Best Practices in HR
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Joanne Black
  January 29, 2017

Sales Teams Need Face Time—with Prospects and Each Other

There’s nothing like getting the gang together in person.

A colleague of mine in Europe complained to me that his prospect in Paris had arranged a meeting with all the decision-makers he needed to meet. But the prospect had only given him four days’ notice. My colleague thought it was rather presumptuous of them to ask him to drop everything and hop on a plane. Plus, the cost of last-minute airfare was astronomical.

I had heard enough. I told him to buy the damn ticket … immediately. The chance to get all the decision-makers in one room was worth the inconvenience and the extra money.

He went, and as you might have guessed, he closed the business. He also built powerful new relationships.

Nothing beats face-to-face meetings. It’s true in prospecting, and it’s true in team-building—especially today as sales teams are increasingly dispersed. You can’t span cultural differences and build deep and lasting trust unless you occasionally get the gang together in person.

How In-Person Meetings Strengthens Sales Teams

Even as technology makes it easier than ever for remote teams to connect, many leaders are finding that bringing their globally dispersed teams together in person yields surprising and noteworthy benefits. Eric J. McNulty discusses this trend—and the neuroscience behind it—in his article, “Your People’s Brains Need Face Time.” He writes:

One of the primary reasons to get teams together has to do with the hardwiring of the human brain, says Valérie Berset-Price, founder and president of Professional Passport, a firm that coaches, trains, and troubleshoots with international and cross-cultural teams.

The brain is always scanning for risk, according to Berset-Price, and among the things it uses to determine if someone is friend or foe are non-verbal cues. Those are absent in teleconferences and flattened in all but the best video conference systems. 

(Read the rest of McNulty’s article for more.)

Get Face to Face—With Colleagues and Clients

Building relationships and trust is certainly important for sales teams. But it’s even more important that salespeople get face to face with clients and prospects.

There’s a common misconception that technology will eliminate the time-consuming, face-to-face aspect of sales. Um, no.

Marketing automation, CRM, social media, and other tech tools empower us to sell more efficiently and cost-effectively. But if you think back over your most successful business deals, I bet face-to-face, person-to-person, high-touch communication—a phone call, a video conference, or (best of all) an in-person meeting—accelerated your sales process time and time again.

Even in the digital age, the most powerful tool in your prospecting toolbox is still your relationships!

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