Opinion: Home-ground advantage works for sports teams, and it can work for your business, too.
Home-ground advantage works for sports teams, and it can work for your business, too.
The average professional sports team wins about 75 per cent of the games they play at their home ground. That’s a pretty high winning percentage.
If you knew you could win 75 per cent of the prospects you pitched you’d do it, wouldn’t you? Sales games are no different than sports games. You win more sales when you sell them at home. How many of your prospects, who you want to become customers, get an invitation to play the grand final (the sale) at your home ground?
So why not try to get qualified people to make a memorable visit to your place of business – for a tour, some great food, meet your team, and a sale.
There are compelling reasons for not selling at your prospect’s place of business:
• the odds are against you (they win home games 75 per cent of the time);
• the atmosphere is controlled by someone else (and all the distractions and interruptions that go with it);
• there is only one of you; and
• you only have the selling resources and tools you brought with you.
Your strategy should be to make the preliminary call at the prospect’s place of business, then invite them to your place of business, so that you can convert them into a customer.
Your home ground (office) has significant advantages:
• it is a confidence builder;
• your whole team is there;
• all your tools are there;
• you have complete control; and
• the customer has a better feel for doing business with you.
In order for you to get the maximum benefit from this concept, you must make (and execute) a plan to convert your office or place of business into a closing machine.
Here are the elements of the plan.
Goals and objectives: what do you want to happen, and when do you want it to happen? Write out exactly what you want to take place in the meeting.
The welcome: how the prospect will be greeted sets the tone for the time they’re with you.
Information agenda: what will you say to the prospect and when will you say it?
Interpersonal agenda: whom will the prospect meet and when will they meet them?
The food: what will you serve that the prospect will remember you by?
The deal: what will you propose and when will you propose it?
The close: when is the best time to seal the deal, and how will you seal it?
There are 10.5 things you can do to make sure the scales are tipped as far in your favour as possible when you sell at ‘home’.
1. Make the welcome personalised, sincere and special.
2. Make the visit memorable by attending to large and small details. Have your people advised of the prospect’s name and make a special effort to have everyone call him/her by it. Minimise or eliminate interruptions.
3. Have the entire meeting orchestrated. Have everything to be demonstrated or shown ready to go. Show the prospect you value his/her time by not wasting any of it. Have papers and the essence of the deal at your fingertips.
4. Have your business look busy. People want to do business with successful people. Look successful. Look busy.
5. Be business-hospitable. Show your prospect where phones are available for him/her to make calls. Provide a desk or privacy if needed.
6. Make the prospect feel important. Have everyone who walks by stop and say hello.
7. Introduce the prospect to the people they’ll be working with.
8. Have a wall of fame. Show your prospect letters from satisfied customers that hang on your walls.
9. Arrange a meeting with the head of your company.
10. If you serve food (and you should), make it the best that money can buy. The quality of the food you serve reflects the quality of your company. If you think you’re the greatest, serve the greatest food.
10.5 Have the prospect or customer prepared to buy. Do as much preliminary sales work as possible.
Make sure all the people who make the buying decision are on the visit, or you won’t make the sale no matter how great you are.
When a prospect or customer visits your place of business you have a chance to be memorable, to eliminate competition, and you have your best chance of making a sale.
Jeffrey Gitomer is an American author, professional speaker and business trainer, who writes and lectures internationally on sales, customer loyalty and personal development.