Face-to-face selling is another term used for personal selling and often referred to as the cornerstone of sales. Used in all industries for many decades, this technique cultivates relationships, builds trust and inspire sales. It is a process in which a salesperson interacts with customers directly in order to sell the product. Face-to-face selling is marketing and selling product to customers using skills and marketing techniques in person.
Face-to-face selling works even in today’s fast paced social media environment. Over the last several years sales teams have grown accustomed to using email blasts, telephone calls and social media tools when prospecting. However, this is not necessarily optimum to the art of sales. The exposure your product needs is best presented by you and your sales team. Although technology is critical to a successful sales process, the personal touch of meeting prospects is equally important. Finding the perfect balance between the need to meet and the reality of geographical limitations is crucial, but possible nonetheless, thanks to technology. Using cutting edge products to facilitate the face-to-face experience is yet another excellent strategy for an engaging and effective sales process. Making the most of time with the aid of products that lend themselves to using the web for live conferences is an opportunity to have the best of both worlds – a remote contact with a personal touch. Some products that offer the personal touch ability are Webex, GotoMeeting and Zoom. The ability to host live conferences in which personal introductions and conversations carry on have proven to be vital for sales departments. Bringing companies together despite their geographical location is no longer a challenge.
One of the major strengths of face-to-face selling is that it provides a personal connection between a salesperson and a customer. The “scary” face-to-face sales technique still works! Usually business owners are leery of carrying on a conversation and investing in a product without knowing more about the salesperson or company. Many people feel that they will have a better chance of receiving fair and honest treatment from a person whom they have personally met, rather than someone communicating via telephone or email, so making that personal connection can sometimes mean the difference between a successful long-standing business relationship and a lost opportunity. A salesperson engaged in face-to-face selling can also better gauge reactions and interest from a client when meeting him or her in person. Of course, it is difficult to be everywhere at once, but sales teams have various methods to reach prospects in person. It is important that you take advantage of such opportunities in order to expand your pipeline of leads and build relationships with interested buyers.
Trade organizations are an excellent resource for networking with key players within a targeted industry. Trade shows provide a great opportunity to meet new prospects, connect with old prospects, meet with your clients and carry on the traditional sales process of face-to-face selling. Here are just a few of the trade organizations that coordinate excellent trade shows each year:
- The National Trailer Dealers Association (NTDA)
- National Portable Storage Association (NPSA)
- Hardscape North America
- American Rental Association (ARA)
Planning and budgeting on a yearly basis for trade shows within your industry will provide leads that otherwise would be missed. Hit the road and don’t stop! It is crucial to hit the road “running” to promote your product and gain exposure. Yes, it can be uncomfortable, but any experienced sales person would agree that it works.
I recall my first walk-in experience. Of course, I was nervous and it took me a few seconds to gain the confidence I needed to ask for a manager but once I did, the rest was history. I made a very good business connection with a new prospect.
A thriving sales department should have sales people on the road – or at least on a live video conference. It’s that first impression that will help close the sale. We have seen a growing number of new techniques for selling over the last decade, but the sure fail-safe way to build a pipeline that can feed your sales for the year is without a doubt face-to-face interaction.
So, mix it up! Get out there and meet prospects face-to-face. Attend conferences, tradeshows and networking events. Engage in live stream conferences. And when appropriate, don't be afraid to reach back in time and go make that "old-fashioned" face-to-face onsite visit. By implementing multiple strategies that forge personal connections, you'll build a true formula for sales success.