Updated: Oct 26, 2020
This seems like a no brainer, but there are quite a few considerations to consider when scheduling the site visit. The goals of a site visit are the following: Collect ALL needed information the first time, ask all the right questions, build trust, and most importantly, waste as little of your prospect’s time as possible. To ensure a successful site visit, you need to schedule enough time to complete the audit, ensure you’ll have access to the entire facility, and set expectations for your client as to what they will need to help you with. While their’s no one size fits all, here are a few tips to help:
First and foremost, ensure your audit team will have access to the facility and have enough time to complete the audit. There isn’t a hard rule of thumb to estimate time based on square footage, but a combination of square footage and number of rooms is a good place to start. I always start with a short intro when I arrive, then jump into counting all ‘public’ spaces without my client, then ‘private’ spaces with the client to let me in, then a wrap up meeting. Do some time estimating based on your research, your audit team and skill set, and previous experience to come up with an expected time.
Second, you’ll want to set expectations for your client as to what their time needs will be. The goal is minimize the time your client spends helping you, while maximizing your face time with them. Seems like a challenge, right? Not really. Per my note above, checking in when you arrive is key. Let them know as soon as you’re checked in that you’d like to count public areas on your own and will check in when you’re finished to get help with private/locked areas.
This sets the expectation that a) you won’t waste their time, and b) you’re an adult that knows what you’re doing. You’ll also want to let them know you’d like a debrief at the end of the audit to review the audit and go over next steps. You always want to let your client know what you did and what they can expect from you next. This sets expectations that you a) do what you say you’re going to do and b) always keep them informed.
Now you’re ready to schedule your meeting, you need to remember to be flexible and accommodating to your prospects schedule. Remember to let them know you’ll only be using their time for items they have to help with, reiterate your plan (short check in, count lights, short follow up), and let them know when you’re available. This is the second hardest meeting to get, so be patient, but stay diligent in your respectful follow ups if they don’t make time for you right away. Once you’re booked, celebrate as getting an audit booked is a key indicator of success!
Leif Elgethun, CEO, Retrolux