The Personal Touch

The Personal Touch

It’s nice to talk on the phone and exchange e-mail, but there’s something to be said for meeting in person. I’m not sure technology will ever replace that need, in fact. But it’s not often in this busy world that we get a chance to meet face to face. That’s why site visits are so important.

Make no mistake, you can use site visits to your advantage. They can give you an edge in fact. Users want to know if the solution is going to work and more to the point, if it will work for them. How do you do a site visit? Many ways. The vendor can take a prospect to see one of their up and running clients. The prospect can see the technology in action and they can ask a fellow lender questions. Here’s how you can make a site visit work for you.

I hear a lot of vendors express worry about a site visit. There are some risks because you’re not totally in control. You can’t tell what your existing client will say all the time. So, what do you do? You have to have a plan so if something happens that’s out of your control you can respond. One of the questions I get from vendors is: “How do I handle a site visit?”

I always ask the vendor to define the objective. The vendor might say they want to close the deal of course, but that usually doesn’t happen on a site visit. Ask yourself: Why are they coming for the site visit and do I have a plan for what they want to achieve?

How do you determine why they’re coming? Think about what has happened. Go back to the RFP. You can decipher their hot buttons from the RFP. In this market it’s probably a displacement sale. To close these deals you need to see what they’re dissatisfied with in terms of their current vendor.

In the RFP you will see lots of questions that indicate the existing vendor’s failures. You want to document that you can do x, y and z in response. A site visit is about showing the prospect vs. telling them. You want to show them how the system works, what your security is like, what your customer satisfaction strategy is and that you have talented/ skilled people.

If you don’t want to take a prospect to an existing client, you can take them to your office as well. Either way, it’s about connecting with that prospect in a meaningful way.

But don’t think it’s going to be a walk in the park. Every minute matters. Map out your day with the client. Have an agenda. Make it a great visit all around.