Getting on-site with key decision makers can mean the difference between closing a deal or losing it. Face-to-face interactions enable sales reps to develop human connections, uncover hidden insights, remove uncertainty in deals, and overcome hurdles. But building these relationships and earning the right to get on-site has its challenges.
In this masterclass, revenue leaders from Box, Sprout Social, and CapIntel share insight into how they earn face-to-face time with champions and decision makers, and why it’s so important.
Watch the full masterclass and get their advice below!
Why is getting on-site so important? ✈️
Getting on-site is important because people are more likely to buy from someone they trust. Although Zoom and Teams are powerful tools that provide convenience and efficiency for tasks such as product demos, they fall short in cultivating meaningful, long-term relationships compared to on-site meetings.
A significant amount of communication is non-verbal, including body language and facial expressions. In-person meetings enable customers to gauge a salesperson's sincerity and intentions, and vice versa. This can be invaluable when it comes to addressing concerns and objectives effectively.
Being on-site also enables connections to continue beyond the confines of a structured conversation, such as a demo. Oftentimes, this is when crucial information is shared.
“It’s the meeting that’s not the meeting, such as our walk to the elevator, that’s often the most important,” says Colleen Geiselhardt, VP of Solutions at Sprout Social. “The information we learn is sometimes the best information that’s going to drive our ability to executive that deal, find out what’s blocking it, and learn about the players a little bit more.”
By going on-site and establishing personal relationships, you’ll be informed throughout the sales cycle. You’ll know if the client is running into hurdles with approvals or signs off because rather than ghosting, they’ll be direct. And even if the deal doesn’t close, you’ll find out why—which will serve you in future sales processes or help inform product shortcomings.
Tips to differentiate yourself as a seller and get on-site 🤝
The shift to virtual selling and remote work has changed buyer behaviors. Nowadays, it takes more resources to get a deal done, but prospects are more protective of their time and less likely to agree to an in-person meeting.
“From day one, we invest in research, coach the team, and speak the customer’s language to establish trust,” says Mark Wayland, Chief Revenue Officer at Box. This is crucial because when you say to the prospect, ‘let’s do this in person,’ they’re protective of their time and you need to stand out and earn the right to be on-site.”
Tips to secure an on-site meeting:
Be assumptive: Reach out to the prospect, and let them know you’re in the area. You can tell them you have a meeting nearby and you’re available to stop by and meet in person. The key is to make it as easy for them to say yes as possible.
Know their in-office policy: The pandemic disrupted how and where we work. Before you try to book a face-to-fact meeting, know what the prospects in-office policy is. Do they use a hybrid system or are they fully remote or in office five days a week? Familiarize yourself with this policy so when you suggest a day and time to meet, it makes sense for them.
Be prepared: One of the fastest ways to build trust and add value to a prospect is to do your research. Learn the language of the customer. Understand their pain points, and be prepared to make a compelling case for how your product or service solves whatever challenges they’re facing. People are more likely to meet you in person if they know it won’t be a waste of their time.
Leverage your executive team: If you’re struggling to book a meeting on your own, tap into your executive team. Sometimes, a title is all it takes to make the prospect feel like it’s a valuable opportunity.
How to prepare for your on-site ✅
Before heading on-site, take time to prepare. Don’t just show up and assume your presence will be enough because this is likely to backfire.
Here are a few suggestions for how to prepare for your on-site:
Have a strategy: What’s the purpose of the meeting and what are you trying to accomplish? Ask yourself and answer these questions, then put a strategy in place to make it happen.
Be selective about who attends: Whoever accompanies you to the on-site needs to have a purpose. Just as with virtual meetings, if someone is attending, they need to be contributing to the conversation in a meaningful way. Each person you bring should serve a specific function and their presence needs to align with your overall objective.
Prepare with purpose: Before meeting on-site, ask essential questions. Consider your prospective clients’ internet setup, equipment needs, and remote attendee experience. Don’t assume you’ll be able to just get in the room and plug in — come prepared with the supplies you’ll need including any connections, dongles, etc.
“I’ve been in meetings where people are busy and everyone is back to back and we’re 20 minutes into a one-minute meeting, and they’re still not technically set up,” says Wayland. “They’re fumbling around, wasting my time, and they aren’t getting invited back.”
Give yourself time to arrive: Consider factors such as travel distance, commute duration, and potential traffic. You want to make a positive first impression, and arriving early will help you accomplish this goal. Be sure to add buffer time to your trip with the anticipation of delays.
“Ask your champion a few questions about the logistics to prepare, such as ‘is there a crazy traffic time?’ and ‘Can I get into the room a little bit earlier?,” says Rob Crnkovic, Co-Founder and CRO at CapIntel. “You’re not going to look dumb. You’re going to look like you really care about showing up and you’ll look a lot better in the end.”
What makes reps great at relationship building 🙌
There are several factors that make reps great at relationship building. These include:
Take a service-oriented approach: You’re in the business to make customers successful. Rather than just trying to close the deal, look for ways to be of service and help the customer solve their problems and address their pain points.
“I always tell the reps, if you have five touchpoints with a customer, four of those times is about their success and maybe one of those times you’re selling,” says Wayland. “This allows you to build trust with the customer because they know you have their best interest in mind and that you’re not just thinking about your quota.”
Maintain consistent touch points: Follow-up is a critical, yet often overlooked, aspect of the sales process. Be consistent with your outreach, especially after meetings, to show you care about the success of your prospects.
Attend relevant events and be available: Be willing to meet your prospects where they are. Attend industry events and engage in networking opportunities. This allows you to expand your network, get to know your prospects on a more personal level, plus it can lead to valuable connections and referrals.
Customize your approach: Every relationship is unique, and should be treated as such. Tailor your sales approach to each prospect, and their respective needs. Do your research and come prepared for each conversation. This will show them you’ve taken the time to understand their challenges, and care about their success.
Ultimately, long-term business relationships are built on personal connection and mutual respect. In-person meetings provide opportunities for deeper conversations to emerge and networking to happen in an organic way. These interactions are also more memorable than virtual meetings, and can leave a lasting impression. This means your brand or offering is more likely to be top-of-mind when the prospect is ready to make a decision.
Ready to start building stronger relationships with your buyers? The first step is understanding who your key stakeholders are and what they care about.
Get our free stakeholder mapping template to help your team identify decision makers and align with their priorities.