August 19, 2013
A buyer would feel guilty asking an unknown vendor to get on a plane to meet with them, but if you tell them you’ll be there anyways on other business, a buyer is more likely to agree to meet. So, if you plan to be in the city in which the buying office is located, call and email ahead of time to let the buyer you will be in town on those specific dates. Then try one of the following tactics:
(Don’t do them all, unless you want to be a nuisance!)
Option 1: Request a 30-minute meeting at a nearby coffee shop or at their office. Perfect for retail buyers you’ve never talked to before or is a complete stranger to you.
Option 2: If the buyer tells you their schedule is packed all day, suggest lunch. Offer to meet over lunch at a nearby restaurant. Nothing over-the-top expensive, but it shouldn’t be TGI Fridays, either. This option is best used if you have some relationship with this buyer already, either through a mutual acquaintance or referral.
I call the next one the “hail mary pass”. Football fans, you know what I mean.
Option 3: Offer to bring the showroom to them. I had one vendor rent a hotel ballroom across the street and invite me to their traveling showroom. Notice I did not say hotel guestroom. That would be creepy. The traveling showroom was located squarely between my office and the parking garage, so they made it convenient for me to drop by after work on the way to my car. And did I go? I sure did. I was curious!