Sales Preference: Personal Interaction

30346590Technology is and will continue to make our lives easier in so many ways. But sometime there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction, according to a survey by SAP:

While customers are more empowered and informed today than ever before, they still prefer personal interactions with trusted advisors when being engaged in the sales cycle. According to the findings of a global survey by SAP, personalized direct engagement is still the preferred method of contact among business buyers.

The survey of more than 1,220 senior personnel responsible for purchasing goods and services, found that face-to-face interactions are crucial in the final stages of the buying process, with 60% of those polled using it to make final decisions and 43% to shortlist vendors. Yet, technology is still king for initial research, with 75% using web searches to identify vendors, followed by 73% using vendor websites and 71% tapping into social media and blogs.

Trust is the single most important factor when buying from vendors, but 60% say they are less tolerant and trusting of salespeople generally. However, vendors can earn trust through personal engagement. By providing evidence and helping buyers understand how a product fits into their day-to-day experiences, companies can reassure buyers and help alleviate risks.