Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet with a buyer at QVC. I have been working with them for over 7 years and had a chance to meet with them to discuss a new project that I have been working on with a client for the past 6 months.
This has been a collaboration between three parties and it required a tremendous amount of effort and negotiation. When all was said and done and the appointment secured we were thrilled. That’s the easy part.
Lesson 1: Prepare for ALL things to go wrong, because something will.
Since it was a 24 hours turnaround flight for me, I only had a carry on with all of my samples and clothes. Smart thinking right, wrong.
The airline had no space for my carry on and checked it….remember this was all samples, all material, all my clothes. Needless to say, when the plane landed in Philly my luggage did not.
Lesson Learned: Ship samples and materials a head of time to the hotel!
The good side was that the suitcase showed up at midnight and I had the pleasure of going to Nordstrom’s for a new and better outfit (and shoes).
Lesson 2: Sleep is important – so plan ahead.
Since I am a mom to 2 little girls I had to prepare them and myself for this trip. Grandma was available for baby sitting and school chauffeuring but I still had tons of things to do, including taxes!!!! Went to bed super early with the kids to wake up at 2am to do taxes and make 5am flight. I was exhausted all day which just made the next day at the presentation harder.
Lesson Learned: Plan ahead and give your self a clear schedule before you make a big pitch.
Lesson 3: Buyers are people first not the almighty person that says ‘yes’ to a potential life changing experience (which they are).
Buyers are people, whether they are shopping for network buyers, retailers, or boutiques. They are humans with lives and problems just like you and me. When we build them up to be this big almighty thing in our minds guess what happens? We give away our power and ability to relate to the human being in front of us.
So relax, see if you can’t relate to them on some level – family, occupation or hobby. They will appreciate it and it will make the experience better.
Lesson Learned: Relax!
Lesson 4: In the end, it’s better to be over prepared and not need it then not to have at all.
I made a 10 page sales document, since the project had some complex technology. I made it into a fun ’10 things technology has brought us to-date’. It was a last minute add on but I’ll be darn that’s the 1 thing the buyer grabbed on to.
Why? Because it’s bite size and relatable. I’m not a scientist to explain complex technology and neither was she. By breaking down the presentation and making it super simple we all got thought it with ease.
Lesson Learned: Make your presentation simple with show and tell and a quick ‘how this will benefit you and your customers’. You have 30 seconds to pitch it….which I will go into next week.
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