In my last post, we looked at appointment setting scripts that work. In this post I want to delve a little deeper, and examine the art of communication in the appointment setting context and offer some surefire sales appointment setting tips.
Are you asking for an appointment to be cancelled?
Once all the hard work has been done and you’ve set an appointment to meet with a prospect, the final thing to do to ensure that the appointment is kept is to confirm with the prospect. I’ve heard salespeople on the telephone almost begging for a cancellation without realizing it. Although there has been no intention of doing so, the salesperson making the confirmation call has inadvertently offered an opportunity to cancel. For example:
“Hi, this is Jack Jones from ABC. I’m just calling to make sure you’re still okay for our meeting at 9:30 tomorrow morning?”
This opening may sound fine, and it would be if you were arranging a breakfast with a friend. But when confirming a meeting that you hope will lead to perhaps a large sale and a new, ongoing client relationship, you need to use a far more nuanced technique.
These sales appointment setting tips will help you utilize what you know about the prospect and their needs as well as dismiss those last minute excuses to back out. Simultaneously, you will be reiterating the need for the sales meeting and pre-closing the sale.
1. Remember your prospect is busy
It is likely that your prospect will have spent the better part of the day running after others and fighting fires. Understand that when you call the pressures of the day will not have melted away. There may be tension and anxiety that push the prospect to a natural desire to cancel.
You’ll need to personalize your words and message to work with this. Doing so will turn a problem phone call into an opportunity to pre-close.
2. Don’t be nervous about calling out-of-hours
Leaders and decision makers are rarely nine-to-five people. Their gatekeepers probably are. It may be easier to speak to your prospect – the person with the purse strings – by calling out-of-hours, in the early morning or later in the evening. This also confirms that you, too, work long hours for your clients.
3. Show empathy
Be empathetic, and understand the problems that your prospect is facing. This is the opportunity to reconfirm the positive aspects of the goods or services you are selling. Exemplifying the way in which you have helped others in the same or similar situation will confirm the need for the purchase.
4. Remain positive
Remember that you have a great product or service, and one that will add value to your prospect’s business. It will save time, money, increase efficiency, and improve effectiveness. Most of all, it will make your prospect’s life easier.
5. Close the confirmation call by reiterating the value of meeting
Remain upbeat, and tell the prospect that you’ll keep the appointment as brief as necessary. After all, your product or service is designed to improve business efficiency. Reiterate what the prospect can hope to gain from the meeting, the competitive advantage your product or service will build, and the personal benefits for the prospect by meeting with you.
Confirming the appointment should be seen as a natural progression of sales
These sales appointment setting tips have their basis in emotional intelligence. When you combine conscious communication with emotional intelligence skills, you will become more assertive and simultaneously be seen to be accommodative to client needs.
If you listen and ask appropriate questions, you will convert interest into action, and information into evidence for action – you will improve your alignment with client goals and their affinity with your product or service.
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