Most of what we write is for salespeople (though we have always said that Never Be Closing is a sales book you’d want your clients to read).
Most of the time the salesperson visits the client. There’s an investment in travel time and expense, and it’s appropriate that the party looking for the business rather than the party who has it to offer incurs that cost. Plus, good salespeople like to meet in their client’s workspace. They see more and learn more by being at your site than somewhere else.
But here’s a question for you, clients.
When would you go to a salesperson’s office for a meeting?
It’s not such a bad idea to meet at your salesperson’s office, especially if you think there is a good chance you’ll be working with them.
- You’ll actually see and meet the rest of the team who will be providing your service. You’ll often get better service from the support staff if you are more than just a name on a list, or worse, a number in a spreadsheet.
- Often, you’ll get a chance to meet the sales manager or someone at the C-suite level.
- It’s a way to show commitment to your service provider. People appreciate that.
- You can learn a lot about your sales representative by seeing his or her office and how their colleagues relate to them.
- And, you can get up and leave when you think the meeting is over. It’s easier to execute your own departure than to shoo a tenacious sales person out of your offices.
- Try it.
The ideas from this post come from Tim and Tim’s book Never Be Closing.
The best place to meet with your client is at their office or work location. There is so much you can learn just by being in their workspace with their colleagues that it’s usually worth it to go to your client for a meeting. We have written a number of posts about why meeting in your client’s office is useful, and how you can leverage being in their workspace.
The exception, however, makes the rule. A neutral location can have advantages. Here are seven:
- It’s often less formal. A meeting at a restaurant or a café or an industry conference is usually a more informal environment than an office. It’s a more personal experience that can be more conducive to starting a relationship.
- Your client will be less distracted. The office has lots of reminders of things they need to get done, not to mention the possibility of interruptions by co-workers for tasks unrelated to your meeting.
- It’s geographically desirable. It can save you time to meet at a place that works for them and is nearer to a place you have to be anyway.
- It might imply a higher level of commitment. Rather than just being in their office when you come by, your client is making an effort to meet you.
- You can pick up the check. Everyone likes to be treated.
- It’s easier to leave. If the meeting turns out to be a waste of time, it’s easier to depart when you’re not being hosted by your prospect in their space.
- Because your prospective client also knows it’s easier for them to leave as well, it may be easier to get a yes to your request for a meeting, (It’s a lot easier to drink your coffee and go than it is to get a tenacious salesman out of your office.)
Like anything the right decision is contextual. Yes, in general it’s better to meet at your client’s office, but there are reasons that make an offsite preferable. The key is to get face to face with your prospective client. Where you are face to face is secondary.
The ideas from this post come from Never be Closing. We hope you found them useful.