Death of Face-to-Face Selling?
There’s a lot of noise on Social Media about the demise of face-to-face selling, thanks to latest trends. I doubt we will ever see this in the B2B world, as people have – and always will – buy from people.
What has changed though, is the influence of Social Media on people’s choice of suppliers. Experts now claim that as much as 57% of a buyer’s journey gets done before the first meeting with potential suppliers. According to a study conducted by Corporate Visions, 74% of deals get awarded to the sales rep and company that was first to add value and insight.
So, the key message is that we all need to be attempting to offer value and insights. Many companies still believe it is valuable to ‘brag’ about new contract wins. Who cares? Remember the acronym WIIFM? What’s In It For Me? If you keep this in mind when writing emails,blogs and Social Media posts, you have half the battle won.
As we all know, the likelyhood of hitting a prospect at the time that he or she is ready to buy is very remote. Unless you’re selling consumable items that people buy often. The advice I am picking up loud and clear is communicate with your target sector regularly. Do it on as many social platforms as are relevant and focus on adding value whilst building credibility. Adopting this approach will give you a better chance of being at the forefront of potential buyers’ minds when they are ready to meet.
If you do none of this, I still think that there’s an opportunity to emerge from the ‘wilderness’. Use good, old fashioned sales skills. After all, very few companies will make key purchases online for services or solutions that are not ‘off the peg’. The prospect will want to meet the potential suppliers for many reasons. To assess their ability to deliver; to determine how much they trust them; to confirm there is a good cultural mix; to consider what value add they may deliver. And more besides. Those of us who are engaged in face-to-face selling need to embrace the digital advances as a tool to make our job easier. It should make for a better future. Long live the art of Face-to-Face sales!