What Is Face-to-Face Selling?

Car salesmen engage in face-to-face selling to sell cars.
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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2014
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Face-to-face selling is a process by which a salesperson engages in communication and interaction directly with a person in order to make a sale. This is often done during a sales meeting or similar engagement, though social functions and interactions can also include elements of sales in them. A number of different strategies and methods can be used during this type of sale, which can include presentations made in person or simply a persuasive pitch and engagement. Face-to-face selling is often considered the cornerstone of sales, as many people prefer to meet someone in person to discuss a major sale, rather than doing so online or over a telephone.

There are a number of ways in which face-to-face selling can occur, though it typically involves some type of meeting between a salesperson and a potential client. This can take place during a meeting that is set up specifically for this purpose, such as when someone in sales makes an appointment to meet with a client. Face-to-face selling can also occur in a number of retail environments. If someone enters a store that sells products, which can range from office supplies to motor vehicles, then salespeople often approach him or her to provide information and attempt to make a sale.


One of the major strengths of face-to-face selling is that it provides a personal connection between a salesperson and a customer. Many people feel that they can receive more fair and honest treatment from a person who they are meeting with directly, rather than someone communicating via telephone or email. A salesperson engaged in face-to-face selling can also better gauge reactions and interest from a client when meeting him or her in person. This allows someone to adapt a sales pitch or message to meet the specific interests and needs of a person, rather than relying on a set script or approach that is used for everyone.

There are some potential downsides to using face-to-face selling, however, especially considering the amount of resources it calls for. Individual salespeople are often required to attend each sales meeting, which means that they are typically paid for their time regardless of whether the sale is successful or not. Some clients may also be quite difficult to reach for face-to-face selling, which means that a great deal of time and money may go into simply trying to set up a meeting. Sales made through a telephone system or Internet campaign can often be far less expensive to produce, but many people are unwilling to commit to a major sale without a face-to-face meeting.


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