Six Reasons Why Face-to-Face Trumps Mass Marketing
By Alan Bayham
the TV or radio, surf the Internet, open your mail (or e-mail) –
what do you notice? You probably have a high volume of
advertisements and marketing campaigns targeting you, begging for
your attention and your business. But do you open every sales
envelope or listen to every commercial? No. Then, why would you
think your customers would be any different?
e-mail, blogging, instant messaging, television, canned phone
messages, and other electronic methods of mass marketing have
desensitized the American buyer to these tactics of selling. Despite
all the surveys and studies into what buyers think, people don’t
make purchases rationally. They make buying decisions based upon
emotion. A product or service is either going to make the buyer
“feel” better, or rid him of “pain.” Sometimes, buyers aren’t even
aware of the need that is causing this pain, and this is when
face-to-face selling comes into play.
necessity of “closing the deal” or “making the sale” is equally
important to various sales professionals, pharmaceutical
manufacturer representatives, bankers and small businesses owners.
Regardless of who is doing the selling or what the product and
service is, face-to-face selling is more effective than the mass
a nonbeliever? Then, consider the following six things that only
face-to-face communication can do:
the buyer’s attention – Overcome “Marketing Noise”: When you are
in front of a prospect or client, you have the enviable position of
having his or her complete attention. However, just like TV
commercials, you still must get the buyer’s attention immediately.
Therefore, enthusiasm and energy are just as important as the
conviction about the merits of your product or the advantages you
have over your competition. Selling face-to-face and gaining the
attention of a venture capitalist is much more powerful than being
another envelope in a sea of letters.
Tailor product benefits to specific needs of the buyer – Sell
Shoes to the Shoemaker: Your presentation to potential clients can
vary based upon their specific and individual needs. For example, a
surgeon may need different results from a particular drug than a
primary care physician. And although the drug you’re promoting may
work in both venues, face-to-face selling allows specific product
features to be linked to specific buyer needs. The surgeon may like
the fact that your sleeping pill causes “retrograde amnesia”
patients to forget the preparation for surgery, but primary care
physicians may find this undesirable in their patients. While ads
can be customized to specific perceived needs and placed in print
media targeted to a specific prospect, these ads may not be received
the same by different buyer behavioral types.
Tailor a presentation to a specific buyer type: You would not
sell a widget to Donald Trump in the same manner you would to
Richard Simmons, as Mr. Simmons would not respond as favorably to
direct selling approach as “The Donald.” While it is true that
everyone is different and unique, it’s also true that people tend to
fall into four basic behavioral types when it comes to buying a
service or product. The success (or failure) of the sales call is
dependent upon the sales representative distinguishing the correct
behavioral type of the prospect, the sales message and also the
appropriate communication style. The product is the same in all
sales calls, but in order to close the sale effectively, the
approach and the message should be different to each category.
Therefore, effective salespeople can tailor their face-to-face
presentation styles to their clients’ specific personality in order
to gain their trust and acceptance.
the seller to view the non-verbal communications of the buyer –
The Original Instant Messaging: It’s been said that 75 percent of
communication is non-verbal. Selling face-to-face allows you to
better gauge how your client is accepting your presentation and if
additional probing is necessary. Facial expressions, body posture
and vocal tone and pitch, as well as other non-verbal
communications, can serve as instant feedback about the
effectiveness and relevancy of your presentation. This essential
ability is non-existent in mass marketing techniques; it’s like
paying a basketball game with the scoreboard covered.
Provide instant answers to buyer questions: While buyers can
always call an 800-number or log on to a FAQ Web page, the time to
answer questions is never more opportune than during the
presentation. This way, salespeople cannot only overcome objections,
but they can also determine if their assumptions about the buyer’s
needs are correct. Then, the seller can instantaneously adjust the
presentation to address the buyer’s unique needs.
the deal instead of waiting for buyer to make the move –
Real-Time Selling: Face-to-face selling allows you to control the
buying process instead of allowing the prospect to control the
process. This allows you to control the speed and direction of the
product pitch. Also, the more time that passes after the
presentation, the less likely the sale will be made. The best time
to make the sale is when the buyer is ready and sitting in front of
you – not after the buying impulse has passed.
mass marketing is an excellent tool to create awareness about your
product or service, it cannot compare to face-to-face communication
when it comes to making the sale or closing the deal. After all, do
your profits depend more upon “circulation,” “calls,” “exposures,”
and “hits” or upon “units sold”?
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