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(SALES) How to Set Quality Appointments

4-4-2014

Ask almost anyone in sales, and youll hear that the toughest part of the sales process today is setting quality appointments. It makes sense. There are more people selling out there than ever before, so when you pick up the phone and make that call, the odds are not in your favor.

Since we are going to talk about quality appointments, lets make sure were all talking about the same thing here. I define a quality appointment as a scheduled meeting, either in person or over the phone, at which the agenda includes one or more of the following: finding needs, getting an assignment, presenting ideas, or selling solutions. An appointment without an agenda is not a quality appointment. Neither is a call with the purpose of checking in, following up, or stopping by. You will certainly have those meetings, but they cannot be defined as quality.

So why is setting a quality appointment so hard? In an effort to better understand that, we studied the sales process and figured out exactly where the process is broken. We learned that most sellers maintain a lengthy list of about 120 prospects and attempt to contact each prospect once or twice over the period of about a month. Sellers reported landing as many as five or six appointments using this method, which seemed pretty good to them.

I hate to rain on anyones parade, but lets do the math here: Two hundred and forty attempts, resulting in only six appointments.

Theres a much better way.

Generate more quality appointments with three steps:
1. Select really good prospects. Instead of including just about everyone on your list, make a list of the prospects that best meet your ideal customer profile.
2. Plan your approach wisely. Instead of smiling and dialing, earn an appointment and make the prospect want to meet with you by doing some meaningful research and developing a strong valid business reason to meet.
3. Dont give up. Show up on your prospects radar screen through persistent efforts. One or two calls a month just wont cut it.

The Dont Give Up Approach
The typical prospect is bombarded by 25 to 30 salespeople each day. They are overwhelmed, and with the advent of e mail and voicemail, its easier than ever for them to dodge calls. After all, isnt that what you do when a solicitor calls you at home in the evening?

The Dont Give Up approach works around that. Warning: While it is simple to understand, it takes great discipline.

You will have to commit to the following:
Seven attempts in 16 days.
Increased focus calling on only the very best prospects.
Excellence in preparation, professionalism, and persistence. Your phone calls, voicemails, e-mails, and letters must reach the highest quality standards, and your prep work and professionalism need to shine through during every attempt.

Heres what your Dont Give Up process might look like:
Day 1. Start by sending an e-mail, and attach a testimonial or case study. Mention that you will call at a specific date and time.
Day 3. Call at the time you said you would call, and be prepared to leave a voicemail. Follow up by sending your personal marketing resume.
Day 6. Make another call, and this time have some research ready to share.
Day 7. Send a letter and restate your valid business reason to meet.
Day 11. Send another e-mail, and this time speak to the process you follow to help people to get results.
Day 12. Call again and let the prospect know that if you dont hear from them soon, you will need to bring your ideas to others.
Day 16. Send one last e-mail. Give them a few times they can reach out to you.

Lets say you follow this Dont Give Up approach with 35 good prospects, reaching out to each one seven times over the next 16 days. Our research shows that your total of 245 attempts will reap the reward of 12 quality appointments twice as many as you would have gotten the old way. And you would avoid burning through 120 potential prospects, easily leaving you with another 35 accounts to focus on next.

The Dont Give Up approach is not about making fewer calls. It is about applying more focus to your calls to get better results. Commit to it in its entirety, and enjoy watching your quality appointments increase.

Matt Sunshine is EVP of the Center for Sales Strategy. E-mail: mattsunshine@csscenter.com.




(4/8/2014 1:50:37 PM)
More blather from our jackal-faced Jew! Love the ears, Jew-boy! LOL!

- LMFAO!!!

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