Recently, I’ve been going to a lot of meetings. Some are large gatherings. Some are one-on-one. There are dinner parties, regular ole’ parties, tastings, luncheons, lunches (there is a difference), coffees, teas, client meetings, prospective client meetings, 7 AM networking events, and 7 PM networking events. They all require the same thing. The requirement is that I be there…that I show my face.
Being present is a gesture, a token of goodwill. Showing up and giving time and effort is proof, on our part, that we are willing to put in the work to build something great.
I read recently that a whopping 95% of professionals believe face-to-face meetings are key to successful business relationships. Real data or not, that particular survey recognized that without the opportunity to make a first impression, read emotion, judge disposition, analyze body language, relate to another’s history, and connect with their persona there is no way to evaluate situations, nurture meaningful relationships, understand different points of view, or build trust.
As marketers – storytellers – it’s our charge to comprehend purpose and goals to develop messaging that achieves objectives set forth by the people who partner with us. We must truly know them. When we know our clients and their endeavors, it is reflected in the work that we provide. When our messaging is on point, our client’s market responds in kind.
People want you to hear them. They want to feel “seen.” We get so much farther by giving the gift of time. Our ability to connect on a personal level is as important now as it ever was. There’s so much to gain when we do. It’s qualitative in an “always in fashion” kind of way.