There are fewer in-person meetings today than ever. Much like handwritten notes, in-person meetings have largely fallen out of popular use. Yet, just like handwritten notes, there is deeply inherent value to having in-person meetings. They allow for more meaningful and open dialogue that can lead you to more success with your sales.
In the coming year, if you want to close 10x more deals, then you should make it a priority to have a larger number of in-person meetings.
There is less distraction
When talking over the phone, the other person could be doing anything, for all you know. Even over video chat, they could be surfing the web or be in a room full of other people scrutinizing every word you say. When you meet with someone in person, though, it is obvious when they are not attentive. This clarity provides an opportunity for more meaningful dialect. Your potential client is more likely to have an open mind and really listen to the appeal you have.
When talking over the phone or video chat, on the other hand, they will more frequently miss the key points in your pitch that tend to help you close deals.
You can use body language to your advantage
In person, you can use your energy and body language to get your potential client excited about making a deal. It is difficult to demonstrate and spread this excitement over the phone or video call.
When they can see your hands, body language, and the engagement you are speaking with and feel your presence, their impression of you and your product can be drastically different.
If you are not as comfortable in those situations, then having an in-person meeting can actually be detrimental. That said, they are not skills that are extremely challenging to pick up with practice.
You are trying to get your potential client to buy into you, your product and your company. Getting them excited and feeling good about their potential purchase is a great way to increase this buy-in. The opportunity to use your body language to help your cause is a valuable and effective one in closing more deals.
Communication becomes clearer
In addition to the body language, communication becomes much more clear in person. There is no video technology to malfunction and cut you off for a few sentences. Plus, we tend to feel a greater responsibility to be open and honest when we are in person.
There is no computer screen to hide behind. If you made the trip to your client, then it becomes even more unproductive unless you are both transparent with each other.
It is a small detail, but, in person, it is easier to do demos or other forms of presentation. There is less technology involved, less that can go wrong and no risk of shoddy internet connection that will mess up the video call. Any of these errors over a sales call can prove to be fatal for the deal. Meeting in person takes away a bit of this technological burden.
Better opportunity for relationship building
When you meet with someone in person, there is almost an infinitely greater opportunity to create a relationship with them. When you chat over video or the phone, there might be a short period of informal conversation, but it tends to be kept to a minimum.
In person, on the other hand, there are many more opportunities for informal conversation. There is the time you have before and after the meeting officially ends when you are in the same room as your potential customer.
If you made a far trip, it is likely that you will do more than just talk for an hour as well. It could include lunch or going to grab drinks.
All of these additional opportunities for conversation allow you to create a more meaningful relationship with the potential client. They will get to know you better. That, in turn, can increase their trust in you and what you say. This trust can lead to higher close rates on sales.
Demonstrates a care for the client
Just like a handwritten note, meeting someone in person goes a long way. It shows a deeper level of appreciation and thoughtfulness on your end. You have taken the time not just for an hour-long meeting, but to get to the meeting.
If that is via car and your potential client is close to you, that is still some amount of time. If it is by plane, then it demonstrates even more care. This makes the client feel more valued. Plus, it makes it harder for your potential customer to say no.
You just made a long trip to see them and are spending a significant amount of your time. Of course, they have no obligation to you, but they will feel a bit indebted. If that is what will put them over the edge for a sale, then so be it!
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors