Walk Don’t Run

No Running Zone Sign

Meetings with clients are essentially back on!  Whether in person or over the phone and video, it’s happening.

And if you’re like most people, you get in, cover what you want – and hopefully what the client or prospect wants – and get out.  It’s just like driving through Rhode Island.

So why the hurry?  Years ago when hardware was king and one could still make money selling PC’s and peripherals at the corporate level, I had a sales leader who very successfully created new business with some very large financial companies in an extremely competitive and difficult marketplace: the late 80s.  He would say to me, “Take your time leaving the building.  Notice the offices you pass on your way out. Stick a head in a doorway and ask someone a good, curious question about what’s going on there, how they get it done, where in the organization do they fit?”  He called it the slow walk out.

Yes, things are a bit different today.  If you are on the deck, actually in a location today, security is a challenge for this tactic.  People are seriously busy with meeting after meeting so impromptu Hellos can be considered an imposition; yes, maybe even stalking!  Also, your solution might be much more complex than a PC used to be.  And that’s the point!  It’s not about your product or service, it’s about them!  If you’re curious as you take your stroll, get a tour from the one you’re visiting.  Ask them questions as you exit about the people you see and things that are different, things that might represent something unique about their organization.  People are generally proud of their organization, they love to brag about people and what makes their company special to the world. 

What about virtual meetings?  How does this work?  Try this simple question: “Who couldn’t make it today that might benefit from a conversation like this?” is a good starting point.  How about specifically calling out someone particularly engaged in the meeting and asking them if you can reconnect afterwards to dig a little deeper?  Slow walk your way out of the virtual meeting.  Leave room for this by stopping your presentation earlier than say the 59th minute of the hour!!!  Here’s an idea…make your presentation just 15 minutes so you can actually connect people to ideas, connect for greatness!

If you approach your counterpoints with a genuine interest in them and their business, it will translate authentically.  You will be surprised with how they will welcome you into their “home.” With their best interests in mind, wonderful possibilities will materialize for both you and them.  

So let’s welcome back meetings!  And once you are there, relax, pump the brakes and go farther.  I know, it seems counterintuitive.  Try it.  It’s amazing. Now that meetings are back on, save the rush for traffic.

I challenge your salespeople to become sales professionals.  I guide your managers to become leaders.” We are halfway home in 2022.  Consider the wild idea of investing in you! Why wait any longer?!?  Here’s a link to start creating that discussion right now!

Photo Credit: Flickr user, Brian Sikorski.

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