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Man with Sleeping mask sleep on a bed, cup of herbal tea in the foreground. Focus on tea cup

Have you tucked in your hottest prospects so they’ll have a calm, restful weekend? Years ago, one of my managers asked me this exact question before a 3-Day Weekend. The question left me confused. I can’t tuck them in, I live in Kansas and they’re in Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, Oregon and California.

On this morning, I was quite sure he didn’t mean I should buy an airplane ticket and fly to my customers locations. He explained that I had a mission every Friday that would secure my sales future for the remainder of the year.

Before the weekend arrives, answer all pending customer questions, backlogged service requests, non-returned phone messages or status updates.

Most small and large business owners think about business 24/7. On weekends, spouses have time to grill their mates with questions. You can count on the 20-questions routine to commence Friday night or over coffee on Saturday morning, especially if pending issues involve financial expenditures, additional time commitments or providing added personal resources to the business.

When answers are not within the owners grasp, their homecoming can be tough. Don’t let this happen to your prospects. Never depart on Friday before making sure your clients can comfortably leave the office behind and enjoy a less stress-filled weekend.

If you do not tuck in those clients, be assured that you’ll have numerous customer calls Monday morning.

In addition, during a day or two away from the office, owners often review the past week. There’s time to tally up the successes, failures, near-misses and the land mines avoided. If they have your proposal in their briefcase, this may be their first chance they have to quietly evaluate its contents.

If your customer has concerns about your ability to solve their problems, be sure you have given them the answers by Friday so they can ruminate about the project over the weekend.

Time off work gives a business owner an opportunity to stop, think and make decisions. They have mental space to view projects and proposals in total; not as bits and pieces like a jigsaw puzzle with missing parts.

Tips for this holiday weekend:

1. As a long weekend approaches, review hot prospect files for pending questions.

2. Check in with your sales support team to make sure they too have fulfilled all customer requests. As the team leader, you are responsible for the outcome of each of your prospective accounts. Team selling requires a consolidated and well orchestrated effort to win new business or retain existing customers.

3. Use open-ended questioning techniques to uncover as yet unidentified customer concerns. My favorite questions usually begin with the 5-W’s and 1-H. (Who, What, When, Where and Why and How)?

4. Ask your prospect, what would you change about my proposal to make it fit even better?

5. What business concern stands between you and the perfect weekend?

Congratulations. You’ve tucked in your customer. Enjoy your long weekend. You deserve it!

Mary Redmond is a speaker, consultant, coach, negotiator and body language expert known for her powerful negotiation workshops, inspirational speeches and corporate presenter.