As  things begin to open up in many places, more and more sellers will be heading back to the office and back out on in-person calls. Many have not sold face-to-face in more than 15 months, and some may have never done it, having been hired during the Pandemic.

Now is the time to begin “working out” those face-to-face selling muscles. Just like an athlete prepping for competition, if sellers haven’t trained those muscles in a while, it will take time to get back in shape again.

To help your sellers get buffed, here are several sales meeting ideas and tips:

  • Go around the room and ask each rep to bring their best face-to-face tip. For example, best drop-in times with doctors are early morning, scanning a furniture store floor in person, and following up with an email stating how you noticed their La-Z-Boy selection…
  • Prepare demo’s—particularly for digital. Give your sellers live demos of digital offerings. If you are selling your NewsApp take-overs, create demos for the team to physically bring to clients.
  • Role-play reading and using nonverbal “language.” According to Dr. Albert Mehrabian’s 7-38-55 rule, 7% of a person’s attitude and feelings are communicated through words, 38% through tone, and 55% via body language. Practice in this area can help a seller detect contradictions between a prospect’s words and their nonverbal signals. On the flip side, a seller’s lack of eye contact can indicate insecurity. And an accommodating tone of voice will promote collaboration and helps diffuse an argumentative situation.
  • Remind sellers to qualify a business virtually first, allowing all to be more efficient with their “in-person” time. If the prospect has budget and intent, then they can do an in-person. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past year we can glean a lot from a virtual meeting. There’s no need to drive an hour only to find out the chances of the business becoming a new client are next to nil.

Just as we had to learn and practice our skills for a virtual-only world, we need to get back on the practice field to prepare for this new season of hybrid selling (virtual and in-person).

Margie Chilson is a Senior Marketing Consultant for JDA.media.

Her vast experience includes nearly three decades in broadcast television and digital sales marketing, working in and with multiple markets and affiliations including Dallas-Fort Worth at WFAA, Denver at KUSA-KTVD, KMGH, KWGN, and as a team manager at Millennium Television Sales.

Margie’s years as a local seller were award-winning and inspiration for her jump to JDA.media. She exceeded new business and digital goals on a consistent basis at Belo Corp., Scripps, Tribune, and TEGNA Inc. stations. A true innovator, Margie pioneered job-sharing positions in Dallas and Denver, balancing hectic work schedules and family, paving the way for working parents with careers in media sales.

Margie is well known and respected for her diligence, drive, and new business results. Due to her years in the business as an account executive and sales leader, she knows the station environment well and can easily relate to local sellers as well as the most senior managers.

An alum of Oklahoma State University who graduated with Honors in Journalism Advertising, Margie boasts an outstanding track record of helping business owners strategically grow their revenue through broadcast, streaming and digital solutions.

Margie and her husband Tim have been married for 23 years. The couple and their two children live in Littleton, CO, a suburb of Denver. Their son, Ryan, attends the University of Colorado Boulder, and their daughter, Mary, is in high school.  In their spare time, the Chilsons enjoy travel, hiking in the picturesque Rocky Mountains, cooking, watching movies, and cheering on their kids in various sporting events.