As a sales professional, you know that the most important aspect to making a sale is getting your foot in the door to meet with the buyer. If you do not get that face to face time, it becomes very difficult to close a sale. Knowing how to set appointments and scheduling meetings can be a skill that will help you to gain success in sales. There are a number of tips you should follow to effectively and consistently schedule sales appointments.
Talk to the right person.
In order to make the sale, you need to make sure that you are talking to the person who can make a decision. Setting an appointment with someone who is not in the position to make a buying decision is a waste of your time and theirs. You need to remember that the gate keep is not the decision maker and that you often need to get past the gate keeper to make the appointment.
Also, do not limit yourself to just one person. In many companies, particularly large companies, there can be many individuals who can make a buying decision or who can direct you to the appropriate people. Finding the right person may mean that you need to talk with several people who can steer you to who you need to talk to.
Getting someone's time takes time and time is money.
You need to acknowledge that setting appointments and setting up meetings is time consuming and is unlikely to happen on the first call. Once you acknowledge this, the process will be far less frustrating for you. Some guidelines that every sales person should keep in mind:
- It is unlikely that your prospect will call you back, especially after only one contact.
- Setting up appointments takes a lot of time.
- You need to be patient and persistent.
It is also very important that you acknowledge the buyers time. Whenever you contact a buyer, always ask if "this is a good time". This lets the buyer know that you respect their time and that you realize their time is valuable. If they say that it is not a good time, be ready with your 30 second pitch and let them know that you will be calling back and when. You can also ask if there is any time that is better to call back.
Be prepared for the meeting.
A professional sales person is ready to go on a moment’s notice. Always be prepared to take a meeting at any time. Practice your sales presentations and always remain focused on your objective. Your objective is to make the sale. If you are cold calling and the buyer tells you that they "have a few minutes right now" (and this happens more than you think) you need to be ready to go.
There are times when you will go through the entire sales process at a steady pace. Other times, you may have to abandon your normal process just to strike while the iron is hot. Being prepared means being flexible. If you are well practiced and organized, you should be able to make a sales presentation at any time without any notice.
Setting sales meetings is the key to sales success. As you set about making the calls to schedule your meetings, you need to know who it is that you need to meet with. You need to use your time and their time wisely and, you must always be professional and prepared. These tips will help you to schedule and make good use of your sales meetings.