The Office Tour

When you have a meeting at a prospective client’s office, do you ask for a tour?  Is an escort around the client’s office space an effective use of your time?

Ask for a tour.  First, you never know who you’ll run into, the chairman or the CFO or an old friend from college, which happened to me once in New York City.  Running into an acquaintance of yours who happens to be a colleague of your prospect’s will make you memorable. And, if you do happen to wander by the president on the tour, you are likely to get introduced; not to mention an introduction to anyone else you pass in the hallway. Plus, while you’re walking around your host will often think of someone you should meet as you wander near their office.  “Meet Mary, she handles all the buying for our development platform.”

Being hosted on a tour changes the status of the meeting.  You are now strolling around together, with your prospect in the role of host, rather than you sitting across a desk from them seeking ways to be useful.  It’s a status shifter.

Finally,  a tour offers a physical memory  of all the things they do.  “We are now in the development department. These are the folks that built that super platform I was telling you about.” You are much more likely to remember the details of what a company does when you have some physical place memories to attach it to.

Ask for a tour, you’ll be surprised at who you meet and what you learn.

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3 Responses to “The Office Tour”

  1. [...] You never know whom you’ll meet in the bathroom. It’s like a mini-tour, and you just might run into the CEO, in which case introduce yourself and tell him or her why [...]

  1. marcisegal says:

    Great blog Tim. Your posts are gamechangers – what I like most is how you show people ways to use new ideas to influence new decisions in sales.

  2. Jonathan says:

    One of my colleagues pointed out to me that you can use a tour to get a sense of the company culture via the quick “Dilbert Culture Assessment.” As you wander around, notice the cartoons that people hang on their cubicles/offices/windows. They’re typically a pretty good indication of what’s happening in the organization.

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