The Dynamics of Face-to-Face VS Phone Interaction

By Alina Biermann

Posted in Sales Tips

Modern technology is increasingly evolving and competition is more fierce than ever. To stay competitive, companies cut costs wherever they can.  

In sales, calling people rather than meeting them face-to-face is perceived as a great way to save money. Saving money on gas and vehicle costs can be beneficial to your company’s bottom line. But at what expense?

To determine the right selling strategy for your company, you should consider the dynamics of face-to-face versus over-the-phone interactions with customers.


Call Me, Maybe?

Calling people is a cost-effective way to contact new prospects. Except for your flat-rate monthly phone bill, there are little additional costs incurred from calling people. This can be done wherever you are at almost any time of the day. 

Remember, you can call a lot more customers a day than you can visit in person. By contacting more people, you have more opportunities  of making a sale.

While you can increase your numbers through phone calls, developing close relationships over the phone can be challenging. Bigger deals will usually require you to sit down face to face in order to build trust.

But it’s not necessary to switch from outside to inside sales to cut down costs. You can make outside sales more profitable by using a route planning app, saving you money on gas while making the best use of your time.

Badger Maps is a route planner designed specifically for field salespople that allows them to automatically plan, route, and maximize their time in the field by cutting down driving time by 20% and increasing sales by 22%.

You Sound Great Today

Some argue that phone calls are impersonal. When communicating with someone, we read their body language and facial expressions. We are influenced by their style of clothing or even just the way they cut their hair. All of these aspects determine how we process information and help us form our opinions.

In a phone call, these influences are lost. You have to make judgments without seeing your prospect’s reaction.

This makes listening to your customer’s tone all the more important. Pay close attention to how your prospect says things to understand their feelings. You can tell if they are interested, tired, or maybe just too busy to take your call. Listen carefully to figure out if (and how) to proceed with the sale.

Listen to Mark Bowden’s Outside Sales Talk to discover how you can leverage body language for sales success!

Tone of Voice

Your own tone is equally important. Pay attention to how you say things and always be professional. Poor rapport can be off-putting and show you lack an interest in what your prospect is saying. Even if you’re having a terrible day, don’t let it negatively affect your customer interaction.

Putting yourself in the same mindset you’re in when you’re communicating face-to-face can make a great difference. Imagine the person you talk to was standing right in front of you. This helps you use a more positive tone of voice and appear more interested.

Video calling could be an option to make phone calls more personal. Even though you’re interacting with the person in a virtual world, it is easier for both parties to determine body language, levels of interest, etc. However, video calling is more appropriate for follow-up than cold calls, since it requires more time and technical set-up.

Nice to See You

With face-to-face conversations, you can hear what someone is telling to you not only with their words, but also through their body language and facial expressions. During direct interaction you can get a more detailed idea of a customer’s opinion about your product.

Engagement is higher during face-to-face conversations than it is during a phone call. Having this direct communication makes people concentrate more on the conversation and prevents them from becoming distracted during the call.

Face-to-face communication limits your customer’s ability to disguise their feelings. On a call, prospects can “hide” behind the phone and ask if you can speak later, which is usually code for never. During direct interaction, people are forced to deal with the situation in the present moment, which gives you a good shot at them listening to what you have to say.


Check out this Training Tuesday video for the best tips on how to overcome sales objections.

Show, Don’t Tell

Direct conversations with prospects can help you to convey what you want to get across. You can use body language to emphasize important aspects of what you are saying, or even give a live product demonstration.

Even though it gets harder if more people are involved, face-to-face communication can easily include more than several prospects at the same time.

Running a demo in front of several people at once saves you valuable time. You do not need to work your way up a company’s hierarchy from the initial point of contact to the CEO. Instead, you can set up one meeting to help the entire team get started on using your product immediately. 

The Bottom Line

When possible, face-to-face conversations and meetings are the best way to communicate the value of your product. You can utilize body language, facial expressions and gestures to help move the conversation along.

Don’t forget to keep tabs on your tone of voice as this is how your clients will assess your enthusiasm about the product you are selling.

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