The pandemic has changed a lot of things in our lives, and as salespeople we need to adjust to a new way of doing business.
BUT … we STILL need to get the job done!
These ten reasons to meet with your client are still relevant:
1. It is hard to build a rapport, which grows to trust which becomes a valued relationship if you are not having meaningful conversations … which is tough on a phone call.
2. You can be sure that your competition are meeting with your client … and very often the prize goes to the one who is “top of mind”.
3. The more conversations you have, the more market intelligence you will pick up. That is tough to do on the phone … but not impossible.
4. When you meet with a client and ask lots of questions you learn about them, their challenges and how they like to do business. You learn about who they are … and you will be surprised how easy it is to like people when you get to know them.
5. When you like people it shows, and they are far more likely to like you … go back to tip #1 and repeat!
6. When you are not having enough conversations with clients and prospects then your manager is wondering why their salesperson isn’t getting orders, closing business and building relationships.
7. It is very rare that REAL opportunity comes while you sit at your desk waiting for the phone to ring.
8. The more relationships you have in the marketplace the more opportunities you will uncover and your market intelligence will improve, helping you to win more business.
9. It is a lot more gratifying as a salesperson to be active, to be executing on a sales strategy than spending time on your computer “researching”.
10. Your chances of closing business are far better face to face, whatever form that takes!
“Keep your sales pipeline full by prospecting continuously. Always have more people to see than you have time to see them.” Brian Tracy
Some ideas in a post pandemic world:
Some clients will golf again … outside meetings being more acceptable in today’s climate.
Some clients will have meals, drinks etc … patios are approved in many jurisdictions.
How about Zoom wine tastings or scotch tastings. These can be arranged such that everything is delivered to the client(s).
What about value add sessions for clients … market updates from your executive, panel discussions with various industry leaders?
I have heard about salespeople having meetings with their clients … in the client’s back yard (home office).
Zoom (video) meetings are better than phone meetings, but not as good as face to face.
You will need to assess your client’s willingness to meet … but there are lots of safe options, and a good salesperson will find a way!
The sales role is especially challenging right now but if you don’t get creative, make & build relationships and serve your clients then you are going to be left behind.