How do I justify a two hour time investment for a sales call?

Sent by Jonathan Stark on May 4th, 2017

Yesterday, I answered the first of three reader questions about a two hour onsite meeting I had with a prospective client last week.

If you missed yesterday’s message, here’s my quote from the original email: 

On Friday, I had a two hour onsite meeting at the headquarters of one of the largest credit unions in the nation. Actually, it was longer than two hours. We were having so much fun chatting that we went about 15 minutes over. 

The three questions were:

  1. What is my definition of a roadmap?
  2. How do I justify my two hour time investment?
  3. Doesn’t giving away my time for free devalue me in the client’s eyes?

I answered #1 yesterday.

I’ll tackle #2 today:

How do I justify my two hour time investment?

My answer to this is simple:

I make a judgement call. 

This, of course, begs the question:

“Okay, Stark... but what do you BASE your judgement on?”

I’m glad you asked! :-)

We all have to constantly make judgements about how to best use our time. Because we are constantly doing this, the number of factors involved in our decision making process is enormous. Many factors are so subtle that they could almost be considered subconscious (i.e., “gut instinct”). 

That said, there are a few conscious factors that I have identified with regard to my decision making process for whether to meet with a prospect, for how long, and in what way.

Here are the obvious ones that come to mind: 

If the client is ideal across most or all of these factors, I would happily fly anywhere in the US on my own dime to meet with them for a full day or two.

The odds of a highly profitable engagement coming out of a meeting like this are quite high. 

Obviously, this is all still pretty subjective but I hope that it’s a helpful starting point. 

I’ll tackle question #3 tomorrow:

Doesn’t giving away my time for free devalue me in the client’s eyes?

See you then!

Yours, 

—J

 


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