Every sales representative that calls on your prospect today (and there is likely to be lots of them) will say they want an appointment. While meeting with people like you (and your competitors) might be a big part of your prospect's job, it is probably not the only thing they do. As a result, many would-be salespeople will be turned away.
So how do you become one of the lucky ones who gain an appointment?
You have a point: What is the logic behind your reason to want the meeting? Is it because you want to sell something (help yourself), or because you want to help the prospect (solve a problem)? The latter is a point and the former is just hoping for a chance to peddle. Do you have a point? Do you have a valid and plausible business reason that the prospect should want to spend some time with you?
A point is sharp. Like a dart, sword or spear, it doesn’t always matter how much weight or momentum all of your weapons might have. What’s important is to have all of your energy and inertia focused on your one most important point. Don’t read the laundry list of your products and services (what you have). Focus on your ability to understand and solve my challenges (what I need).
A point is on the leading edge… the first thing to hit. Save your cleverness and banter for another day; whether using email or voice mail, communicate early the business logic behind your request for a meeting.
A good point to start with: How the client will increase revenue, decrease costs, enhance efficiencies, or otherwise be more effective by using the solution you’re capable of providing. Study the prospect’s industry… and their website. Study any past vendor history you can find. Put yourself in a position to anticipate needs, respond to questions, and solve problems.
Many will ask for an appointment today. The few who get in will be those who started with a point.
At The Center for Sales Strategy, we encourage the use of a sales process where sellers learn about a client or prospect's needs and propose tailored solutions that address those needs. To see this process in action, download our eBook, "Howie Gets His Dream Job."
Mike Anderson is VP / Consumer Insights and Communication at The Center for Sales Strategy