Rather than moaning about all the time you spend in the car on the way to sales appointments, use that time to finesse your presentation.
All salespeople who travel outside the office have ‘windshield time”, the time you spend behind the wheel, or in some form of transportation, going to and from appointments.
Windshield time is a critical time both for the anticipation of the sales call and for the aftermath of the sales call.
How are you taking advantage of that valuable time? You can either waste it or invest it. It’s your choice.
Most salespeople have a habit of doing the same thing when they get in the car. They either listen to their favourite radio station or, perhaps better, they listen to something that they can learn from.
What do you listen to?
What should you listen to?
Be prepared to learn and be inspired. All at times have that one CD or that one set of CDs that best resonates with you.
Two of my all-time favourites are: The Art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn. (I carried this set of CDs in my car for a decade, and will listen to it again this year); and The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale. Total inspiration. Listen once a month.
Reality: Windshield time is your best time to prepare mentally and emotionally before the call and review what happened after the call.
I have 7.5 more ideas that I’d like to share with you about windshield time:
Idea 1: On your way to the call, identify the first two or three questions you want to ask your prospect. Voice-to-text them to yourself. Start the mental preparation for the call. I promise, when you generate two or three questions, you will also generate an idea or two.
Idea 2: Make slides for each question before you go inside so that you are certain to ask them. My first slide always reads, ‘Before we get started, I’d like to ask you a couple of questions’. The second you generate the idea, voice-to-text yourself the content and then make the slide in the lobby when you arrive. (This requires getting there early, not on time.)
Idea 3: Voice-to-text as you think of other things. This will both ensure you remember the thoughts, and will clear your mind. I cannot stress enough the importance of zero mental clutter before the sale. Get rid of excess thought, no matter how small, so your focus is 100 per cent on the customer and the sale.
Idea 4: Pump it up. Listen to your favourite music just before you enter the call. Get happy, get excited, get your rhythm, put some bounce in your step, get your enthusiasm set on high. Music can do all of these things.
Idea 5: Before the call, mentally establish your expected outcome. Think about the detail of it. Expect a ‘yes’ before you start.
Idea 6: Listen to the recording of your sales presentation as soon as you dare. You’ll laugh and cry. It’s the biggest reality check of your life, and the best private coaching session you’ll ever receive.
Idea 7: Record the ‘wish-I-woulda’… ‘I really shoulda’ for a minute or two immediately after it’s over. Take note of your impression of what happened, good or bad.
Idea 7.5: Record any promises you made, especially as relates to additional info you need to send to the customer as well as deadlines for follow-up.
Note: Never actually text while driving. If you don’t have voice-to-text capability, pull over to the side of the road.
Pre-call reality: Once you have a few questions prepared, a couple of ideas documented, and your favourite rock song playing in your head, your confidence level entering the sales call will triple.
Post-call reality: Once you ‘download’ the after-the-call reality and listen to the recording, document what you should have done and document what still needs to be done so your mind will be fertile for the next call.
Biggest idea: Win or lose the sale, celebrate that outcome either way. And recognise that proper investment of windshield time will give you more ‘yes’ celebrations.