The thought is in the mind of every successful business owner: Right now, somewhere in the world there is a great business opportunity that can help my company to grow.
Technology has allowed businesses to pursue many of these opportunities electronically. However, the increased use of virtual meetings has raised the question of whether face-to-face interactions are still important to international business development.
I think they are important. With image, identity and signage clients in the U.S., Caribbean and Europe, I have found that face-to-face meetings are critical to business relationships. The opportunity to travel, especially to distant locations, is of great benefit to the business development process. It allows me to more completely understand a customer’s signage needs and physically experience what their guests experience when visiting so that we can create the best signage program.
Face-to-face meetings help break down cultural differences in the business world. This was evidenced to me when a vacation trip to Spain was expanded to include a business call to a U.S.-based client who has operations there. Only by sitting with these prospective clients were we able to overcome our language, cultural and other differences. As a result, we have formed positive working relationships and done additional work together. Having now met, and looked into each other’s eyes, and shaken each other’s hands, we have forged the bonds that make it easier and more likely for us to continue as partners…..both from a business level and a personal one.
The consultative nature of the signage business often requires multiple visits and I, like most people, choose to return to hotels and resorts where I’ve had a positive experience. It requires good planning and proper execution of all the details to make your resort a place guests want to visit again and again. Sign programs contribute to guests’ positive experience by making the resort unified and easier to navigate, and by giving guests clear, comprehensible information.
For assistance in determining the right signage program for your resort, please contact us at 800-727-6884 or visit www.southwoodcorp.com for more information.