So I am sitting here thinking about my current situation. It truly is the perfect storm. My WiFi card has just died, and I am not in a place where I can get a complimentary connection (I really like the Panera Bread chain for that reason)—and to make matters worse, my computer is now giving me some fits and starts. Finally, my BlackBerry is out of juice. Oh No! What if everything just conks out permanently and I am left with nothing and no way to connect? How will I ever find my clients and close business? This is like (gasp!) 1995! The world is coming to an end…Not really.
We are all over connected. That’s a fact. At the risk of sounding old, I am thinking about how we did business in the dark ages (which is before 1995). It was a time when we actually had to use a time-tested and honorable technique: We talked to people. Yes, live and in person. We used our voices. We asked for and received business face to face. Or as it is referred to today “F2F.” LOL.
Here are a few tips to closing business the way we used to do it in the old ages before we could hide behind electronics:
- I closed three Sales Culture keynotes and workshops this week because I was in front of the client. I refused to send my proposals by email first and then follow up. I scheduled the time and place to deliver the proposal so everything was real time. The result? Three for three. It is harder to say “no” in person, and it’s much easier to handle objections and see the telltale body language that foretells the outcome of the conversation. If your prospect is in another place, schedule a time to send the proposal – again real time – and open it together.
- I have had success by scheduling my day in way where I can call my client and be available so it’s easy for him or her to say “Sure, come on by.” Make it easy for your prospects and clients to have you in if you are readily available. Think ahead of where you will be and let your prospects know. Use this time to visit your clients and strengthen the relationships. No reason to ever sit and think, “I have nowhere to go. Yes you do, if you have prospects and clients. Get out and go visit! You will have a great time and your day will go by faster.
- Write a note. I have been doing this more and more. It’s nothing new, and I am not a writer but it’s always a satisfying moment to drop the letter in the box and know that it will be read. My best friend still writes every thank-you note by hand, and he gets an amazing reaction. So if you are sitting in a coffee shop and can’t connect, write some notes and mail them. Watch what happens. See your phone calls get returned!
- Keep your phone calls brief, and don’t hang up until you schedule an appointment (if that’s the correct next step). If you have any opportunity to see a client or a prospect – go! I am always amazed when salespeople say to me, “I have nothing to see them about.” Yes you do – it’s called “building the relationship.”
There you have it. One seasoned guy’s view on what to do with your time when you have it or are faced with unconnected time! If you ever get tired of typing, emailing, and feeling behind, then make time to be out and about and make your relationships better…and have fun in the process. Nothing is more satisfying than having an appointment and leaving knowing that you know what is going on and what the next steps are.