Face to Face in a Sales 2.0 World: Better Ways to Build Common Ground with Customers

This post was contributed by Todd McCormick, Vice President of Sales at PGi. Hear his breakout session (B): Face to Face in a Sales 2.0 World, at the Sales & Marketing 2.0 Conference in San Francisco on October 17-18, and at the Sales Strategies in a Social & Mobile World conference on November 15 in Santa Monica.

Traditionally, great salespeople have used personal, face-to-face interactions as the preferred way to build trust and find common ground with customers. Which makes sense: face-to-face exchanges are rich environments for picking up dozens of unconscious cues; examples include tone of voice, facial expression, body language, pacing, and “synchronization with what we do and say” (to quote emotional intelligence expert Daniel Goleman).

But what happens when those face-to-face interactions move online? Given the reach of social networks and online communication, it doesn’t make sense to limit sales opportunities to in-person exchanges.

But even in a digital world, buyers still prefer to buy from people they know and trust. That’s why many successful sales leaders now tap into tools that pair video conferencing with social media capabilities. Believe it or not, these tools actually enhance the power of visual cues like body language and tone of voice. They also reveal far more in-depth information about a prospect.

Ideally, you can use video conferencing tools to:

  • Instantly access information on your prospects’ hobbies and interests. You’ll know where to establish common ground.
  • See where your prospects have worked in the past (via LinkedIn).
  • Know what they’ve “liked” recently, from news articles to where they ate dinner last night.
  • Friend and follow your prospects while you’re talking.
  • See their pictures and share videos.

Virtual meetings now happen face-to-face. Sales and marketing teams use video tools to raise the professional bar and customize their approach to each prospect.

With video tools enhanced by social media capabilities, you can:

  • Start prospect follow up mid-conversation
  • Save on travel costs
  • Improve alignment between sales and marketing
  • Shorten your sales cycle with new prospects
  • Dig deeper into existing accounts

Video conferencing tools open a direct window into your customers’ world—their physical working environment, their body language, and their online behavior. You can use this information to tailor your pitches to new prospects, and carry your momentum forward after meetings are over.

Marketers and sales reps who connect with prospects via social media will lay the groundwork for long-lasting relationships.

Incredible things happen to your numbers when technology does what it was originally intended to do: put the human back into the business equation.

For more background, check out my white paper, How to Tear Down the Walls of Traditional Communication Technology and Create Windows for Powerful Connections with Customers.

About Lisa

Editorial Director at SellingPower.com.
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