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Lunchtime Opportunity

April 13, 2012

A partner and I were at a lunch meeting with a group of potential clients. Before the group could seat us together, I requested that we sit at separate tables. Why? Because I don’t need to sell partner; there’s no gain in sitting next to him! The goal was to be with as many of these clients as possible. Sitting at different tables would double our exposure. Work your sales career as a politician would his campaign. He doesn't keep talking to the people who are already going to vote for him. He goes and talks to the people who haven't yet decided who to vote for. The Lunchtime Opportunity Today I invest breakfast, lunch and dinner with buyers, prospects, and even long shots. These lunch dates would include anyone who might someday buy from me. Even when I'm not taking a customer to lunch, I'll frequent populous places where I've got a shot at being seen or where I might spontaneously run into someone who will buy from me. People who go out for lunch are typically qualified buyers. They are working people: bankers, insurance people, realtors, salespeople, entrepreneurs, etc. They are buyers of your products! Find a restaurant where qualified people go eat at:
  1. Go out and be with them
  2. Be seen by them
  3. Get to know them
  4. Go every day until you are on first-name basis with them
Personally, I like to go to the pricier restaurants because they attract the better-quality customers. Aristotle Onassis, the great shipping magnate, always made a point of going to the most expensive restaurants throughout his travels when he was a young man. Not because he could afford it, but because the people there had money, and he wanted to be around opportunity and success. I once made a sale to an insurance agent and offered to buy him lunch as a sign of my appreciation. I met him at his office, picked him and his family up and lunched at his favorite place. At the time, I was thinking small and was worried about how much the bill was going to be. Within five minutes of sitting down, he'd already introduced me to a friend of his at another table. My client's intro was, "Vic, this is the kid I was telling you about," at which time Vic pulls out a card and says, "I want one just like he got. Can you have it at my office today?" Go out, be seen, mix it up, and put yourself in the game. That brown bag lunch you made to save yourself $10 will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost sales. You can't save your way to being a millionaire, but you can certainly sell your way there! Quit trying to save money and start doing whatever it takes to be seen, to be noticed, and to make sales! Get out of obscurity!

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