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Face to Face Selling Definition and Guide

Face to Face Selling - Roleplaying with Newbie

Face to Face Selling Definition

Face to face selling is just that!

Face to Face Selling: 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!

Face to Face Selling Definition - Food Stands
Food stands are also face to face selling situations!

As are trade shows…
Face to Face Selling Definition - Trade Shows

And in-person sales presentations!
Face to Face Selling Definition - Sales Presentations

Now you know the Face to Face Selling Definition – Is it 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.
[quote]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. [/quote]

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.

[quote]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. [/quote]

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.

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Learn Face to Face Selling Skills with our Video Course!

Face to Face Selling Skills for the Nervous and Confused

“Face to Face Selling Skills for the Nervous and Confused!” will teach you to sell like a pro at:

  • 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

[button size=”medium” link=”https://tradeshow-planning.com/exhibition-marketing/face-to-face-selling-skills-for-the-nervous-confused/”]Learn More[/button][button size=”medium” color=”red” link=”https://www.udemy.com/5-easy-steps-to-a-successful-sales-conversation/?couponCode=TRADESHOWPLANNING”]Preview on Udemy[/button]
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Face to Face Selling Tips: #3 Don’t Judge a Good Lead by the Cover

Face to Face Selling - Roleplaying with Newbie

Determining if the person you are speaking with is a ‘good lead’ is possibly one of the most important face to face selling skills you need to develop.

This is known as ‘lead qualification’ and it’s the process of deciding if a someone is likely to buy from you. At a face to face selling event, you want to qualify leads as quickly as possible because time is money. If it takes you 30 minutes to learn a person can’t afford your product, that’s 30 minutes you could have been spending talking with a real potential customer.

Face to Face Selling Tips - Qualifying Leads
Is this a good lead? Don’t judge by appearance or dress.

Qualify Leads Quickly, But Not Too Quickly

Is there some way to quickly size up a lead by appearance or behavior? Should you prioritize people that ‘seem’ more professional by the way they look or are dressed? Does seeming more professional make a potential customer more likely to be a decisionmaker?

This depends somewhat on the industry and culture, but in our experience: No.
[quote]Like a book, you can’t accurately judge a good lead by its cover. [/quote]

In fact, when see a well-dressed professional headed into our face to face selling exhibit, we bet there’s at least a 50% chance they are a job-seeker.

Yes, decisionmakers can be…

  • Unfashionable and slovenly
  • Inarticulate and lacking knowledge
  • Inappropriate in behavior or language

Slovenly? It’s not uncommon for American decisionmakers to dress like they are on vacation at face to face selling events. After all, here they are the customer not the vendor.

Inappropriate? Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for decisionmakers to use their position to ask inappropriate personal questions (“Are you single?”) or to engage in flirty behavior at a face to face selling event.

Try redirecting the conversation back to business with a relaxed confidence. If that does not work, there is no need to tolerate bad behavior. Get a colleague to take over or let the business go. True good leads can sometimes behave inappropriately, but you have to ask yourself if this person is truly interested in what you have to offer or only what you aren’t offering.

Qualifying Leads with A-C-T-I-O-N

So, if appearances don’t work to qualify a lead, what does?

Stick to the basics. Use what we call the Lead Interview to qualify leads.

[box]Good leads will meet most or all of the following criteria:

Authority – Has authority to purchase your product
Compatibility – Has a compatible budget and purchase process
Timeline – Can purchase in your ideal timeline
Identity – You know their identity, they are willing to share contact info
Obstacles – Has no obstacles to doing business with you
Need – Needs or wants your product[/box]

Check out this article on qualifying leads to learn more about the Lead Interview.
[box type=”note”]

For more Face to Face Selling Skills Tips,
take our Video Course!

Face to Face Selling Skills for the Nervous and Confused

“Face to Face Selling Skills for the Nervous and Confused!” will teach you to sell like a pro at:

  • 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

[button size=”medium” link=”https://tradeshow-planning.com/exhibition-marketing/face-to-face-selling-skills-for-the-nervous-confused/”]Learn More[/button][button size=”medium” color=”red” link=”https://www.udemy.com/5-easy-steps-to-a-successful-sales-conversation/?couponCode=TRADESHOWPLANNING”]Preview on Udemy[/button]
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Face to Face Selling Tips: #2 Always Be Active

Whether due to poor training or laziness, exhibits and trade shows are full of sales reps failing to follow the most important of all face to face selling tips: Always be active.

Face to Face Selling Tips Active
Being active starts with the Icebreaker!

Active sales reps look this:

  • Stands at the edge of the exhibit
  • Smiles, looking open and friendly
  • Initiates conversations with strangers using Icebreakers
  • Approaches potential customers in the exhibit to start a conversation

Passive sales reps look like this:

  • Sits in the exhibit, often behind a counter
  • Keeps ‘busy’ by reading or looking at the computer
  • Waits to be spoken to
  • Assumes ‘good leads’ will take initiate conversation and browsing
  • Thinks ‘active’ is the same thing as being ‘pushy’

Make ‘Be Active’ Your Mantra
Being passive literally destroys your chances to have conversations that can lead to sales! You or your company has typically paid big bucks for the opportunity to meet customers face to face. That’s why it is critical to make the most of this opportunity.

Check out this article to learn how ‘be active’ should be at the center of any Direct Sales Strategy Plan!
[box type=”note”]

For more Face to Face Selling Skills Tips,
take our Video Course!

Face to Face Selling Skills for the Nervous and Confused

“Face to Face Selling Skills for the Nervous and Confused!” will teach you to sell like a pro at:

  • 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

[button size=”medium” link=”https://tradeshow-planning.com/exhibition-marketing/face-to-face-selling-skills-for-the-nervous-confused/”]Learn More[/button][button size=”medium” color=”red” link=”https://www.udemy.com/5-easy-steps-to-a-successful-sales-conversation/?couponCode=TRADESHOWPLANNING”]Preview on Udemy[/button]
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Face to Face Selling Tips: #1 Icebreakers Stop Traffic

Face to face selling tips

In an ideal world, a face to face selling rep has all the traffic they can handle and more! The reality is this: Even with great pre-marketing and a solid exhibit location, you probably won’t have a steady flow of potential customers. That’s why you need Icebreakers.
Face to face selling tips

It’s your job to stop traffic
and start conversations that can lead to a sale! Stand at the edge of your exhibit. Look friendly and open. Start conversations with people passing by using open-ended questions as Icebreakers.

Good Icebreaker Examples
Good Icebreakers are questions that start with “Who? What? When? Why?” These questions require more than a yes or no response, creating social pressure for an answer. Questions like these are more likely to get a Passerby to pause and stop long enough to think of a socially acceptable reply.

  • “What brings you to the show today?”
  • “Who did you come to event with?”
  • “When is the last time you tried (product you are selling)?”

Bad Icebreaker Examples
Bad Icebreakers can be easily ignored or can be answered without stopping for conversation. They usually start with ‘Do’ or ‘Have’ or ‘Are.’ They include:

  • “How are you?”
  • “Have you enjoyed the show?”
  • “Are you looking for something specific?”

Once you’ve gotten a potential customer to stop, you need to keep the conversation going! Check out our article on implementing a Direct Sales Strategy Plan to learn how to turn a conversation into a sale!
[box type=”note”]

For more Face to Face Selling Skills Tips,
take our Video Course!

Face to Face Selling Skills for the Nervous and Confused

“Face to Face Selling Skills for the Nervous and Confused!” will teach you to sell like a pro at:

  • 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

[button size=”medium” link=”https://tradeshow-planning.com/exhibition-marketing/face-to-face-selling-skills-for-the-nervous-confused/”]Learn More[/button][button size=”medium” color=”red” link=”https://www.udemy.com/5-easy-steps-to-a-successful-sales-conversation/?couponCode=TRADESHOWPLANNING”]Preview on Udemy[/button]
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