We spend a lot of time at Sales Coach Now discussing how to get an appointment. It’s a skill that every salesperson needs to have, and yet in most sales training programs there is very little instruction on it.
Many times sales training puts its focus on teaching how to master the sales conversation and presentation – how to get a sale – and that is all well and good. At Sales Coach Now, we call it your authentic sales conversation and it’s undoubtedly important.
But you can’t double and triple your sales if you don’t first know how to get an appointment!
Herein lies the challenge. A lot of people fear the prospect of setting the appointments as much as they do asking for the sale! The phone seems to weigh a hundred pounds, and the thought of making those calls feels exhausting.
So let’s take the pressure off appointment setting!
Here is the key: remember that getting the appointment is not the same thing as getting the sale.
You will never have someone pick up the phone when making appointments and immediately ask for a sale the moment they pick up! It sounds obvious right? Yet a lot of salespeople approach the phone as though that were the case!
Remember, sales isn’t talking – sales is asking questions! Furthermore, the appointment itself is simply an opportunity to ask all of the right questions to determine if this prospect is the right fit for your products or services. It is an opportunity to communicate with your prospect. If it turns out that they are your ideal client, getting the sale will be easy!
Does that make the phone seem a bit lighter?
Here are a few tips to remember when setting the appointment:
- Intention. As with everything, when you are setting up your appointments, be intentional in your conversation. The reason you are calling is to set up an appointment.
- Ask The Right Questions. One critical tip that many people miss in setting their appointments is to ask open ended questions rather than closed ones. In other words, don’t ask “yes” or “no” questions.
For instance, when you are setting up the appointment time, it’s best to offer two dates and times that you can meet, as opposed to asking if they would like to meet up with you. When you offer two suggestions they need to pick from, you simplify the process of working with you. Whereas when you ask if they would like to meet, you’re giving them an opportunity to tell you no!
- Follow Up. Once you have the appointment, make sure to send a note or an email thanking them for planning to meet with you. You’ve opened the door to earn their business, so your communication will reflect yourprofessionalism. Your prospect is observing you throughout all of your interactions, so be intentional about them – starting when you set the appointment!
- Be Yourself. It may sound trite and overstated, but it’s the truth. You’ll never win anyone over if they suspect that you are putting on.
Setting the appointment is simply one step in the sales process! But remember: it’s not the same thing as asking for the sale.