Imagine that you need a client to donate to a cause or you would like them to attend a special event your company is hosting. How do you go about getting as many people to sign up as possible? Email has become the dominant method of communication because it is quick, easy, and convenient, but it also comes with a few downsides. Recent studies suggest that when it comes to making a request, people who engage in face-to-face communication are 34 times more likely to succeed than those who opt for email. Let’s examine a few reasons why face-to-face communication is so much more effective.
It Enhances Credibility and Trust
If you are the one composing the email you have no problem feeling confident about the information you are sending. It’s no secret that we tend to be highly attuned to our own trustworthiness when making a request. However, we fail to anticipate the reactions of our recipients. While you have complete knowledge that what you are sending is legitimate, your recipients do not. What they see is an untrustworthy email with a suspicious link. Face-to-face interactions allow you to explain your purpose, share your strategy, and answer questions honestly. Clients and colleagues can then understand how those actions align with your words.
It Demonstrates Importance
If you are making a request about something that is deeply important to you, show up in person! Being there in person tells your audience that they are important to you and so is this issue. An email is much more likely to get tossed to the side and forgotten about but a face-to-face meeting will be much more memorable. Your clients and colleagues cannot dismiss the importance of your request if you are willing to take the time to show up and talk about it in person.
You Can Interpret Thoughts and Feelings
Have you ever sent or received an email and thought to yourself, “That sounds awfully rude?” Even if you didn’t mean that it is easy for people to get the wrong impression from an email. Sometimes we perceive something as negative even if it wasn’t intended that way. When you are face-to-face, people get more insight into your emotions. Things like facial expression, body language, and tone of voice help to illustrate your true thoughts and feelings. People are less likely to misinterpret your request when they are face-to-face with you.
It Builds Relationships
Interacting directly with other people will enhance the camaraderie between you. It allows you to share personal experiences that can impact future communications. Email can feel very impersonal and makes it very difficult to get to know someone. Humans are driven by emotion and face-to-face communication lends itself to emotional connections.
If you have an important request, nothing is as effective as face-to-face communication. If you want to inspire someone, earn their trust, and build a relationship with them, the best way to do it is by looking them in the eye. People will not only hear what you are saying, but they will connect with you and respect you in a way that is virtually impossible with an email.