Problem: Johan was sitting in traffic. Again. His mind drifted back to his last meeting which had ended rather abruptly. The client hadn’t even looked interested in his presentation or his brochures, in fact the meeting took only 10 minutes and it had taken him an hour to get there. He could tell it had been a waste of time and blamed it on the new telesales lady who had set up the appointment for him. Another dud. Oh well … he’d just pop in to see one of his regular clients for a cup of coffee on the way back so that it wasn’t a totally wasted trip.
Advice: Time to face the facts Johan: Your sales time is worth money. Your money to be precise. Why on earth are you even contemplating going on a face-to-face appointment without first knowing if it is worth your time and your effort?
Don’t blame the telesales lady – if you’re fortunate enough to have someone making calls for you, then write up a list of qualifying questions for the person to ask the lead. Make them specific to the market sector. The answers will determine if a first appointment is worth your time. If the telesales lady doesn’t have the technical skill to ask the type of questions you need answered, then make the call yourself before you confirm an appointment.
The same principal applies to just “popping in” to see clients. Again, what a waste of your time when that person is out of the office, in a meeting or busy! It’s also unprofessional. The only time you may be welcomed is if that client is also at the level where they are generally happy to waste time chatting with unexpected visitors just to pass the time of day. It’s generally not appreciated at decision-maker level. At the very least, phone ahead to ask if they can see you and have a definite objective in mind for the visit.
Result: After taking this advice, Johan now only makes quality, properly qualified face-to-face sales appointments, he closes more sales, makes more commission and is a much happier guy. He’s moved up the rankings in the sales team.
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