We often discuss the figurative walls our current and future customers put up towards salespeople, and HOW we break down those walls. However, it’s been a long-time since we focused on “WHERE” we break down those walls. Good Karma Brands Director of Sales for ESPN Chicago, David Scharf, recently reminded me of the importance of “where” you can do that, and why it’s so effective.
I believe getting customers out and away from their office is likely a bigger advantage now than it’s ever been for two unique reasons:
- Because it has happened so rarely over the last two years.
- Many companies are not consistently meeting face to face (in person) right now, so you would have a distinct relationship building advantage if you’re comfortable doing it.
Editor’s note: We are still in a pandemic, and you should only do what you’re comfortable doing and what your customer is comfortable doing. If that means standing outside and being 6 feet apart from each other while going for a walk – that’s great.
Here are some suggestions:
- Social functions – sporting events, concerts, live theatre…don’t just give tickets to someone. Go with them
- Cup of coffee
- Bike ride, run, or walk
- Volunteer work at their company’s charity events or a non-profit you know they are involved in
- Dog walks/park – everyone seems to have a dog and if you can meet for a 45-minute walk, imagine what you will learn
- A meal together at a customer’s favorite restaurant or if you sell to restaurants, go eat there and bring a group!
- Golf/tennis/exercise class
There is one more “WHERE” I want to highlight, and it is for those customers who are a long drive or flight from you. My guess is they probably haven’t been visited in two years by you and maybe others. Go see them!
You might be asking yourself if the customer is worth a flight or a long-drive. If you are investing time to manage a relationship with a current or future customer, then they should be worth your time to see them in person. So grab your dog or your tennis racket, put some gas in your car and go “Break Down Those Walls”.