A single business trip can completely change the trajectory of a person’s career. This will depend on a client landed or rapport built with an important customer/partner. Success on business trips can mean first-class flights to major cities along with accommodations to match. Being the person that a company relies on to close a huge sale offers an immense amount of job security. The balance between giving it your all with success on trips still has to be balanced with a superb job being done in the office. Falling behind on another client’s project while trying to close a sale will result in a loss of business. The following are tips to help manage and plan your next business trip to increase the likelihood of success.
Leave the Planning to Professionals
A corporate travel services company can work wonders as they understand the inner-workings of specific cities. A regular staff member might not realize the traffic at a certain time in Austin while a travel planner might take this into account. Traffic can lead to missed meetings but staying in accommodations central to all clients being met with this can mitigate the risk. Far too many times there are too many people involved with planning a business trip, especially at smaller companies. Allow a professional to plan the trip as they will leave no important details out in terms of creating the perfect business trip.
Don’t Fall Behind on Work Youin the Office
Being a slacker in the office due to the ability to close sales on the road is not going to give you the best reputation. Falling behind on office work can lead to resentment from others on your team. Do not give management any reason to send anyone else by using the travel time to keep up with work. Success on a trip combined with finishing your expected work in the office will have you viewed as an all-star employee. There is plenty of time that you will have free that you will not spend meeting with or entertaining clients/yourself. At times, it can be a blessing in disguise to travel to a city with very little to do as it allows you to rest and catch up on any work you need to.
Set Aside Time for Personal Entertainment/Relaxation
Setting aside time for yourself over the course of a 24 to 72-hour business trip can be less difficult in some situations than others. Even something as simple as visiting a restaurant or museum for a few hours that you have researched can be enough. Far too many people restrict themselves to meetings and their hotel rooms instead of enjoying a new city. For those that visit a city frequently, they might already have a routine that they enjoy that allows them to relax and get work done.
A hotel with a gym can also allow you to stay in shape as those that are on the road understand it can be easy to gain weight. Schedule out your days beforehand so you will have an agenda besides just meetings and doing work you need to catch up on. Not every city will have something to offer you personally but a nice meal on company money can be vital to capping off a successful day correctly.
Research the Team Being Pitched
Understanding the team that you are pitching to is imperative and can help mold the pitch in a specific way. For most clients, it will be obvious who you will be pitching as they will be involved in scheduling the meeting. Doing a thorough social media sweet of the team you will be pitching could not be more important. A specific sports reference or being an alumnus of the same college can help build rapport immediately. Do not underestimate trying to connect with a sales prospect personally especially if you have been given time to research them.
Current Clients Should Get a Meeting/Meal
Going to a city to pitch a new client without seeing current clients can be seen as an insult. Take the time for a meeting or take the client out to a meal while in the area. Clients are far more likely to stick with a company they are happy with and that entertains them regularly. Quality work combined with personally liking a point of contact can lead to clients being retained long-term.
Going on a business trip does not mean that you cannot stay in a great city for an extra night or two on your own dime. Plenty of people have spouses or friends visit for a day or two, especially in vibrant cities. A father of 4 that is sent down to Orlando for a weekend can take a few days of vacation and take the children/family to theme parks.