I’ve had no problem doing over 90% of my deals on the phone and over email. However, occasionally, I get the “in-person meeting request” and, from several empirical tests, I’ve found these to be mostly time-wasters, especially with prospective deals.
The following is now my go to line:
To be honest, I only like in-person meetings if they’re an absolute must or when there is a clear deadline or deal to tackle. I’m sure you’re a nice person . However, from a great deal of empirical data, email/phone is far more productive to assess new deals.
At the same time, I definitely found industry events useful, especially in finding new opportunities, and strengthening relationships with existing partners.