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?”

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.”

How to create a killer opening script.

Or, at least an effective one. A step by step formula.

In a blog entitled, How important is it to ‘nail’ your opening statement? I suggested it just isn’t worth agonizing over the creation of a ‘killer’ opening script. I stand by that. What this blog attempts to do is give you a step by step process to build one that is effective in getting you into the conversation you want.

Regardless of how good you make that opening; your targets will still say no when you first ask for the appointment over 90% of the time. If you understand and accept that, then the process below will help be in a strong position to ‘Counter’ the no you get. Continue reading “How to create a killer opening script.”

How important is it to ‘nail’ your opening statement?

Hint: It’s not as important as you think.

Regardless of how good your opening is, over 90% of your targets still say no when you first ask them for an appointment, don’t they?

Many sales professionals and their managers who must set appointments with people they don’t know tell me they struggle getting to the ‘perfect’ opening that will get people to agree to an appointment with them. In my opinion, that is a waste of good time. Continue reading “How important is it to ‘nail’ your opening statement?”

Six hints for setting appointments in a large geographic territory

How to be more efficient working remote areas of your territory

I’m sometimes asked how to best manage remote areas of a large geographic territory.  This applies to whether it is an ‘airplane’ territory or just a territory that includes more targets outside of a one-hour driving radius.

 

I am also going to make an assumption here that we are talking about a part of your territory that falls into one of three categories. It is very expensive to visit, you’ve got more opportunity than you can say grace over close to home, or the areas farther away just don’t have as many ‘quality targets’ in it so you don’t go there very often.  Continue reading “Six hints for setting appointments in a large geographic territory”

How to handle, “Sure, call me next week” and actually have the conversation.

Some exact wording that works.

So, you think you’ve got someone interested. They tell you they can’t talk right now, but you can call them next week and they’ll take your call.

After a bunch of calls where all you heard was ‘no’ or you’ve just left voicemail after voicemail, this is a pleasant departure, right? Someone that is actually interested! Continue reading “How to handle, “Sure, call me next week” and actually have the conversation.”