There’s nothing like an in-person meeting to close deals.

Sales leaders say they don’t need for account executives to travel. Worse yet, salespeople tell me they don’t even need to talk to anyone. Ridiculous, right? I used to think it was because I lived near Silicon Valley, but technology addiction is everywhere. It’s become an epidemic—people typing away and not having conversations.

Digital dependence is an even greater problem for salespeople, because sales metrics actually encourage them to hide behind screens. Reps are accountable for sending X number of emails and making X number of social media connections. Beyond that, I question whether they know how to put a sentence together. (Yes, I know that’s snarky, but if you receive the lame sales emails that I do, you know what I’m talking about.)

Over the past decade, companies have cut back on travel because of the assorted tools that enable video conferencing. That’s a great backup for account executives, but there’s nothing like being in-person and seeing the whites of someone’s eyes.

Just consider these (true) stories: An account executive who couldn’t get her prospect on the phone scheduled an in-person meeting. She flew from Seattle to Minneapolis and left with three projects on the books. Another senior account executive was annoyed that a prospect gave him less than a week to show up in Paris for a meeting with all decision-makers present. The airfare was astronomical with such short notice. I told him to cut the crap and book the trip. As they say, “The rest is history.”

I hear stories like this time and time again, stories about hot prospects that seemed to go cold until outside salespeople made an in-person visit. After all, people do business with people, not with technology.

That’s why it was so refreshing to read Carson V. Heady’s post on LinkedIn: “The Undying Value of the Field (Sales) Agent (Inspired by James Bond).” Read his take on why companies still need salespeople out there shaking hands, building relationships, and making deals the old-fashioned way—face to face.

Want to help your account executives and outside salespeople learn how to make in-person connections and get referrals? Invite me to speak at your annual Sales Kickoff Meeting.