The business world has been radically changed and improved by the advent of electronic communication—e-mail, web sites, blogs, tablets, and even “old” tech like cell phones allow us to very efficiently service many more customers than ever before. This trend allows fewer client support people to serve more clients—faster, too.
That’s the good news. The challenge is that the central premise of all sales is that people buy from people they “like” and people they “trust”—always. Like and Trust can be maintained electronically, but it has been proven time and again that customers need some Face-to-Face contact to really get to Like and Trust. This is one of the reasons that Face-to-Face Marketing has become the number one business-to-business marketing medium.
The other reason Face-to-Face Marketing has become number one is the opportunity to see firsthand the offerings of various suppliers. For example, if you are looking for services or products related to CRM there is a show called the CRM Summit which is chock-full of every possible provider in that space. In just a few hours a buyer can get an up-to-the-minute overview and detailed information for the entire industry. From a seller’s perspective, if they are at the right event, they have the opportunity to efficiently expose their offering to a very high percentage of the prospects in that segment.
So what does it take to make Face-to-Face Marketing work?
1. The Plan—have a well-defined plan of what you want to do, what you want prospects to get from their experience, and how you will deliver. A good plan underpins everything.
2. Pick the right opportunities—the right show or event will make all the difference. Start by asking your current customers what shows or events they go to and why.
3. Have a great presence—the right trade show booth or graphics help prospects understand who you are, what you do and why they should care. A great presence also includes having the right people work the event.
4. Follow up and evaluate—manage and measure your results. A good CRM system is essential. A plan for fast follow-up on leads and inquiries is vital.
5. Have a good partner—a good plan poorly executed is no plan at all. Find a good partner that can help with all the thousand little details that Face-to-Face Marketing presents.
In the current business climate it is more important than ever to build and maintain Like and Trust with our clients. Face-to-Face Marketing is one of the best ways to do that.