Updated: Jun 19
Field marketing plays a vital role in any successful brand’s marketing strategy. Field marketers provide an excellent channel for direct communication with consumers, and their efforts result in increased sales, brand recognition, and deeper consumer engagement.
One of the major focus areas of field marketing personnel is engaging with consumers at the point of sale. Interactions with consumers at the point of sale increase the likelihood that consumers will purchase your products, and develop loyalty for your brand. Field marketers engage consumers in sales conversations with the objective of either reinforcing their decision to purchase your brand, persuading them to choose your brand over your competitors, or convincing them to purchase your brand’s products even if that was not their original intention.
The work field marketers do require a significant degree of training in effective communication and interpersonal skills. They also need to have an in-depth knowledge of the brand, its products, and its use in people’s lives. Ineffective or poorly trained field marketing teams can do more harm than good, ultimately hurting your brand and your sales in the long run. It is important to understand what field marketers do at the point of sale and the underlying reasons for the effectiveness of field marketing strategies. This makes it crucial to work with field marketing agencies that train their teams well.
In this article, we explore the activities carried out by field marketing personnel at the point of sale to get consumers to purchase products. Two broad categories describe how field marketing affects purchasing decisions.
Firstly, closing the deal, which describes the reassurance that field marketing personnel give consumers who choose to purchase your brand.
Secondly, swaying the consumer, which considers the active efforts of field marketers to understand, empathize with and persuade consumers when they are at the point of purchase and are unsure about whether or not they should purchase your products.
Field marketing fosters intimate brand-customer interactions.
People are social creatures and we generally have an affinity for connections with other people. This is also true for consumers who will invariably appreciate feeling seen by the brand they choose to purchase. Brand ambassadors and other field marketers personify your brand and provide a human face for people to interact with
Closing the deal
When a well-trained field marketer, who understands the brand, engages with a consumer, that interaction fosters feelings of trust and reassurance in the customer. So even if they were about to purchase your product, engaging with a brand ambassador will clear any last-minute doubts they may have in the back of their mind, and reinforce their choice to purchase your products.
Additionally, our memories about how we feel about things last much longer than those regarding specific details of any interaction. What lingers in their minds is how your brand made them feel on that occasion and it generates a lot of goodwill which can yield benefits such as brand loyalty. A loyal customer will keep coming back to buy your products, and give you free marketing in the form of social proof and brand companionship, which will attract more customers towards your products. We can essentially draw a direct line from a delightful point of sale interaction with your brand ambassadors, through customer loyalty and increased brand awareness to increased sales for your brand.
Field Marketing Creates a Sense of Belonging. As social creatures, we have a natural tendency to seek out communities we can be a part of and brands can benefit from this.
Field marketers help consumers feel connected to other people who choose to purchase your brand’s products. In turn, this gives the product a deeper meaning in the customer’s life. It ceases to be a mere utility and becomes a status symbol.
Field marketers help customers cater to customers’ needs to associate with other people that have similar interests, behaviours and tastes. Their similarity in consumption habits gives them an emotional connection to a broader community. In a way, we purchase instinctively according to who we think we are or who we want to be. By giving consumers this sense of being connected to like-minded people, field marketers align emotional value to your product and by extension, your brand. By so doing, field marketers reassure consumers that their decision to purchase your product is the right decision and that your brand is the best one for their desired lifestyle.
Field marketers understand customer needs. Sometimes customers are unwilling to purchase a product because they fail to understand the benefits or delight they may draw from the product. Effective field marketing requires empathy, and field marketers at the point of sale are uniquely positioned to investigate and empathize with individual purchasing motivations in real-time.
Good field marketers have good people skills. They ask the right questions and listen attentively as the customer explains their circumstances. Most customers dislike sales pitches when they are out and about, but they will appreciate a friendly ear and a warm smile. This approach builds trust between the field marketer and the customer.
By building this trust with the customer, a skilled field marketer will engage their deep product knowledge and contextualize it to the customer’s specific needs. People are not often swayed by features and functionality. The benefits and tangible life changes are what resonate with the customers emotionally. Most retail purchases are emotionally driven and field marketers at the point of sale are perfectly positioned to engage hesitant customers on an emotional level.
By listening to consumers and understanding their personal needs, field marketing personnel can abstract product features and functionality into a story of how the product or service will satisfy the consumer’s needs and desires. This is how they sway hesitant or unwilling customers and convince them to purchase your brand’s products or services.
Swaying the consumer
Field Marketers can also counter consumer objections. Just as we have numerous reasons for buying products, we also have a variety of objections to making a purchasing choice. Consumer objections are concerns that a prospective consumer has, which result in them either hesitating or completely rejecting a purchase. These concerns come from a fear that the product or service may not satisfy their needs, a reluctance to change the way they are currently satisfying this need, uncertainty stemming from a lack of relationship with the brand, or the worry that the product’s pricing is outside what they are willing to spend to satisfy their needs.
There are empathy and contextualized response. Well-trained field marketers understand both aspects of countering consumer objectives and have the skills to counter objections effectively. The first part, empathy, relies heavily on being able to ask the right questions. Asking questions helps uncover the true source of the objection and also enables the field marketer to gain insight into the consumer’s specific needs. There is extensive research that shows people tend to like talking about themselves and they become more relaxed when they do so. When the field marketer understands exactly what the objection is, they can properly acknowledge it, which demonstrates they have been actively listening. Asking questions and acknowledging concerns deepens the trust between the consumer and the field marketer, which also extends into a deeper positive association with the brand.
The second part of countering objections is contextualized responses. This is achieved by exploring the foundations of the consumer’s concerns, combining everything the field marketer has learned about the consumer and then responding to their particular circumstances. By so doing, the field marketer demonstrates their empathy to the consumer and makes the consumer more receptive to the idea of buying products from your brand. A contextualized response is how customers end up exclaiming “Exactly!” in response to the field marketer. When consumers feel like their concerns are truly acknowledged, they feel increased trust and loyalty in your brand, which in itself lowers their inhibitions and makes them less likely to hold on to their objections.
After building trust and developing a relationship with the consumer, a well-trained field marketer expertly addresses the concerns on a factual and emotional level. Their deep knowledge of the product or service helps them take each reason the consumer had for hesitating, and flip it into a reason why the consumer should purchase your product. The trust and rapport built up to this point make this feel less like a stock sales pitch, which consumers notoriously hate.
Field marketing is an incredibly valuable channel for increasing sales and growing your brand.
Good field marketing teams understand how to engage with consumers on a human level to influence their decision to purchase your products.
Brands can confidently expect predictable and reliable results when they deploy field marketing teams at the point of sale.
If you need a team of expert field marketing professionals who understand how to engage with consumers on an emotional level and convince them to purchase your products, contact us today. We are always excited to help brands reach new heights