Starboard Commercial Real Estate

Hans Hansson | January 22, 2007

Today a salesperson can talk to a client on the phone and close a transaction using email-without ever meeting in person. But when was the last time you made a face-to-face cold call? When was the last time you conducted a face-to-face presentation? When was the last time you introduced yourself and your services to a client over lunch?

In the old days, a relationship would start with a handshake and a conversation. Today, with phones and email, there is very little connection between a salesperson and the buyer of services.

I am completing a deal right now where my entire face time with my client has been less than three hours, yet the transaction has gone on for more than five months. Proposals were made, countered, and accepted through email. Questions about strategies to secure the best deal were answered through email and the occasional phone call. The good news is that we are close to completing this transaction; the bad news is that this client might not know me if he ran into me on the street.

What does this mean? A successful salesperson not only secures and closes business but also maintains long-term relationships that lead to future business opportunities. To accomplish this, a professional salesperson understands that the buyer must have confidence in and must recall that salesperson when it is time for a referral or to use the services once again. For commercial real estate agents, clients typically are not clients again for 3-5 years-the average time of a lease obligation.

Will a deal consummated through email and a couple of phone calls create a lasting impression on the client? I don't think so.

Face-to-face contact enhances the bond between a service provider and a client. If a client can look you in the eye and feel confident that you are the right provider of services, you will land a client that will provide repeat business.

Salespeople should spend time building long-lasting relationships through face-to-face contact. Yes, it will does take time; yes, you might close more deals on the phone and via email. But in the long run, if your clients feel they know you and your capabilities, they will have the confidence to do business with you, again as well as to refer you to their friends.
Posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago on January 22, 2007
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Re: The Importance of Face-to Face Meetings
I agree 100% about the value of face time. It's easy to call up a client and see how things are going or drop them an email but how often do people just get in the car and drive over and see them?

I think its important to actually get out and visit all of your clients at least once per month. Its not necessary to always have business to discuss either. Just call them up and meet them for lunch and talk sports or where you spent your 4th of July.

You'll find that your relationships with your business clients will strengthen and that will lead to more referrals and more business.

Great post Hans...I enjoy this blog and learn a lot from you.

2007/07/10 by Rob Beland wwwReply
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