B2B appointment setting and increasing average order value (AOV)

How your B2B appointment setting process can increase your average order value, average order size, get more short-term results. 

A company called me not long ago with this question. “Our average sale is $1,000.00. Our best, most profitable, most desired sales are $5,000.00+. How do we get more $5,000.00 projects in our sales mix?”

To move AOV, there are four considerations.

  • Refocus targets
  • Add to the scripting
  • Core process is the same
  • Whether you seek short-term or longer-term results
  • Mindset and confidence

1. Refocus targets selected, and the list used.

As a generalization, prospects that buy more often have common characteristics.

Typically, they may be in specific industries, and have a certain range of sales volume or number of employees, that makes them more likely as a class to buy more.

The first step is to make sure that all the companies with the characteristics of those that tended to buy more were identified and put into play.

Focus on this group and interact well with them. No shortcuts, no superficial prospecting effort. Go deep with your process.

Only invest in a quality up-to-date list that you will have unlimited use of, be able to download right into your database, and include only records that meet all your select criteria.

Do not spend time or resources on prospects with low probabilities.

TIP: Don’t try to save money on your list by buying bulk. You always lose this way. Your list cost pales compared to the labor and expense to work it. That great deal will cost you productivity and lost opportunities very shortly.

Tip. Ensure that you properly code those segmentation criteria in your database, allowing you to slice and dice your list to maximum advantage.

2. Alter the scripting used to set appointments and “qualify”.

Some people lie. Some people don’t know. Some people won’t tell you.

So, if you are going to ask questions over the phone and expect to get straight answers, you are naive. But, we do know this. As a class, people who tell you they have a need and would be comfortable spending $5,000.00 plus on a project are better prospects than those who don’t.

Once you’ve used the winning set appointment script, ask two more questions about money and timing.

A.” Mr. Prospect, our average project is in the $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 range, if you felt comfortable with everything would this range be satisfactory?

Since our goal is to weed out the smaller projects, this question is non-threatening and provides insight into the odds of investing $5,000.00 or more.

B. “Mr. Prospect, if the price was right, and again, if you felt comfortable with everything, what would you do?”

If they say, “hire you to start in one month”, that is a great appointment. If they talk about talking to someone else, convening a committee, checking with the finance person for budget authorization, etc., then bells and whistles should start to go off and you should probe deeper before deciding where to invest your time.

3. Your core process remains the same whether calling larger or smaller companies

Potential training client with two call centers to get up and running calls me and says “We target smaller and mid-size companies and your appointment setting strategies seem more oriented to larger companies, will they work for us?”

The size of your target account does not matter at all in terms of the core process you will use to set discovery calls with top level decision-makers.

Whether you are targeting big companies or small companies, corporations or individuals, richer people or people of less means… your core process of how you organize, code, segment, call patterns, scripts, respond to resistance, follow-up and ancillary materials stay the same.

Regardless of size, your core calling process does not change. What works with smaller targets works with larger targets.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE… and it is this… economics.

If the average new account size of a group you are targeting is smaller, you have to adjust your process a bit to keep your cost per appointment, cost per sale within reason.

Every company or individual, regardless of what you are selling, has targets that buy more, and targets that buy less. Simple economics mandate that you cannot invest the same amount of resources to sell X as you would use to sell 10X.

So you adjust your process and how much time and resources you invest on different target groups. It is not a new process. It is not an alternative method. Smaller targets dictate more care in picking who to call, may require more of short-term result type scripting strategy and mandate that you spend less time/fewer dials into an account… but your core process remains the same.

4. Seeking short-term or longer-term results

There is a closely related issue to the question of size. It is the issue of whether you seek short-term or longer-term results. I deal with a lot of companies that might be start-ups, have lost a few major accounts and are going through a transition or who just are in an awful slump, that seek appointments that will close fairly quickly. They aren’t looking for the perfect world right account; they are looking for the OK generate cash now account.

Others call me with another issue. Their business is great but there is a strategic target group they wish to penetrate. They want to catch and close whales.

In both cases the core process is the same. You don’t prospect with a totally different process when you seek short-term business than you do seeking longer-term business. There are strategic changes you will make, given the economic reality, to keep your cost per appointment and cost per sale within acceptable ranges, but the core process is the same.

5. Be confident in your abilities and adjust your mindset

Many times the problem is in your mind. This happens a lot. Company or individual will insist that they are not ready or comfortable to meet and sell larger type accounts. Mr. Experience will insist on allocating some call time to these larger size accounts, even if they think they are not ready for them. Inevitably they discover that they can get appointments and close those larger accounts just as easily as they can smaller accounts. So they “re-aim the gun” and focus more efforts on the larger accounts they had previously thought beyond them.