We set a lot of sales meetings for our clients… in fact, our clients are consistently surprised at the number and the quality of those meetings. Obviously, as an inside sales and marketing firm that specializes in B2B appointment setting you would expect us to be good at this.
We love hear that we have set a meeting for one of our client’s dream prospects. They tell us stories of how long they have been calling and all the things they have done to try to penetrate the account. That is invariably when we get the magic question, “What is your secret?”
So, what IS our secret?
The first thing we tell our clients is that we do not have a silver bullet. There is not a phrase or question that hypnotizes a prospect and guarantees a meeting. If there were, I would have written a best-selling book by now.
No, the real answer is much less exciting, yet instantaneously and perfectly doable- sans script, sans bull.
The ProSales Connection secret to more sales meetings:
1. You have to make the calls.
I apologize for this one, but this factor is one of the single most important differentiators between the average sales team and our team. Most sales reps will find something- anything- to do to avoid making prospecting calls. It is just human nature. In college, I would clean my apartment when I had a major paper to write or a big exam to study for. I would find something “productive” to do to avoid what I knew needed to be done. Sales people do this every single day. So, schedule time and reward yourself or your team for making the calls. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Get started today!
2. Be crystal clear on your value proposition.
If your sales team cannot articulate in 20 seconds the value they bring to their clients, then don’t waste your time making cold calls. Investing a couple hours to nail down your value proposition in simple language that can be spoken over the phone is the first step in effective cold calling.
3. Have your references ready… use them early and often.
There are 2 types of references that can be used effectively when prospecting for sales. The first is the internal reference. An internal reference is someone within the prospect’s organization that has recommended you meet with them. This could be the CEO or the CEO’s Administrative Assistant. It could also be a subordinate of your target contact. Whoever it is, use their name to your advantage.
The other reference is the client reference. This is nothing more than a name drop. At the beginning of your cold call, work in mention of a satisfied customer that your prospect has likely heard of in order to establish credibility. This simply tells them that you didn’t just launch your business yesterday and that real businesses with real money trust you and your company to deliver value.
4. Ask for the meeting.
Some of the best advice I got as a young person starting out in business was to ask for the job I wanted. I found that if I just asked for the position, I would either get it, or I would get real objections that I could work to overcome. The same is true with appointment setting. You will not get a meeting if you do not ask for it. Use any and all reasons you can find during the call to ask for a meeting, like:
- They had an issue with your company in the past. Ask for a meeting to understand what happened.
- They are using a competitor. Ask for a meeting to understand how your company can improve their offering.
- They would like more information. Ask for a meeting to present it to them or to bring an expert to discuss.
- They are too busy. Ask for a meeting to see how you can help make their job easier or to take something off their plate.
5. Stop short of selling.
This is a huge mistake that salespeople make every single day. By definition, a cold call will catch a prospect doing something else that is important to them or their company. They are not prepared to discuss with you, in detail, their business challenges. Acknowledge this and respect it. Your goal is to introduce your company, create interest and secure a convenient time for a meeting. Your opportunity to convert a prospect to a customer goes up considerably when you can have enough time and their full attention to effectively lead a discovery conversation. If they are engaged and excited about what you are saying, leverage this into a meeting- don’t sell on the cold call.
As we like to say here at ProSales Connection, “It’s not rocket surgery!” Leverage the above actionable, simple tips to increase your sales meetings today. If you need help, or have more questions, we'd love to answer them!