Your Most Important Sales Appointment

By Tibor Shanto

I am a firm believer in scheduling important events, especially those activities that don’t directly involve clients; key is that they don’t involve clients directly, but have a direct impact on my success with clients.  This includes time for voice mail, e-mails, planning, but top of the list is my appointment making time.  The reason is simple, it is the most important thing you can do.  Go ahead, challenge it, but there is no way around it, the most important thing you do as a seller is prospect.  We have all heard the expression “nothing happens till a sales is made”, well sales don’t get made without prospects, so what can be more important than prospecting.

Having said that, very few sales people I work with schedule time for prospecting.  When you ask them why, they can’t tell you.  I hear things like:

“I know I gotta do it, so I don’t schedule it, I do it”

Did you prospect today?

“No”

Yesterday?

“No”

So when?

“I’ve had a really busy week, had to see a client, they needed a replacement for their battery.”   Yup, that $20 you saved on a messenger, will certainly save your company’s bottom line; personally I believe a couple of good prospects could do just a bit more.

This is typical, but does not have to be, just schedule the time.  It is an interesting thing, when something is in your calendar it becomes more important, more real, and people deal with real things differently than abstract concepts.

It has been shown that If you have a meeting scheduled in your calendar, you are less likely to alter it, you will work around it.  Think back to last time you had something scheduled for 10:00 am, and someone of equal importance asked if you would meet with them at the same time, I bet you response was “I can’t do 10:00, but how is 11:30?”  99% of the time the other party rolls with it and you end up meeting both.  Well if you had your prospecting time in your calendar, the same phenomenon would kick in, and you’d get both things done.

I know it seems simple, some of you are saying this is so obvious, yet it doesn’t get done, why, because it is not written down, it is not scheduled in your calendar.  Yes it is basic, but success is built on the basics, the fundamentals.   After all, if it was important, it would be in there; all your important appointments are, including lunch with your buddy.  So why not your most important appointment?