Without a doubt, technological advancements and a shift in buyer attitudes have transformed the way businesses interact with their leads and customers. Much like handwritten notes and letters, face-to-face meetings are history and certainly no longer in vogue.
With the entire sales process happening online, cold-calling is nearly done and dusted in the business world – but on the contrary, research shows that 92% of all customer interactions still happen over the phone.
Gone are the days when customers did not have access to product information, pricing, customer reviews and what the competitors were like. A decade ago, the salesperson was the expert and a sole gateway – not Google.
In today’s competitive marketplace, we cannot deny the fact that the modern sales strategy and operations are a true blessing that has effectively made our lives a lot easier.
But think about this – as much as we readily embrace all the wonderful changes, there is also an undeniable realisation to remember some of the age-old tactics that are critical to the sales process and functions even to this day.
Although less frequently opted for today, in-person or face-to-face meetings continues to remain effective at certain stages of the sales process. Consider these stats that prove its worth:
– In-person requests are 34 times more successful than those made over email.
– The close rate for in-person meetings is 40%.
What is the go-to sales strategy in your business?
Weigh your options: Traditional VS online approach
Advantages of traditional methods of sales:
Simply put, the traditional approach to sales is easy and familiar to understand, can help businesses target the local audience better and create a brand awareness. This allows you to create a long-term bond with your client on a more human level that the world overlooks and lacks today.
On the other hand, there are myriad things we can do to stay ahead and updated on the front of modern sales processes. A successful business that understands the fact that the role of a salesperson has effectively changed must also realise that this calls for an opportunity to learn, grow, improve and change with the times. We cannot deny that it does have its own perks!
– Customers prefer to be interacted with rather than sold to – so, get creative!
– Know the buyer persona in and out – without ever meeting them!
– Target your potential buyers using digital tools and streamline your sales efforts in the right direction
– Many users over the internet are incredibly tech savvy and prefer to interact with brands in a few clicks and seek less human interaction
– Make the most of the online world in the sales process leading up to the last stage of closing a deal
Should businesses incorporate both into their sales strategy?
It is not a question of which one works better or worse for a business – I believe it depends on the company, their industry, audience, product, and what resources they can invest.
On one hand, sales is no longer just a numbers game, it is all about the people today. Businesses cannot afford to reach out to each and every potential lead and spend too much money and time on each of them – it is time and resource consuming and will take too much time for you to achieve your goals. This problem is tackled effectively when businesses rely on automating most of the phases of the sales process online.
The right balance would be to do a bit of both as and when necessary. Each approach has its merits and demerits and it will take a bit of trial and error to understand:
1. What is possible from your end in your business
2. What your business actually needs
What any successful business owners in their right mind will tell you is to leverage technology and developments to hasten the sales process and once you have surpassed the initial difficulties, it is essential for every business to go out on the field and build a strong relationship with the help of conventional face-to-face meetings.
The value of face-to-face conversations to strengthen online relationships
Here are the benefits of face-to-face interactions in your sales process:
– Leverage your body language: If you are a people person, what fun is it if you cannot use your greatest skill to achieve your goal? At in-person meetings, your energy, gestures, excitement, attitude and maybe even just your presence could be used to get your potential client to feel good about this deal.
– Communication can be crystal clear: Important things can be discussed better only in person. Sometimes, less technology can be a boon in disguise – how many times has your customer missed a crucial detail on a phone call, or had a connection issue interrupt an important conversation? In-person meetings remove barriers, interruptions and miscommunications.
– Establish a strong personal connection with your prospects: By sitting down with a prospect, you can share your business values and focus on going the extra mile unlike over a phone call. They will leave the meeting feeling like they got to know you and your company as people rather than just a business selling a product or service – which rarely happens in a formal, online conversation.
A business needs both traditional and modern sales if they are determined to succeed. With the help of traditional methods, you can establish and grow locally, invest in face-to-face meetings whenever needed. By combining traditional methods with modern techniques, you can build a wide array of client base.
Wouldn’t you agree that every sales method will only be as effective as the effort you put in?
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