March 20, 2014 smz-blog

Face … time (not Facebook)


In June of 2012, we discussed “The face value of face time.”

(reference blog below)

It’s a topic that never grows old.

This past week, I accompanied one of our clients at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) national conference in which we were accepting a 2014 Diamond Marketing Award for radio. Client and agency were both proud of the “Wake Up Call” radio campaign.

It was a “wake up” reminder for me as well.  In today’s work environment which so often involves more keyboard time than face time with clients, this event reminded me the importance of simply spending time with a client. Technology provides us wonderful tools but it will hopefully never replace the human interaction that is the true bond in any client/agency relationship.

– John Gielow, Vice President Director of Digital Strategy

The face value of face time

Skype. Email. Texts. Phone calls. There are so many ways to communicate in business today. And though those methods might feel like meetings, there’s no denying the power in a face-to-face. Nothing beats face time.

See, regardless of what business you’re in, we’re all in the people business. We need to know our clients and colleagues to be successful. So there are real advantages to meeting in person.

Small talk is big stuff

Business conversations focus on business. But business relationships focus on getting to know each other. Sharing favorite teams, hobbies, apple pie recipes. And that happens far more naturally in person than through an email.

Impressions count

Face time lets you show off your leopard-print patent leather pumps. Conversation starters and personal statements are rarely made over the phone. And they make important connections.

Body language

Confidence. Friendliness. Sincerity. Apprehension and fear. Facial expressions and body language tell us more than words. And being able to see and read a person—in person—can go a long way.

Privacy, please

Not everyone has their own office. Lots of people work in cubes, so phone conversations aren’t always private. Clients might not be able to share important information, like a boss’s quirks or special team dynamics. A one-on-one lunch or similar meeting allows clients to reveal true feelings and impressions.

Where’s the action?

Visiting a client’s office and vice versa lets each of you see the other’s space. Feel its dynamics. Tune into its buzz. When you know where each other comes from, how company dynamics work, it’s easier to meet their needs.

So yes, new technologies are great. They make communicating quick and easy. But people want to work with someone they can relate to, making regular face-to-face meetings an important part of successful business relationships. Maybe that explains why client-agency relationships at SMZ average over 10 years.

– Trish Cowan, Senior Copywriter

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