SAS: Personal Meetings Lead to More Business

Now it has been documented - travel and personal meetings result in more business according to a new survey conducted by Gallup on behalf of SAS. One thousand Swedish businessmen/women were interviewed regarding the significance of personal meetings in their business. Similar surveys were also conducted in Norway and Denmark.

“There is a clear connection between increased business travel and more and larger business deals. Eight out of ten businessmen/women in the study said that increased travel has resulted in more business. Of those who have traveled more and conducted more business, half say that they have increased the value of their business by approximately 20 percent or more, thanks to having met face-to-face as they conducted business,” says Odd Guteland of Swedish Gallup.

Eight out of ten Swedish businessmen/women polled in the study felt that it is important to meet the person with whom you are conducting business. Over half also stated that it is difficult to establish a trusting relationship with someone that they have never met.

A slight majority increased their business travel over the past six months. In other words, there is nothing to indicate that the attack on September 11 has negatively affected Swedish business travel to any significant degree. Just over one in five businessmen/women have increased their business travel. Half replied that they had done so since their company is in an expansion phase. Almost two in five indicated the reason was because they were conducting more business that required travel.

Salespeople have clearly increased their travel to a greater extent than other categories. Typically, salespeople consider the importance of personal meetings to a greater degree than others within a company. As seen before, they are also more acutely aware of the weaknesses of new technology than managers and other officials.


Large companies and companies located in the Stockholm region have made the most cutbacks in their travel, whereas small companies and companies throughout the rest of the country continue to travel more or less as before. Numerous Stockholmers indicated changes in company policy and the economic downturn as reasons for reduced travel.

The survey was conducted among businessmen/women at Swedish companies that have more than five employees and who frequently attend business meetings and travel in their work. A total of 3,000 persons were interviewed in Scandinavia.

“As one of the largest travel companies in Scandinavia, we consider it our responsibility to contribute to the advancement of knowledge surrounding travel in our society and finding out what it is that motivates people to travel. We conducted this study in order to draw attention to an area about which there is currently no substantial knowledge,” says Jens Willumsen, Senior Vice President at SAS.