What is a Playbook and why is it required for setting appointments?

The five ‘C’s of delivering the same message and techniques.

Many sales professionals will tell you they like to ‘wing it’ on appointment setting calls because they don’t want to sound ‘canned’ or like the proverbial telemarketer.

If you then role play a call with them (or listen in on a call) you’ll hear them fumble their way through the conversation and not get an appointment.

Continue reading “What is a Playbook and why is it required for setting appointments?”

Why do our clients say our Appointment Setting process is different and so successful?

They’ll tell you it is multidimensional and comprehensive…and it works

Everybody says their methodology is different, right? So, what do our clients say about why they chose us and why they minimally doubled the number of Initial Appointments their sales team was setting prior to attending one of our Prospector’s Academies™? More importantly, how did they sustain those gains?

Picture a three-legged stool. The three legs represent what we call the Art, Science and Best Practices of Appointment setting.

  1. Let’s start with Art. Art, said another way is skills. It’s all about what we say, how we say it, and when we say it to get through to the decision maker more often—and then once we do get through, turn more of those conversations into appointments. This is the technique component of countering the no. You can also read more about how even this is different than most methodologies by clicking here. 
  2. The second leg is Best Practices, which is all completed before an Academy is ever delivered. There are strategic and tactical components to this. The strategic includes thinking through the process we’ll follow and the preparation for calling. Things like defining what our optimal target looks like, how many of those targets we’ll need, where they are located and how we’ll compile that list so that when it’s time for a Call Block, all we need to do is pick up the phone and dial. (You have no idea how many sales professionals subscribe to the ‘ready, shoot, aim’ theory of prospecting, resulting in a less than ideal pipeline.) It also includes things like how many times we’ll call and how often.

The tactical side of things is delivered in our tailored Playbooks. Each sales professional receives their own individual version containing what we’ll say when they answer the phone, what messages we’ll send and leave if they don’t and how we’ll counter the typical ways people say no to us.

  1. The third leg is the Science of the process. It is all about speed, organization, and accurate reporting. One of the biggest causes for call reluctance, believe it or not, is not having the time to keep up with the process or simply getting overwhelmed by the process. The technology we utilize was designed specifically for this process and benchmarks at twice the speed. It also provides management with very accurate and granular reporting for accountability and coaching purposes.

This is all delivered through an eight-week, instructor led online class that includes a lot of practice to burn in the skills, tools and process. At the end of the day, our clients would tell you that it is the only comprehensive training they’ve seen on the hardest part of the selling process—setting the Initial Appointment.

If you’d like more information on the topic of why no team of sales professionals has ever failed to at least double the number of Initial Appointments they were setting after going through one of our programs, give us a call or drop us a line. We love talking appointment making!

Caponi Performance Group and Contact Science jointly market the appointment setting solution called Coldcalling101™.  It is the only comprehensive solution to solving the biggest barrier to success in most selling organizations—the inability to secure enough Initial Appointments to begin the selling process. We accomplish that through simultaneously addressing both the efficiency and effectiveness of the process.  We can be reached at 817 224-9900 or at bcaponi@caponipg.com. You can also find answers to many of your challenges in our many published articles on LinkedIn and in our books: Contrary to Popular Belief, Cold Calling DOES Work! Volume I: Effectiveness, The Art of Appointment Making and  Volume II: Efficiency, the Science of Appointment Making.

How to Professionally Disengage from an unsuccessful appointment setting call

How to Professionally Disengage from an unsuccessful appointment setting call

So, you’ve made the call, attempted your appropriate Counters to the “No thank you” you heard and still failed. What do you do now to grease the skids for next time around? And you will try them again in the future won’t you??? Continue reading “How to Professionally Disengage from an unsuccessful appointment setting call”

Should we continue to prospect during the COVID-19 scare, or wait it out?

How to do it without coming across as tone-deaf and calloused.

Image courtesy of SlidePlayer.com

There are two reasons to keep prospecting during the COVID-19 scare:

  1. Prospecting, particularly appointment setting is not something most sales professionals like to do. It is also a habit. When we stop for any reason, it has always been hard to get restarted.
  2. If you stopped prospecting in March, continued while we’re all sequestered during April and while things are ‘getting restarted’ in May, you’ll have turned off the pipeline spigot for 90 days. If you’ve got a 90-day buying cycle, you’ve turned off new revenue for six months. That’s half the year. Need I say more?

Continue reading “Should we continue to prospect during the COVID-19 scare, or wait it out?”

How to handle “A family member handles our commercial insurance.”

This one is generally one of the most difficult negative responses for commercial insurance agents to handle. As with most responses, it is not always true because targets know it works, but if it is true, it is a difficult nut to crack. And like all of our Counters, it will work regardless of whether it is true or not. Continue reading “How to handle “A family member handles our commercial insurance.””

What does the movie Ground Hog Day and appointment setting have in common?

There are two rules our targets play by when they answer the phone. Ignore them at your peril. 

Remember the movie, Ground Hog Day? Bill Murray kept experiencing the same day, over and over again, until he finally addressed what was causing it.

So, what does that have to do with appointment setting? It’s this. We seem to hear the same thing when we ask for appointments, over and over again. Yet, many of us are not yet prepared to handle those responses. I have an old saying, “Shame on us if we’ve heard the same response more than three times and we haven’t taken the time to prepare how we’re going to handle it.” It becomes our own personal Ground Hog Day. Continue reading “What does the movie Ground Hog Day and appointment setting have in common?”

How to build territories in Commercial Insurance over time.

Why ignoring this concept is costing you money.

Let’s face it, producers come and go, but territories tend to be permanent. Marsh Berry says on 54% of newly hired producers will validate.

If you think about it, regardless of how we divide up our universe of potential new clients into territories, the individual targets within them stay the same. So, as I like to say, shame on us if our universe of potential targets are not warmer and better defined a year from now than they are today. Continue reading “How to build territories in Commercial Insurance over time.”

Where is the biggest payback in coaching sales professionals?

An article from the Harvard Business Review.

Sales training, when coupled with ongoing coaching works, period. According to the Sales Executive Council, sales professionals that receive fewer than two hours a month of coaching average 90% of their assigned quota. Those that get more than three hours of coaching per month average 107% of quota. Continue reading “Where is the biggest payback in coaching sales professionals?”

How to handle, “I only have 15 minutes.”

How to handle diminished time available for an Initial Appointment.

If you’ve been selling long enough, this has happened to you. The target informs you as they greet you that he or she only has 15 minutes instead of the normal hour set aside for an Initial Appointment. How should you handle the situation? Continue reading “How to handle, “I only have 15 minutes.””

Why using your Unique Selling Proposition in your opening script doesn’t work.

Can you really say something that your competitors aren’t?

Another reason we don’t believe in investing enormous amounts of time on making the ‘Opening Approach’ on an appointment making call ‘perfect’ is the fact that it is really difficult to differentiate oneself from the competition in a sentence or two. More importantly, it is impossible to create one that your target hasn’t heard before. Continue reading “Why using your Unique Selling Proposition in your opening script doesn’t work.”