Problem: One of the biggest challenges that salespeople face is getting appointments. People are constantly bombarded by marketing messages via the media enticing them to purchase. Prospects receive daily calls from salespeople who want to see them, so it’s no wonder that they treat most requests for meetings with skepticism and suspicion. This unfortunate fact of life makes the salesperson’s job that much more difficult.
Analysis: Basically, the prospect isn’t clear as to why she should see you. She’s been promised so much from so many salespeople over the years, but the results have typically been less than promised. You are viewed as an unwelcome intruder who must fight an uphill battle just to get the appointment.
Prescription: There are several things that you can do to give yourself an advantage. First, deal with the skepticism and doubt up front. Tell the prospect what you will not do. For example, “I will not waste your time making a bunch of promises about how my product can help your company. The fact is I’m not sure we can help you, but I’m calling you because many other companies like yours have found that our product has been a good fit for them. Do you think it would be worth 30 minutes of your time to evaluate something that has the potential to…(mention a pain you can fix or a benefit they might receive)? If at the end of the meeting you don’t think we have a fit, I’ll be on my way. Does that sound fair?” This can be done over the phone or even adapted to an email or a letter.
Another option is to tell them what they will learn by meeting with you. Make reference to a satisfied client who received measurable results from your product or service that are meaningful to this particular prospect. “At the very least, you’ll find out just how people in your business are successfully dealing with…and you’ll discover some realistic options to change how you …”
Remember, no one likes the typical sales BS and no one likes surprises. Be up front with your prospects and tell it like it is, then deliver on your promises.