Scheduling More Sales Appointments
It’s best to think about success in its components. Your sales success is made up of these 3 components:
- the quality of prospects you speak to , i.e their level of motivation and how much money they have
- the number of prospects you speak to (it’s a numbers game you know)
- How good a communicator you are (i.e. your sales skills to set an appointment and then to close the sale)
This post is part of three and this one focuses on setting prearranged appointments and stuffing your appointment calendar.
It’s almost always the case that your first communication with the potential customer is a phone call.
I urge that before you make that call, establish your credibility. You establish credibility and gain trust with the prospective client by sending an item such as a pamphlet that you printed, an article written about you or a piece that you wrote, a recorded interview – whatever tells the prospective buyer that you are special and not just another guy with something to sell. Should you proceed to call without any type of introduction, without establishing credibility, it’s a cold call and will likely fail. This is true even if this is a valid lead purchased from a lead source. Once you have mailed the item and have created a favorable impression, then you follow with your initial call to set a meeting.
By establishing your credibility (and enclosing your photo so that the prospect feels they know you), you have created a warm call. And a warm call leads to setting a meeting. Next, be certain that your initial call is about the prospect and not about you or your capabilities. Your sole topic is about the prospective client, not yourself. Here is a sample conversation below. This sample deals with the issue of investing, but see if it works just as well with your product or service:
Hi, Mr. Shenken?
This is Xavier Rosenthal and two days ago you contacted my office and ordered a copy of my pamphlet, “Six Ways that the Rich Invest” Did that get to you?
Yes it did.
Might I ask, what piqued your interest to request the report on how the rich invest?
That’s a stupid question. Everyone wants to know howther rich invest.
I mean, has your portfolio performance not been keeping up?
I think my broker is a sheister.
Then obvioulsy, you are seeking to make a change.
You’re a bright bulb.
Other than having better protfolio performce, what are the other two top requirements or desires you have for your money?
To retain what I have and not see a lot of volatility.
And you are willing to tolerate a lower return in order to have greater safety?
Yes, everything within reason.
Let’s say you could improve your portfolio performance and have extra funds every year. What would you do with the extra income?
I’d probably take yet another vacation.
You like to travel?
Yes, it’s my preferred activity, my retirement hobby.
Where are you going to next?
Vietnam. I loke Vietnamese food.
That’s fabulous. Well let’s see if we can help you get extra portfolio performance so that you can enjoy some additional imperial rolls.
Might you like to be aware of what other retirees in your situation to get better portfolio performance?
Fantastic. Our financial advisory firm has town hall sessions on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons as a service to the community. At those sessions we show you what other retirees like yourself are doing to significantly improve their investment returns. Would you like a seat to see how your neighbors do it?
Our master communicator in the above discussion avoids talking about himself and his organization and his services and all the wonderful things he can do (you don’t do that, do you?).
The master achieves his desired result (appointment setting) by pacing his attention on the prospective client and offering something important to that potential buyer. Potential clients are usually happy to meet with you, WHEN they see some benefit in doing so. If you answer their question (all prospects have the same question, “what’s in it for me?”), they almost always do what you want them to do. They are not interested in meeting when it’s clear (from your communication) that the meeting is about your sales pitch.
Some sales professionals are sales masters and have plenty of appointments. Most in sales do not have a sufficiently full appointment calendar and it’s their own fault. Focus on the prospect and get appointments. Focus on you and be lonely and poor. Most sales people, unfortunately, have the focus of their conversation on me, me, me. But the prospect does not care about you, how long your organization has been around or your experience. The prospect’s main issue is their own agenda, their own desires, their own problems and not your history.
Until the prospect is ready to hire you, the prospect does not want to know about your company and your background, so until then, it’s premature to speak about you rather than them. When he’s ready to pull out his cash, he will ask about you. Thinking that your prospect wants to hear about your enterprise successes or your history is a form of self-centeredness that prohibits you from acquiring appointments. There is no psychological or scientific proof that prospective buyers are encouraged to set an appointment by the impressive details about your self or your firm.
Sorry to be harsh, but I hope to shock you into a new means of scheduling appointments that is much more effective.