In a recent blog post, we talked about setting appointments over the phne (or should I say getting on calendars). One of the things I’ve found is that if you are working from a distance prospects sometimes like to use the excuse of not “putting you out” in order to get out of seeing you.
Have you ever heard, “There’s no sense in coming all the way out here, we’re not really interested”? Many times that backs the salesperson into a corner and leaves little with which to work. But, there is a better way.
As we discussed in the previously referenced post I always use a phrase like, “Hey, Mr. Smith this is Butch Bellah calling from Sales Power Tips and I wanted to see if I could get on your calendar for one day next week and visit with you for a few minutes?”
Again, I can’t stress enough how much this will improve your ability to get in front of potential clients.
But what if you are traveling into an area or working from a distance? What if they give you the old, “There’s no sense in coming all the way out here” routine?
Simply change the above to the following: “Hey, Mr. Smith this is Butch Bellah calling from Sales Power Tips, I’m going to be out your way week after next and I’d like to get on your calendar and visit with you for a few minutes?”
About 75% of the time they ask, “What day are you going to be here?” Again this is an opportunity to box you in (just like when I was in high school and asked a girl for a date—she’d tell me she was busy before I ever told her what day I wanted to take her out!) Don’t say, “Tuesday” because they will then come back with, “Well, I am tied up Tuesday maybe catch me the next time.”
Rather begin by having two or three days in mind that you can work the area the prospect is located. For example, let’s assume you can be “in the area” Tuesday through Thursday and you literally have no other appointments set. That would go something like this:
“What day are you going to be here?”
“Well, I’m going to be in the area Tuesday through Thursday so what works best for you?”
BINGO! Now, we’ve shifted from asking to meet to letting them pick the day we DO meet. And we did it relatively seamlessly! Now as you fill up your appointment schedule for that trip your next call would include this:
“Hey, Mr. Smith this is Butch Bellah calling from Sales Power Tips, I’m going to be out your way week after next for some meetings and I’d like to get on your calendar and visit with you for a few minutes?”
This adds a little and shows that you are serious about what you do and that you aren’t coming “just to see them”.
Once again, write this down. Commit it to memory and then be able to deliver it conversationally—not canned! The entire key to success here is to make this a very friendly, open conversation! Now, you can go about filling up your own calendar with appointments!
I’ve found that it is best to set appointments two weeks out for a couple of reasons. First, the prospect is probably not completely booked that far out and secondly (and most importantly) it is soon enough that you don’t get forgotten. Let me know how it works for you!