How to Get More Face Time with Clients Without Leaving Your Chair

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Sarah has high-profile clients in New York, Houston, and London. She would love to meet with them every time they have a question or need services. Her company, however, is one of many that has cut its travel budgets to reduce spending. Now Sarah worries that she won’t be able to meet her clients’ needs.

According to Salesforce’s Second Annual State of Sales research report, the second-largest challenge experienced by sales representatives is lack of time for face-to-face selling. But what are the benefits of face-to-face sales? And how can you get more face time with your clients?

The Benefits of Meeting Face-to-Face

According to the Harvard Business Review, 95 percent of those polled said that face-to-face meetings are crucial to “building and maintaining long-term relationships.” Another 89 percent agreed that face-to-face meetings are essential for “sealing the deal.” The majority of those polled (88 percent) believed that successful sales depend on facetime.

“Regardless of how tech-savvy you may be, face-to-face meetings are still the most effective way to capture the attention of participants, engage them in the conversation, and drive productive collaboration,” says Michael Massari, Caesars Entertainment’s SVP of national meetings and events. “If we don’t continue to nurture strong and positive personal relationships with our clients and coworkers, we won’t build trust, understanding, or a sense of a shared mission—all of which are critical elements to successful partnerships and business success.”

How Video Saves the Day

When you have clients all over the country or even the world, though, meeting in person just isn’t practical. You run into the two major obstacles to any business: time and money. Fortunately, you can sidestep both of these problems by using short personalized (Snapchat-like) videos to communicate face to face with customers. Here’s how:

Cost

The recent economic recession had companies scrambling to cut costs however they could, and travel was one of the biggest expenses to get the axe. Things haven’t changed much. According to the Harvard Business Review, 69 percentof respondents reported a decrease in travel budgets. Most of those polled added that they believed the cuts would negatively impact their sales.

Video was and still is the obvious go-to for solving this problem. “If we cannot go directly to the customer, we’ll go directly to the customer’s screen.” You immediately cut out all of the costs of gas, air travel, hotels, etc. Certain video engagement platforms will enable you to communicate face to face with your clients, all for the price of a group lunch.

Time

Almost any video conferencing service can solve the problem of cost and distance. But scheduling is a problem whether you meet over video or in person. Especially when your client lives in a completely different time zone than you, it can be maddening to find a time when you are both available, let alone awake. You want to sell, and your client wants to buy. But if buying means jumping through hoops just to accommodate you, your client may be tempted to take their business elsewhere.

Asynchronous, short, Snapchat-like videos solve this problem. All it takes is a few minutes for you to record your pitch via video creation/engagement platforms like OneMob and share this with your clients to view at their leisure. Not only that, but clients don’t even need to be in the office to view your video. All they need is a smartphone or tablet, and they can view your video message. And with tracking, certain engagement platforms will let you know exactly when they’ve seen your video, so you can then follow up as you see fit.

When you can’t be there in person, your clients still need to see your face. Platforms like OneMob put you in the room with them—on their computer or on their phone, in their office or on the go.

This article was originally published at blogs.salesforce.com.

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