Sales channels to reach your customers

Advantages and disadvantages of face to face sales

Guide

Selling your products direct to the customer, face to face, offers several advantages:

  • you can explain and even demonstrate complex products
  • it's convenient for the customer and easy to bring in other individuals who need to be involved
  • you can learn more about what the customer wants
  • you can build a personal relationship
  • you can use your selling skills to convince the customer to buy

Selling face to face also has some disadvantages:

  • It is the most expensive sales channel as it demands higher staff and premises costs.
  • Travel time and costs can be significant. A travelling salesperson might spend a whole day on the road for just one meeting. Where possible, plan trips so that several customers in the same area can be visited.

The costs of face to face sales may outweigh the value of an initial order. But if the customer then makes several repeat purchases, the expense will be justified.

When to use face to face sales

Use face to face sales for:

  • high-value and complex products and services
  • establishing initial contact with a key target customer
  • strengthening relationships

Face to face selling may not be cost-effective for low value sales. Instead, you may want to sell direct to the customer through distance selling: for example, over the internet or using telesales.