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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

10 Resolutions: Setting Appointments to Improve Sales Performance

How SellingHappy New Year!  In 2012, our Appointment Lab has learned that setting appointments for our clients involves clear organizational planning and preparation in targeting the ideal customer.

In celebration of the New Year and in helping improve your sales performance, we present:

10 New Year Resolutions for setting appointments in 2013:

  1. Spend more time in the Find and Select stage; ensure the companies that are targeted are actually prospects...ideal customers. 

  2. If you’re a third party provider, clearly set expectations upfront with your client partner.  Your partner may be delivering you leads, but not prospects.  Ask the right questions in how they Find and Select prospects.  Depending on your business model, you may add value by doing the investigative work in qualifying prospects for them as well.

  3. Know your capabilities.  Don’t promise something that you can’t achieve.  Understand and communicate your capabilities, your key performance indicators in setting appointments and/or qualifying prospects.

  4. Do your homework.  Realize that appointments are hard to set so preparation is essential.  You need to have the “best of the best” messages in order to build interest quickly.

  5. Be nice to the gatekeeperAvoid speaking to receptionists, admins or front office clerks about your company and what you provide.  Most times, they don’t care and they will not leave any messages.  If you call them back, they’ll either send you to a voice mail to leave another message or simply say, “If no one has called you back, we’re not interested.”  I only believe this when I hear it from the source.  Remember, if nobody is ever interested, then sales would not exist…

  6. Be persistent. When you know you have an ideal prospect, don’t give up after one or two attempts.  Personalize your messages so you will stand out.  Understand appointments, just like closing, can take time.

  7. Don’t forget to ask for the appointment.  If you’ve done your homework and the prospect appears interested, don’t pursue the call any further, ask for the appointment.

  8. Play the percentages!  Sales can still be a numbers game, so use the odds to your favor. Your sales performance will improve if you target good prospects, are prepared with good questions and are persistent at providing value.  

  9. Be Results Driven!  The best way to communicate with your organization, is to improve your performance and set realistic goals for yourself through verifiable results.  

  10. Stay Confident!  Most importantly, realize each prospect that you can set an appointment with is a vital step in starting a new and prosperous relationship for your company.    


Here's to your sales successes in 2013! 





Jeff Roth is Client Engagement Director for The Center for Sales Strategy 


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Topics: sales performance Sales