Top-Shelf Tip No. 235:

"We all need salespeople who deliver value that wasn’t there before they arrived."

Chris Murray

Get An Appointment With Anyone Using These Steps

It's not always easy to land an appointment with a prospect. As a sales professional, you know how it often goes: You make countless calls hoping to get your prospects on the phone. And if you do, you hope to capture their attention and schedule a meeting.

Emma Brudner, director of the HubSpot Blog team, says if salespeople can even slightly boost their odds of booking that first meeting, their pipeline will be in good shape. We share her simple steps to get an appointment with anyone in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Disarm: Get them to lower their guard. On the off chance a buyer actually answers the phone, one thing is certain—they're busy. Salespeople should acknowledge this fact up front, according to Brudner. Introduce yourself and your company and acknowledge they're busy.

2. Purpose: Explain why you are calling. After disarming the prospect, ask for a meeting. You could say something like, "The purpose of this call is to get 20 to 30 minutes to discuss how we can increase your sales by 20 percent." This block of time is the sweet spot. Anything less and you're doing yourself a disservice by indicating that your offering isn't important.

3. Question: End with a specific question on how to accomplish your purpose. It's important to ask a question on how to accomplish your purpose. Consider saying something the prospect has to answer, such as, "Would Tuesday at 10 am or Wednesday at 2 pm work better for such a call?"

4. Listen: Understand their level of interest. Listen for their interest level once you communicate the purpose of the meeting. If they're skeptical, carry on with the conversation, but don't push too hard for an appointment. Instead ask, "Would you be interested in having an initial conversation about [solution/benefit]?"

5. Communicate: What's the value of the appointment? Instead of focusing on selling your product, let the prospect know the value the meeting will provide for them, says Brudner. Whether you can help them solve a problem or offer advice, let them know what they'd get in return from the meeting.

6. Offer options. P roviding the prospect with a choice of meeting times keeps them engaged. Ask, "We can meet this Wednesday at 2 p.m. Or does next Monday at 3 pm work better with your schedule?" Move the conversation forward by avoiding "yes or no" questions. By giving them options, they'll have to make a choice—and by suggesting different meeting times, that choice will likely lead to an appointment.

By using the guidance above, you can start better connecting with prospects and get more appointments on your calendar. The next time you pick up the phone, focus on these steps and land that appointment.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Emma Brudner is the director of the HubSpot Blog team. She's passionate about management and marketing and regularly writes about the best CRM software on the market.

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