Face to Face Selling Techniques: Easy Beginner’s Guide!

April 4, 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.

Proven Face to Face Selling Techniques

Drive Traffic with Great Icebreakers

Got a killer exhibit location right in the line of traffic? It’s usually not enough. You can’t implement those fantastic face to face selling techniques until you’ve started a conversation with potential customer!

Stopping traffic is your job and it requires being active. Stand at the end of your exhibit space, looking friendly and open. Use open-ended questions as Icebreakers to start conversations. Open-ended questions create social pressure for the other person to pause and answer your question. Here are some examples:

  • “What brings you to the mall today?”
  • “When is the last time you tried (product you are selling)?”
  • “When is the last time you had (problem your product solves)?”

Don’t use Icebreakers like “How’s it going?” These kinds of ‘questions’ are heard as greetings in many cultures and will not stop traffic. Your potential customer will walk right on by!

Active Listening Sells More

We’ve all heard that active listening is the key to healthy romantic relationships. Did you know it’s also the key to successful face to face selling techniques?

To find out if a potential needs what you are selling and if they are likely to buy from you…

Ask short, strategic questions. Actively listen to the potential customer’s answer. Then respond with short, relevant information about your solution or company. Learn more about qualifying leads in our article on conducting a “Lead Interview.”

Psychological ‘Mimicking’

Active listening during a face to face selling conversation doesn’t just mean asking the right questions and responding with relevant solutions. It’s also about connecting with the lead on a psychological or emotional level.

That means not just actively listening to the facts, but reading emotional preferences and body language. And to some extent, mimicking that.

Have you seen the US TV series ‘The Office’? Remember when sales rep Andy Bernard tries to connect better with his new boss Michael Scott by mimicking all of Michael’s intonations and expressions?

Andy’s mimicking strategy works great at first, but eventually, Andy goes too far. It’s then obvious even to his new boss that he’s just sucking up. Andy had the idea right, if not the right execution!

Try to match the tone of the lead. If the lead talks softly, don’t overwhelm him or her by being overly loud and boisterous. If the lead uses informal language, don’t keep calling her ‘ma’m’ or him ‘sir.’

Be aware of differences in generational communication. If you are a younger sales rep, plan to leave out the slang. Unless of course, your lead is using some slang, in which case feel free mimic within reason.

Mimic the lead’s choice of industry terms. If your lead refers to programmers as ‘coders,’ do the same. If your lead uses the term ‘LMS’ instead of ‘learning management system, you do that as well. Unless industry jargon serves a larger purpose, leave it at home. Using the same terminology to helps reinforce that you are talking about the same thing, and also helps you to psychologically connect with your lead.

Want to learn more about face to face selling techniques? Check out our articles on…

Face to Face Selling Skills Anyone Can Learn and Face to Face Sales Script Examples

Learn more Face to Face Selling Skills with our Online Course Series

Face-to-Face Selling?
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