On a weekly or monthly basis, Broadplace Account Managers will travel North, East, South or West to visit our clients face to face. You name the place, we’ve most likely been there to see our clients. It’s an extra service that we truly believe develops more personal working relationships.
ideas are thrown into the equation
explanations aren’t seen as ‘excuses’
manage expectations on both sides
It is so easy to fall into a holding pattern when it comes to reporting and communicating. Clients are busy people; the whole reason they buy your service is to relieve them of an extra task. So it can be difficult to pin them down to a phone call. So much more is achieved with regular face-to-face contact.
Benefits of face to face meetings
- Get Real
- Nothing beats a face to face – it is so valuable to you and your client. Building a rapport with your client and can take you a long way with them. Next time you have a phone call, you’ll both be talking to a real person.
- You can see the environment your client works in day in day out. It gives you an idea of their set up and people they work with.
- Be More Effective
- When meeting with clients, things will get done. Talking about it will lead to changes quicker rather than going back and forth with emails.
- Show You Care
- In the client’s eye you look pro-active and you want to work with them & this will lead to a strong partnership.
- Direct engagement with customers will often get you direct feedback. This is vital to improving your processes.
Google themselves are pushing for their own employees to have face to face meeting and interact with other in their own office. They give out free lunches so you are able to communicate more in person – in the cafeterias, the quirky meeting rooms and other places.
How to prepare for a face-to-face meeting
1. Brush up on their business. Take along stats if necessary.
2. Write down what you want to cover.
TIP: Ask the client for input in advance, but don’t be surprised if they’re too busy to do this. Send them your agenda. The chances are they’ll be prompted to interject their questions by what you cover in the meeting.
3. Be smart, be punctual.
4. Be prepared to answer some difficult questions – prep some answers, but don’t be afraid to have a back-to-basics chat.
5. Go in with the attitude that it’s all about them.
What to cover in a face-to-face meeting
When we go to visit one of our long standing clients (like my meeting pictured above), we have some key areas we like to cover in our meeting that are of benefit to both us and our clients. These include:
- How their business is currently doing
- The status of the AdWords account
- Changes Broadplace are making
- What’s new in the world of Google
- A plan to move forward and how we can take advantage of upcoming industry events or changes in the advertising world
- Any new marketing plans they have that we can utilise in our AdWords campaigns
TIP: Think of the meeting as a reporting spreadsheet, a catch up call, a consultation and a feedback questionnaire all rolled into one.
I went to visit a long-standing Broadplace client in October and below are some photos off their working environment, something I would not have seen if I didn’t make the effort to see them. I now have a far better understanding of that their day-to-day processes are and how I can better adapt mine to suit them.
“Face to face meetings allow each side to gain a better understanding of the way the other works and how get the best out of each other.”
To round up, it is important to meet up with your clients. You are more likely to make things happen and get changes done effectively. You’ll achieve more in this time than a typical email or a rushed phone call once a week. By all means continue to communicate on a regular basis, but don’t forget the fundamental importance of real, human interaction. Your customer communications will improve through meeting face to face and you will continually build healthy working relationships.