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Do your due diligence before an office visit

Once the decision is made to visit a client, lay the groundwork to make the encounter successful.

Consider how well you know the customer’s business and management team, determine time constraints or impediments (harvest time, packing or shipping timetables, etc.), and the best way to start the visit.

Will you arrive first thing in the morning or schedule a lunch or dinner first?

Is it an imposition to meet for dinner afterhours? Perhaps breakfast is better, then heading to the warehouse or fields. Another approach is ordering in food. Mike Horvath, director of sales for Original Produce Distributing, Inc. in Chicago, BB #:210491 often buys pizza for the entire crew rather than taking an owner out to lunch or dinner.

Whether the visit is planned or not, be respectful of your client’s time, he said. Don’t overstay your welcome, and if the situation may prove difficult, be prepared with detailed information so you’re able to ask the right questions.

Be sure the questions are open-ended questions and can’t be answered with a quick or dismissive “yes” or “no.”