So you walk in to see your client and they are cranky, surrounded by noise, and as you raise your voice to talk to them, they constantly check their watch. What are the odds of you getting what you came for?
What would you do? Press on, leave a brochure or order form, then get out of their way?
Or perhaps try to control the process… invite them to a quieter spot, ask if there is a better time? What about the anger… would you take that on?
When we survey clients about how they manage the ‘climate’ of a meeting, they respond that time, place and mood are the least controllable aspects of a meeting. But if climate is set to obstruct the outcomes, it must be addressed – only a question of how.
Climate is precisely the first things both parties experience (hopefully notice) when they meet, even before a word is spoken. During rapport building, people will be judging if this meeting is going to go anywhere good.
If the climate is wrong, and you don’t address it, then you are stuck with it for the rest of the meeting. ‘Awkward’ and frustrating can turn into ‘ridiculous’ and pointless.
So, make it earlier or later, shorter or longer, ample notice or on the spot, plenty of lead time or tight against the deadline (time).
Face to face, phone or email, their place or yours, seated or standing, factory floor or office, air-con or not, noisy or quiet, tea & biscuits or without (place).
And as for mood, a willingness to listen and curiosity with what has upset them, can be a calming process (letting them vent), building trust, as well as insightful into what you might be competing with.
As a broad principle, Sales are not paid to turn up and accept being turned away. Take it on – manage time, place and mood. Set it up before you get there, and if you can’t, react if its not in your favour.
ENS International will help you create some options. Look out for their public programs in all capital cities. Or call me to discuss. 1800 25 99 66.