What does a quarterback’s ability to read defenses have in common with appointment setting?

Hint: it’s all about the ability to Counter the no we hear when we ask for an appointment.

I called one of my former students the other day to see how she was doing with her new found appointment-making skills and she said that one the biggest benefits she received from going through our Prospector’s Academy was the ability to quickly read the defense so she can audible to the appropriate play to counter what’s being thrown at her. (You’ve got to love the analogy!)

What do I mean by that? When we make an appointment-making call, over 90 percent of the time, we’ll get what I refer to as a Conditioned Knee-jerk Response which is designed to get us off the phone as quickly as possible.  We all have our favorite.  (Think about it.  Don’t we all use the same one most of the time when we get cold called?)  And although these Conditioned Knee-jerk Responses seemingly come in many flavors, they really don’t.  As a matter of fact, they can be categorized into only four buckets.  To carry this out one step further, most of us really only hear one or two a majority of the time. Our methodology, called The Appointment Making Formula™, has its own approach to countering each one of them.

When we’re in a face-to-face sales call, we have the luxury of being able to actually stop and think when someone offers up an objection or asks us a question because the person we’re talking with has already agreed that the conversation is worth their time. Hence, they’re willing to give us the time to think.  In a phone conversation designed to set an appointment, we don’t have that luxury.  We’ve got to be quick on our feet or we’ll lose.

So, what does this have to do with my client’s analogy? Simple: As soon as we ask for the appointment (start to run our play), the target will throw up their favorite Conditioned Knee-jerk Response (their defense).  The more quickly we can recognize what kind of defense it is (which category of Conditioned Knee-jerk Response), the more quickly and smoothly we can audible to the appropriate play (we call them Counters) to gain the yardage (the appointment) the play was designed for.  (Okay, okay, I know I probably took the analogy one step too far…but I couldn’t resist!)

Do you know the most common Conditioned Knee-jerk Responses you hear? Can you categorize them into manageable buckets?  If you’ve heard a particular flavor at least three times and you’ve haven’t developed a way to handle it yet, shame on you.

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!

The 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, www.caponipg.com, or at bcaponi@caponipg.com.  You can also find answers to many of your challenges 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.


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