In times where modern technology enables companies to operate across borders, 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 must be beneficial to your company’s bottom line, right? But at what expense?
To determine the right selling strategy for your company, you should consider the dynamics of face-to-face versus phone interaction 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. You can do it wherever you’re at any time of day (almost).
Phone calls are profitable. You can call a lot more customers a day than you can visit in person. You don’t waste time and money being stuck in traffic. Time you can use to cold call 50+ prospects a day. Contacting more people raises the possibility of making a sale.
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 influence how we process information and help us form our opinions.
In a phone call, these influences are lost in the transfer. 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 draw conclusions on their emotional status. You can tell if they are tired, annoyed, interested or busy at the moment. Listen carefully to figure out if (and how) to proceed with the sale.
It Was Good Talking to You
Your own tone is equally important. Pay attention to how you say things. Poor rapport can be off-putting and show a lack of interest to your client. Be professional. Even if you’re having a terrible day, don’t let it negatively affect your customer interaction.
It helps to put yourself in the mindset you’re in when communicating face-to-face. Imagine the person you talk to was standing right in front of you. It 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, (des)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
Face-to-face conversation is like 3D listening. You hear what someone says to you while reading how they feel about it from their body language and facial expression. During direct interaction you get a more detailed idea of a customer’s opinion on your product.
Engagement is higher during face-to-face conversation than phone calls. When you speak to someone directly, you are less likely to get distracted. Direct communication makes people concentrate on the conversation and prevents them from playing Pokemon Go alongside 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 postpone the talk to a later moment in time, often synonymous for never. During direct interaction you put your customers on the spot, guiding them to - at least - try out your product.
Let Me Show You What I Mean
Direct conversation helps you convey ideas. You can use your hands to emphasize important aspects. Or even directly demonstrate your product to your prospect instead of using desktop screen-sharing.
Face-to-face communication can easily include more than 2 people. Even though it gets harder if more people are involved, you can speak to several prospects at once.
Running a demo in front of several people at once saves you time. You do not need to work your way up a company’s hierarchy from the initial person of contact to the CEO. Instead, you set up one meeting to help the entire team getting started on using your product immediately.
Be the Best Version of Yourself - Everyday
When possible, face to face conversation 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.
It’s important to keep tabs on how the tone of your voice is coming out as that is the only way clients will assess your level of motivation and energy.
To make an even better impression on your prospects, make use of sales apps that can help you become more organized. Badger Maps schedules and optimizes your routes for you. This saves you time and money and prevents face-to-face communication from becoming an unreasonably expensive endeavor.