Face-to-face negotiation doubles your chance to win business, writes Graeme Hyde, but how do you rank when it comes to belly-to-belly communications?
THE CLASSIC sales line, “They have an honest face”, still applies as much today in the digital era as ever before.
In fact, with all the different social media options, many people forget personal contact with their customers is often the most powerful way to communicate.
Face-to-face communication builds a lasting impression and also provides the fastest opportunity to build highly valuable relationships and create customers for life.
Many sales people today assume that because we are in such a fast paced environment, their prospects and customers would rather read an email or receive a text.
A name in a sea of emails is easily forgotten or overlooked. A face, however, is a far more personal and memorable connection. It also comes with a voice, a smile, a handshake and the unspoken forms of body language.
But how many sales people ever think about the way they communicate with email or text versus how much better they would be face-to-face?
A sales person’s presentation is paramount to customers making them the agent of choice for selling their biggest asset, and research reveals you can double your chances to win the business when negotiating face-to-face.
In person, you build rapport faster, as the client is able to see how well groomed you are, how you maintain eye contact, how enthusiastic you are, your body language and how well you negotiate.
Our recent study of our top performing sales people who provided the highest levels of service revealed:
1. They are accessible to their customers whenever they are needed
2. They are also available in person if needed, not just via text, phone or email
3. When the phone rings, they answer or have a friendly short message that answers the phone after just a few rings
4. These agents also change their answering machine message regularly
5. They recognise that building long lasting, valuable relationships requires consistent face-to-face interaction whenever possible
6. They recognise their presentation, rapport building and negotiation skills are always better presented in person
Top performing sales people are also more question based and solution focused.
It is impossible to prescribe before you diagnose, and these top agents understand this and are masters in this area.
It is also important to remember photos, videos, social media posts, email responses and phone messages can be interpreted by the viewer or listener totally differently to the way they were intended to be communicated. They therefore take stock and review all their communication on a regular basis to ensure it is pitched at the right target audience and in an appropriate way.
Next time you do a stocktake of your personal marketing collateral, consider:
1. When was the last time you changed your phone message?
2. How do you look on your videos?
3. What does your YouTube or Facebook image look like?
4. Does your website profile photo look like you do today?
Using communication channels such as Facebook and YouTube to promote yourself is a great idea, but this is only worthwhile if your profile is presented correctly.
It is also not to be used as a replacement for direct forms of communication.
At the end of the day, the more face-to-face meetings you have, the higher quality business you will win.