Are face to face (in-person) meetings with clients still important for today’s e-Learning freelancers?

With so much technology out there (e.g., Skype, Zoom), I can sit in my home office and communicate with clients all over the world. In fact, I have multiple clients who I've signed contracts with but never met in person (face-to-face). That led me to ponder the following question:

“Are face to face (in-person) meetings with clients still important for today’s e-Learning freelancers?"

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

-Richard

12 Replies
Richard Watson

Phil,

In situations where I have the ability to meet face-to-face with a client, I always take it. I think it adds more value to the relationship and has, on many occasions for me,  led to a more lucrative project.  That being said, the majority of my interactions are conference calls and video via Zoom and/or Skype. I'm waiting for the VR options to kick in and get my first virtual assistant hologram.  :)

Thanks for commenting. 

Richard

Keith Lillico

I do far more corporate work than I do freelance and even with knowing everyone I still like having in-person meetings. I found that overall it is just easier to communicate clearly. I have also found it easier to push issues if you need something from them and they are non-responsive.

However, I do not think it is essential that meetings happen in person anymore I have seen estimates (likely inflated) that within the new decade or so 40% of the workforce will be remote. That means we are going to need to adapt.

Richard Watson

Keith,

Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your thoughts.  I don't think face-to-face meetings will go away but there are situations where they are better than a virtual meeting. Here's an interesting article that discusses some situations where F2F trump Virtual Meetings:  https://www.pgi.com/resources/articles/when-face-to-face-meetings-trump-virtual-meetings/

Again, thanks for taking the time to comment.

Richard

Nancy Woinoski

I have had a few clients who wanted to met me in person but other than that I rarely have face-to-face meetings. I used to meet with prospects in order to win the business but I don’t even do that anymore as most of what I do is repeat business or referrals.  I am kind of like the Greta Garbo of elearning.

I do agree that meeting face-to-face can help to build trust but there are other ways to do that. It helps if you are an effective communicator.  I have a client in Africa and we only communicate via email. It has worked out great. They did send me their photos though so that I could meet the team. 

Joanne Chen

I did not meet my clients or SMEs in person in most of my projects in the past 16 years. In some of my projects we don't even know how each other looks like but still worked out great. Yes, it's easier to build a relationship when meeting face to face but you can only win trust by showing profession and efficience. Just like Nancy said that there are other ways to win trust.