The digital age we live in allows for instant communication on a mass scale. When you can be in a meeting in Australia in the morning, have a conference call with your clients in Germany in the afternoon, and take a tour round a factory in China in the evening, all through your phone, you might wonder why you’d ever need to leave your office.
Some business leaders see business travel as a waste of time or a needless expense. Often when money needs to be saved, the travel budget is the first to go. Flying can be expensive, but the potential benefits outweigh the costs.
We of course know that human interaction is important, both for businesses and personal relationships. It helps establish tone, allows for mutual empathy, and lets you put a name to a face for greater understanding in the future. In-person communication helps build on your relationship moving forward, which is of course what business is all about. Flying out to see someone also gives the meeting a sense of importance: it tells your connection that they matter.
Being able to make eye contact as you speak to someone and understand their body language are vital for healthy working relationships. The rate of converting prospects to closed deals nearly doubles in an actual face-to-face meeting. Some companies won’t ever sign a contract without a meeting. Face-to-face meetings generate trust, built rapport, and solidify plans in a way that can’t be replicated. Nearly 100% of business leaders agreed that physical meetings are vital for long-term business relationships.
Thanks to LinkedIn, it’s easier to network than ever. But because of LinkedIn, it’s now more important to network than ever. Meeting people organically, establishing genuine interest and sharing a conversation means so much more than an online ‘connection.’ Whether they’re in your industry or not, there’s always something to learn, and always benefits to knowing another person who may be able to help in the future. Much of this networking can happen while travelling. Meeting someone on a plane and striking up a conversation can lead to some lifelong business acquaintances, or even friendships.
Sometimes you just have to be there. If something has gone wrong, your team needs a leader to show them where to go next. More ideas and ideas of stronger quality are generated in actual meetings compared to virtual ones. Plus, leadership is more easily established in person. This means you’ll be seen and heard by your team, and the results will improve. Being able to make decisions as a team will make everyone feel involved and produce greater cohesion moving forward.
Travelling for work is still an important part of making business happen. Establishing connections, learning more about people and understanding what they need can help you achieve even more.
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