With most of the world transacting business online or over the phone, it’s easy to dismiss the power of a face-to-face meeting. Regularly visiting your customers accomplishes two very important things – it uncovers new business opportunities, and it builds loyalty.
Walking through the facility allows you to identify, cross-sell, and up-sell opportunities but just as importantly, it positions you to add value by making recommendations for improvements. In addition, visiting customer sites offers the opportunity to meet other IT and facilities staff which can increase the overall value of the customer relationship.
Skeletons in the Closet Are Sales Opportunities – A True Story
A partner recently shared a story about a visit with Mike, the Data Center Manager at one of his customer sites. Mike operates a mid-sized data center that he keeps in such impeccable shape it could be a showroom for Schneider Electric.
On a recent sales call to Mike’s facility, the partner was introduced to Steve, a network manager in charge of several small network and server rooms. The partner was shocked to see that the spaces Steve managed were in complete disarray. Steve was desperate to organize his IT spaces to meet the same strict standards Mike held for the data center.
Steve asked the partner for help organizing his network closets and server rooms to accommodate new equipment and increase efficiency. Now, a couple of year later, Steve has cleaner, safer, and more efficient network closets and a partner he can trust when he needs Schneider Electric products and services.
With this one site visit, the partner not only uncovered a new opportunity to sell some equipment, but he helped Steve look good by configuring a better IT space and improving efficiency which ultimately built customer loyalty. Now, whenever Steve needs more equipment, he calls the partner and no one else.
By meeting another contact within the customer’s organization, the partner was able to significantly increase annual sales within an existing account and built loyalty with both contacts. No cold calling, and no fancy marketing campaigns were required. Just a good old fashioned meetings.
So go ahead, walk your customers’ sites and find out what they’re hiding in their closets. You may be surprised to find how much opportunity lurks on the other side of the door.