Camping out and closing deals

I am sure you can see a common thread in many of my recent posts – Sales, Sales, Sales!  I don’t care how great your product is because without an ability to articulate the value proposition succinctly, tell the world about it in a capital efficient manner, and sell the damn thing, you are SOL (yes, shit out of luck!).

Pitch11x14 original
Pitch11x14 original

So what does camping out have to do with selling? Let me explain.  In sales I am sure you have heard about all of the various models to prospect, push leads through a funnel, and get to closing.  One underestimated method is the “camp out sale.”  What is it and how do you do it?  Well quite simply, when things begin to stall you basically pick up the phone or send an email and tell the prospect you will be in town the next day or week and would love to come by.  You then “camp out” and don’t leave until you get an answer, presumably yes.  I have to warn you that you need to employ this method selectively and have the right criteria (relationship with sales prospect, size of deal, timing, etc) in place because if done the wrong way you can waste a ton of money and time trying to close deals.  Email, phone calls, and video chats are great, but sometimes you just need to be there to move a process forward.  I have seen this done right many a time and can’t tell you how effective just showing up can be. 

To that end, I was on the phone with an entrepreneur yesterday who was trying to get their round closed.  The investor wanted to set up a call to meet the other co-founder before making a decision.  Like any great entrepreneur would do, he simply said I will be there tomorrow and proceeded to book a flight for first thing the next morning.  I will let you know how this story ends but I can assume that an entrepreneur who shows that kind of hustle and willingness to walk through walls to make their company a success will surely leave a great impression regardless!

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One Response to “Camping out and closing deals”

  1. Billy Bob Jan 23, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    …and on today’s episode of “how to be disingenuous.”

    The problem with this approach is that it’s ultimately a lie. In the past two months, three merchants have done this trying to get appointments with me. Though someone could legitimately be “in town,” the whole enterprise has a less than transparent feel. And if you’re trying to build a relationship with someone, is that the feeling you want to be associated with?

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