Face to Face Selling Definition and Guide

April 15, 2017 | Face to Face Selling

Tina Nicola, M.A.

Tina is the founder of Tradeshow-Planning.com and has been creating profitable marketing and exhibit strategies for startups, small businesses and nonprofits for over nineteen years. Her main goal is to broaden access to the techniques she has developed so anyone can benefit and improve exhibiting strategy, sales conversations and follow up.

Face to Face Selling Definition

Are you looking for a face to face selling definition? Face to face selling is…

When a sales person sells a product or service directly to a customer in a face to face situation.

Common situations in which face to face selling skills are used include:

  • trade shows and trade fairs
  • direct sales exhibits
  • direct sales events
  • festivals, fairs, home shows, farmer’s markets
  • booths, stands, pop-up stores and shops and more

In fact, during the course of a day, you likely have many encounters that meet the face to face selling definition.

Ever passed a food truck or food exhibit at a mall and been asked if you’d like to try a free sample? You’ve encountered face to face selling skills at work!

Food stands are also face to face selling situations!

As are trade shows…

And in-person sales presentations!

Is Face to Face Selling right for you?

One of the major disadvantages of face to face selling is the cost in creating opportunities for them. Trade shows are expensive, renting retail space or even a small exhibit is even more expensive. Going to the customer’s home or place of business involves travel and hotel expenses. And of course, all face to face selling requires sales staff.

It’s not surprising that so many companies are moving sales online.

Costs saved by eliminating face to face selling opportunities can be passed on to the consumer. This is one of the reasons that Amazon.com has been so successful.

The Pros of Face to Face Selling: Consider Amazon

In fact, In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization. However thinking about Amazon’s success can also help us understand when face to face selling is still important.

Amazon’s success in the media market (books, cds, movies, etc) has been unmatched. You probably don’t think twice about buying a DVD on Amazon instead of a book store. Why? You know what to expect from that product and you know your needs clearly.

But now let’s suppose you are considering buying an appliance from Amazon. In that case, you will probably do some product research then go to a retail store to see the options Amazon sells in person. Maybe you see a product demo. You might even have a face to face sales conversation with that store’s retail staff to help decide which product is right for you. Once you are confident in the product and clear it will meet your needs, you buy it on Amazon if the price is better.

This situation has played out in retail stores across the country, resulting in many having to close up shop. Shoppers use retail locations to address all the needs a face to face selling situation typically address. Then they buy online.

Amazon.com hasn’t demonstrated that face to face sales is dead. In fact, it has demonstrated quite the opposite. For many products, consumers still need what face to face selling offers. Consumers just don’t buy from the company that has done the work to sell them the product.

When Face to Face Selling Skills Matter

Think about your product or service. Then ask yourself the following questions:

  • Demo? Do customers usually need to see a product demo before they buy?
  • Needs? Do customers need professional help to understand their needs and get the product that is ‘right for them’?
  • Problem? Are customers unaware that they have the problem your product solves?
  • Sample? Is trying a sample critical to creating a new customer for your product?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, face to face selling might be worth the investment for your product or service.

Face-to-Face Selling?
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