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Five Steps to Successfully Making Appointments

During outbound sales, one common goal that you maybe working toward is making appointments with target prospects. While that can sometimes seem challenging, there are very clear and simple things that can be done to improve your results and effectiveness.


1. Stay Focused on the Primary Goal

The very first thing that you can try to change or improve is to stay focused on the primary goal during the cold call. This is important as sales people are naturally drawn to always be selling and always be closing. With that natural tendency, we can find ourselves trying to sell our products and services during cold calls.

The main challenge with this is that a cold call should only be last between two to five minutes in length and that is not really enough time to work with to effectively sell and close. With that being the case, we can improve results by shifting from selling our products to one of selling the prospect on why it makes sense to keep talking and selling the appointment or real first conversation. Once we are in the appointment or a more established conversation, we will have more time to work with and can really focus on all of the key steps needed to effectively sell.


2. Communicate Value

When making appointments, one thing that can often be left out is attention on communicating the value that we have to offer prospects. It is natural and understandable to fall into discussing our products and services or details about our company. The challenge with that is that is not value.

The prospect does not care that you have really cool and innovative technology, or that your company is the market leader. What the prospect cares about is how you can help them to increase revenue, decrease costs, or decrease risk. The value that you have to offer through the delivery of your products and services should impact one or more of these areas and if you focus on communicating that type of business value, you will improve your ability get the appointment set.

 


3. Qualify the Prospect

Another way to improve making appointments is to not skip over the step of qualifying the prospect. When we have sales targets looming over us and the need to increase commissions, we can easily fall into the trap of trying to set appointments with anybody that will meet with us. The challenge with this is that your time is very limited and valuable and as a result, you should only meet with prospects that you have qualified in terms of fitting well.

Of course we do not want to do extremely thorough qualifying during outbound sales as not only do we not have enough time to work with, we also don’t want to push away prospects prematurely. As a result, we want to perform some soft qualifying will cold calling so that we identify that it makes sense at a preliminary level to keep talking for both us and also for the prospect.


4. Find Pain

It is very important to uncover some sort of pain that the prospect is experiencing in the areas that your products impact when making appointments. Not only will there be no reason for the prospect to justify a purchase if there is no real pain, but there is no reason for them to meet with you if there is no pain.


5. Build Interest

At the end of the day, in order for a prospect to agree to a next step when you are calling them while making appointments, you have to build at least a minimum level of interest. One effective way to do this is to connect the value that you offer with the pain they are experiencing. If that is not easy to do, it can be good to have some silver bullets ready on how you differ from the competition, how you have delivered strong ROI in the past, some threats from the environment, etc.
 

 


Launch Pad Solutions provides Cold Calling Coaching helping sales pros to improve making appointments.

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This article was published on Saturday 10 March, 2012.

Back to main topic: Appointment Setting
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