SALES VISITS: PREPARE AND THEN PREPARE SOME MORE
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ~Abraham Lincoln
It’s a great honour to be invited in for a sales visit, presentation or meeting. The obvious positive for sales professionals is that it means you have a chance to land a new client or solidify an existing one. You are being invited to the prospect/client’s “home” as a guest and they’re taking time to speak with you, listen to you and show you their products and offices. This is like meeting the parents of a girl/boyfriend that you are getting serious with – don’t blow this with a poor impression. Take time to research and prepare.
Here are some steps you can take to ensure you get the most out of your visit:
- Research the company and attendees. Understand what they do, how they do it, their history, their org chart, their profiles and anything else you can find about them. Nothing worse than coming to a meeting and leading off with, “What do you do here?”
- Map out your route to the company address. Tardiness is a poor impression. Don’t get caught late by construction, road closures, traffic congestion and other issues.
- Have a goal for the meeting. Do you want to get them to sign a contract? Agree to another meeting? List out a wish list that you must satisfy? Whatever that may be, set out a goal and aim for it.
- Request that all decision makers involved be present. This is not always possible given people’s busy schedules but if you can, meet everyone who will be involved while you there and establish a relationship.
- Have your questions ready. As much as they are probing to see if you are fit, you should be doing the same. Ask about their budget, their company health, their decision making process, their timetable, etc.
- Present samples, case studies, a visual presentation to back up your pitch.
- Close the goal you had set out to achieve for the meeting.
Hopefully, this refresher will help you with your next sales visit and you’ll come out looking like a star.
Darryl Dioso is Senior Lead Recruiter and a Job Interview Coach at RMSG (www.RMSGWorks.com) in Toronto, Canada. For close to 20 years, Darryl has been helping clients improve through designing, implementing and managing hiring initiatives, operational improvements, and HR processes. He is passionate about business, technology, sports, travel and most of all – his family. Connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/darryldioso and follow him on Twitter at @DarrylRMSG.