Sales Appointments: Getting Prospects to Show Up
“What is the best way to make sure prospects show up and don’t skip out on sales appointments? I send calendar reminders, but my cancellation/no-show rate is still too high.”
There are different “stages” or scenarios regarding sales appointments.
For example, you could be setting up a sales appointment for one of your field (face to face) reps so they can do an introduction and needs analysis.
Or you can be setting an appointment for you or someone in your company to do a Qualification Sale Call. And of course, there’s the follow-up sales appointment after a presentation, or a proposal has been sent.
Each of these scenarios has slightly different answers because each requires a different “check-list” to be completed before GETTING TO THIS STAGE to have a higher “show-up” rate.
But one phone sales technique that they all have in common that you can use to increase your sales appointment rate is the call/email combo I use before the actual meeting.
THE PRE-MEETING FOLLOW-UP SALES TECHNIQUE
Of course, we are assuming you are already sending a calendar reminder to your prospect with the date/time of your meeting along with an enticing subject line and powerful WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM reason for the meeting.
But if you want to improve your show-up rate, do this:
Two (business) days before the scheduled sales appointment meeting, call your prospect and say this:
“Hi (Prospects Name) this is (Your Name) with (Your Company). I know we have a call scheduled for (DAY) and wanted to see if we were still on for that?”
OH NO! WHAT IF THEY CANCEL / SAY “NO”?
OK couple of things here… look at all the options your prospect will have:
- Yes, we are still on;
- No, we need to cancel/reschedule;
- Oh wow, I totally forgot. Let me go talk to my boss about that right now!
So let’s take #2 first (they want to cancel)
My question to you is this: when would you want to know that they’ve gotten cold feet and weren’t going to show up for the meeting?
Would you rather know now, or when you call and get their voicemail on the set appointment time? If they are going to cancel, I’d rather catch it early for two reasons.
I have a chance of saving it since I called them early when they weren’t expecting my call.
If it is unsalvageable, I know it ahead of time and can get back to work to fill that spot with another prospect.
Either way, it’s a win/win for me (even though some salespeople won’t see it that way)
Now let’s look at #1 (Yes, we’re still on!)
When they say that, I ask this follow-up question:
”Great! Is there any questions I can answer for you now while you’ve got me on the phone?”
They can only answer one of two ways:
“No, we’re all set till our meeting.” or They ask a question.
And a good portion of the time, when they ask a question, it’s a buying signal question that often will lead to a deal right then and there (talk about shortening your sales cycle!)
One last thing:
If (when) you use the “Pre-Sales Meeting” Play and you get voicemail, leave this message:
Hi (PROSPECTS NAME) this is (YOUR NAME) with (YOUR COMPANY), and I’m calling to confirm that we are still on for (date/time). If you need to get a hold of me before then, I can be reached at (YOUR NUMBER).
And follow that voicemail up with an email that says:
SUBJECT LINE: Voicemail / Conference Call
Hi (PROSPECTS NAME),
Just left you a voicemail message as a reminder of our meeting on (DAY/TIME) regarding (THE WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM VALUE STATEMENT). If you need to get a hold of me before then, I can be reached at (YOUR NUMBER).
Follow this simple process and watch how your sales appointment rate rises.
– 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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