Are You Travelling Enough for Your Business?
Tags – Travelling for Business
When I was young, my father, who was scaling his business at the time, would travel across the country for singular meetings. Each of these journeys would take over 6 hours each way and in most cases, he would be back the next morning. Does this sound logical?
This was the late 90s. So, you will be right in assuming that the digital and communicational services were not up to the standards of today. However, communication options weren’t horrendous either.
Phones were readily available, even if far more expensive than the rates today. Further, fax was a growing option and next day deliveries had been around for a while. But, in business, the generally accepted idea was that face to face is where the actual business happens. And, most of it, even if you don’t feel like it, is true today too.
In fact, we can make the case that the value of face to face meetings has skyrocketed today.
Swimming Against the Tide
At a time where most people are looking for quick wins, making a sale in business is still a challenge.
However, how does this instantness translate into solving your needs? Let’s look at some examples.
How effective are cold emails today? You may want to tell me that you have systems in place for email marketing, with high conversion rates. It is important to note here that a high conversion rate in email marketing is about 3%. And, even that 3% happens only when you get a completely matching message for the needs of a market.
Now let’s look into cold calling. You may get a slightly higher conversion rate, possibly 6-8% when done well. But, how long will it take you to make, for instance, 100 calls. Here, we are not even counting the amount of time it will take you to collect enough numbers to get through to a 100 people. And, this is just the beginning of the problem here.
In both the examples presented, there are wide open limitations. For most businesses, especially if you are a high quality B2B service, the notion of doing business is dependent on building trust. Then, for the bigger chunks of money, you need to be able to demonstrate the right branding. Emails and cold calls are not going to do any of this for you. So, we go back to our initial discussion – travelling for business.
Travelling for Business
Travelling for business is not just a physical movement towards your client. In its own right, by travelling for business, you are going beyond the expectation.
In particular, by travelling, you are demonstrating your commitment to the idea of doing business together and you are presenting yourself in the right light. This presentation of yourself includes everything from the mode of transportation you have used to the kind of clothing you are wearing. In short, travelling for business has all the ingredients of building and maintaining trust in the long term. And, doing so today is more effective than it has ever been.
The Impact of the Extra Effort
At a time when people are looking for easier, possibly lazier, options to get things done, travelling truly stands out.
In addition, travelling for business has extended, positive psychological effects too. In particular, you are making your target sale feel valued. Instead of trying to wrap things up digitally, you are showing the willingness to take your time and understand the needs of your possible client.
And, this is coming from a digital marketing agency.
An Example from Today
I am writing this blog, sitting in a place called ‘Melting Pot’ in Birmingham. Half an hour ago I did not know that this place existed. Now I know a creative place in Birmingham that has not done any marketing but houses 40 businesses. It’s redundant to say that there’s a lot to learn from the businesses here and discussing their journeys. And, the movement doesn’t stop here.
Tomorrow morning, 9 o clock, I have a pitch in our Leicester headquarters with a major property player. I am just happy that my business partner is doing most of the talking on that and I will play a supporting role. An,d this movement is continuous.
2 weeks ago I was in Oxford, meeting a luxury car hire client – just because we had signed them up but I had never met the owners. Currently, we are doing their SEO. After one meeting, the owners want us to take charge of social media and PPC too. In addition, they are launching a new app in 9 months time and wants us to work on marketing that too.
On an outward value level, I had to travel 4 hours in total for a 1 hour meeting. In reality, it took a whole day of my life. But, that is not how you can look at business.
Now, that client of ours is saying nice things about our values to his circle and we are getting even more leads from Oxford. We have reached a point where we are considering extending our services to Oxford. Check our digital marketing and SEO services for Oxford. Not just that. Because we are expanding our client’s services to Milton Keynes, we have set up our digital marketing and SEO services for Milton Keynes too.
And, these are just some of the examples. The positives go even further.
The Real Reason to Travel
You may be thinking that the positives of travelling for business end at closing deals and building relationships.
If that is your intention every time; getting more clients; you are doing it all wrong. Every motion in business is not meant to increase your wealth directly. But, if you live in a bubble all your life, you are not going to gain much either.
I have reached a point in my life where if I meet someone who has lived in the same place for the whole of their life, I cannot take them seriously. It is just a personal preference and it is grounded in personal experience.
Travelling is the best thing you can do to gain the right experiences. In particular, travelling is refreshing in its own right but even further, it gives rise to and proliferates new ideas.
Doing Travelling Right
So, my father would travel to meet his potential clients and then come back straight away. But, today, with the opening of information, travelling for business is not done just for the sake of travelling for business; it has become a specific form of travelling itself.
Therefore, combine your travelling with some business-focused sightseeing and you will realise that most people are quite open minded. For instance, we were working from a cafe in Birmingham, which is a part of the Digbeth project. And, after working for a while, I asked my business partner if we are moving to another place. At this point, I suggested a place called ‘The Arch’. After making a call to the place, we found out that there are no open spaces for work there. So, my business partner asked for alternatives and the ‘Melting Pot’ was suggested.
All we had to do to get in here was call a number and ask if we can work from their space. Not only did we get to work here, but we were also given a tour of the facilities. All without a penny being spent, we have come to learn about all these businesses here. This is truly inspirational.
I have other similar stories. For instance, the idea for franchising an accountancy practice came to us while being stuck in traffic, coming back from London to Leicester. More on that in some other piece 🙂
To learn more, get in touch with us today.
And, to learn about other inspirational areas, check: