When you are starting out small, you are probably going to have to do a lot of selling in order to jump-start your business. Your effectiveness as a salesperson will be an absolutely critical factor in the success of your business. Later, as your business grows and prospers, you may be able to delegate more and more of the selling process to your employees. The majority of the products and services being sold business to business, as well as many sold to consumers, require a personal sales talk.
Now, one disadvantage of selling by telephone or any other high-tech means is the lack of face-to-face contact (Wiersema, 1996). When you are sitting with a prospect, it's much easier to read their body language. You can see the look on their face when their confused about something you said. You can see the delight when you hit a hot button for them. You can read the shifts in their body as they respond to your every word. Non-verbal communication is missing when you sell by phone or by e-mail.
Selling over the phone or any other non face-to-face means puts you at a huge disadvantage because numerous studies have shown that 55% of what we communicate is non-verbal. This technique will give you back the advantage you might have lost. By asking questions that solicit a response from your prospect you will get an idea of what's going on inside the prospect's mind.
Another disadvantage of selling through high-tech gadgets is that it is somewhat like to traditional selling. Traditional selling entails the use of sales "scripts" that are both awkward and unnatural. Dozens of memorized closes, questions rigged with "tie-down" lines tricks the prospect into saying "yes", etc. This traditional selling sequence is contrived, and goes against natural flow of the prospect. And even when customers buy as a result of these high-pressure tactics, it's not because they want the product but because they are cornered or intimidated into the sale. On the contrary, selling face-to-face can get you into the mind of your prospect. Mind reading, as used ethically in sales and marketing, is simply the process of observing and utilizing natural human tendencies to sidestep the natural defense barriers that are obstacles in the sales process. In this manner, your prospect is a voluntary and willing participant, and becomes happily involved in a buying decision that you have rendered painless and even enjoyable. The sales process becomes a matter of just providing only the specific information in the order and context that your unique prospects require to buy. Since you're going to your prospect's natural flow, and using a selling sequence to which your prospect is naturally inclined, you eliminate any resistance. Selling couldn't be any easier.
Further, face-to-face sales are one of the most original forms of marketing (Stone, 1997). In the past, door-to-door sales accounted for a significant percentage of sales for many companies. Companies like the Fuller Brush Company, Avon, and others have had great success with face-to-face sales over the years, and continue to use door-to-door marketing today, expanding their sales around the world (Treacy, et