Attending an industry conference is a great way to network with potential clients in a singular setting. It is also a great opportunity to solidify the relationship you have with an existing client. Electronic communication helps us all run an efficient operation allowing us to meet the needs of our clients more quickly. But nothing can replace a face to face interaction, especially when issues arise.
I recently had an interesting experience with a forwarding client at a conference earlier this month. It’s not possible for me to attend every conference held each year, but I am glad that I was present for this one because it gave me the opportunity to clear up a misunderstanding with this client. Unbeknownst to me, this client was holding us responsible for a bad referral. The client never spoke to me about it, but I sensed tension in our interaction. What I love about my job is listening, asking questions, and solving problems, which is exactly what I did here. Turns out, we did not make that bad referral to this client. I think the conversation was much more meaningful because the client was willing to share their concern and I was willing to listen. It made all the difference that we were having this conversation in person. Our relationship is now much stronger because I was able to show that the doors of communication at the Forwarders List really is open. The lesson here is that while none of us can ever be everywhere, we can all be truly present whenever we do show up. Pay attention to what your clients are saying and doing at these conferences. It could mean the difference between keeping or losing business.