Setting Appointments with Senior Decision Makers is tough.
Tougher than it used to be.
But it’s no where near as tough as most B2B sales people make it.
And there are some easy wins. some short cuts, a handful of techniques and another handful of skills that will help you win where lesser mortals may falter…
So, what’s change and what you you do to stay ahead of the telephone appointment setting leader board?
Setting Appointments with Senior Decision Makers
20 years ago, on average, I’d speak to 30 decision makers a day on the telephone.
Get 5 appointments booked in the diary.
Close 3 deals.
Pipeline 2 for next month.
Life was good.
This kind of predictability worked.
Not so much today.
Today, working with sales teams across the UK, great B2B sales teams speaking to 20 top class decision makers a day is rare.
12 – 15 is a good day depending on seniority.
Don’t get me wrong, 20 is possible but rare.
So, based on a 30-40% drop off in contact rates, with no corresponding 30-40% drop in sales targets!!!
Then shouldn’t we absolutely make sure we make the best of those senior decision maker connects when they do happen?
(If you agree then check out The Sales Improvement Workshop)
In the meantime, let’s look at what exactly you should do when you get a shot at the bulls eye…
And also, let’s look at what not to do.
After all, they typically have one throw at the dice when setting appointments with senior decision makers.
Do’s and Don’ts – Setting Appointments with Senior Decision Makers
Savvy sales pro’s know that they have about 15 seconds to grab attention – so it’s a great idea for you not to waste that precious time asking how the prospect is feeling.
He knows you really don’t care anyway!
Instead you might want to think about how you can make him switch off his LinkedIn scrolling and shut down his email…
How could YOU achieve that in just 15 seconds, and get that 15 seconds extended to 20 mins…
Some great B2B sales professionals make an outrageous claim they can back up.
This statement does three things.
It shocks the prospect into paying attention, it forces a curious reaction and the outrageous claim begs for you to provide details…
And if you’re super smart in your choice of opening statement, then you also hit upon a huge buyer/prospect problem…that you have the solution to.
Bland does just doesn’t cut it.
And that’s ok, because you really don’t ever need to be bland, or non-committal, or just like all the other sales reps out there cruising, trying to get your prospect’s attention
So that’s step one, step 2, the very next thing great sales reps so and you should do too….is to ask great questions.
Really Great Questions.
Questions that challenge the buyer’s thinking.
With questions that beg for bigger conversations.
Questions that disrupt the buyer’s current understanding…
Of course, the savvy sales pro also knows how to listen.
Listen to what the buyer says, and what he doesn’t say.
Then it’s a full throttle conversation.
When the savvy sales pro has done everything they need to do (and if you’re wondering what that is – check out this guide – The Guide for Setting Appointments with Senior Decision Makers).
And when they can see a good fit.
When they’ve identified a need, build a fully qualified sales lead.
When they’ve checked out budget, authority and pain, need and timing…
Then the savvy sales pro bows out and gets busy getting that appointment booked and confirmed in the diary.
The appointment is dropped in the diary of a senior decision makers who is impressed, curious, interested and keen to talk at the next stage.
Here’s another thing that savvy sales pro’s do at this stage, and it’s something you should be wary of too.
Don’t talk yourselves out of the opportunity by giving too much detail.
It’s really easy to flip from interested prospect to bored prospect…you must hold something back!
Some Common Fails When Setting Appointments with Senior Decision Makers
- Being just like every other sales person that’s called today
- Not challenging the buyers thinking
- Addressing the same old problem in the same old way
- Failing to educate, entertain and build curiosity
- Failing to use the precious first 20 seconds
- Talking more than listening
- Mistaking a structured sales conversation with a focused goal with a lovely chat
- Missing buying signals just because someone is being nice to you
- Giving the prospect everything they need in the call
- Not knowing when to ask for the appointment
What’s the difference?
Probably about 10 appointments per week.
10 appointments per week, per sales person, times 52….
You can do the sums.
Especially if you’ve got a large team.
Even more so if you’ve got at least 50% not hitting their numbers.
And if the cancellation rate is hbigh.
Or the appointments take place but nothing happens after that…
These are problems and common issues faced within sales teams, and they can all be solved.
And that solution is quick and relatively painless is you know what to do!
Are You Looking for Boost the Quality and Quantity of Sales Appointments in the Diary?
You can start by downloading your guide to Setting Appointments with Senior Decision Makers
Or you can call 0114 236 1221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org about comprehensive sales training courses specifically designed for front line sales and lead generation staff responsible for setting appointments with senior decision makers.
You can also sign up for our weekly free sales and business development newsletter. The Advanced Business Achiever – perfect for daily sales huddles, sales coaching and weekly sales refreshers. You can get your free copy by hitting the link.
Remember: it all starts with that first call to generate that first appointment.
So why not make sure your sales team, your lead generation team and your appointment setting team have the greatest chance of sales success.
Booking high quality, well qualified sales appointments with senior decision makers is the very back bone of great sales team performance.
Setting appointments with senior decision makers is the number one skill in high performance sales teams.
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