BE ON TIME – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #11

101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas

IDEA 11:


Punctuality is one of the old-fashioned virtues. It is in the same mould as courtesy, of which we are told that it “costs nothing”. But matter and punctuality links to a thought already expressed here, that you should not waste a customer’s time. If you are asked to turn up at 10am or whatever, do so. Organize yourself so that you can. This means everything from leaving sufficient time for journey, to finding out in advance where you will be able to park. Don’t waste 10 minutes driving around in circles, then arrive late, mouthing the old cliché about awful traffic. You may get away with it, but it makes a difference. If things are finely balanced, it’s something to put on the negative side when your offering is weighed up.


From a small replacement tire specialist…

A salesman selling tires to construction companies with fleets of huge trucks and road-building equipment had been after one particular prospect for a while. He was put off many times, then the prospect finally agreed to a meeting. They specified 8 am, and phrase it as, “Be there on time. It’s the only chance you’ll get”. Their location meant he had a three-hour drive, so this meant a very early start. It would have been very easy to beg for a later meeting, or turn up late regardless.

He did not do that. He agreed with gratitude, rose at the crack of dawn and drove the distance, breakfasting on the way. He sat down in the prospect’s reception area with about 10 minutes in hand. The meeting went well, the firm placed an initial order, and at the end of the meeting (the reason I was told about this, and remember it), the customer said something like this. “I must apologize for getting you here so early. I know you must have had a very early start, but if we’re going to deal with you I have to be sure of your commitment to service. Next time let’s have lunch”.

It was, unashamedly, a test. If he had complained about the timing or been late, he might never have received an order from what became a regular and significant customer.

In practice

  • Be punctual. It could be worth more than you think.
  • Recognize tests for what they are, and maybe set some too. They related to a basic customer need for reassurance.

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