Sales is about relationships. Sales is also about making a profit. Making a profit means your sales have to be greater than your costs. Simple, right? Not always… spending money on the right things can improve both sales and profitability.
I’m on the road basically 52 weeks a year. I’m used to it, it’s the nature of my business. But that doesn’t mean I always enjoy travel, or that my time and money investment in traveling to meet clients, prospects and get leads always pays off.
• I miss family events due to travel.
• Travel is tiring, both physically and mentally.
• Travel is expensive, even when you schedule for the best rates and use travel loyalty programs to get good deals.
• Travel plans frequently go awry, due to weather, personalities and just plain old life.
Everyone’s business is different, people have different personal circumstances and obligations, and no one has figured out how to bullet-proof travel plans. What if we could take advantage of technology, and just eliminate all – or most – face to face meetings and conduct virtual meetings? I did some research, and here are some expert opinions on the value of in-person meetings and virtual meetings.
Analysis of Face to Face versus Virtual Sales Meetings
1. Full Body Language ~ PGi
Your eyes, mouth, brows and other facial features reveal more than what you say, but there are many more types of body language that you may not see through a webcam. This is especially important for high-stakes meetings like closing major deals for sales professionals or final interviews for human resources. In person, the host can see whether someone nervously taps their foot or where they place their hands, and even outside of the meeting room, the host can see when they arrive and how they treat others in the office. These clues give sales professionals better control over meetings with clients or human resources a richer understanding of candidates.
2. Time Savings and Networking ~ Green Capital
Face-to-face business meetings save time and energy because you are focusing on your client and their needs. It also helps when you meet like-minded individuals to have a venue where you can exchange ideas freely.
3. Face-to-face selling simplifies complexity, getting to “yes” faster ~ Sales and Marketing Management
Supplemental insurance covers a range of product options that can be tailored specifically to an individual’s or family’s needs. This makes the sales process more complex than, say, automobile insurance, which can be easily selected over the phone or through a website simply by providing brief information and a list of desired coverage limits.
4. Costly travel time ~ Tangible Words
Virtual connections can happen faster without the limitations of travel and venues. And, you can create an interactive atmosphere online with participants from across the world.
5. Combining Virtual and Face-to-Face Work ~ Harvard Business Review
The way to satisfy both needs is to blend sophisticated virtual tools with periodic face-to-face meetings. This involves what I call the “oscillation principle,” which allows you to tap the best attributes of both virtual work and face-to-face convening.
6. Less than 25% of workers receive any training on the nuances of video etiquette~ Ellen Michaels Presents
82% of employees prepare more for video calls and 73% are more engaged versus audio calls. Seeing faces and responses in real time ensures everyone participating in the conversation is alert and involved, versus a phone call which can allow for distracted multitasking.
7. The Personal Touch ~ Wall Street Journal
Conference calls, email, texting, video conferences, social networks and other forms of communication are all crucial elements in building and maintaining business relationships. However, none of them captures the impact of meeting with someone face-to-face.
8. Why meeting face-to-face still trumps videoconferencing ~ CIO
Every one of the initial assumed limitations to video conferencing has been solved, but systems are still neither common nor generally used as the standard way for folks to meet from remote areas. People still prefer to get on planes.
So what’s the answer? Which gets better sales results, virtual meetings or in person meetings? For me, its #5: combining in-person meetings with virtual meetings. My sales success is due in large part to my bigger-than-life personality. And my personality may not come across on a Skype call the same way it can in person, when I’m looking my prospect in the eye and listening to his verbal and silent responses. I supplement my face-to-face meetings with calls and video calls. But when my client has a problem, or I sense some type of issue during our conversation I’ll immediately hop in the car, head for the airport, and solve the problem and secure our relationship in person, face to face.
How has technology changed your sales calls?
about Anthony Caliendo:
As a corporate sales consultant, trainer and coach, I’m also an entrepreneur and sales professional with over 20 years of successful sales and sales management experience. My expertise in sales, marketing and business development spans from small business to international companies.
I’m the best-selling author of The Sales Assassin: Master Your Black Belt in Sales, winner of the 2015 USA Book News business book award for entrepreneurs and small business, winner of the 2016 Book Excellence Award for Sales and Marketing, and a 2016 finalist in The Indie Book Awards.
I provide personal sales coaching; and consult, speak and train about growing and motivating your sales team to businesses, corporations and conferences across the nation, as well as a guest contributor and sales expert for TV and radio, and professional organizations.