Ways of working and business relationships have been transformed over the last couple of years, and what at first seemed only a temporary shift to remote working has now become the norm for many, with hybrid working patterns being embedded in most workplaces. With employees and customers dividing their time between working from a shared office space and a more personal one (most often their home), face to face conversations have become less common, or at least more virtual than in person.
At Ultimate Finance we have embraced the benefits of hybrid working and learnt to tap into the value of virtual meetings and how they help keep business moving, but we also never forgot about the importance of maintaining in-person communications with our clients and introducers to strengthening relationships and support business ambition.
The benefits of face-to-face conversations
Not so long ago, most meetings and conversations in the workplace took place “in the room”, or in person. Nowadays, a face-to-face conversation can either take place in one room or in a multitude of rooms, through the help of technology. Video calling technology has bridged the gap created by the hybrid working revolution, turning simple phone calls into something closer to the meetings we knew before.
And although there are some great benefits to being able to hold remote conversations, and tech companies such as Meta are working on bringing virtual reality to businesses by offering virtual spaces for people to hold meetings in, there is still a place for physically in-person conversations in today’s world, be it to support remote activities, or even in some instances take them further than technology can for now.
The benefits of in-person conversations include:
Virtual meetings can sometimes limit additional interactions by confining the agenda to the meeting alone. In person conversations can extend beyond the meeting room, filter into small coffee breaks and create organic moments of sharing stories that may spark a new idea or a new connection via a shared interest.
Contributing to trust
In business, trust is primordial, and face-to-face conversations can be a breeding ground for trustful interactions, from sharing personal stories that invite people to your personal world, to providing additional trust elements around an office such as awards, branding or even simply a physical presence. After all, many of us have been conditioned to only believe what we see with our own eyes when it comes to making important decisions, and visiting an office helps to anchor a business into reality.
Raising awareness to other products or services
As mentioned earlier, a virtual conversation can sometimes feel fenced in by a pre-set agenda, with less opportunities to digress. Face-to-face conversations, through physical movement, body language and potential organic interruptions can provide opportunities for unplanned topics of conversation. These can help do more business with existing contacts by organically bringing to the discussion additional services or new products, cross selling, or identifying pain points unthought of until now that your business can help solve.
Keeping business moving with face-to-face interactions
At Ultimate Finance we work closely with our network of introducers to help provide the right funding to businesses so they can keep moving. To do this, we rely on regular communications with them, be it face-face or virtually via video or phone calls, texts and emails.
The role of an introducer is not only to fully understand their clients’ goals, but also their issues and what it is that makes their business unique. To that extent, developing good relationships is an essential part of the day job to ensure they can match them with a funder that will not only provide them with the right funding for their business but also that best meets their profile.
When our dedicated Regional Directors and Relationship Managers are not visiting our customers’ offices, they may be meeting them for a meal, a coffee and a walk, at an event, or a social activity such as a comedy club or an evening of darts.
With each interaction, relationships grow stronger, and it is by getting to know each other that we can help businesses meet their ambitions.