The entire trip was a total of 30 hours from pulling out of my driveway to pulling back in the next day. My schedule included joining my clients for dinner the evening of my arrival, presenting a 50 minute keynote at their sales convention kick-off the next morning, then getting on the road for the 5-hour drive back to central Jersey.

Neither the brevity of the trip nor the limited activities kept me from packing two different outfits for dinner, three options of speaking attire and of course, 5 pairs of coordinating shoes…oh yea, plus the dressy casual ones I planned to slip on when I arrived to replace the flip-flops I wore for the drive! After all, the hotel I was booked at was attached to the convention center, so the chance of running into one of my conference participants was good- so I had to “put my best foot forward”(literally).

To my surprise, my husband took a day & a half off to help me with the 10-hour round-trip drive…add another pair of shoes and one outfit to that list! He arrived home early from work as planned and I was all packed and ready to load the car. The look on his face indicated his disbelief of just how much baggage was really needed for such a short trip! He sarcastically inquired if I was doing a keynote or a fashion show and with a chuckle he grabbed the first of four armfuls to be carried to the car.

My rationale for the excessive packing was not based on indecisiveness but rather on appropriateness! Seriously, I didn’t know for sure what would be the best fit until I saw the venue first-hand and checked-out the dress code clues of my client in-person.

While it doesn’t involve clothing- this is exactly the same approach of a successful, professional sales process. There are typically multiple options of our product or service to choose from to present to a prospect, but it is nearly impossible to select the best option prior to doing our due diligence to determine the needs.

Whether choosing attire for an affair or selecting which product or service to present to a potential customer… it’s not just about what looks good- but rather what is most appropriate!

Diane Ciotta
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