With an increase of technology to connect companies and clients cheaply, why should business owners invest more in business travel for their company? Seeing that businesses spent a record amount on corporate travel in 2014, many successful businesses seem to already know.
Here are 6 reasons that more business travel could give your company a competitive advantage:
It’s just a fact. In-person meetings bring 50% of prospects in as customers (compared to 31% without one). Similarly, 29% of executives believe that their new sales are dependent on business travel, and 40% of executives fear they would lose to competitors without a real presence at meetings. When face-to-face, you get a read of how the client feels and can orient your presentation accordingly.
From learning cultural norms to humanizing new client relationships, business travel will expedite the process of closing the deal. Though instant internet connectivity will get you there first, prepared selling points are best felt through a personality that your clients can see. During non-traditional meetings (such as email, conference calls, video-chat, etc.) 69% admitted to browsing social media and 60% regularly misread the tone or message of the speaker.
Employees love travel. Travel, even for business purposes, lowers stress and increases happiness. Executives can encourage workers to work harder and more successfully when business travel is the reward. Additionally, the happiness and decreased stress are already shown to increase productivity for employees (especially where it is most important: client relations).
Though the general image of Millennials can revolve around self-promotion, they get out a lot more than is thought. Millennials are traveling more than previous generations, and it affects the businesses they choose. Consequently, this generation is more impressed with companies with an international presence, and, despite their prevalence in digital media, 80% of Millennials prefer face-to-face meetings (which is up from the previous generation).
Not only does business travel give employees valuable experience with clients, it can also be used as an educational tool for the men and women representing your company. Whether it is training seminars or conferences, investing in travel to events that increase the value of your workforce will give your brand an edge that can affect a client’s final decision.
When it comes down to it, clients will not have the ability to form strong connection with your product without personality and emotion presented by in-person meetings. Business transactions done face-to-face will build the strong connections required to give your company an advantage in any marketplace.