Many businesses have taken the office out of the office and placed their operations on the web. Digital tools have made it easier and more affordable to do business even when employees are away from the office. Your business can follow the 7 step sales process via the phone, or one of the many digital tools – but there is one side of your business’s success that we can’t forget about – face-to-face sales meetings.
About Face-to-Face Meetings
There is something to be said for in-person sales meetings, but is it necessary for all meetings? You be the judge. The success of each approach, face-to-face, in-person or digital face-to-face meetings, depends on your company’s image, brand, and budget.
Benefits of in-person meetings
The benefits are hard to match when you can sit directly in front of a potential client. Benefits of in-person sales meetings are:
- Ability to shake hands
- Easier to read body language
- The conversation can be completely private
- You can tour the operations
- You can work off the “small talk”
- You get to see where the prospect works and thrives
- You get the opportunity to deliver the critical first impression
Benefits of face-to-face digital meetings
You company can benefit from video conferencing as well. While it is not physical face-to-face contact, it does share some of the same benefits. Benefits of face-to-face digital sales meetings are:
- Better record of the meeting
- Can schedule anywhere and anytime that is convenient for both you and the client
- Telecommuting is easy with a fast internet connection and the proper equipment
- Reduces travel-related expenses
- Lowers the overall cost of sales
Tips for Face-to-Face Sales Meetings
You can’t beat the power of a face-to-face sales meeting. You learn so much more about yourself, the company, and your prospective client. Digital meetings try to bridge the same gap, but in some cases, it just can’t match the effect of personalized attention. To prepare for your first face-to-face, consider a few tips to help you make the best first impression, to maximize every minute of the meeting, and to close the deal.
Send a reminder
The first step to making a good impression is to send a quick reminder to your potential client. You have a couple options for this – email or phone. If you send an email reminder, consider sending a calendar invite to your client, along with a warm message about the meeting. If you prefer to make a personal call, that will be to your benefit. The more you can talk to the potential client before the sale, the stronger the connection when you do finally meet face-to-face.
Dress the part
Know the territory before you go in. You don’t have to overdo it to make a good impression, but you do have to dress the part. You won’t dress the same for every sales meeting. How you dress reflects the type of customer with whom you are meeting. Do your research so that you can show the prospect that you are the best fit for their company and its needs.
Don’t isolate a single person
If you followed the first step, you have already established a relationship with a single contact in the company. Don’t assume that this is the only person with whom you are meeting. Doing so sets you up for challenges, and without knowing it, will isolate others in the room. Sales meetings aren’t always with a single person, so make sure you address everyone in the room – especially the women. Sales meetings tend to focus on the men in the room, but women have just as much say, if not more, at many companies.
You have a lot to say, but sometimes the best conversation is one where you don’t do all the talking. Listen to your prospects’ needs. You must understand their concerns and needs if you want to sell any of your services. Before you arrive to the meeting, you should prepare a list of questions or doubts that may arise in the meeting. When you arrive, listen to the customer to see how your company addresses these concerns. You will be better prepared, which allows you to optimize every minute of the meeting. If you can listen now, the prospect knows you have willingness to listen to and address their needs for the remainder of the business relationship.
You may be selling your technology, but you are also selling yourself and the personalized attention your company offers. That is something a digital meeting can’t quite live up to. Every time you have a face-to-face meeting with potential new clients, you will refine your approach and close more sales.
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