1. Close on the Appointment, Not the Sale
If you’re on a sales prospecting call and things are going well, often times the temptation is to try for the sale right then and there. Let’s face it; getting the sale on the first call isn’t very likely. It’s pure magic when it happens, but it doesn’t happen all that often. Instead, set an internal goal of appointment setting, not closing. It’s a much more attainable goal, and getting your prospects to sign on the line which is dotted has a higher likelihood of success in person.
2. Just Ask for the Appointment
Don’t beat around the bush. Asking for someone’s time can be a little uncomfortable, but wasting someone’s time waffling over whether or not to ask for the meeting is downright gut-wrenching. What’s worse, it’s a waste of their time. Instead ask for the appointment early and often. This sets a clear expectation in your prospect’s mind, which allays the recurring “why is this person talking to me?” question he or she is probably asking. It also demonstrates that you value their time, which in business and appointment setting is the most valuable commodity.
3. Have A Good Reason To Call In The First Place
Spend some time understanding your prospect before picking up the phone to call them. It’s important to make sure your product or service will actually be helpful or valuable to them. Business leaders appreciate thoughtful and helpful solutions to their problems. A demonstrated understanding of their business will tell them you may truly have one, because you understand how their business works, and what its needs are. It will also tell them you are not just casting line and hoping for a “bite”.
4. Be A Good Listener
Understanding a prospect’s needs is the key to determining that your solution will benefit them. How can you be tuned into their needs if you’re doing all the talking? It’s your job to outline a solution that addresses their needs, not theirs. Take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth so you can hear what your prospect needs, and deliver it to them in the form of your product!
5. Check In With Marketing
It’s a fact that warm leads are better than cold ones. And marketing is the keeper of the warm leads. Find out who’s been visiting your website, downloading white papers or filling out forms, and connect with them. They’ll already have some awareness of your brand, and usually be more receptive to meeting with you.
Cold calling and appointment setting can be a source of stress, but they don’t have to be. By following these steps your prospects will know they’re speaking with a respectful and knowledgeable sales rep, and they’ll be more inclined to give your call the attention it deserves.