In my line of business, I am, thankfully, able to work with and serve clients who are physically located anywhere. Such is the beauty of the virtual nature of today’s business and today’s world.
In fact, there are very few services (medical care is one that comes to mind) that must, by definition, be administered entirely (or almost entirely) in person, hands-on or face-to-face. (And even some kinds of medical care, diagnostic services, healing and other related areas are delivered virtually these days.)
So, for me, it is always a red flag when a potential client tells me that I must meet them in person, that I must come to their premises (“you have to see our new offices”) and/or that they can’t convey what they need to convey through e-mail or the phone. I wish there were hours in the day for this luxury, but there aren’t.
Now, I know that there is no substitute for the human touch and face-to-face customer service. But as a copywriting and marketing consultant, my business and my true service to a client has little to nothing to do with what their office looks like, what kind of coffee they order at Starbucks (which is invariably where we meet, unless they come to my office, unless, again, they insist I come to their office) or what they hand me in the meeting (which could have easily been faxed, scanned or e-mailed).
I love my clients. Period. But….I can’t build a business or properly serve clients if I am too busy in in-person meetings (which we all know aren’t exactly the hallmarks of productivity). That’s why I couldn’t be happier that Get It In Writing, which just a few short years ago grew solely (yet significantly) from word-of-mouth, is truly a global company with clients all over the world.
The non-local clients (probably about 70% of my clientele) don’t even address the “in-person” issue and it is never discussed. We are able to focus on the task(s) at hand and not have that silly your-place-or-mine conversation because, at the end of the day, meeting in person has no influence on the success of the project.
What about you? Is your business based on literally being there or virtually being there?