In most situations, cold-calling requires you to visit the potential customer. But, when is it the right time to do so?
Although it’s never easy to know exactly when, a rule of thumb I tell people is that it’s perfectly acceptable to use the telephone to take the customer all the way to the close, if it will require you to fly to meet the customer in person. If the customer is in your city, then you need to visit the customer as soon as you’ve identified them as a probable customer or a suspect that has significant profit potential. When you do fly to meet the customer, it’s best to do it just prior to closing the sale.
Meeting in person with the customer will allow you to further exemplify why you’re the one they need to work with. It will allow you to deepen the relationship andm in turn, deepen the need the customer has in working with you. Never jump in your car or jump on an airplane to go chase a hunch. Your time is far more valuable then that. If you’re not professional enough to be able to fill your pipeline with quality leads and prospects and capable of creating need and pain with a prospect, then you shouldn’t be selling.
I believe we spoke about this recently and your advice in this Blog is very helpful. I have spent a good deal of time & money chasing some leads that I could have otherwise validated via the phone. I am someone who wants to face to face interaction as that allows me to be able to better understand my customer and hence meet their needs which in turn helps me close the sale…However, that doesn’t mean I need to fly everywhere to meet everyone…Which one of your tips offers the best examples of best practices in validating customer interest?