All entries tagged with “face-to-face”

Going the Extra Mile: Face Time that Pays Off

After returning from a successful business networking event and receiving positive feedback from attendees, I realize that there is a significant return on investment when sales professionals dedicate face-to-face time to a prospective buyer. This spawned some personal research into the science of face-to-face communication versus electronic and telecommunication. What I found, though - is that when the two powerful methods combine - sales sky rocket.

Companies are spending

Following an initial decrease in spending during the recession, corporate travel and expenses have increased by 58 percent over the past three years, with Oxford Economics USA reporting that each dollar invested into travel generates a sales return of $10 to $14.99. No pun intended, but I’d say that’s worth going the extra mile! While traveling for business pays off, face-to-face meetings are a key component of this business success.

With recent developments in technology and highly personalized telecommunication software, why are top-producing, Fortune 500 companies investing a combined $181 billion into travel and expenses this year? Because, according to the Harvard Business Review89% of business travelers report face-to-face meetings are essential for “sealing the deal.” While pinging e-mails back and forth may develop a working relationship, a face-to-face meeting allows for the broadest form of communication, encompassing nonverbal cues, candor and body language.

Why the meeting is worth the plane ticket

James Borg, the author of Body Languagesays that 93 percent of human communication consists of para-linguistic cues, leaving only seven percent up to actual verbal conversations. Opposed to virtual communication, face-to-face contact facilitates the transfer of tacit knowledge, an understanding that can only be experienced by being present. A physical meeting is more effective, allowing the speaker to draw immediate feedback and tailor an interaction based on a nonverbal response, allowing optimal results in a sales environment.

The old adage, time is money stands true here. 81 percent of sales executives believe that traveling to meet a prospective client in person builds value into their meeting. Forbes conducted a survey of 760 business executives on this subject, of which 85 percent said that face-to-face meetings, many of which involve travel, build stronger, more meaningful business relationships, scoring well for persuasion, leadership and engagement. Similarly, 18 percent report losing business because they were unable to travel to meet a client.

Yin & Yang: Closing the Marketing Circle

Networking events are natural lead generators – drawing a pool of industry peers physically to one venue. Even with this opportunity for brand building, customer engagement and customer training, executives and marketers rely on technology to develop business relationships beyond the physical. A global survey by Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts reveals that 53 percent of business executives believe that connecting with a business associate on social media can help develop a stronger and more trusted relationship.

The strongest ROI will be reached when face-to-face interactions are aided by technological engagements. Research by Marketo reports that while marketers are investing in computer-mediated-communication (CMC), or virtual communication like webinars, to stay connected, they are failing to complete the circle: using powerful engagement solutions before, during and after a meeting. By connecting physically and then filling the void with electronic correspondence, real relationships will generate record-high sales.


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