Technology has completely changed the way we interact with each other and the world around us. Whether we’re searching for the best pizza restaurant, video chatting with a friend, or buying a new sweater, technology is ubiquitous in almost every facet of our daily lives. There’s no denying that the rise of technology has improved things that were once unplugged. Many marketing and sales tactics have evolved thanks to digital platforms and techniques. However, in our increasingly digital world, face-to-face sales is still highly valuable and helps brands in ways digital interactions cannot.
Face-to-face sales techniques strengthen relationships with prospects and customers, enhance brand credibility, and enable reps to communicate key value propositions more effectively. In-person selling tactics also help cut through the static and make brands stand out against the competition. Thus, many organizations are prioritizing relationship-building tactics to slice through the digital noise of the competition and get in front of their customers. In a world where consumers are more likely to purchase from brands they know and trust, in-person selling puts a friendly face to a brand.
Face-to-Face Sales 101
Face-to-face sales, sometimes referred to as “personal selling,” is when a business sells its products or services directly to the customer, in person. Personal selling strengthens meaningful human connections between sellers and buyers. A face-to-face sales representative might schedule one-on-one meetings in advance or make door-to-door sales calls. And they often attend tradeshows, conventions and industry events. Sometimes they even promote their products or solutions at a booth inside or outside of a brick and mortar retail store.
At Ascenta we believe face-to-face selling should be an essential layer of any sales strategy. We’ve mobilized face-to-face sales teams across the country for some of the world’s largest organizations and are acutely aware that deploying an in-person approach to selling enables decision-makers to emotionally connect with a brand and understand a brand’s values. Here are six more benefits of face-to-face selling:
1. Fuel Human Connections
The best sales representatives have harvested a deep understanding of human relationships. Humans are wired for connection with others; we want to belong and feel appreciated. Knowing what makes every person “tick” is valuable for relationship building and closing deals.
Remember, face-to-face sales is often the first time a potential customer comes into contact with your brand, products, and services. Keep the hard-selling tactics to a minimum and stick to a softer approach while prioritizing relationship-building tactics. Be sure to listen to potential customers’ wants and needs, make strides to find common interests, and practice empathy to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.
2. Clearly Communicate Shared Values
Shared values between consumers and brands help to establish concrete relationships. According to HBR, a shared value is “a belief that both the brand and consumer have about a brand’s higher purpose or broad philosophy.” For example, TOMS clothing and shoe brand’s share value is the belief that every person deserves clothing, shoes, and shelter. Shared beliefs authenticate your brand and provide a ground floor for driving human connections. In fact, 64% of people said one of the main reasons they have a relationship with a brand is because of their shared values. Face-to-face selling provides a bridge to communicate your brand’s shared values directly with prospects and customers.
3. Educate Prospects and Customers
Face-to-face sales gives you a platform to engage directly with consumers and answer their questions about your products or services. Sales representatives in the field should be armed with a wide breadth of knowledge, not only about your products and services, but also about your industry in its entirety. Before sending your sales pros into the field, make sure they’re armed with:
- Typical use cases of your products or services
- Printed out pamphlets detailing frequently asked questions and answers
- Customer success stories and anecdotes
4. Earn Trust and Credibility
Customers are more likely to buy from brands and companies they know and trust. If prospects don’t trust you, there will be no foundation to build a relationship. In-person sales are another technique to better understand prospects wants and needs. The more you learn about what prospects and customers need, the better you’ll be able to serve them–you might even see a lift in customer retention and brand loyalty.
5. Demonstrate Complicated Products or Services
Do you remember the last time you went to a grocery store and were offered a free sample? Grocery stores vendors have mastered the art of demonstration because they know customers are much more likely to purchase after seeing and tasting a product. Taking the time to demonstrate your product gives prospects the opportunity to learn how it will work best for them. The key is demonstrating how your product helps solve their pain points, needs, and desires.
6. Eliminate Technical Difficulties and Miscommunication
In some instances, technology increases the efficiency of communication during the sales process. In other instances, technology makes sales communication worse. A dropped call is enough to ruin any sale. Face-to-face selling eliminates these technical difficulties, enabling sales professionals to establish a rapport with prospects. You’ll also be able to use body language indicators to better gauge prospects’ reactions.
Strike the right balance between in-person sales and digital sales
Face-to-face selling can be challenging. However, the benefits outweigh the investment that goes into training and mobilizing a face-to-face team. Engaging with your customers in an intimate setting is a completely different experience than nurturing customers online. Face-to-face sales allow you to understand prospects and customers in real-time, increase sales and create a long-lasting, personal connection.