What Are The Advantages of Face-to-Face Meetings?
While everyone loves the ability of technology to scale our sales efforts, save time and my personal favorite, call on sales prospects all around the globe while sleeping in my own bed each night, the simple truth is, nothing closes a deal like a great face-to-face meeting with a prospect. In fact, I don’t think you can Sell Greatly without face-to-face interactions. Here’s why:
- Body Language: Even on a video call, you can’t always read the body language of your sales prospect and/or the other people in the room. This is a huge negative. Non-verbal body language often communicates a very different message from the verbal message a prospect is saying. By missing these hidden sales signals, you’re pitching a deal with one hand tied behind your back.
- Technology Works: Have you ever been on a video conference or even a conference call where the tech totally fails? Me too. Talk about a distraction. You’re trying to focus on a sales prospect and get them to focus on you but in reality, everyone is just thinking about the tech glitch and how it’s making it really hard to communicate anything.
- Small Talk: While it’s not uncommon for everyone to sit quietly (usually checking email or social media) while waiting for the official start of a conference or video chat call, the same isn’t true with face-to-face meetings. Because you’re sitting in a room with people, it’s considered rude to just stare (and it makes folks uncomfortable) so folks tend to launch into small talk. Small talk is where you learn those little insider tips and insights that often mean the difference between winning and losing a deal. Oh, and then there is the whole small talk leads to relationship thing.
- Relationship Building: When a video conference or conference call ends, it ends. There is no “after party.” But with face-to-face meetings, there is the opportunity to extend the meeting with a tour of the prospect’s offices, coffee, drinks or even lunch/dinner. All of these are chances to continue having conversations with your sales prospect – conversations that can turn into customers.
- Impact Value: Nothing says I want to work with you like taking the time to schedule and attend a face-to-face meeting. And I’m not just talking about your desire to work with your sales prospect. I’m talking about their desire to work with you too. By agreeing to accept a face-to-face meeting, the sales prospect is non-verbally signaling that they are interested in you enough to give you a chunk of their undivided attention.
- Higher Close Rates: According to Harvard Business Review, face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than email requests. And an US Travel Association Study found that sales prospects are more than twice as likely to become new customers with an in-person meeting.
Why Sales Prospects Take Face-to-Face Meetings
Well we have our own thoughts on this but interestingly enough, there really aren’t a lot of good, reputable studies answering this question. So we’re going to field our own and report back in a future post. If you want to be notified of the results, just drop your name/email below and we’ll email them to you when they’re ready.
Leveraging Empathy Based Selling To Schedule More Face-to-Face Meetings
As we noted above, we have our thoughts on why any sales prospect agrees to a face-to-face meeting when 95% or more of everything they need to do/cover with you can be done virtually.
That’s it. They want to look you in the eye, shake your hand, and make sure they truly believe you and/or your company are going to do what you say you will, and that you’ll deliver.
And that’s why traditional chase and convert sales prospecting approaches don’t cut it anymore. Sure, that was fine when that sales prospect couldn’t conduct 95%+ of the transaction virtually, they had no choice but to take a meeting in order to complete their purchase research.
But in today’s digital first world, the bar is higher. Everyone is being pushed to do more with less and the first casualty of that reality is the face-to-face meeting.
That leaves today’s sales teams with two options. First, accept that this is the new normal and become as proficient as possible at remote, virtual selling. Or second, give that sales prospect a reason other than just trust to WANT (note I purposely used that word WANT) to meet you face-to-face.
In a prior sales prospecting and conference networking post I told you the story of the woman who confided in a colleague
“You know I love that Tom isn’t trying to pitch me his stuff. But… I kind of want to hear the pitch.”
See that key word again? WANT
The key to getting face-to-face sales meetings is desire. Technology makes it easy for sales prospects to just talk to you via phone or maybe video conference. They can e-sign documents and contracts, review sales collateral, etc., all while you’re not actually sitting in the same room with them.
Nope, today if you want that all powerful face-to-face meeting, then you have to create a desire, a WANT in their mind to sit with you and hear your speal.
Need Help Creating Face-to-Face Meetings?
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