Stop Wasting Time

Lisa Thal

I am in an amazing profession, in which I have the opportunity to sell marketing solutions using 5, 15s, 30s, or 60 seconds to help companies to position their products and services in the consumers’ minds. One thing I need to be mindful of is the seconds and minutes I may be wasting my clients’ time.

It is no different when we meet with current or new clients. Let’s face it, in today’s competitive world, they too have many options as to where to spend their money. It’s up to us to get them to spend it with us. It takes time to get in front of a decision-maker and have them schedule you on their calendar. Therefore, you want to create the best first impression possible to gain their confidence in why they took valuable time out of their day to meet with you.

The good news is after reading this article (also available on my podcasts), you will have a framework to remind you when meeting with your customer. One key factor is that you must be prepared and commit to the time it takes to make the meeting effective. What insights will you provide the client to believe in you and how incorporating your company will change their business? Have you discovered an industry trend that could benefit them? Have you found a way for them to save money, retain employees, hire qualified employees or grow revenue?

As a manager, there is nothing more frustrating than going on a call with no strategy or value to the client. It not only steals time from the client but it steals time from yourself as well. I experienced this with a discussion with a new salesperson before our first meeting. I asked that he share why the client agreed to meet with us. What was the VBR – valid business reason. I could tell by his response that he was not as prepared as he could be. He replied that he told them he had a great idea for their business. I asked what the idea was and there was a long pause. He had no idea! I realized there was work to do to help coach him on not wasting both the client’s time and his own time.

Here are 5 recommendations to not waste your clients time.

  1. How much time does your client have? I ask this question every time I meet with a client. I merely ask, “How much time did you block off for our meeting? I want to be respectful of our time together.” This is a tremendous advantage for you to control your time together. The client appreciates that you care about their time. I even remind them during the time that we have about ten more minutes. In most cases, I find that if the client is engaged you earn more time with them in another meeting.
  2. Be prepared. You need to understand why the client blocked out time for you to meet. If you said you had a big idea, then you need to make sure you deliver on that promise. What is the outcome of the meeting? Is it to share market research that you thought would be valuable to their business? Is it a creative concept to connect them to their key consumer?
  3. It is not about us, it’s about them. What product or service do you have to offer the client to help their customers? It could be something that saves them time, like a better way to approach new customers or a more effective way to get their current customer to spend more with them.
  4. Ask your client to walk you through their customer’s eyes. You will gain a tremendous amount of knowledge about their consumer and discover where you may be able to help.
  5. Teach them how to use your product effectively. How will they benefit from your products or service? For example, when we meet with new advertisers we explain that there are three things they need to focus on when using the radio to have an effective campaign or ROI.
    • They need to make certain they are on the right radio station that reaches their desired customer.
    • They need to run an effective schedule so that this consumer hears their commercial enough to take action. The frequency of how many times the listener hears their commercial versus how many times their commercial is played.
    • Finally, they need the right creative to connect to that consumer. Is the creative memorable, funny or educating?

Commit today, to making certain your time with your prospects and current clients is well spent. You will earn their respect and their business!

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