I refuse to wait around on someone that is late. Always be early! Pause there for a second, because I know that you're saying, “John, always be early? That’s a strategy? What do you mean? I know I should be early.” The keywords in that statement are I KNOW. I want you to make a mental note right now and take a look at the last ten sales presentations that you did. Were you early, were you late, or did you walk in at the same time as your prospect?

I can almost guarantee you that the times you were early your closing ratio had a higher percentage. Why? When you walk into the sales arena and you're there first, the potential customer sits down and it's your territory. You own it, because you were there first. You have also had the opportunity to calm your nerves and build your confidence before the person arrives.

You're going to meet someone at a neutral location. Let's say you meet them at a local restaurant to sit down with them and share your business, product, etc. You get there first so they are entering your arena. It's just a mental mindset. Now, think about it this way. The prospect is sitting there waiting for you. I bet you can almost feel your stomach turning flips as you imagine walking up to the table knowing that they have been waiting on you.

When you are late, the person that has been waiting on you has already likely made up his mind about what you are about to offer him and the answer is simply no thanks. After all, if you can’t be on time for an appointment that was scheduled last week, then how on Earth will this person be able to depend on you if they invest in your product? If you are late, then you might as well just reschedule or call off the appointment all together. It’s over! I don’t care if you disagree with me, it’s the truth and you know it.

My original mentor that mentored me over 18 years ago had earned over $30 million dollars at that point in his life. When he introduced someone to his business in direct sales, if they were one minute late, he wouldn't show them the business. He would say, “Respect my time. I was here at 1:30. You showed up 1:31. Reschedule.” You’re probably saying, “John, I can't do that!” Yes you can. Make a decision. I did. I refuse to let anyone waste a second of my time.

When I was building my business and conducted hotel presentations for business overviews, I started promptly at 7:35pm. The doors were actually locked at that time, and no one else was allowed to enter the presentation. One thing that aggravates me and upsets me to no end is when someone schedules a presentation that is supposed to start at 7:30pm and twenty minutes later they're still waiting for that one person to show up.

Respect the people who are there on time and get started on time. Don’t worry about those people that are late for a business or product that you're sharing. Instead, focus on the people who are on time. They want to hear your presentation, need it and are serious about investing in it. NEVER start a business presentation late. Always be there early and start on time. The key is to always be there before your potential client.

Here’s another inside tip for you. In a restaurant setting, always drink water. Why? coffee and soda give you bad breath. Remember, you are being judged on every aspect of your presentation. I also suggest that you never drink alcohol at a sales presentation. It’s unprofessional in my opinion. Drink water and that will be one less thing to worry about.

If you don’t agree with this, that’s fine. Just continue to lose sales. I’m giving you tips about the subconscious mind of your potential client. If you show up late drinking a cup of coffee, sweating, running behind schedule, looking like a slob, why should anyone buy from you? Think about that. Show up early. Dress professionally. Drink a glass of water. Be relaxed and then go for it. Get laser-focused and open up a brand new relationship.

Adapted from the book *17* Highly-Guarded Strategies to Close Every Sale Guaranteed by international speaker and business coach John Di Lemme.

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