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.

Today’s blog, though, addresses what causes these repetitive loops.

Every wonder why your targets are so quick with their answers when you call them? It’s because they already know what they’re going to say. As a matter of fact, I submit that if you and I both call them, one right after another, selling two different things, odds are they’ll provide us both with the same answer (we call them ‘conditioned knee jerk responses’). If you call me, mine is, “I’m too busy. Call me back later.”

When we call someone, they go on autopilot because of very important two rules they play by:

  1. They don’t think they are in the market for what we’re selling when we call them. For us, this means that they don’t think they need to talk to us when we call.
  2. We’re interrupting them from doing something. This means they don’t want to talk to us when we call.

The result of these two rules is that they will do anything, including lie to us to get us off the phone.

Why is this important to us to understand? Simple: appointment setting is a process and the process is repeated over and over, day after day. If we are not prepared to handle this process, we will fail—over and over again.


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.

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