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Let’s make 2017 the year of meeting face-to-face

Meeting face-to-face

(1) Know who?ll be there. Do your research on the individuals and match your team to their personalities. On many occasions, I’ve seen people make the mistake of assuming who is top dog in the room, only to be embarrassed when they are told otherwise. This tactic is often overlooked to the detriment of deal-making.

(2) Matching job roles is equally important. For example, if procurement is coming along, take the managing director or even the FD to talk to them about their individual requirements. They won’t want to hear the creative director waxing lyrical about storytelling.

(3) If you believe you have the wrong people for the meeting, don’t take them. If the prospect insists on the black sheep being there, make sure someone else on your team is in charge of mediating and facilitating

(4) Brush up on reading the room. If a meeting clearly isn’t going to lead straight to a deal on this occasion, be gracious enough to thank your hosts for their time and offer to keep in touch. In my view, every connection you make is positive. Even if you’ve travelled a long way and it transpires there isn’t a major opportunity, there’s nothing to lose.

If you’re still sceptical about the value of meeting face-to-face, look no further than the programme of events we launched eight years ago. It’s a concept we call business-to-business speed dating.

We set up these forums to give brands and agencies face-time with each other, and even in the 15 minutes every agency spends with each brand, there’s a lot to learn. In some cases, chemistry is so strong and immediate that in a growing number of cases follow-up meetings are booked or business is won on the spot.

?People buy people might be a clich?, but face-to-face business has stood the test of time. Maybe my old schoolmate was on to something when he got bored on the phone and decided instead that he d talk to me when we got to the classroom.

Chris Kemp is the CEO of Ingenuity

Image: Shutterstock

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