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?”

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.”

Should I ask for voicemail or should I leave my message with the receptionist?

And, if I opt for the receptionist, what do I say?

The answer to the first question may seem pretty obvious when you think about it academically, but when you get into the ‘heat of battle’ and the receptionist asks if they can take a message, many just go with the flow and say “Sure!” Continue reading “Should I ask for voicemail or should I leave my message with the receptionist?”

Dial by name directories – should I use it or not?

Or should I hit ‘zero’ and be connected to the operator?

If you’re not familiar with our philosophy and approach to appointment setting, we are all about being as effective as we can on each call so we are as efficient as we can be over time in the process of pursuing many targets simultaneously.  The reason is that very few of us have extra time to sit and make appointment setting calls, nor do many of us like doing it. Ergo, the fewer the dials we need to make and the less time we need to set aside to do it, the better. Continue reading “Dial by name directories – should I use it or not?”

Ten questions to ask to determine whether canvassing for Initial Appointments makes sense in your selling environment

It’s both an efficiency and effectiveness issue. 

Should we canvas for Initial Appointments or use the phone?  In environments that require a lot of appointment setting with new targets, it’s a question that gets asked a lot. So what’s the answer? Continue reading “Ten questions to ask to determine whether canvassing for Initial Appointments makes sense in your selling environment”

Cold calling…does it work or not?

Your own belief system may be holding you back.

 There is a concept in psychology called, ‘Learned Helplessness‘. It means that when we experience something often enough, we can develop a belief that supports that experience. With cold calling, we hear the following comments from people all the time. “Cold calling doesn’t work.” “Leaving voicemails doesn’t work.” “I won’t use scripts because it makes me sound canned, like the proverbial telemarketer reading their script.” Continue reading “Cold calling…does it work or not?”

“It’s personal.” Is that a good message to leave for a decision maker to get them to call you back?

No—and here’s why.

This actually happened to me yesterday. I received a cold call and my administrative assistant took the call. She asked if she could take a message and was told to tell me “It’s personal.” Continue reading ““It’s personal.” Is that a good message to leave for a decision maker to get them to call you back?”

“How are you doing today?” Is that a good way to begin a cold call?

We think not. Here are two rules to craft a more successful opening instead.

At the Starting blocks

This topic came from a great Group on LinkedIn called ‘Best Practices for Telephone Prospecting/Cold Calling’. If you’re not a member, I suggest you join it. Roger Hamilton created the group and it’s one of the largest in LinkedIn. Good topics there as it is a great place to get questions about appointment setting addressed. Continue reading ““How are you doing today?” Is that a good way to begin a cold call?”

Seven ways to get more emails and voicemails returned on appointment setting calls. (Updated.)

Nobody returns voicemails anymore…or do they?

 

Our clients report that, in the B2B market space, the percentage of returned voicemails and emails has dropped over the past ten years with the advent of voicemail. Our experience mirrors that. So, the operative question is, “Should we stop leaving voicemails?” Our answer is an emphatic, “No!”, as our techniques have the percentage of returns on the rise again (over 10%), and as we pointed out in the blog covering why we should leave voicemails and send emails, there are plenty of reasons for actually sending/leaving them. Continue reading “Seven ways to get more emails and voicemails returned on appointment setting calls. (Updated.)”