strong impact on the way companies communicate, the value of face-to-face meetings should not be overlooked.
Just as in a personal relationship, if it is not nurtured it will fail. You must look into each others eyes, share a meal, discuss your needs, or someone else will. Just as in a personal relationship, a face-to-face meeting creates a special connection and builds trust. Getting to know your customers on an individual level goes a long way in forming strong business relationships.
· According to U.S. Travel Association, business travelers are nearly twice as likely to convert prospects into customers with an in-person meeting, than without one.
· If you don’t foster your relationship, your competitor will. Business travelers believe that 38% of their customers would switch to a competitor and their companies would lose 37% of annual sales without in-person meetings, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
· A substantial return on your investment, every dollar invested in business travel results in $9.50 in new revenue and $2.90 in profits.
As our country faced a recession some companies choose to reduce their travel budget. As so many virtual options became available, this decision seemed to make financial sense. However, studies have shown that businesses who did invest in travel during this period actually had faster growth than companies who cut their travel budgets.
Meeting face-to-face clearly has a great effect on generating new sales, keeping existing customers, developing partnerships, and spurring innovations. Fostering business relationships takes multiple tactics that include corporate travel AND virtual communication. Face-to-face meetings are a critical part of your communications strategy.
Tip: Help your corporate travel budget by arranging a corporate rate for airport parking at http://www.parknticket.com/corporate-form.shtml.