Success in scheduling discovery calls and appointment setting B2B, Lead Generation and sales prospecting all boils down to some basic core principles.
Over the years of smiling and dialing and helping sales teams to do the same these core principles have been embodied in “Scottisms.” Stupid simple sayings that capture the essence of appointment setting and lead generation success.
Top 10 Scottism’s and what they stand for…
- Don’t make it easy for them to lump you in with the idiots.
- #1 reason people don’t meet with you is that you don’t give them enough reason to meet with you.
- If you envision your competition saying the same thing you are saying, don’t say it.
- It is not about qualifying. Focus on active disqualification.
- Focus on buyers only. Throw the rest down the stairs.
- Its’ better to not make the calls and not get the meeting, than to make the calls and not get the meeting.
- ‘No’s” are perfectly acceptable. “Maybe’s” will kill you.
- “Great sales scripts” are not going to save you.
- If you are not using a contact manager, you are swimming with weights on.
- Never try to convince anyone of anything.
Don’t make it easy for them to lump you in with the idiots.
Buyers get a lot of sales calls. Most of those calls are from people who are unprepared, who are winging it and waste their time on the phone. If you act like or say the things that knucklehead time-wasters say on the phone, guess what? Buyers will lump you in with all the other knuckleheads that waste their time and immediately disregard you. Don’t say the things that the knuckleheads and time-wasters say when seeking to schedule a sales appointment. Even if you, in fact, have a great offering and high credibility, your prospect won’t know as they tune you out as soon as you sound like a time-waster.
#1 reason people don’t meet with you is that you don’t give them enough reason to meet with you.
Reality is cruel. People not agreeing to meet you? The reason why can usually be found in your mirror. Sad fact is that you are not communicating enough value. Rip out every word that does not relate to providing buyers info they need to determine you are worth more of their time. Communicate what you do and why you are credible clearly, succinctly and quickly.
If you can imagine your competition saying the same thing you are, don’t say it
Are you saying things like “We help companies just like yours,” “I’ll only take 20 minutes,” “How are you?” “Do you have a moment?” or anything else common and ordinary? Stop. If you can easily imagine your competition saying something. Don’t say it. Most callers waste the time of buyers. Don’t sound like all the rest. Be different so that they will listen longer. They are aching to find a reason to dismiss you and when you say things that time-wasters say, they immediately dismiss you in their mind. Once their mind clicks into “This person has nothing for me” mode, you are toast, no matter what else you say. They are not listening.
It is not about qualifying, its much more about disqualifying
There are some major myths out there in appointment setting land. One is that you should focus on qualifying. Uh uh. As someone who has set more than 2,000 B2B sales appointments, I can tell you that your focus should be on ACTIVE DISQUALIFICATION. The faster you can identify those worth little or nothing, the less time you waste on them. Critical to lead generation success. If you typically make 10 calls to a prospect, would you rather find out they are worthless on the 1st call or the 10th? Don’t try to keep leads alive with rationalizations and wishful thinking. Actively try to root out the worthless early in your process. All those calls not made to the worthless can now be made to those worth your time.
Focus on buyers only. Throw the rest down the stairs
Everything you do and say should revolve around how it plays with BUYERS you speak to. Of course, when you start speaking you don’t know you are talking to a buyer so you must assume they are. Worry only about how buyers will respond to what you say. Do not spend one-second thinking or worrying about what the non-buyers will think. Throw them down the stairs.
Those seeking to book appointments and discovery calls worry way too much about non-buyers. Many of those who are unsuccessful water down what they say so that they can have more comfortable conversations with those that are never going to agree to meet. Forget about them. Say the words that buyers need to hear to recognize that you are worth more of their time. Forget about what the non-buyers think.
Its’ better to not make the calls and not get the meeting, than to make the calls and not get the meeting.
Think about that statement. Many want to make more dials, never give up, follow-up endlessly on anyone who whispers a sweet nothing… ridiculous. If you allow yourself to make calls that have a high probability of getting you nothing, those calls can’t be directed where you have a much better chance of achieving your sales prospecting result. Better to not make those calls.
Eliminate low-probability of success work and replace it with efforts that at least have a chance of success.
‘No’s” are perfectly acceptable. “Maybe’s” will kill you
“Maybe’s” and their close cousins… “call me back” and “send some info” are lead generation cyanide. They pile up and pile up and are guaranteed prospecting death. Everything you do should be structured to get a clear “yes” or “no.”
“Great sales scripts” are not going to save you
Is this you? Your prospect list is poor. You are essentially calling the phonebook, picking leads off the internet (awful,) and really don’t have a firm grasp on the differences between a good list or a bad list. You are calling off paper or spreadsheets. If you do have a contact manager you are not using it well. Do you call haphazardly without a consistent call process? Sound familiar? If so, “good scripts” are not going to save you. There are no magic words that will transform garbage into gold. Scripts only work if you are communicating with the right people and enough of them. If those other components are broken, good sales scripts won’t help.
If you are not using a contact manager properly setup for efficiency, you are swimming with weights on
You simply cannot be consistently successful in generating worthwhile appointments and opportunities if you don’t use a contact manager or crm properly. If you are not, you are swimming with weights around your waist, ankles and arms. You may keep your head up for a while, but you are going down.
Not only must you use a contact manager or crm but it must be setup properly so that you can work efficiently and reduce the friction of prospecting. Your crm must be setup so that you can code and segment by potential value (and other things) so that you can get better at calling high-probability prospects.
Never try to convince anyone of anything
The buyers are out there. Right now there are a ton of buyers doing business with competitors or contemplating buying what you offer. Your goal is simply to bump into them and let them know what you do, why you are credible, the benefits your offer and what you want. They decide. You move on. Do not put the burden on yourself to convince anyone of anything.
Hope these Scottisms get you thinking about your appointment setting process.
If you or your sales team could use some help, contact me.