Trip Planning. Now that’s a thing we as salespeople have lost track of in recent years.
Physical journeys became virtual meetings, and handshakes became fist bumps, waves on a screen or just a simple head nod.
It’s great to be back in field sales and jumping in headfirst to live meetings. And to network as we used to! To reacquaint with travelling to your prospects for smarter selling, we present the ways you can triple the return from your next sales trip.
Travelling out of town takes a significant amount of time that’s eating into your bottomline, and ultimately affecting your ROI. Want to know the secret to effective sales trip planning? It’s surprisingly quite simple. But consistency, action and time make these triple your ROI if done right.
How to 3X the return from your next sales trip
- Planning Ahead
Planning ahead means identifying and researching your prospects in advance. You’ll need at least a week’s notice to get the ball rolling with enough time to act quickly if there’s any value from your research. For discovering new areas, Google Maps is a great tool for ring fencing new places you wish to mark as key sales locales.
Sales intelligence tools like Zint help you minimise your planning time by expertly filtering by geography with just one click. Scout new areas by the types of companies that sit within those boundaries to ensure you’re getting the most out of your action plan. Remember, it always goes back to the bottomline, so reducing the time you’re taking out by planning efficiently will make your selling more effective. This is a good time to segway over to our use case for trip planning.
Here’s why jumping onto a prospect in person at the right time matters: you’re creating scarcity. But what do we mean by this? When reaching out, drop in that you’re in town for one day only and perhaps even reference the other companies you’re meeting that day. It reignites that spark of competition and urgency that will maximise your chances of grabbing a meeting slot. Though for GDPR purposes, it’s best not to name the individual you’re speaking with.
Your pitch can look something like this:
Hey [insert name],
I’m in town on [insert date] and would love to drop by. I’ve been following up with [insert their company] and wanted to reach out for the chance to demonstrate why [insert your company] is a great fit for us.
We’re also meeting [insert other company] that day and thought I’d drop a message to grant us both the opportunity to make acquaintances.
If you’re available that day, let’s get something booked in.
Be sure to bring collateral to share. Once you’re on your journey back and the doors are closed, you want something to leave behind to educate and inform them whilst you’re not there. It’s also ideal for those top opportunities you missed, so handing over a few brochures or sales enablement documents to reception or to other parties won’t hurt. It certainly won’t hinder you – much the opposite.
- Be Generous
Gifting has immeasurable power. But we’re not talking about gifts that cost the earth, they don’t have to be grand to have a big impact on your prospects. Company swag is always a great option. The generic pens, paper and hoodies work but try to think about some unique items that no other company has. Even simpler, order coffees or lunch ahead of time and pay for it yourself.
And finally: never eat alone. If there’s a lunch break, don’t take a solo trip. Always invite your prospects to lunch and get to know them away from the work setting. You’d be surprised by how even senior executives will take you up on the offer.
- Follow Up
Strike while the iron is hot. These tips on how to triple the return from your next sales trip are all about smart prospecting and even smarter selling, but keep in mind that to capitalise on these you need to follow up fast.
Reaching out with a thank you, an anecdote from the day, mentioning an inside joke or simply following with contact information is enough to close on. Being genuine in your follow up counts for more than we know; ditching the pitch-and-run for picking up on authentic connection speaks volumes.
Or, check out our latest checklist with a FREE editable spreadsheet for you to strategise your next sales move with.