No matter what state the economy’s in, it’s always important to get as much bang for your travel budget buck as you can. While you may be doing well with the alternatives to business travel, there will still be times when you must fly out to meet your customer or prospective client face to face. Before you book your next hotel stay, review these simple strategies to maximize business trip productivity.

Maximize business trip productivity with key personnel

While you never want to skimp on staffing for conventions and trade shows where you have a booth, it isn’t necessary to send three people when two will do. In fact, you may find you can increase the productivity of an event by sending only key people to it. Account managers, top sales people and the decision makers for the business are a few examples of who to send.

For business meetings, define the scope of the agenda prior to booking the trip. You can maximize business trip productivity simply by sending the right person for the meeting. For example, it isn’t necessary for you to go with an experienced salesperson on your team when they’ll be managing the client’s relationship. Once your people are fully trained, you won’t have to attend their every meeting.

Maximize business trip productivity by stacking appointments

Perhaps the most effective way to use your downtime during a business trip is to schedule sales calls. If you have a rental car and several hours to kill, you can schedule appointments with the prospective clients you’ve been trying to close by phone. When you don’t have a car, they may be willing to visit you at the trade show you’re working if they’re interested in doing business with your company.

Of course, don’t underestimate the power of calling on your existing clients while you’re in town. Stopping by to check on their needs can strengthen your relationship and lead to additional sales opportunities.

Maximize business trip productivity while you fly

Sometimes, it’s possible to maximize the productivity of the business trip by working on other projects on the plane. In order for this to work, be sure you’ve downloaded any relevant information to your laptop prior to leaving the office. Otherwise, you may not realize you’re missing a key file until you’re in the air and well out of Wi-Fi range.

In addition to these strategies to maximize business trip productivity, don’t forget to drink plenty of water before, during and after your flight. Dehydration can worsen the effects of jetlag, making you less productive on your business trip.

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