OK, what are you wearing? There is one rule. Be the best dressed person in the room.
I work in Durban which is very humid in summer. Wear a suit and you look like a sloppy journalist just out of the pub. Have the aircon in the car turned up high.
If you wear a jacket, leave it on the car hook. Don’t forget that the guys you are meeting probably work in air conditioned offices.There is a workaround though.
Most young male company men have a uniform. Blue long sleeve shirt, brown long pants, brown shoes. I wear something similar – a different coloured shirt – and a tie. It doesn’t hurt and you can leave it loose until just before you get out the car.
Getting to the Gig
Never be late. If I have never been to meetings there before I always allow an extra twenty minutes even if I get there OK and have to sit in the car for a few minutes. Park in the shade if there is any. I’m a Luddite and don’t have a GPS although should invest in one.
GPS or not, get a ding on the freeway and you will be 30 minutes late.
I limit site visits to within 10kms of Durban CBD. I have driven plenty further on the odd occasion but you are in no way regarded as enthusiastic, more as pathetic and desperate.
I know this is not an easy thing to change but the wheels should display authority and sufficient cash. Not a beach buggy. And make sure it’s not covered in bird shit and full of baby things and supermarket bags.
I use a somewhat geriatric Audi A4. It’s enough, I hope to distinguish me as a discerning motorist. I used to have a 1976 Corvette which was guaranteed to get the conversation started.
Right, we’ve done some detective work and have now arrived at the prospects. Big operation? Small? How many staff about?
Look in the staff car park. A row of luxury cars will also tell you something about the company’s largesse. Lots of Dough?
Maybe but the row of SUVs will all probably be on lease which may mean they have no money for a website – can go either way. But you may find out during the meeting.
Turned Up Early?
Always be on time – obvious really. Late for a meeting may also imply late replies to website queries. I have found that if you arrive early, it’s taken as a sign of professionalism rather than desperation.
You’ll get a good idea of what the prospect might pay by simply looking around. Expensive fixtures, plants, hardware like computers, maybe even a server will indicate that they are looking for a top end website. The boardroom, where most meetings are held will tell you a great deal.
If you are ushered to a tiny room packed with product or piles of paper then it’s likely the prospect wants ‘just a web page’ and is looking for the lowest possible price. You don’t know however, often until you get to the place but when I see this sort of operation, I’ve pretty well wasted a couple of hours.