Visiting a Prospect in Person. First time ever.

Ive been traveling for conferences and meeting prospects there, but I am about to plan my first on site meeting at a prospects location to close this deal.


To all the savages that have done this a ton, what sort of things should I be keeping top of mind??


Besides what to wear and how to book flights and stuff like that.



help me not screw this up!

๐Ÿ‘‘ Sales Strategy
๐Ÿ“ˆ Closing
โœˆ๏ธ Travel
34
CuriousFox
WR Officer
15
Senior Account Executive
Take a mask with you. I visit healthcare facilities that have mask requirements. One even required to see my vaccination card. Check their vendor rules on the website before ya go.
TennisandSales
Politicker
3
Enterprise Account Executive
good call! i have some DOPE company branded masks haha.
jefe
Arsonist
2
Head of Sales
Underrated comment - still important to consider.
Sunbunny31
Politicker
13
Sr Sales Executive
Check in advance about their visiting protocols - where to park, do you need to sign in with a receptionist and wait for an escort, etc. All of these things take time, and you never want to be late, so factor in every touch point and make sure you're early.

I've brought cookies with me as well - definitely gourmet ones from a local (or local to you) bakery.

Have fun! It's great to visit in person.
Coastal_crusher
Politicker
6
Sales Director
Never ever be late! On time = 5 mins early :)
punishedlad
Politicker
0
Field Sales
Can't emphasize enough the value of bringing in some baked goods.
TennisandSales
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
thinking about flying in the day before just to make sure im not late
Coastal_crusher
Politicker
0
Sales Director
I always did that esp if itโ€™s a morning/midday meeting. Hopefully you can expense a nice hotel and then head home after your meeting
TennisandSales
Politicker
1
Enterprise Account Executive
yeah ill be able to book a hotel. i think that will be the play. get in the night before, see how early we can meet, take the next flight out after everything is wrapped up.
TennisandSales
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
ooo i like the idea of bringing a food item! nice call
TechSalesQueen
Executive
1
Sr. Enterprise Account Executive
Avoid bringing anything with peanuts if you want to avoid killing someone.
Pachacuti
Politicker
7
They call me Daddy, Sales Daddy
(1) Be 5-10 min early
(2) Don't dress like a developer
(3) Overprepare
(4) Have a "leave behind" (brochure, ppt, etc.)
(5) Be flexible in what happens, but don't leave without a concrete "next steps"
(6) If you don't have a technical person with you, have someone you can call "just in case" available.
(7) I'm torn on the "drink" thing. Its a time waster, but a rapport builder (potentially). So if they say "I have a hard cut off in 30 min" more than once, skip the drink.

Good luck!
ppg
Executive
1
All around good guy
3 & 5 absolutely, 7 take it, itโ€™s ok if you donโ€™t touch it much. Water is always best but if you meet coffee lovers, you can have a small convo around it. 6 always, or make sure you can get an answer quickly if you think itโ€™ll close the deal.

Make friend with the gatekeeper, always pays off in or out the door, if sheโ€™s friendly.
TennisandSales
Politicker
1
Enterprise Account Executive
solid advice thank you.

What does a developer dress like? hahah
Coastal_crusher
Politicker
5
Sales Director
Be prepared, be human!

Prep: everything @Sunbunny31 said plus little checklists for your equipment/appearance (I once flew out of town to meet a prospect only to realize Iโ€™d brought my full suit minus a shirt ๐Ÿ’€). Had to rush to winners to find an extra

Human: body language is key, pacing your conversation to their comfort. Whenever go to a prospects office, I look for bands, kids photos etc and start a convo about those things

If youโ€™re lucky enough to be offered coffee/tea, things are somehow smoother when I say yes?? Take this one with a bucket of salt ๐Ÿ˜‚
Sunbunny31
Politicker
3
Sr Sales Executive
Check and double check your packing!

Great point about accepting a drink. For some reason, accepting coffee/tea/water relaxes people.
88mph
Catalyst
3
Account Manager
I'll never forget this onsite I did to visit an eccentric customer in LA. Our team of 3 arrives at their offices and they do standard greetings, etc. CEO asks us if we'd like anything to drink, "coffee, tea, latte?" Sure, I'll take a latte. He turns to the front desk gal and tells her to go to Starbucks and get our drinks, I swear it took her 20-30 minutes into the meeting until they arrived, I felt so bad for her lol like I thought they just had an espresso machine to make them onsite!
TennisandSales
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
haha ouch! yeah i would have felt so bad for that person
TennisandSales
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
i like the idea of just accepting what they offer; IE coffee or tea.
MrMonte
Arsonist
4
Head of Sales
To add to @Sunbunny31@Pachacuti@Coastal_crusherhere's a re a few ideas.

1. are you demoing to a group, or just answering questions before a signature? In-person demos are powerful especially if you've been selling to leadership so far. I once was put on the spot to demo to the staff, as a way to bring them into the evaluation/buying process.

2. do you have a leave-behind planned? It could be company swag or a folder with relevant collateral printed out an included: proposal, ROI, one-page case studies from other clients, etc.

3. make sure you open the meeting by reviewing/listing what they've told you are their current issues (that your product/service solves) and then ask ... "is there anything I missed? anything new to add to the list".

Definitely keep the energy positive and lighthearted while you're there. If you get a questions you don't 100% know the answer too, don't make it up. Write it down, find out, and get back to them the next day. You reputation is crucial.
TennisandSales
Politicker
1
Enterprise Account Executive
yes good question. this is a down funnel meeting.
We DM is there who is the champion, and the goal is to make sure the KEY influencer is onboard with the solution.
Coastal_crusher
Politicker
0
Sales Director
+1 to all of these - great insights
antiASKHOLE
Big Shot
3
Account Executive
Be aware of your body language and facial expressions.
Sunbunny31
Politicker
1
Sr Sales Executive
The mask can come in handy in these cases. :)
Diablo
Politicker
2
Sr. AE
I would try to know who I will be meeting - just the prospect or bosses or reportees, cross functional teams - security, procurement etc. and I would prep well on the topics that we have decided to discuss.

Many a times we end up discussing other stuffs related to business - customers, company etc. make sure you know about a few clients, own company - when it started, how many people work etc. etc.
sketchysales
Politicker
2
Sales Manager
Lots of good advice here. My main thing with a meeting:

Never ever leave without a next step/action point and agreed follow up date.
88mph
Catalyst
1
Account Manager
Good advice for all meetings, not just onsites!
salesslinger
Good Citizen
2
Account Executive
Use some of your interviewing skills: arrive early, be kind to all staff, dress up... Also bring extension cords for equipment, wifi/hot spot. If they offer water/coffee, take it. Be aware of any time limits. You got this!
TennisandSales
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
i like comparing it to interviewing. nice!
Arzola
Valued Contributor
2
Business administration
Always be punctual and polite, do a little research about the company, what they do, what countries they are in, etc.. also their visit protocol and requirements. Many times knowing a thing or two about the company can go a long way in answering a difficult question and showing them that you care about their business.
amc
Good Citizen
1
lhliyf
Bring something. Donuts? Candy? It doesn't matter. Sweet stuff will literally leave a sweet taste in their mouth when they leave
Werkzeug
Politicker
1
Account Executive
I've got nothing to offer on this but encouragement! Happy for you, Tennis, look forward to reading all about it on the win wire ๐Ÿ‘
Lucy710
Politicker
1
Channel Account Manager
Have some interesting soft topics to discuss. Nothing is worse than waiting as people trickling into your meeting and you are discussing the weather. Nothing political or divisive, something potentially memorable. I generally talk about pets (I work in animal health), rugby, someoneโ€™s cool sweaters, maybe a good restaurant rec or something else that gets the room engaged. :)
TennisandSales
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
ah yes. i really should put some thought to this.
Spurs
Opinionated
1
Account executive
Make sure to pack all equipment you may need - HDMI, laptop charger, hotspot Etc.

Itโ€™s never fun to go on site and then have to ask your prospect if they have the equipment you need to show them your software. Iโ€™ve been in situations where itโ€™s derailed meetings with the prospect trying to find IT to find wifi passwords
moneyturtle
1
Enterprise Account Executive
Do you need to share your screen in the meeting? Make sure you know what their room setups are and. Here are questions to ask your contact before arriving onsite:

1. What is the parking situation?
2. After I check in at reception, I'll shoot you a text. Can you confirm 555555555 is your phone number?(obv if you have this, skip it. great way to get on a texting basis tho)
3. I'll be sharing my screen. Will the meeting room were in accommodate that?
4. Confirm the agenda, timing, personas in the room, etc. Can't stress this enough.
TechSalesQueen
Executive
1
Sr. Enterprise Account Executive
Can't even tell you how many times in my early days I showed up and didn't have a way to connect to their equipment. That one is SO important. great call out!!
o.g.meister
Member
1
Mid-Market Account Executive
Don't over prepare not under prepare. Meaning don't write a script as to what exact word you should say and when, but do keep it simple with bullet point outcomes you want out of this meeting. Ex; Signature Calendar, Procurement Process, Final Decision Maker, Implementation Commitment, Financial Impact if they do or do not take action, etc.
TennisandSales
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
boom love it. this is great advice for many situations too. big fan of structure, but not a script
TheHypnotist
Opinionated
1
Sales Manager
After you THINK the prospect has finished answering a question or telling you something, start mentally counting from 1 to 10 before speaking yourself. You will probably find that they spill some more valuable information in order to fill the silence.
Don't over do it though, or you might look like you are "on the spectrum".
Arzola
Valued Contributor
1
Business administration
I don't really have much information but I think it depends a lot on the company and the person, I have friends who have been in the sales force for years and others who are promoted after a few months.
TennisandSales
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
the point im trying to make is that you should not put companies on pedestals and have blind faith that they will do right by you.

not that salesforce is a bad company to work for. Im sure lots of companies that have laid ppl off are actually great places to work.....while your there.
commishcapo
Valued Contributor
1
Commercial Account Exec
Take them to the local strip club and make sure to expense it. Your VP will respect you for doing anything it takes to secure the customer.
TennisandSales
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
hahaha my boss probably WOULD respect that. Except all the people I am meeting with are women. might need to switch up the strategy hahah
Mickey
1
AE
Find out their dress code by looking on the website or simple calling HR or asking the client. Dress 1/2 step up, but not below and not too fancy. Think about your buyer, who they are, what area of the country they live in and dress in a way that will relate to them.

Schedule your flight if flying to be able to arrive at the facility at least two hours before. If driving schedule yourself to arrive at least 45 minutes ahead to allow for traffic problems. You can always find a coffee shop somewhere where you can work if you are there on time but flights are tricky these days.

Make sure to have your vax card, a mask and an ID (many require this when you arrive) in case you need it.
SSinYYZ
Good Citizen
0
Vice-President, Producer
I would suggest thinking about what to do for handshakes. Since the pandemic, so many people have fallen away from that, and you want to be respectful, either way. Maybe practice a nice way of asking their comfort level with it. Hope you slay at your meeting :)
TechSalesQueen
Executive
2
Sr. Enterprise Account Executive
I do an ass smack now to avoid skin to skin contact
TennisandSales
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
Hahaha!! Does that get the reaction you are looking for??
TennisandSales
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
never something I would have thought we would have to think about. BUT not a bad idea
CKamapguy
Fire Starter
0
Sales Director
Great question. In order to really coach on this one it helps to know what are you selling, tell us about the sales process so far, who are you meeting, what are THEIR expectations vs YOUR expectations, make sure those are aligned. Iโ€™m a late professional guy with gray hairโ€ฆ canโ€™t count the number of times I have shown up and they think one thing and I am thinking another.
Great advice on the thread. Excuse me, donโ€™t know your gender but if you are male, wear slacks, collared button shirt and a jacket, keep jacket on until you know itโ€™s casual and take it off. If you sweat, wear a shirt that hides pit wetness.
Get a soft leather briefcase, NO BACKPACKS!!!! Ugh drives me bananas.
Fresh haircut within 72 hours.
Bring leave behind.
Staple your business card to the leave behind material. Bring one for the contact and 1-2 more for others that may show up.
Research the contact and company well. Itโ€™s always helpful to find some kind of common thing to chat about, stay off politics and religion. If you end up in Ole Miss, Alabama, Auburn territory, try not to discuss sports - I have been asked to leave before over football.
Cookies are good, Tiffs Treats is my go to.
Be early.
Have a technical resource you can call.
Dont be afraid to say you arenโ€™t sure about something and get back with them or say that and email someone to see if they reply with an answer if itโ€™s critical.
Eat breakfast.
Use bathroom right before.
Double check the meeting location, I have met clients and gone to corporate when I was supposed to be at a regional office.
Smile!
Be authentic.
if you are going there, they already have a rapport.
Listen more, talk less. Ask questions.
If you are using a PPT, have a back up exported PDF handy on a thumb drive or in an email.
If you have a PPT, lead with a high level agenda!! So many forget that, set the meeting pace.
Cell phone on silent.
Please and Thank you.
Be sweet to everyone, they all talk. Had a guy once that was snotty with a maintenance guy, lost a deal.
Wear a watch so you donโ€™t have to look at phone.
Carry two pens.
Dont sit with your arms crossed.
Good luck!!!
TechSalesQueen
Executive
0
Sr. Enterprise Account Executive
Don't eat smelly food beforehand. Don't wear too much cologne/perfume. Bring a professional looking bag or backpack with a clean and professional pen/paper. I only open my laptop if it's being used to show something. Cell phone OFF. Wear a watch to track the time. Bring some swag if appropriate as a show of good faith/thanks for their time. Offer to take to lunch before or after or bring in breakfast for the team. Brush your teeth.
TennisandSales
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
Brush you teeth!! Good call. Wonโ€™t forget the tooth brush!
tomke
Big Shot
0
Strategic Account Manager
I assume you are based in the US? If you were in Europe, I'd be offering some of my insights but that would likely not be applicable if you are in US...
18

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Question
39
18

I just went on-site with a prospect for the first time in 18 months

Discussion
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