Despite the convenience and ease of today’s technology, there really is no substitute for face-to-face communication. This is especially true for sales. “Anyone with face-to-face pitching experience knows it’s true that body language and tone shifts are much easier to lose over the phone or internet,” writes Ryan Myers in an article for Sales & Marketing Management. In-person interactions not only keep communication clear, but also help build rapport.
But, meeting someone in person doesn’t mean you won’t have speed bumps in your interaction. It’s important that when you engage a lead in-person that you avoid common missteps and mistakes. Below are a few do’s and don’ts that Myers recommends:
Don’t immediately ramble on to create rapport. Often, salespeople feel the need to immediately go into a long-winded attempt at getting to know the other person. While ice breakers are fine, Myers suggests not avoiding the pitch for too long. This can make the conversation feel forced and awkward.
Do embrace enthusiasm. In-person pitches are a perfect time for showing your passion for what you’re selling. And, if you can tell the prospect is really excited to hear what you’re saying, you get the green light to show your own excitement. “Match their enthusiasm, because their business is good for you, too,” Myers points out. “That’s why you’re there.”
Don’t ask questions that lead to answers you already know. It can be tough to ask tough questions face-to-face. But, don’t waste everyone’s time by safely asking unnecessary questions.
Do ask at least one open-ended question. You have the prospect in front of you, so use that time wisely. You can broaden the sales conversation by asking open-ended questions that encourage reflection and thoughtful responses. “They also have the potential to bring problems or concerns to light that you might not have uncovered with a typical on-the-tracks line of questioning,” Myers adds.
While texts and emails are perfect for quick touchpoints, make the effort to do most of your communicating in-person. That face-to-face time with prospects is invaluable. And, with Myers’ suggestions, you can ensure that the time is used efficiently.