We’re a month into a new year that presents us with 365 new opportunities to maximize sales, strengthen strategies, and provide current and prospective shoppers with more memorable customer service experiences. This year, the sales predictions and trends for face-to-face sales are looking good. You can call it a comeback, but face-to-face sales have been here for years – and will continue to be.
We won’t say 2024 is the year of face-to-face sales, but we will say that in-store, face-to-face, or in-person sales is still preferred among shoppers. According to The Chain Store Age’s Business of Retail’s Expert Viewpoints, “in the next 12 months, we will see the digital increasingly merge with the physical, to create new content and ways of shopping to keep buyers engaged.”
Predictions for 2024
Consumer Confidence: High
Consumer confidence is high, which is good for businesses, especially brick-and-mortar. In December, the Conference Board reported consumer confidence increased to a five-month high! And although consumer spending picked up during the holiday shopping season, inflation is still a concern. However, Christopher Rupkey, the chief economist at FWDBONDS, was quoted as remaining optimistic about sustained economic growth in 2024.
Strategize to Save Budget-Conscious Shoppers
Since the Christmas shopping season was strong, we start the year off on a good foot. And with the economy off to a good start, Insider Intelligence predicts if “off-price and discount retailers” aren’t strategic, they could lose their budget and price-conscious shoppers to mid-tier retailers as their shopping habits loosen and they revert to pre-pandemic spending. If this happens, and shoppers stop making purchases at discount stores, those stores may have to resort to offering more discounts or enticing them back with loyalty programs.
New Year. New Trends
Embracing Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence was all abuzz last year and took the world by digital storm. Well, this year, the face-to-face sales industries and representatives will need to leverage AI now more than ever. Shoppers prefer making purchases online because it saves them time. Sales professionals who leverage AI in their sales approach can help their customers do just that — save time and a whopping 2 hours or more a day. That’s a lot of time. HubSpot’s State of AI Report reports AI saves sales reps and shoppers time by reducing manual tasks, increasing efficiency, and personalizing the customer experience.
However, Chain Store Age advises against falling prey to the AI hype and “quick wins” and instead focuses on identifying and embracing “distinctive use cases and transformational initiatives.”
Value-Based Selling Will Be Valuable
For face-to-face sales representatives, human connection is crucial as it builds trust and relationships. In the competition between e-commerce and retail, that relationship is how we sustain our livelihoods and businesses. Kaspr says value-based selling is how you connect with your target audience. If peach fuzz is the color of the year, value-based selling is the sales approach for 2024.
Making the Most of Every Sale
Trust is always trending, as it always stays in style, no matter the year. That’s because trust is critical to sustaining any relationship, especially the connection between businesses and customers. And while consumer confidence is high this year, customers still need to trust sales professionals and products before they feel comfortable spending a dime of their money. For face-to-face sales reps wanting to make the most of every sale, ensure your customer can trust you.
Is your product or service of high quality? Does it fulfill a need for customers and add value to their lives? Is it reliable and worth the price? While a product or service that practically sells itself is great, it’s important to ensure that it’s actually worth purchasing. This is why having a good product and giving product demonstrations are so beneficial for businesses. They allow the product or service to speak for itself, showcasing its features and benefits firsthand.
The Human Connection
Businesses can benefit greatly from implementing AI, which can simplify processes and increase efficiency. However, it’s important to remember that customers still value human interaction and find it more personal than interacting with a machine or an algorithm. While sales technology can improve B2B sales and connections, it cannot replace genuine human connections. Face-to-face marketing remains crucial to sales as it allows for authentic and meaningful interactions. As we continue to embrace AI, we should prioritize and nurture human connections while thoughtfully incorporating technology into our work. Let’s strive for a balance combining AI’s benefits with the value of human connection as we move forward in the digital age.
Are you looking forward into 2024? At Credico, we are always excited to help our clients simplify their sales and make the most of every opportunity. Even if you’re not a client yet, we are happy to work with your business and assist you in navigating this year’s sales predictions, trends, and challenges. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. We can’t wait to help make 2024 your best year yet!