At my old company we had been trying to sell Staples for a while. They were the top dog in our territory and we were dying to do business with them.
The day finally came when we had an opportunity to meet. It went really well and as we were headed out, high on the fact that we might have a shot in Hell, we ran into an old client named Mike.
We had no idea that he had started working at Staples. This was brilliant – he was a big fan of ours and helpful for us in his last company.
A chance run-in with Mike ended up being the thing that got us our first small project with Staples. If we hadn’t actually been physically present in that office building, we wouldn’t have gotten the leverage we needed to get our foot in the door.
This, my friends, is why meeting face-to-face will never go out of style. Looking for an AI-Powered CRM to figure out who you having these face to face meetings with? Download the Spiro app for your phone.
1. Pick Up on Body Language Clues
There is subconscious information exchanged between people when they meet in person that can reveal a whole story where a phone call could reveal just one chapter.
Body language – the way a person places their arms, the way their eyes dart to the side, the way they lower or raise their chin – is VERY useful for reading between the lines.
2. Shoot the Shit in Between Doing Business
Perhaps one of the best advantages person-to-person meetings bring is the chance to bond.
Take lunch meetings, for example, often as much time is spent discussing business as it is shooting the shit. Here’s a story of just how important a single lunch meeting was for one sales guy’s relationship with a prospect.
3. The Power of In Person
Sales guy Chris needed to put a bit more effort into his relationship with a prospect to prove he was truly interested in helping them.
When he talked with his main contact at the company he offered to fly out to Las Vegas to buy her lunch – just give me one chance, he said.
The prospect was taken aback by his offer. She relented and he flew out to Vegas and treated her to lunch.
During the meal, she confessed that even though she had been working with his arch rival competitor for 10 years, not a single person there had offered to take her out to lunch.
Chris wasn’t even sure what to say. To him, meeting people in person and doing kind things for them was just a part of the business.
Eventually, the prospect made a small purchase from Chris’ company. He gave it his all, really impressed the client, and discussed how they could work together in the future.
Do you think Chris would have gotten the same results if he hadn’t met his prospect in person? Probably not.
Face-to-Face Can’t Be Replaced
We’ve been having a lot of meetings with sales VPs recently while working on another edition of Spiro. When we asked about their issues and priorities, guess what they said?
They said they want their teams to have more face to face meetings so they can expand their relationships inside those accounts.
There you have it – plenty of other teams are realizing that person-to-person relationships can’t be replaced.
Think of the limitations of a phone call, for example. When you’re on a call, you don’t know who else is on the call with them – should you be talking to that person? Are they more important?
I think the odds of you getting passed to the right person after a face to face meeting are a lot higher.
The secret with selling is to use every avenue to form a relationship with the right person in your prospect or client’s organization. Use the principles of psychological selling and a good balance of phone time and face time and you’ll be kicking ass and taking names in no time.