3 Key Ways to Make Client Meetings Matter

Many account managers stay very busy meeting with their existing customers. So much so, they don’t make time to get in front of new business. This can be a costly mistake that prevents them from building their income. That income is likely to dwindle if they are not making every one of those visits truly worthwhile. In other words, they are acting as professional visitors, rather than as consultative sales professionals.

If you are not uncovering a new opportunity to quote at least one out of four of your visits, then it could mean one of two things: you are going too frequently or you are not effective enough with your visit.

Preparing for Your Visit

You can actually do fewer visits with each customer, saving you massive amounts of time, money, and energy if you plan and use your time effectively on each visit. The problem is that most salespeople under-prepare for their visits. Consequently, they don’t get to meet with everyone they would like to have as an audience. They spend too much valuable time in unproductive conversation, they forget to follow up on key decisions, and they don’t get the results from those visits that they could.

3 Key Ways to Get the Most from your Customer Visit:

1) Know who you are going to see.

Make sure that you are not just meeting with the same decision-makers and failing to see others while you are there. There are people who are technical users of our products, conceptual decision-makers, and financial decision-makers. Get in front of all of them on every visit, if possible. There could be other decision-makers who are part of the organization and oversee a different department. If they are not yet your customer, have a plan for how you are going to get in front of them during your visit. Arrange an introduction. Know when they are in. Have a reason to see them.

2) Know what you are going to talk about.

As a manager of an account, you have to manage many details. You have to remember when someone last ordered something and in what quantity. You should know when you presented a quote, when you should expect to receive the purchase order, when someone told you “not right now,” and when you should bring it back up again. Forgetting to remind someone that it is time to reorder, not following up on a purchase order, or not bringing new ideas to your customers’ attention will cost you a lot of money in the long run!

3) Give value every time.

On every visit, you should plan to provide your customer with something of value. No, we are not talking about doughnuts or cookies! The value that you provide should be relevant to the products you sell and the service you provide. Bring them an article that shares valuable education. Bring them a referral for the new employee they are looking to hire. Offer them an idea of how you can save them money. Show them a new product that will help save them time. Customers will not keep you around just because you are a nice person and you stop by every week. People want to keep vendors around that are valuable to them. It is not your customer’s job to find a need for you; it is your job to make yourself irreplaceable.

Don’t waste valuable time, time that you could spend going after new business, driving to meet with customers without a plan. To get the most out of your visit, prepare for it. Make it count!

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