Effective Face-to-Face Marketing Tips

    June 30, 2003

The first thing you need to do when marketing face to face is prepare. You need to have your information and your sign-up materials ready to go before you ever step into the meeting. If someone shows an interest in a product or service, or if someone is ready to sign up, you need to have what you need with you so you can handle right then and there. Be prepared to strike while the iron is hot.

Have an agenda and stick to it. You need to have an agenda that you go by. No, I do not mean present the prospect with an agenda. What I mean is you need to have a “normal” way of making presentations every time. Have a system that you stick to, so you never forget or miss anything.

You need to dress appropriately for all meetings. Appropriately does not mean your best Sunday-Go-To-Meeting clothes. Appropriately means for you to dress slightly better than what you expect the person you are meeting to be dressed. If you expect them to be wearing jeans and a t-shirt. You should wear casual pants or slacks, with a button up the front shirt. If you expect them to be wearing a suit, then wear your best suit, freshly pressed.

When entering a prospect’s home or office, always pick out something that the prospect has sitting around like a trophy, picture of a child, fish mounted on the wall, an unique piece of furniture, or anything that you can strike up a conversation about and compliment the prospect on. There is no better compliment to someone than for someone else to show an interested in something they take pride in. Whatever you pick out to discuss, be prepared to talk about it a few minutes. You can always compliment the prospect on their home or office, their housekeeping, or even the clothes they are wearing, but it is best to pick out some memento which you can discuss.

Whenever possible seat yourself in a position of control. This means if the prospect comes to your office you should sit behind your desk and the prospect in front. If the prospect comes to your home, seat the prospect on a sofa and you sit in straight back chair across from the prospect. If you go to the prospect’s office, drag a chair up to the front of their desk so you can lay your materials out. This will put you in a lesser, but almost equal, position as the prospect.

If you and one other person are meeting at a restaurant, sit straight across from them. If you and two other people are meeting at a restaurant, pick a square table and seat them on either side and you sit in the middle. If you are meeting more than three people, get a rectangular table and you sit at the head of the table or get a round table a sit as close to the middle of the group as possible. Each of these seating positions puts you in the seat of power where you can control the discussion, and little can be discussed between others without you hearing it.

Control the conversation. If the prospect should try to jump ahead from what you are discussing, tell the prospect that you will get to that in a minute, then continue with your presentation from your outline. If at any time the prospect expresses such a strong interest that you feel they are ready to buy, stop your presentation right then and there and sign the prospect up. Afterwards, you can tell the prospect anything important you feel they need to know. Don’t talk yourself out of a sale by demanding to continue the presentation when someone is ready to write you a check. Take the money as quick as you can get it!

Don’t blab about yourself. After the initial casual discussion, stay on topic. Do not go off telling about yourself, your family, your accomplishments, or your activities. People don’t want to hear about you. They want to talk about themselves. Besides, you might mention that you have 47 cats to someone who absolutely despises cats and those who own them. A great conversationalist is nothing more than a great listener. Be one.

Ask plenty of questions. What is the prospect interested in. What are their hobbies and their civic activities? Find out about their family and friends. Ask them about their job. Find out as much about the prospect as you can. Show a genuine interest in them, and encourage their “war stories”. People love to talk about themselves. Encourage it!

Get a yes or no answer. Do not settle for a maybe. You do this by creating a sense of urgency. If you are promoting a product to a business, explain to the prospect that you are only setting up one or two distributors in the given area. And, you plan to have them set up that day. Explain that you have appointments with the prospect’s competitors, but you would prefer to cancel them, if the prospect could make a decision right now.

If you are promoting a product to an individual, offer the prospect a rebate on a portion of their first order or some other special that is only available for that day. You might even consider having a free gift with you to give the prospect if they sign up.

Never cuss and never drink alcohol, even if the prospect does. People respect professionalism even if they do not exhibit it themselves.

A good agenda to go by is:

1. Greeting

2. Small talk: Discuss something of interest to the prospect.

3. Brief Biography of Yourself: Who you are. What you do besides what you are presenting. What sold you on what you are offering.

4. Question Prospect: Learn everything you can about them. Encourage them to talk. Compliment them on accomplishments and decisions, etc.

5. Make presentation: Explain products and services. Explain why these are beneficial to the prospect. Tailor your presentation to what you learned about the prospect while questioning them.

6. Close: Ask for the sale! Give reasons for why the prospect should do it NOW.

7. Housekeeping: Complete the necessary paperwork and get the payment. Compliment the new distributor on making such a wise decision.

8. Schedule follow-ups: Don’t leave the new distributor hanging. Schedule the next follow-up or two now, so they know when they should hear from you again.

Following these tips will not make you a millionaire overnight. But, they will increase your closure rate. Even a small difference over a long period of time can mean a lot of money to you. Practice with friends, practice with family, practice all by yourself until you are comfortable. Practice makes perfect.

Brande and Chris Bradford are active participants in a home based business opportunity and are the publishers of GREAT HEIGHTS, a monthly newsletter focused on home based business issues. To subscribe to their newsletter, send a blank e-mail to: Great-Heights-Subscribe@yahoogroups.com or visit: http://www.brandebradford.com