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How to Set Appointments that Stick

“When cold calling, how can our sales team make strong appointments that stick?”

Setting appointments have two common problems:

  • Initial interest (“No, thanks, we already have someone that takes care of that” etc)
  • Cancellations / No-Shows.

These two common sales challenges aren’t a byproduct of sales. They are a result of using improper sales techniques, methods and strategies.
In short, the salesperson set the wrong goal for the sales call prior to picking up the phone, and, therefore, has guaranteed themselves a high failure rate.
When we set a goal or a “purpose” for a sales call (in this case, to set an appointment), we tend to go directly to that point to try and achieve it.
A BAD BUT COMMON example of a sales call for setting an appointment might go something like this:

SALESPERSON: Hi, this is (your name) with (your company). We provide (blah blah blah), and I’d like to see if I could get on your calendar sometime this week. Is Tuesday or Thursday better for you?
PROSPECT: Uh, I don’t think we would be interested. We already have a company that does that.

One of the biggest mistakes appointment setters or salespeople that need to set their own appointments make is they have the wrong purpose/goal or objective of the call, to begin with.
The only way to increase the odds of a prospect wanting to meet with you, and to keep the appointment once they set it, is for the prospect to want to meet with you, more than you want to meet with them. And for that to happen, they will need to have a big WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM understanding.
Baby Steps
Instead of going for the “close” of setting the appointment in your opening sales call, focus on piquing interest in order to be able to ask them a few questions to see if a meeting would even be beneficial for them.
To set more appointments that stick, use an opening value statement that piques your prospect’s interest and then ask a few of the right sales questions that focuses your prospect attention on an area that will uncover a problem. Do it correctly, and your appointment quota will be met, if not exceeded, and your prospects will be happy you called.
Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.


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