Appointment Setting in Sales: How to Fill up Your Calendar

In sales, finding people to talk to is never really the problem. Finding the RIGHT people on the other hand, that’s a different story. And when you finally do talk with the right people, getting them to agree to an appointment is a new challenge.

Before we get into this further, evaluate how well you meet the following requirements: 1 being you’re not even close, 10 being you exceed in this area

  1. Have written goals – in our world that means having more than 25 written PERSONAL goals. These are personal goals contingent on your success and your success being tied to prospecting for new business.
  2. Have a plan in writing that you refer to, record your progress, and revise at least every 90 days. If you don’t have goals and a plan to obtain them, you have no way of tracking your progress to know if you are being successful.
  3. Have a positive outlook about the prospecting activity. Prospecting can be hard but you should have some fun with it.
  4. You take responsibility – you don’t make excuses for lack of results. You either did the activity or you didn’t.
  5. You can control your emotions – meaning you don’t get thrown off of your “planned script” when prospects throw you a curveball.
  6. Your personal need for approval doesn’t impact your ability to follow your sales process. You are gutsy, you take risks and are willing to challenge prospects when they attempt to push for information, blow you off, stall or delay

Now score yourself. How did you do?

Assuming for a second that these requirements are critical to your success in prospecting and setting appointments, the questions become what is your score telling you and what must you address first?

The 6 things I just mentioned will have a serious impact on your success, or lack of. Prospecting is an activity only you can control. However, we also have to be great at helping the prospect discover their compelling reason for wanting to meet with us. They have to agree and be motivated by the fact that it is in their best interest to meet with us based on what it is we do, why we do it, and the benefit.

Here are 4 rules to setting quality appointments:

Rule #1 – the purpose of the phone call is to get an appointment. It’s not to pitch or sell.
Rule #2 – Get the contact involved in the conversation ASAP
Rule #3 – Get the contact in “some mental anguish”.  This is done by using an effective Unique selling approach (USA). It should be designed to get the contact to respond or think one of three things:  “That’s me”.  “How do you do that” or, “tell me more”.
Rule #4 – Always get invited to the appointment or invite them. Just like we wanted to get them involved in the phone call right away, this approach puts the prospect in a position to take ownership of the meeting and the reason for it. Afterall, It is their mental anguish you are meeting to discuss. Thus, both parties are showing up to have a conversation instead of you showing up to pitch why they should meet, talk, and work with you.

At the end of the day, I think we can all fill our calendars with people to meet. But that’s not the point. We want to be meeting and having conversations with those that qualify and make sense for our business. The things we’ve covered today will help you do just that. Happy prospecting!

From Alex Cole-Murphy
Recruitment Specialist & Sales Development Expert


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