SMEs prefer face-to-face meetings, claims study

Decision makers in small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) prefer handling their business meetings face-to-face in an actual conference space, for example, rather than over the internet.

That’s according to research from Bibby Financial Services, who surveyed 1,000 firms with regards to their meeting habits, reports Fresh Business Thinking.

While a quarter of those surveyed suggesting they use the internet to look for financial information, a massive 76 per cent would actually prefer to discuss matters of finance with a real person face-to-face.

Furthermore, 79 per cent of Welsh firms and 69 per cent of Scottish firms would rather seek out a personal accountant or business account manager than rely on the internet to help them with finance.

Edward Winterton, executive director at Bibby Financial Services, commented on the figures: “The old adage that people do business with people does seem to still bear out according to our research.

“We know what a powerful tool the internet is, putting a wealth of information at our fingertips but we believe our survey shows that it is still important for business owners to have a one-to-one relationship with a financial provider,” he added.

Bibby’s study mirrors a similar investigation by officebroker.com, cited by startupsnews.co.uk, which suggests that 98 per cent of business leaders found meeting in person to be “invaluable”.