How to Set Appointments the RIGHT Way!
The #1 Sales Success Metric for high levels of sales success is…Appointments
If you set enough appointments with prospects, sales numbers will be achieved. Now what happens during those meetings is really critical too. The critical skill is being able to take a conversation and turn int into an appointment.
Here are 4 Key Steps to Setting Appointments
But first, let’s get a mindset around the following points
· Don’t set an appointment with anyone
· It must be the right person
· Must be a key decision-maker
· Make sure they have a need
· They must have the pain that you resolve
· You have the prescription pad to solve the pain
The emphasis here is you don’t want to sound like a salesperson that will say anything to make a sale. This is where active listening skills come in. You are asking to consult. To find a need. To determine if your product or service will solve their emotional need or pain points. NOT TO SELL!
You’ve got seven seconds to gain their attention or to lose them. Don’t sound like every other salesperson reaching out to them.
To get their attention, have your opening statement tight and on point. Discuss not what you offer, but what you have found are the needs of other clients.
Who you work with, why you work with them, and ask if any of those issues are relatable to the Decision Maker you are speaking with.
Something like this:
“ I’m with Acme Anvil Corporation. I work with companies who are challenged with things like constantly missing project goals, low levels of employee productivity, stagnant sales trends, etc. Does any of that ring true with you?
Get the conversation going and take the time to find out as much as you can before you ever offer that we may have the solution
Couple Pro Tips:
Lose the sales voice! Speak in the same tone you normally speak. Don’t put excitement and tone in your voice like a cheap DJ. The prospect hears that sales voice and they check out of the conversation immediately.
Call early in the morning before the gatekeeper arrives. Or, after 5:30 when the gatekeeper has most likely gone home for the day. You will have a higher chance of getting through to a decision-maker
Here are the steps:
1. Understand the upside
The key to getting an appointment is they have to feel there will be value in the meeting
They’ve got a million things going, and the last thing they need is to spend 45 minutes with a salesperson who is likely to waste their time.
They need to be able to say, “yeah, that makes sense; let’s get together.”
Example: If the prospect says, “My accounting team is just not firing on all cylinders.”
You ask, “Well, Bill, what would it mean to your business if they were firing on all cylinders?”
They say well it would probably mean we save $5000 a month in customer service issues, and my client retention would improve.
See what happened? They just did the math and the ROI for you. Now you can say, “Well, Bill, if I could show you how we could be the solution your accounting team firing on all cylinders, would that be of interest to you?
It doesn’t mean that your product or service is the complete solution. It just means that product or service is a potential solution and they would be remiss in not finding out more.
Now you have really got their attention. They are really interested in what we have to show them as a potential solution
2. Can I make a recommendation?
These simple words are so powerful when it comes to setting a meeting. Use them! Saying that is critical to transitioning from the conversation to making the appointment.
You’ve gone through the conversation. You’ve discovered some pain points or challenges, and you have articulated the upside. Then you say, “Bill, can I make a recommendation?” or “Bill, I’d like to share some ideas I have that I think will help you with this?”
They will naturally say, yes! Secondly, it is setting you up as an expert. They will view the appointment with more interest and enthusiasm.
Now that you’ve established yourself as an expert who cares and may be able to resolve some pain, they have said yes to hearing more about a solution.
Next, you will say, “ Let’s do this. Why don’t we schedule an appointment.”
This makes for a much better appointment than saying something like. “I’ll be in the area Wednesday and Thursday, would you have time to speak with them?”
3. Establish a clear next step
Never allow a selling situation to end with an unclear outcome.
Common BAD Example: Why don’t you call back in a month” you: “okay, I’ll reach back out in a month, thanks”
“Okay, I’ll be happy to reach back out to you in a month. What is the best day of the week to talk? Wednesday? Okay, what time of day works best? 10:00? Okay, how does Wednesday, Nov 19, at 10:00 work? I will send you a calendar invite to remind you because I know you have a million things going on.
Or you can say
“Sure I’ll be happy to call you back in a month. Do you have your calendar handy so we can avoid that whole back and forth rodeo?”
Always send a calendar invite!
4. Have a contingency for when they push back. And they will!
They will say, “Why don’t you call me back in 6 months.”
The weak response is,
“Okay, I’ll reach back out in July. Is Sometimes on a Tuesday, okay?”
Instead, say something like this.
“Hey Bill, I appreciate that you are not ready to talk right now. I hear it all the time. But I’ve been doing this a long time and usually when people tell me that they just want a nice way of saying “no,” I’m not interested in ever getting together. Is that what you see happening here?”
That takes guts, but here is what is going to happen. They are going to say one of two things. “Yeah, I’m really not interested,this doesn’t make sense at this time.” Then you can just put that lead to bed. A no is often as good as a yes. We now know not to waste our time there.
Knowing where not to waste your time chasing someone down and being ignored is very valuable. It saves time and emotional energy. Top sales producers are really protective of their time. They have a very solid approach to smoking out prospects who have no interest what so ever.
Or they may say, “No, no, no, I’m just really busy and can’t take on anything else at this time.I really do want to learn more it’s just crazy right now.”
Then you say, “Okay, that sounds totally reasonable. Let’s do this. Why don’t we get something on the calendar so that this doesn’t just fall off the radar? July sounds like a long time from now. Lots of distractions will come along.”Most people will respond positively to this.
It takes guts, but once you start taking this approach, you will be so much more successful in getting appointments. Plus if someone is wishy-washy with you over the phone, that is really a sign of low interest.You don’t have much to lose
Either they want nothing to do with you, or they do want something to do with you just not right now.