Do you think it has become more difficult to set sales appointments in today’s business climate? How hard is it for you to reach decision-makers? How many sales calls does it take you to schedule one appointment? How much time and effort do you put into preparing for a sales call? How persistent are you in following up on the sales call?
Research indicates that 35-40% of a sales person’s time is spent on activities related to setting sales appointments. Unfortunately, most salespeople do not have a process. They make a few sales calls to a company and then give up.
Yet, sales appointments are valuable! If you made 100 calls and set 25 appointments in one month and closed 10 clients at an average of $25,000 per client, you’ve made $250,000 and opened the door for an account management relationship. We know appointments are necessary to build your pipeline. We use our Don’t Give Up! process in the Appointment Lab at The Center for Sales Strategy when we set appointments on behalf of our clients.
Here is how the Don't Give Up process worked recently when we scheduled an appointment with a decision-maker at a financial firm, using the seven step process:
- Step 1 – Day 1, we sent the contact an email testimonial.
- Step 2 – Day 3, we followed-up with a voice mail and emailed him the account executive’s personal marketing resume.
- Step 3 - Day 6, we left a follow-up voice mail and emailed some additional marketing research. An incredible genesis happened on the sixth day, our contact responded to our email and told us he sent everything over to his VP of Marketing. He requested that we direct any other communication to the VP.
- Step 4 – Day 7, we mailed a personalized letter to the VP of Marketing. The ice broke when we received a phone call two days later from the VP of Marketing. He wanted to set an appointment and was actually excited to meet us.
Great news! We didn’t need to move to the seventh step and we secured the appointment!
The important thing to remember is that setting sales appointments is a process, not an event. When you employ a systematic approach with multiple points of contact, in a variety of formats, over several days, you will begin to make headway.
We can help your team learn our complete seven step structured approach to set sales appointments—or your sales organization can partner with us to let our experienced staff to get the appointment for you.
Have you used the “Don’t Give Up” strategy when setting appointments? Share your success story in the comments below.
Jeff Roth is the Client Engagement Director at The Center for Sales Strategy.