Get off Your Butt and…

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In this episode of the Sales Leadership Awakening podcast, hosts Colleen Stanley and Steven Rosen discuss the significant changes in sales post-COVID-19. They address the reluctance of sales reps to return to face-to-face selling and the importance of embracing in-person meetings. Colleen and Steven emphasize the benefits of building trust, rapport, and collaboration through face-to-face interactions. 

“If your competitors are starting to visit your clients or are already visiting your clients, and you’re not, you have a problem. You’re at a competitive disadvantage.” – Steven Rosen

Key Takeaways:

  • In-person interactions allow for better reading nonverbal cues, building trust, and practicing empathic listening.
  • Face-to-face meetings foster collaboration, creativity, and solutions co-creating with clients.
  • Sales leaders should model the behavior they expect from their sales teams and prioritize in-person meetings to build relationships and retain top talent.
  • Encouraging sales reps to get off their butts and visit clients can provide a competitive advantage and lead to increased sales success.
The interactive podbook below contains videos, audio, articles, summaries, transcripts, and YouTube shorts from this podcast episode.

Full Episode Article:

Title: Get off Your Butt and…

Byline: By sales leadership and coaching experts Colleen Stanley and Steven Rosen

Introduction

In a post-COVID world, many sales reps have become comfortable conducting business through virtual platforms like Zoom or Teams. However, there is a growing realization that face-to-face meetings still hold significant value in the sales process. In a recent Sales Leadership Awakening Podcast, hosts Colleen Stanley and Steven Rosen, both sales leadership and coaching experts, delve deep into the advantages of meeting sales prospects face-to-face.

The Importance of Face-to-Face Selling

According to HubSpot research, 65% of consumers still prefer a face-to-face meeting. This preference is particularly relevant for complex sales, where trust, rapport, and collaboration are crucial.

Sales leaders need to address the belief systems of their salespeople regarding face-to-face meetings. If sales professionals are surrounded by peers who rationalize the shift to virtual meetings, they may believe in-person interactions are no longer necessary. However, it is important to challenge these beliefs and recognize that human beings are wired to connect. Face-to-face meetings allow for better empathetic listening, trust-building, and the release of bonding hormones like oxytocin.

The Benefits of Face-to-Face Interactions

One of the critical benefits of face-to-face meetings is the ability to read the room and pick up on nonverbal cues. While video calls can be effective, they often require participants to focus on the camera, potentially missing out on crucial nonverbal communication from other meeting attendees. In-person meetings allow for a more comprehensive understanding of the dynamics and emotions in the room, leading to better collaboration and creativity.

Additionally, face-to-face interactions provide an opportunity for relationship-building beyond business discussions. Sharing a meal or engaging in casual conversation during a meeting can create a more relaxed and open atmosphere, leading to deeper connections and a better understanding of the client’s needs. These personal interactions can also lead to repeat business and long-term relationships.

Encouraging Face-to-Face Meetings

Sales leaders are crucial in encouraging their sales teams to embrace face-to-face meetings. Setting clear expectations is essential. Salespeople must understand that face-to-face interactions are valuable for building rapport and maximizing return on investment. Customers are more likely to make time for meetings that they perceive as useful and relevant.

Sales leaders should also model the behavior they expect from their salespeople. Leaders can provide real-time coaching and observe selling skills in action by getting out in the field and accompanying their reps on client visits. This observational coaching is more effective than simply observing virtual meetings and allows leaders to assess the value brought to clients.

Conclusion

In a world where virtual meetings have become the norm, it is essential to recognize the power of face-to-face selling. Research shows that most consumers prefer in-person interactions, especially for complex sales. Face-to-face meetings allow for better rapport building, trust development, and collaboration. Sales leaders need to set clear expectations and model the behavior they expect from their sales teams. By embracing face-to-face meetings, sales reps can gain a competitive advantage and build stronger, long-lasting relationships with their clients. So, get off your butt and start meeting your clients in person!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colleen Stanley
Colleen Stanley is president of SalesLeadership, Inc. a business development consulting firm specializing in sales and sales management training. The company provides programs in prospecting, referral strategies, consultative sales training, sales management training, emotional intelligence and hiring/selection. She is the author of two books, Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success, now published in six languages, and author of Growing Great Sales Teams.

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