I get calls and inquiries from clients all over the country, even occasionally outside the US. I am often asked how we work with long distance clients. What? Long-distance? You mean we can't have in person breakfast meetings every Monday where we slurp Dunkin...

I get calls and inquiries from clients all over the country, even occasionally outside the US. I am often asked how we work with long distance clients. What? Long-distance? You mean we can't have in person breakfast meetings every Monday where we slurp Dunkin coffee and compare Gant charts? I can't over negotiate the terms of the job over martini lunches? You won't be able to stop by our monthly happy hour, every month for the year it takes to complete the project? Scrap that, it will take 2 years with all that schmoozing and drinking.

The fact is most of our clients are not local. While it's nice to sit down in person for certain conversations, these days we have so many powerful tools to offset the distance, it's not a prerequisite to having a great working relationship. Sure, I'll hop on a flight in January and head to LA for a kick-off meeting, happily I will do that. But if our client's budgets don't allow for such things, no worries. Skype and some good meeting pre-planning will be just as efficient, even if I do have to wear my sweater vs. my flip flops. And if you want us in Boston in February for a design presentation to the board, yep - we're there. Cold. But there.

My point is this - we work everywhere because we can. We aren't installing a new IT infrastructure at your company headquarters, in fact, we are developing something for remote visitors, so us being remote is kind of appropriate. (OK, I'm stretching). But seriously, when you are trying to select your agency, don't automatically assume you need someone local. In the age of "the cloud" and Skype and Facetime, that's just hogwash. However, if you are located in the Bahamas, please have a travel budget for at least a few of the meetings - we can't bend the rules there. In all seriousness, if we have a kick-off meeting in DC, or in Chicago, or in LA, it's little difference minus some costs for airfare and an overnight stay. And chances are we see our non-local clients more often than our local ones. Distance matters not in the internet age. Communication, talent and experience does.

Share on Twitter or Facebook Published October 25th 2010