I often get asked about lunch. Suppose I don’t want to go out for lunch, no. Salespeople should take their clients to lunch. It can be productive. Is my sales team wasting their time and money? What can I do to help my salespeople succeed? This is a sales activity that can be effective.
First, salespeople often spend too much money on clients going out for lunch. This is a waste of time and money that has no return on investment. Your salespeople should be able to strategize with clients before engaging in client lunches.
I am a massive advocate for lunch, golf, customer outings, and other activities. But I don’t believe that these activities should be done for pure pleasure for salespeople. Salespeople must have a goal and a way to reach it for every lunch. Your salespeople should have a plan and follow it. Here are four things your salespeople can do at a customer lunch, golf game, or outing.
Ask your salespeople to ask customers about what’s happening within their company. Your organization could participate in new ventures or activities that add value to your customers and/or produce more products or services.
A potential change in management, for example, means that your salesperson must ensure they are properly introduced to your company and allow the new executive to get acquainted with your company. Your customer might be expanding their product lines, opening new offices, opening new factories, merging with other businesses, or buying subsidiaries. Bottom line: Make sure that your salespeople are always looking for new opportunities to sell to existing customers.
Prospects love testimonials that help them in their decision-making process. This is an excellent way for salespeople to build credibility and add credibility to their sales process, whether it’s in a letter or a quote for your website. Your salespeople should create their “Top 10” list. Set up meetings with each account within the next 30 days. If possible, ask each for a testimonial. Make electronic copies of them and distribute them to your sales team after you have acquired them. You can make a contest to see who can gather the most testimonials during this quarter or month.
Ask customers if they are willing to speak with a prospect about their experiences working with your company. Be prepared to answer any prospect’s questions. Don’t pester your clients with too many calls. Only give references to prospects who are highly qualified. Make sure to notify the reference that the prospect will be calling.
One of the most underutilized prospecting methods. Your own list is the best. Ask satisfied customers to give you the names of people who might be interested in your products and services. Senior executives know senior executives. Middle managers know middle managers. Refer to pleasing customers and make use of them as a source of referrals.
Offer to send the referral free samples, a consultation, or any information you think would be valuable. Ask your customer if it’s okay to use their name. You will need to know as much as possible about your referral in order to qualify them. Sometimes customers will give you a name to help, but they are not qualified.
It can be very productive to take clients out for lunch. Your Sales Manager should coach your salespeople to develop effective sales strategies. These are just a few of the things you should be doing to get started.