Setting appointments over the phone – is it a dying skill?
Shouldn’t you just wait for the phone to ring, email to ping, twitter to tweet, LinkedIn connections to flood you with lovely business opportunities?
Look, we’ve all listened, read, debated the statement is cold calling dead…and years on (yes, years!!) setting appointments over the phone is still regarded as the key sales and business development skill.
I wonder why?
Could it be because it’s the:
- Most targeted way to approach new contacts?
- Fastest way to make contact?
- Best way to start a conversation?
- Offers immediate feedback?
Know anything else that compares?
No? Me neither
Just to stop the anti-phone brigade ranting at me…other business development tools are available (they’re just not as good!)
Jesting aside – good business development, great new sales lead generation is about using all things and all tools, and not just one thing.
You just need to know when to use what tools and in what proportion.
Setting Appointments Over the Phone: Why the resistance?
Sometimes it’s about fear of rejection. In that case you need this 3 X SW.
Sometimes it’s about battling with the dreaded gate keeper.
Well that just means you need to be creative. Where else can you start the conversation before you take it offline?
Yeah…see, not tough is it?
Sometimes it’s just the sheer slog…
Maybe that’s a sign you need to do more of it to get better?
When Setting Appointments Over the Phone Trips Us All Up?
I still have to set aside days for setting appointments over the phone, and there are some days it’s the very last thing I want to do.
But I do it anyway.
My go to strategy when I’m not so keen to pick up the phone is outlined below
It’s very productive.
And changes the way I feel about setting about setting appointments over the phone in less than 90 minutes.
Could it have the same impact for you?
Sure…take a read.
Setting Appointments Over the Phone – The Easy Way to Get Your Head in the Game
First thing is, understand what your purpose is during times like this when you’re head is not really in the game.
Understand that your focus is about separation.
It’s about cleaning the wheat from the chaff.
That is all.
It’s not about identifying the prospect, doing a full profile build, discover call, testing understanding and assumptions, the whole solutions sell.
That’s the last thing to focus on.
It’s about cleaning the list.
It’s the one time you’re allowed a hit and run sales mentality – knowing that your mindset will change within the first 90 minutes anyway.
Setting Appointments Over the Phone – The Easy Way to Engage
Here’s your call template, your sales conversation structure…
Hi Mr Prospect, this is Carol from Morton Kyle, specialists in improving sales performance in ambitions B2B firms, is now a good time to steal 2 minutes from you?
(Maybe because I’m direct, honest, and open with a friendly upbeat voice, and I don’t sound like a cold caller I’ll typically get a 100% yes to this)
Great, thank you.
Mr Prospect, I understand you’re the head of sales, CEO, business owner there, so if I wanted to engage anyone in your business about 5 ways to increase sales within the next 6 weeks would it be you I should be speaking with?
(Because I’ve done my research this is typically a 100% yes response too)
Super, in the first instance, what I’d like to do is to send you a brief case study on one of my most recent sales turnarounds, you’ll hopefully find it of interest. That being the case, if anything resonates with you, would you be opening to book in a time to get a Skype call or a coffee to move our discussions on?
Does that sound ok to you?
(Guess what – I’ll either get a yes, or the prospect will start quizzing me about what I offer)
I win…either way.
Setting Appointments Over the Phone – The Easy Summary
E – establish you’re speaking with the decision maker
A – ask for engagement
S – set conditions – if so then
Y – get a yes
In fact, it’s:
- Not complicated.
Sure, you’ve not done any qualification…that will come later.
You’ve started the process…that’s all you need to do.
Setting Appointments Over the Phone – A Key Question
How many of these calls do you think I have to make to get my head back in the game?
May be 3 or 4 max.
Because in that 3 or 4 calls I’ll have someone who needs a more detailed conversation, either there on the phone or is happy to arrange a diary date.
Sometimes, cold calling, new business generation, setting appointments over the phone, is only scary to start with.
Success breeds success.
Great telephone conversations breed great telephone conversations.
To the Nay Sayers – But You Didn’t Set an Appointment Over the Phone…
True…maybe I didn’t.
But I got myself so much nearer than if I’d spend the morning sending emails, cruising twitter, liking and sharing on LinkedIn didn’t I?
Plus, I know, using this approach alone will open more doors to appointments than you’d think.
And maybe that’s what it’s all about.
Let me know how you get on.
And, once you’re up and running, and want to really set your sales pipeline on fire with high quality, well qualified sales leads from your first class telephone sales appointment efforts – download our free guide How to Generate High Quality Telephone Sales Appointments.
Setting sales appointments over the phone is a critical sales and business building skill, master this and the rest is easy.