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.

There is never just one need. There are always more. The milk-run salesperson accepts the first one that appears, tries to meet it and moves on. Busy right? Lots to do. Efficient. Except they don’t learn anything. Without learning, a salesperson is at the mercy of the market. The successful salesperson moulds the market, and is not a victim of it.

Just one need – ‘unless you’re the cheapest don’t bother’; or… ‘it must be here by tomorrow – whatever the cost’. We all know there are other needs, but we often don’t act like they matter, and sometimes fail to prioritise the time, patience, skills to identify and meet them. (And many clients kid themselves about this too.)

You know the needs – cost, time, quality, quantity – any business metric. Then add risk and warranties , maintenance and strength of relationship/trust.

But it’s the other needs – the personal ones – the ones we don’t talk about at parties – that are the hardest to judge and assist with.

Would you like to know if your client gets a personal bonus on this deal, if promotion is damaged by failure, if there is a ‘get square’ – old fashioned revenge for past negotiations gone wrong. What if they have made other mistakes, become politically isolated, or are about to move into another role?

How do you spot these needs? Do you see them, enquire after them, learn about them? Think of 3 of your development clients (not big yet, but on the rise) – what do you know about them really?

Or is the schedule of the milk-run – your need – more important.

ENS International will help you to see these needs. Look out for their public programs in all capital cities.

Or call me to discuss. 1800 25 99 66.