The Best Way to Prepare for a Sales Appointment
I finally got to drive a Tesla.
Two weeks ago, I flew from Boston to Nashville to give a presentation. At the last moment, I had the opportunity to meet with a VIP in Louisville, Kentucky, a roughly 3-hour drive north. Being frugal, I rented an economy car. I mentioned to my wife that Hertz was offering a Tesla rental option, albeit at twice the price. She urged/shamed me into upgrading.
Which, I did.
At the ticket counter in the airport, the agent told me to walk past the line of people waiting for their car assignments and go directly to the vehicle that was parked next door. The keys would be in the cup holder.
Obligingly, I strutted past the other Hertz customers. Sensing their side-eying, I coolly popped open the trunk, threw in my bags, and walked to the driver’s side door.
Problem #1: “How do I get into this thing?”
Okay, I solved that one pretty quickly. But I was taken aback by the fact that there was nothing on the dashboard except for a computer screen the size of a large iPad.
That’s when I stopped acting cool.
Problem #2: “How do I start this thing?”
Tesla must assume idiots rent their cars, because I noticed an animated hand gesture was showing me where to put the credit card-shaped key fob (if you can call it that) in order to turn the vehicle on. I quickly figured out how to put the car in drive, set up my GPS bound for Louisville, and got a feel for the drive on the way out of the garage. I was quickly on the highway.
Problem #3: “How do I engage cruise control?”
An hour or so into the drive, I stopped in a rest area to use the men’s room.
Problem #4: “How do I lock this thing?”
An open padlock icon appeared on the screen and I was in business; off to do my business.
Returning to the car, I came across:
Problem #5: “How do I unlock this thing?”
Now, I should probably tell you that there was a QR code on the key fob that would give me the answers to all of these challenges, but I’m a guy, an idiot, and not one to read directions. Fortunately, I noticed vertical scrape marks in the column between the front, driver-side window and the passenger window. Taking a guess, I swiped the key fob from top to bottom and the car unlocked.
Reaching Louisville and finding a Tesla Supercharger station, I finally took the time to go over the finer details of the car and my drive back to Nashville that afternoon was a lot less stressful.
Listening to my wife was not a mistake (something Allison is sure to highlight when she edits this tip).
Going unprepared was.
I usually think through every detail of the trip. I will write down my record locator number, my hotel address and phone number, how to reach my client, the details of my presentation, and every other pertinent fact. It’s not like me to be this unprepared. I have not made this mistake in a long time and I hope it is even longer before I do it again.
The key to a smooth business trip, sales appointment, meeting, conference, tradeshow, and every other moment you are out of the office is the careful preparation you put in beforehand. Doing it right makes things look easy to the outsider.
Doing it wrong and you’re sitting inside a Tesla with a lot of people in the Hertz line saying to themselves, “What a bonehead.”
Every sales challenge you’re facing has been solved by someone else. For $45/month, you can find ideas, inspiration, and continuous sales growth through The Sales Vault community. For more information, go to SalesVault.pro. I can be reached at 781-934-7036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS—as for the ride itself, the power is breathtaking but I was underwhelmed with the ride and the noise this Model Y produced. I’ll stick to my BMW plug-in hybrid, thanks.
Bill Farquharson is a respected industry expert and highly sought after speaker known for his energetic and entertaining presentations. Bill engages his audiences with wit and wisdom earned as a 40-year print sales veteran while teaching new ideas for solving classic sales challenges. Email him at email@example.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault, are available at salesvault.pro.