As the digital age consumes us and becomes the foundation for most of our interactions, it would be folly to assume that face-to-face relationships are no longer relevant. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Especially in the IT channel, where it is critical to stay connected with technology manufacturers like Cisco, partners, and customers. Here at Comstor, we are keenly aware of the importance of building and maintaining this connection with partners and with Cisco. We create opportunities for our partners to have that important one-on-one time with our executive team and the Cisco team. We understand that relationships initially start with a face-to-face opportunity and build from that point.
Consider your office setting, as an example. In some instances, having a quick face-to-face meeting can prevent an inundated mailbox, miscommunication, and lack of progress forward. Body language can be read, and questions can be asked and answered immediately. The conversation can flow naturally, which can often lead to brainstorming, which produces organic opportunities to build upon. All of these actions are often missing in digital communication methods.
Email, teleconferencing, and texting have all changed the way we do business and can minimize response times, though they do not always convey the right message, or build the trust that is needed in a relationship – business or otherwise.
Now consider how you develop customer relationships. Face-to-face meetings are imperative and still relevant. First impressions matter. You convey your personal brand as well as represent your organization’s brand and that conveyance can make or break a deal.
This is not to say that digital communications and marketing are not needed. In fact, it is important to stay top of mind with customers, partners, and others in the IT channel, in between in-person interactions. Leveraging digital communication and marketing tools throughout the relationship allows you to continue to share your expertise via email, blog posts, social media content and shares, in your network. It allows you to stay connected until the next in-person opportunity.
It’s about finding the right mix of digital and physical to truly succeed in your business.