AMiable Solution #468: The Case for the Face
When you think of face-to-face marketing, your sales department may be the first—maybe the only—thing to come to mind. And while your sales force is an important and prime part of your face-to-face marketing, it actually isn’t the only part of it.
Any time you and a potential customer engage in an in-person conversation, any time, whether it’s at a trade show, in a retail store, at a community event, at a friend’s house, or during a meeting, you are in a position to introduce or explain your offers, get to know the needs and concerns of potential buyers or investors, and encourage further action.
You are an ambassador for your company.
How can you best utilize the opportunity?
Connect with customers socially and emotionally. Use your natural equipment in the proportions that they were intended: you have two ears and one mouth, so listen twice as much as you speak. Don’t go prepared to just spew out a pre-scripted speech. Make sure you pay attention to what your prospects or clients have to say, take a moment to process it, and provide thoughtful feedback or advice.
Demonstrate, when you can, what you’re promoting. That doesn’t mean you have to carry around that 50-pound tool everywhere you go or stock your briefcase full of products. But it does mean that you can share success stories, show videos of products in action (these videos should be available online, too, but at least in person you can provide more detail and answer questions as they arise), and let folks hold or see parts of the process or the finished product.
Be honest. You’re not going to close the deal every time. For that matter, you’re not going to get the attention of everyone you’re speaking with. The end goal of in person conversations isn’t to make a sale. It’s to start, nurture, or grow a relationship. To do that, you have to be approachable. You have to be sincere. And you have to be honest. Most people can spot a sleazy or dishonest sales pitch from a mile away.
Getting to spend time in-person with the members of your market is a sweet opportunity. Spend it wisely.