One can make a case that any phase of the sales cycle is key to success, but it would be hard to argue that for the vast majority, nothing happens without appointments. No matter how good one sells, it can’t happen alone, you need prospects, and that all starts with the appointment. Our Appointment Making Program deals extensively with the art and science of getting appointments with decision makers on a consistent basis. In the next few posts we will be putting a focus on the on some key aspects of getting appointments and prospecting. Yes there is more to prospecting than cold calling or appointments, and we will be discussing many of these in other posting. But in the next five posting (counting this one) it will be about five proven methods to help improve your appointment setting skills and numbers. Some of this will be straight forward, some with a new spin, but put into practice they will get you in front of more of the right people, right prospects you want to sell to. Today we will start with using time to your advantage:
Shifting your calling hours: Many trainers suggest that you do your calling first thing in the morning. Theory being that you “get it out of the way” first thing, and then go on about your day doing what you do best and like to do: sell. The reality is that you need to shift your prospecting calls to when your target audience is more likely to be available. For some services like ours first thing in the morning is best, first thing being 7:00 to 8:00 – 8:30 a.m. However if your target is a plant manager, service manager, traffic manager, VP ops, you are not likely to find them in their office in the morning, mid-day is probably a better time.
With a bit of research and keeping track, you can typically learn when is a likely time not only to find your target by their phone but also in a position to listen to your approach, and respond in a way that serves your mutual needs. A little preparation, segmentation and planning goes a long way. Please be clear, we are not excusing you from making calls at all times, just encouraging you to call targets at a time that will yield best results for you. Next time round, Voice Mail, till then,
Tibor Shanto, The Pipeline