Maintaining relationships are essential to the success of your business.  In this era of social media, it is easy to send a Facebook message or text to a contact instead of having a face-to-face conversation.  However, there are times when interacting in person is appropriate and more effective than other methods.  The following situations are opportunities for you to have conversations that will improve your business.

Face-to-face conversations to have with:

  • Clients – Once a month, you should meet with your clients to discuss the future as you continue doing business together.  Even if it is just to touch base on a recent project or transaction, regular meetings with clients demonstrate your commitment to their satisfaction.  Additionally, these meetings will give you both a chance to analyze and reflect upon where you see the business relationship going.  For example, the owner of a local coffeehouse should meet with his baked goods supplier about once a month to go over possible new menu options, changing dietary demands of his customers, and price points.  The supplier can then use this time to suggest new recipes and delivery schedules.  Tip:  Meet with clients to ask for suggestions.  Talking solely about matters relating to sales will only show that you are thinking of how the relationship affects you and your business.
  • Prospects – Connecting with prospects can have many benefits.  If you’re a direct seller who has discussed your opportunity with a prospect, schedule a face-to-face follow-up meeting where your prospect will prepare any questions he or she has thought of while considering a decision.  It can also be a chance for you to alleviate fears, build confidence, and share materials.  Meetings conducted in person have an advantage over phone calls because they show prospects that they are high on your priority list; they also allow both parties to rely on visual cues, not just verbal ones.  Prospects should feel comfortable with a possible sponsor, and face-to-face meetings help them get to know you.
  • Mentors – Even if you are operating a successful, profitable business, it is a good idea to meet with your mentor every now and then.  Pick the person’s brain about the industry, their experience with changing economic climates, and ideas about how to grow your business even further.  Most industries are always evolving, and a mentor will be able to give you useful information and help you stay on top of what is current and relevant for your business.  If you get to a point where it seems your mentor cannot teach you anything new, it’s time to find a new mentor.  When your business changes, your needs also change.
  • Other salespeople – Whether it’s someone else in your field, or just another local business owner down the block, reach out to other salespeople to brainstorm ideas about how to work together to improve business.  Contacts like these are also great for motivating each other to continue despite setbacks and sharing ideas about common goals.  Surround yourself with other businesspeople who strive for success, and you will be consistently motivated to strive to reach your potential.

Making time for face-to-face conversations is not always easy, but failing to do so will cause you to miss out on some wonderful opportunities for business growth.  What other types of conversations do you think will improve your business?  Please share your ideas below!