Romy Taormina

Psi Bands - Nausea Relief Chief/Co-Founder
Pacific Grove, CA
http://www.psibands.com

    Is the in-person meeting (vs teleconference) with a potential new client worth the investment?

    November 19, 2008

    In less than two weeks I will fly across the country to meet with a potential new retailer. It will take three full days to have a one hour (or less) meeting. Two days are dedicated to travel from the west coast to the east coast and then my afternoon appointment precludes me from flying home the same day (I don’t fare well with red eye flights anyway). Does this three-day investment make sense? Could we just have a teleconference? 

    Well, we could just have the teleconference but there are limitations to the phone. The upside of the in-person meeting is:

    ·         Undivided attention (or most of it anyway) – I can gain the buyer’s attention and have the info “stick” – there is room for back and forth dialogue which means I can start forming a relationship with the buyer. And, as we all know, relationships are invaluable. 

    ·         I can read their body language – I need the benefit of understanding what they are – and are not – saying with their words. Are they getting restless (i.e. I need to change topic)? Are they leaning forward and engaged (I got their attention so I continue on topic)? When negotiating terms, this can be key. 

    ·         They can read my body language – I can be more convincing in person if they can “feel” my unwavering enthusiasm about Psi Bands. They have to believe in me as much as they have to believe in the product.

    ·         I get more time – if the buyer gives you an appointment, they are interested. It’s now my job to sell. Almost always you will have more face time than you will phone time. And time is money. The more time I have with the buyer fleshing out their and my questions, the better equipped I am to move forward (knowledge is power) to create a win/win proposal.  

    To answer the above question…does this three-day investment make sense? It did when I flew from CA to PA and landed the Rite Aid account (5000+ stores). My upcoming meeting is with the buyer of a 250-store chain. This account would represent growth for us in a market that we need to penetrate. I am willing to take the risk that the three-day investment will pay off.

    Do you have a scenario where an in-person meeting paid off for you? Do you think it would have been just as effective on the phone?

    P.S. One of my goals for 2009 is to land another large retail account (5,000+ stores).

    Read Romy's other blog entries >

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