I have been in the industry and traveling for over 20 years, and I thoroughly enjoy meeting new people. I have met people from all over the globe, and I have given countless sales pitches. I have learned a lot over my years about sales and people in the industry. Here are some things I find to be important that I would like to share with you.

It’s OK to be Friendly

Meeting new and old customers is a huge aspect of what I do. I spend about 50% of my time traveling to meet with people and the last few weeks has been a breath of fresh air. It has been incredible that I haven’t had a meeting recently where we haven’t shared a laugh or two. I have met some extremely intelligent folks who are funny and unexpectedly real. I take it to heart when I meet someone, they put their guard down and open up a bit personally. If you walk into a meeting with a friendly, positive attitude, you could leave with something other than a sale. I think that a lot of people get carried away with the idea that you either buy or sell something in a meeting or it’s a failure, but this is not true. You may not leave with a new customer, but you do have another connection in the industry that could lead to future opportunities. I truly feel like I have made some friends along the way and still stay in touch with them even though we do not do business together. No matter who I talk to, I use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

You Aren’t Required to Follow a Script

I think that a lot of people expect sales meetings to have a strict agenda, be overly professional and in presentation format. Although these meetings should be efficient, reading off of slides is not always the best option. I prefer an informal conversation with an open dialogue. I walk into a meeting hoping to sell them something that is useful to them. I don’t start high, and they start low because frankly, that is just a waste of time. I am not there to play games; either we have a product or service that fits their needs, or we don’t. It’s that simple. If there is a real interest in our company and what we offer, I can jump right into more detail on any of our factories and services or set another meeting to do so. I listen to the needs of my potential customer, and I try to fill a void.

Respect People’s Time

When I am unable to secure a meeting after several attempts, I will never take it personally. It’s part of my job to accept nonresponse and rejection. However, if I do get the opportunity, I will always respect their time. I know how busy everyone is with their day-to-day work and continuous flow of internal company meetings. It is very important for me and my team to remember how valuable everyone’s time is and to make the most of every opportunity to meet someone new.

I Hope You Learned Something

I am sure you have heard the saying “people buy from people they like and trust”; and I really believe this is a fundamental truth in life. I am not an expert sales coach, but I do have a lot of years and life experiences that I can share. If you have made it this far in the blog, I hope you can take a couple of things away from this reading. Always use your experiences as a way to learn and grow because if you only look at something as success or failure, then you are going to be continually disappointed. Make connections, laugh, and maybe even walk away with a new friend. It is okay to be yourself, be friendly and see where the conversation takes you. I often remind people that life is short; have some fun, be passionate about what you do, and spend time with and enjoy your family. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being driven, but find that balance between life and work.