The "Drop–in" visit. You go to a valued customer without an appointment and say, "I was just around the corner and thought I'd stop by..."
Do you do it? Can you successfully pull it off? Will the customer be willing to see you? Or will he be "tied–up, busy or in a meeting?"
Suppose there was a way to call on any prospect or customer and have them welcome you in, be glad to see you, and give you a chance to build the relationship. Of course, you can't expect that every time – but here's a way to have it happen most of the time.
You can begin to think about dropping in if you've met the following criteria:
- Have a pre-existing high comfort level with the customer. Have you established real rapport? Have you built a business friendship?
- The customer must have confidence in you. Have you delivered as promised?
- Have good personal and business information about the customer. Do you have business knowledge as to how the company operates? Do you know how your customer serves their customers?
- Be prepared with something of value when you walk in the door. Find an article that pertains to business life, or something that pertains to him or her personally. Some information about the competition or a hot lead you found.
- You must be willing to take the risk. If you have a good enough reason, even though you may not have built the relationship, you might be able to pull it off. It's a great personal test. Go for it.
There are two keys to making the Drop–in successful:
- You must have built a relationship so that they want to see you.
- You must have something of value that will leave a positive (memorable) impact. Something the customer will appreciate or talk about. Something that will lead to future sales.
Here are a few ideas and suggestions on how to make it a meaningful "Drop–in":
- Have something for them – an idea or an item of significance.
- Have a sales lead for them.
- Know something personal about the customer.
- Know something new about the customer's business and industry.
- Know something new about the customer's main competition.
- Make them laugh – make your customer feel better because you're there.
- Make it brief – when you say, "I've only got a minute," don't abuse your welcome unless the customer insists.
- Be sincere in every way.
- Be a resource.
- Never ask for anything – you can call the next day or two.
- If the customer brings up "buying," sell – otherwise don't.
The introductory line that makes the drop–in get off to a successful start:
I only have a minute...This way the customer knows the meeting will be extremely brief.
During your meeting, listen to the customer's response for buying signals of confidence and relationship. If she says things like:
- You know, I was going to call you...
- We were talking about you...
- I have something I needed to tell you...
Jump for joy. You're a valued vendor and business friend. And it's likely you will continue to get orders.
The Drop–in is a powerful relationship building tool...
if you're properly prepared.
The Drop–in technique should be a focused effort to build your credibility with your most valued customers. Plan for a few each week. The real key is to be prepared before you get there. Your planning effort will maximize the value of the visit. Select your top ten customers and go for it.
The drop–in is a sales challenge of the first order. It's a report card on how your ability to build relationships is progressing. It proves your perceived value to the customer. It's a challenge to the salesperson as a professional to be able to get to customers in a way his competition cannot. Your ability to Drop–in is a competitive edge. It builds a foundation for future business.
It's the difference between being considered a resource or just a salesperson. How do your customers consider you? Drop–in and find out.
Is your relationship strong enough that you can drop in and be seen? Take the Drop–in Challenge test. This free test will prove it – if you dare. Just go to www.gitomer.com – click Access GitBit in the top right corner, register if you're a first time user and enter the word, CONSULTANT.