I often get asked about lunch. It’s not necessary when I’m planning to eat lunch out. Instead, do salespeople need to take clients to lunch? What can they do to be more productive? Are my salespeople wasting their time and money? What can I teach my salespeople? Does this work or could it be a successful sales strategy?
In the first place, the majority of salespeople spend too much money to take clients out for lunch but without any purpose or gain in terms of time or cost. If your salespersons participate with clients in “client lunches” make sure to think with them before prior to putting through an extravagant expense bill and gain nothing in return.
Really, I’m a huge supporter of lunch and golf or customer outings. But, I’m not taking part in these activities for pure pleasure of your salespersons. Salespeople require a plan and a way to reach this goal at every lunch. Encourage your salespeople to create plans for the customer’s lunch or an outing and implement on it. For a start there are four steps that salespeople can accomplish in a lunch meeting or golf game, or a customer outings:
Ask your salespeople to ask your customer to explain what’s happening within their company. What projects or initiatives are in development that your business could participate with to create value or new offerings or products?
A possible management change means that your salesperson has to make sure that they receive an appropriate introduction as well as the chance for the new manager to become acquainted with the company. Additionally, your client could expand their product lines, constructing new offices, opening new facilities or combining with other businesses or buying subsidiaries. In the end, make sure your salespeople are always looking for new opportunities to sell to your existing customers.
Prospects appreciate testimonials for helping them in the decision-making process. Be it in a letter or even a paragraph on your website or other collateral documents, this is an effective way for your salespersons to bring credibility to your selling process. Ask your salespersons to create the “Top 10” list of most popular accounts. Schedule meetings with each of them over about 30 days (if feasible) and make each ask for a review. After you have them, create digital copies and distribute them with your sales staff. Create a competition out of it and see who gets the most authentic testimonials the current month or quarter.
Ask your customer to confirm if they’d like to be approached by a prospective buyer to confirm the services offered by your salesperson or to share their experience with your business. Be prepared to have something ready should your prospect requests. Be careful not to pester your clients you already have with unneeded calls or excessive calls. Only offer references in cases where the prospective client is qualified. Make sure you contact the person who provided the reference to inform them that the prospect is calling.
This is one of the least understood methods of prospecting. Your most effective list includes your personal list. You can ask you “satisfied” customers to provide names of those they know who might benefit from their products or service. Senior executives have connections to the senior executive. Middle managers are aware of the other managers in middle management. Make use of excellent customers as a source of referral and make use of those connections.
Offer the person you refer an unrestricted sample, free consultation, or any other information that could be beneficial to them. You can ask if you could make use of your customer’s name. Collect as much information on the person who referred you to them since you’ll need to determine if they are qualified. Sometimes, customers will provide you with a name in order to help, however, the referral isn’t qualified.
Lunching with clients can be an extremely effective way to develop new business. If you are a sales manager guide your salespeople in efficient strategies for achieving specific sales goals. These four suggestions can help you begin.