Going on a business trip can sometimes be a source of stress and waste a lot of time on your schedule. Between the reservations beforehand, the meetings on site and all the tasks on the way back, you need to be particularly well organized. Experts give you the keys to a top-notch, stress-free business trip!
- Before the trip – A key word, anticipation
You have decided to go and meet one (or more) of your clients directly in their premises? Good idea, it will allow you to make a stronger impression. But be careful, only plan to go if the opportunity is really interesting. There’s no point in spending your team budget on a deal that you’re too likely to lose (or you will, but it’s a hell of a gamble!).
Once your appointment(s) start to come together, it’s time to gather all the data on your customers and/or prospects. “Every time I go on a business trip, I always make sure I have all the information about the clients and prospects I’m going to meet,” says Ines (Account Executive). If several meetings are planned, you can organize yourself like Adrien (Account Manager) “For my business trips, I anticipate my meetings as much as possible, I make sure they are all geographically close and have a place to have lunch in the same area”.
In short, the easiest way is to do what Constance (Key Account Manager) does and “plan everything myself, right down to my coffee break.” This allows her to have “a clear vision of my day, which allows me to gain efficiency and face the unexpected with peace of mind.”
Don’t forget to book your plane or train tickets early enough to take advantage of cheaper rates. If you do not wish to advance the expenses to your company, solutions exist for that.
- During the trip – One rule, organization
The day of departure is approaching, so if you’re going to a destination you don’t know well, Antonio (Account Executive) advises you to “look at the timetable very broadly”, but also to “buy the local press, so you always have something to talk about”. And if you travel abroad and have jet lag? Do like Dimitri (VP): “When I take a long-haul flight, I set my watch to the new time slot on the morning of departure to adapt more easily to the time difference”. You can also save time by planning in advance your trip between your home and the place of departure, by public transport or by VTC.
If you are taking the train (or are comfortable working on the plane), remember to charge your phones and computers. This will allow you to make scheduled calls beforehand and not lose time on your usual tasks.
Once you’re there, you need to find the right rhythm. Benjamin (Key Account Manager) always organizes his time between work and personal time in the same way: “For an efficient business trip, you have to know how to juggle work and pleasure. In my suitcase, I automatically take a sports outfit to run in the morning before starting a big day. I also find out about local activities (museums, monuments…) to take a break between two meetings”.
Don’t forget to take advantage of this trip to make the most of your time. Like Adrien, you can organize “lunches or dinners to invite customers and discuss their use of our solution.
- Back from the trip – One principle, planning
When you’re on your way home, that’s often the best time to start your trip reports. Like Antonio, who is busy “writing my reports to save time when I get back to the office. Because once you get back from that kind of trip, there are several things:
- You’re tired
- You are behind on your usual tasks
- You have to write a report
- You start the follow-up with your appointment(s)
It is important not to get overwhelmed. Remember to take a breath, then stay focused on one task at a time.
Fortunately, tools exist to help you throughout your business trips. We have gathered them in this infographic, as well as testimonies from dirty travelers and our 6 tips for a stress-free business trip!