Sales: Don’t ask for a meeting, ask for a coffee and a chat

Sales people are no longer the hunter/killers they once used to be. Trust me, I know – I started out in sales in the late 1980’s after a few years as a programmer and then stepping into marketing. Back then it was all about the kill, the order – I suffered endless sales training courses teaching me to become a honed killer.

In today’s marketplace, sales is all about relationships and mutuality. This is why I never ask for a meeting, I suggest a coffee – using the following rules.

  • Always at the client’s premises, or very close by. It lowers the ignition point and removes any locational barriers.
  • A coffee is informal. so approach with an informal mindset.
  • Bring nice coffee along. If you’re meeting at the client’s offices then make it clear that you are doing this and you’re less likely to be kept waiting.
  • Cap the session at 30 minutes. Make that promise upfront and stick to it, lowering the barrier to your second meeting.
  • Don’t pitch. Listen and learn.
  • Before or after work is good. Even better if you can find a nice coffee place that’s on the commute route for the client.

Fancy a coffee? Spare me 30 minutes and I’ll bring you a nice cup of Joe.