When you hear the word travel, you immediately think of your annual holiday away from job and responsibilities, or the dreadful commute to and from the office. But what is business travel?
Well, business travel includes all travel that takes place for work or business purposes. Whether it be an overnight stay at a hotel near to the head office or a faraway trip to attend a global industry exhibition, businesses travel a lot.
Reasons Why Business Travel is Still Important
In a time when mobile phones and video conferencing are common, some people question the need for business travel. Many companies see business travel as simply an expense and don’t see the benefits that come with it. Sitting in an office and staring at a computer screen is not an alternative for putting your feet on the ground. There are 4 major reasons why business travel is still important.
Closing a Deal or Signing New Business Contract
Face-to-face meetings are essential for closing business deals. Oxford Economics has found that the rate of converting potential customers to actual customers nearly doubles when a face-to-face meeting takes place. In many business sectors, this means closing nearly 100% of the business deals. Some Fortune 100 companies won’t sign big contracts without a face-to-face business meeting between company leaders. Imagine it– would you trust your professional future to someone you’ve never met?
When you are out of the office for business you have the liberty to meet and communicate with people you wouldn’t have from your computer screen. It’s easy to start a conversation with someone you have no direct connection with at all, it happens in daily life. Whether it’s on a station platform, someone ahead of you in a queue or you are introduced by a common friend– you could find there are synergies between your industries or businesses. By getting out of the office environment you instantly expanding your options and uncovering multiple avenues of opportunity.
Two key aspects of leadership are the ability to motivate others to have confidence in you and your company and to inspire others, even though you lack authority. To do this, you need to be transparent– both with co-workers and with clients. Taking the time to meet people in-person can help them feel that you are invested in their success.
The biggest reason why business travel is essential is to promote personal interactions. Face-to-face meetings can improve understanding and compassion, reduce miscommunication, and foster a team spirit
Technology is not an alternative for getting in front of your clients and colleagues. Business travel is not only a cost to your business; it can also lead to tremendous benefits and yield new business opportunities.