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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Let’s Get Real About How Many Contacts It Takes To Get An Appointment

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There certainly is a lot banter these days about how many contacts a salesperson must make in order to secure an appointment. We all know it takes more than 2 or 3 calls, but how many does it really take and why?

Topics: Setting Appointments Sales

Stop Talking About Your Product; I’m Deciding If I Want to Work With YOU

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If you’re a salesperson, it’s good to be proud of what you sell and where you work. Those two factors are key to enjoying what you do for a living. Working for a great company and having a great product certainly helps with clients, but the criteria prospects will often use when deciding to give you some of their precious time, is YOU. 

Where should your product and your company be in your sales strategy when talking to new prospects?

Topics: Setting Appointments Sales

5 Ways To Get More Appointments

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When I talk to salespeople and look at data from structured sales campaigns, it’s clear that the number one bottleneck in the sales process is getting appointments. And it’s seemingly getting tougher, not easier, despite all the digital avenues available to most salespeople for pre-call research and preparation of a Valid Business Reason that should, in theory, evoke a response from the prospect. So, why is it so tough to get that appointment?  

Topics: Setting Appointments Sales

Five Ways to Beat Cold Calling Boredom

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We know continuous and relentless cold calling can wear you down. It’s a numbers exercise at best, and unless you really enjoy leaving voicemail messages and constant rejection, the process can be boring and downright taxing. But, there are ways to spice things up so that you’re not only more engaged, but also way more productive. Here are five recommendations we have to help you:

Topics: Social Media Setting Appointments Sales

A Sales Strategy to Double Time Spent Selling

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When a colleague conducted a "time spent selling audit" for one of her clients, the data showed the organization's best sellers spent slightly over 20% of their time actually selling. Keep in mind, the audit included the best sellers in the organization! Here are five reasons why this happens:

Topics: Setting Appointments new business development lead generation Management Sales

Sure, You Can CLOSE, but Can You OPEN?

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If you follow the stock market you know McDonald’s stock has been on fire of late! Maybe the secret to their success is hiring people who can open and close!  

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Closing gets all the love, and all the headlines. The big closes lead to high fives and mentions in the company newsletter, and keep you coming back for more! If you can’t close, you can’t sell. “Coffee is for closers!” 

But can you OPEN? Not open the conversation, open the door to the opportunity. One sure fire way to close more deals is to get more, higher-quality appointments. It’s tougher than ever to get attention and establish credibility, and you need to do both to get the first appointment with the very best prospects. It’s no longer sufficient to pick up the phone and leave a “get to know you and your business” voicemail, or pop in for a cold call with confidence. To be a great “opener” you have to do your homework, and your homework has to result in a valid business reason for the prospect to meet with you. 

A great valid business reason should express why the prospect would want to meet with you (not the other way around) and has three core elements:

Topics: valid business reason Setting Appointments

The Hottest Way to Capture the Attention of a Prospect

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Nearly everyone agrees it’s tougher than ever to get prospects to respond to your approaches, and all sales professionals know that if there is no appointment there is no chance for a sale. In today’s world, salespeople have many means and methods to try to get a quality appointment and all have a place. In fact, we strongly recommend you use multiple messages in multiple media to break through. We outline that in our Don’t Give Up process.

But, let me point out a tool seldom used, which is proving to be very effective in the appointment setting process: sending a letter – in the mail. Yes, I am talking about snail mail. You may be chuckling right now, but before you dismiss the idea think about it for a minute. How many emails do you get a day? (Most people have a three-figure number here.) What happens if you don’t spend time cleaning out your inbox? You know, you are deluged quickly. And when you clean out that inbox, how much time do you spend with emails from people you don’t know, especially one who looks like a salesperson? I thought so.

So, here is another question for you. How many pieces of mail do you receive at your office every day? Hmm. That’s what I thought. Now you can see why something sent in the mail can stand out, right?

But, it’s not as simple as sending a letter. Content matters. Here are some suggestions:

Topics: Setting Appointments Sales

5 Steps to More High-Quality Appointments

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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.

Topics: Setting Appointments Sales

How to Engage a Lead in the First 20 Seconds

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Twenty seconds may not sound like much time at all, but consider this: a hummingbird beats its wings at an average of 53 times per seconds. This means that a 20-second period is just enough time for a hummingbird to beat its wings an incredible 1,060 times.

It’s also enough time for a new lead to decide whether they’re going to listen to you or not. First impressions in business can be ruthless. This is understandable, as no decision-maker has the time to waste on an unwanted sales call, read a spam email, or even organize a meeting with someone they don’t trust.

We call this the critical window of opportunity. The first 20 seconds of meeting a new lead is your one chance to make a lasting, positive impression, so what do you do?

Topics: lead nurturing Setting Appointments

Resources to Help You Get More High-Quality Appointments

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You probably have some ambitious sales goals for Q1 of 2017. And to reach those goals, you've got to get more high-quality appointments. If you aren't sure how you're going to get there, check out these free resources.

Topics: Setting Appointments sales management Sales