Forget Closing The Deal | Get The Appointment!

By Kathy Maxine, President of Selling Smart (Sales Gravy)images

There rarely is a sale without a face-to-face encounter with the prospect. Now that that’s settled, let’s talk about what salespeople can do to improve their sales performance. Let’s start by looking at securing the infamous sales appointment. If you’re hearing your prospects say something to the effect, “I’m not ordering” or “I’m perfectly happy with my current supplier”, take it personally!
Salespeople who are less than successful in securing appointments are sometimes told by others, “It’s not you; we’re just in a bad economy.” My contention is that maybe it is you. Think about it a minute: When you get a real person on the other end of the phone line in place of a voice recorder, what are you actually saying and in what order?

After introducing yourself and your company, are you immediately launching into a litany of reasons why your product or service is just what the prospect needs? Are you so thankful to have a live person on the other end of the phone that regardless of the prospect’s resistance you’re going to get an appointment? If so, beware: You may already be perceived as a person who cares more about yourself than you do about your prospect.

The real question is, “Do you have a plan or a telephone script that works?” You may know what your goal is (to get the appointment) but if you don’t have a clue how to go about increasing your chances for arranging a face-to-face meeting, why pick up the phone?

Most salespeople who are in it for the long haul and who love the thrill of the hunt as much as the victory of closing the deal know exactly what they’re doing right. They aren’t randomly trying this approach or that until something sticks to the wall. They’ve already been through the heartaches and have learned to not only avoid them but to predict them. They have a plan.

Here are some solid ways in which to increase your appointment-closing ratios.