Raise your hand if you wish you had more quality appointments each week? My bet is that nearly 100% of you raised your hand. Almost every salesperson and sales manager that I speak to these days is talking about how difficult it is to get the quality appointment. Ironically, at the same time that getting quality appointments has become perhaps the most important activity for growing business, it has also become one of the most challenging parts of the sales process. The reasons for this are nearly the same in every market. They sound like some variation of the following.
- Prospects have so many people calling on them that it's hard for a salesperson to break through.
- Salespeople don’t have enough time to do the quality lead generation and appointment setting that they need to do.
- Prospects are hiding behind voicemail and email, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to get their attention.
- Prospects are doing so much of the fact-finding on their own. They are looking for ideas, suggestions and resources online and not even involving a sales person at that stage of their journey.
Wouldn't it be great if you had a steady stream of leads coming into your sales department every week? Even better, wouldn't it be amazing if this steady stream of leads were actually qualified sales leads?
We experience exactly that here at The Center for Sales Strategy—a steady stream of qualified sales leads—on a daily basis. Read on and I’ll share some of the things we’ve learned, as well as five steps you should take to significantly improve your lead generation and number of quality appointments.
Before you jump to any conclusions, let me put you at ease (or maybe disappoint you). I don't have a quick fix scheme teaching you how to quadruple your quality appointments in 30 days. Instead, what I have is a concept that I know works. The idea is driven by developing a thought leadership position for yourself and your business and then setting up a marketing initiative that will help interested prospects find you and want to meet with you.
The general idea here is not a new one…. using marketing to attract prospects after all is the business that you are in. But using it to attract prospects for your business might be new to you. Setting up a marketing program that will allow you to be seen as a thought leader is key to success and if done right you will have prospect raising their hand and asking you to reach out to them to discuss how you might help them.
Here are 5 steps that you need to take…
- Share your expertise. Commit to publishing often. When you publish, you will want to share your knowledge, give your customers and prospects your thoughts and opinions on the subjects they count on you to know a lot about. Do this in the spirit of being educational and not to sell anything.
- Share it everywhere. As a colleague of mine always says… “Sharing is caring.” You can start a blog, publish directly on LinkedIn, or decide that Twitter is how you will show your thought leadership. Still others might want to publish with just audio and post a regular podcast or video cast. The key here is to share it everywhere your prospects are spending time… make it as easy as possible for your prospects to find it at the exact moment they need it.
- Look for ways to engage those most interested in what you have to say. Create eBooks, webinars, white papers, videos, etc… Again, your goal here is to share your knowledge with your prospects. As your prospects read more of your articles and download more of your premium content they are certainly starting to see you as an expert.
- Make the time. Set aside time each week to do this. Like I said earlier… this is not a quick fix. It takes discipline and commitment but if you do this and you do it the right way you will see the results.
- Give them a great reason to get in touch with you. Perhaps offer them a free consultation or a product trial. If a prospect has been interested enough to read your work, and to watch your videos, attend your webinars, download your ebooks and now is requesting a free trial or demo, then what you have here is a true qualified sales lead.
When your prospects see you as an expert who can add real value, they will be happy to take your call and meet with you.