The Good, the Bad and the Ugly about Face-to-Face Sales Calls


by Catherine Brown, Initial Call, President

Most people will agree that meeting someone face-to-face has HUGE advantages. You can actually see if you are making a connection with someone and interpret voice inflection that simply doesn’t exist in an email. And if you are a good at reading body language, then you can catch a lot of nonverbal communication.

That's the GOOD part about meeting face-to-face.

However, the BAD part about in-person sales calls is that is takes a lot of time. If you are a B2B sales person and you're supposed to be doing regular lead generation each week, let's say anywhere between a few hours per week and maybe 20 hours per week of reaching out to people, you may not have time to spare for meeting face-to-face. Sure, meetings via video- Skype, Facetime, etc. are also options, but in- person is quite time consuming because you have to allow time for pleasantries and travel back and forth - not to mention prep time and expense!

Let's talk about the UGLY side of face-to-face sales calls. I have seen a correlation between people who insist that popping in on a prospect and initiating contact face-to-face with overall productivity. Why? Because face-to-face meetings just take more time. I worked with a company once whose sales executive told his people NOT to be at their desk, that they should be out knocking on people's doors about their products and services. Y'all this was B2B. This wasn't something that really should be sold door to door. And consider how many real, QUALIFIED face-to-face meetings a person can do in a day. Not very many! This means people work slowly, thereby affecting their overall productivity.  

Does face-to-face have advantages? Yes, for sure, but these appointments are best reserved for more qualified opportunities. Use email, text, and phone liberally instead of giving someone a whole morning for something that can be decided in 20 minutes on the phone.