There are 5 key ways to get more sales appointments. 1) Embrace that the right prospects want to talk to you. 2) Target the people you want to work with. 3) Craft talking outcome based talking points. 4) Prepare for objections and stalls and 5) Optimize your process

Getting more sales appointments is one sure way of immediately increasing sales.  The way to get those sales appointments is to pick up the phone.

Most Salespeople Aren’t Calling Prospects

67% of sales people reached out to less than 250 people in the past year. Only 15% reached out to more than 1000 people. With 260 estimated working days, nearly 70% of sales people are making 1 phone call a day.  Only 15% are calling about 4 people a day!!!

You know how they say that everything old is new again? Well, with so many marketers moving their sales efforts online, no one is calling them.

By simply picking up the phone and having a conversation, you are differentiating yourself from the competition.

A New Way to Look at How to Get Sales Appointments

I’ve done my share of cold calling — and I didn’t like it.  As it turns out, I’ve been doing it wrong. So, I reached out to the Queen of Cold Calling, Wendy Weiss to set me straight.

Here is a summary of my conversation with Wendy Weiss as well as some specific tips on how to get qualified sales appointments.

Where There is Change, You’ll Find Opportunities

“No matter what kind of disruption hits your business, there’s an opportunity somewhere.”  according to  Weiss. And in this case, the phone is your lifeline to new sales.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed everyone to work from home. And guess what? They actually have more time to talk to you.  And, let’s face it, they are looking forward to taking a break from their incessant Zoom calls and talking to YOU.

According to Verizon, call volume has skyrocketed since more people have been working from home:

“We’ve had 800 million calls a day. That’s double the amount of calls you would have on Mother’s Day, which is the busiest [Sunday] of the year,” Verizon CEO Hans Vestburg told David Faber on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Friday.

Your Prospects Want to Talk to You

And get this, statistics from ResourcefulSelling show that your prospects at the other end of the line WANT to hear from you!

  • 57% of C-level buyers prefer that salespeople call them, according to a comprehensive Rain Group study
  • About half of all directors and managers prefer the call, too
  • 69% of buyers accepted a call from new salespeople in the past 12 months
  • 82% of buyers accept meetings when salespeople reach out to them, the Rain Group found

What is a sales appointment?

Weiss contends that we’ve got the goal of a sales appointment all wrong. Your goal on the phone isn’t to call and try to SELL something.  Your goal is to schedule a meaningful and deeper conversation with a qualified prospect.

Once you realize that you aren’t trying to sell anything, it removes any of the stress and fear that typically comes with cold calling.

Creating a System, Process and Plan is 80% of the Game

Having a process and a system when cold calling eliminates the fear, uncertainty and doubt around making calls.

Think of it this way – would you simply decide to go an a major vacation and then walk out the door, get into a car or plane and just travel somewhere?  Probably not.  You’d make a plan and prepare for a few contingencies as well.

Cold calling is no different.  Having a process and plan in place puts you in the drivers seat and allows you to simply behave your way through the process.

Wendy Weiss likes to say that the skill of cold calling is a lot like developing any other skill — the way a dancer might or a soldier or a surgeon.  Cold calling requires muscle memory.  You develop a process and follow it again and again.  The more you do it, the better you get at the process.  

It’s a self-enforcing process in three phases:

  1. The Target
  2. The Process
  3. The Skill

Identify the Target

Wendy Weiss quote how to get sales appointments

Another misunderstood element of making phone calls is thinking that you have to call everyone.

At least 50% of your prospects are not a good fit for what you sell.

Dialing the phone puts all of the control in your hands. Take the time to choose those companies and those people who will benefit from your offer the most.

Wendy Weiss calls this a micro-target. It’s easier to find the right people and easier to create messaging that’s going to get the appointment.  That means choosing people and companies with physical characteristics you can see.

  • Five or more employees
  • Multiple locations
  • More than $5 million in sales

When you’ve chosen your prospects carefully, you’ve immediately increased the likelihood that they will be interested in your offer.

“Having this skill has created a new life…with peace of mind and confidence knowing I’m always employable.” — Jennifer Hasan

Outline a Process

The next step is to identify a process or a script.  You don’t have to follow it word-for-word, but you need to follow the process step-by-step.

A typical script simply answers all those uncertainties that keep you from following through on your phone calls and measuring your results.

  1. What will you say on the first call?
  2. What will you say on the voice mail?
  3. What will you say to the gatekeeper?
  4. What will you put in an email?
  5. How many times will you call back?
  6. How many times will you email?
  7. What will you say on each call back?
  8. What will you write in each email?
  9. How will you answer your prospects questions?

You can just imagine how much uncertainty this activity will eliminate!  

Develop Your Skill and Muscle Memory

Armed with a micro-targeted prospect list and a solid process, you are ready to develop your skill and practice your process.

“I’ve doubled my revenue in half the time without doubling my effort!  The best part is that I’ve also doubled my time off.” — Jerry Iacangelo

Just like that exercise where you have to write your name with your non-dominant hand, it’s going to feel a little uncomfortable at first.  But like anything else, with practice, you will improve.

5 Tips on What to Say and Not Say to Get the Sales Appointment

As you get to work on this process, here are some practical appointment setting tips that will help you set sales appointments:

1. Never use the word “appointment” when trying to set one.  

Instead, use the word “meeting.” “Meeting” sounds more professional and more important. “I would like to meet with you.”

2. Use directed words to reach your prospect.

When you ask to speak with your prospect, say, “Jane Jones, please,” and not, “May I speak with Jane Jones?” The first sentence conveys authority; the second asks permission.

Use directed words (and open-ended questions) to gather information.

3. Ask, “Whom should I speak with?” and not, “Do you know who I should speak with?”

The first conveys authority, and whomever you are questioning, if they know, must answer with a name. In the second sentence, the response could simply be “yes” or “no.”

4. Eliminate the word “just” from your vocabulary.

That little word “just” is an apology. It says that your call is not important and that what you have to say is not important. Simply tell your prospects and customers why you are Be confident and specific about your outcomes

5. Never say “we will hopefully achieve”

Hopefully? No one pays you to “hopefully” do something. They pay you to actually do it! Tell your prospects or customers what they will achieve or should expect to achieve.

Want More Appointments, More Customers and More Sales?

OK, so this process sounds simple enough.  Wendy has generously shared the basic process and the elements of the process. At this point, you have enough information to begin outlining this system for yourself.

But — maybe you want to get a jump start on this and implement this system for yourself.

Wendy Weiss has a program for that.  It’s called the 3x Appointments program.  The outcome is simple — do you want to get 3x more appointments and close more deals right now?

If the answer is yes, I’d highly recommend that you check out this program.

Wendy Weiss 3x Appointment Program Review

This is an on-demand program that will take you through her appointment-getting process.

One of the things I was concerned about was whether or not you needed to have an offer and know exactly who your target customer was.  Wendy told me that this wasn’t required.  In fact, her super-power is helping people get clear on their offer and their ideal customer!

This is an ideal program for startups and new businesses.  And another thing I love about this program is that it literally pays for itself!

One thing I would say, is that it is a much better investment if your average sales value is about $1000.  Here is an example Wendy gave me to illustrate the typical return on investment:

If your average revenue per client is $1000 and you make 10 appointments and you close 20%  at the end of the year that’s an additional 100K .

If you have a question whether this program is right for you, click here and fill out the form at the bottom to schedule a meeting.