As we inch further away from that memorable first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it feels like much of daily life has gone “back to normal”. But it’s undeniable that the business world has changed. While norms were pretty much standardized before, many companies have now carved out their own set of working practices.
As a busy CEO, you probably have established opinions about how you decide whether to attend a meeting in person or on a video call.
Why F2F interactions can cultivate meaningful interactions
Flying out to a meeting in person helps you cultivate relationships in a way that simply wouldn’t be made possible by a video call.
It’s much easier to understand the other party’s cultural context when you’re in the same room. You may also meet other members of the organization. It’s an invaluable networking opportunity!
It’s also a much more productive way to brainstorm. Face-to-face reduces the internet connectivity problems that sometimes break the flow of an online gathering. It also provides more body language cues to support the conversation. Research backs up the idea that face-to-face is a better medium for collaboration, with one study finding that 25% of employees spend less time collaborating with co-workers when left to the online space only.
Tips for CEOs for business travel that achieves successful deals and relationships
Remember that making a F2F appointment shows your dedication
Yes, business travel isn’t always the most affordable option. But it does show the other party that you take the collaboration seriously and that you want to build a genuine rapport with them.
This may be exactly what it takes to get a prospective client to trust you with their large budgets.
Get there faster with a private jet
This ever-increasingly popular travel option for CEOs means you can take a straightforward plane journey to your destination and enjoy your own space. In premium comfort, you’ll have the silence you need to get on with some work and prepare for your business meeting.
Many CEOs choose fractional ownership private jet, where they own a share of one private jet, opening up access to dedicated flying hours. Private jet memberships are another viable option. This comes with more leeway concerning arrival and departure airports and short-notice travel.
In F2F meetings, showcase your ability to be decisive
Clients want to know you’re a company that can move things along. Research shows that the best CEOs know that making a bad (but not disastrous) decision is often better for business than to not decide at all.
If in doubt, use Colin Powell’s 40/70 rule to determine when to make a decision. According to this rule of thumb, it’s best to decide when you have between 40-70% of the available information. Before 40%, it’s probably too soon, and after 70% you are probably being too indecisive.
Don’t be afraid to delegate decision-making to people lower down the rungs. This will free up your precious time and show clients that you’ve got a great company structure in place.
A F2F meeting is fertile soil for decision-making. The naturally collaborative atmosphere means that all stakeholders can save time otherwise spent volleying emails around.
If your instinct tells you that a face-to-face meeting is what’s needed to clinch that deal or straighten out a misunderstanding, listen to it! Technology is a wonderful tool, but not always the best replacement.