B2B Appointment Setting Can Be Ugly, But…

Sympathize with me please.

After some recent speaking engagements I’ve had to endure a rash of people telling me that using the phone to set sales appointments would be a poor choice for them…. other strategies are superior.

“My business is best built on relationships. Getting referrals is best for me.” This from someone in start-up mode with practically no business.

“Cold calling wouldn’t be good for me… word-of-mouth is where I get my best business.” This from someone in business five years who also confesses she is still merrily bouncing along the bottom.

Both of these under compensated business builders are right. Generating accounts by referral and word-of-mouth is preferable to cold calling. But, they also miss the major point which is costing them revenue.

Cold calling to set sales appointments with the highest level decision-maker is merely a tool. It is neither “good” nor “bad.” The issue is always “Does it have a place in your sales process?” If it does, then if is part of a mix of tools you will use to achieve your business objectives. If you use it, do it right.

I have clients whose whole business model is built upon doing demos, making presentations and getting face to face with buyers. They cold call, warm call, hot call, whatever…. they call.

Other clients use it when business is down and their other lead generating methods just are not getting it done. They call to make up the difference.

I have other clients who are doing great but use calling more strategically. Sometimes they want more mega accounts. Sometimes they are trying to establish a beach head in a new vertical. Calling can be a great tool as part of a process to reach those objectives.

The firm that has positioned itself over time so that all goals for revenue and profit are met by responding to inquiries generated by referrals and word-of-mouth is in an enviable position. We all should strive for that.

But for most start-ups, those in growth mode, and those who have recently experienced account turnover and revenue tightening – referrals and word-of-mouth may not generate enough new business. So what to do?

Pick up the phone!

Work smart. Work a system that relative to the resources invested, will generate a high number of face-to-face appointments with top decision-makers at targeted desired future accounts.

If you are in start-up mode, this tool can build a foundation upon which you can erect a business.

If you are tired of “bouncing along the bottom,” this tool can generate welcomed profitable business.

And, if revenue has tightened recently, this tool can re-connect you with qualified prospects and those who would love you — but just don’t know it yet.

Make this powerful tool a part of your marketing and sales picture.

That’s all. Have to go make some calls.

Best wishes for prospecting success,
Scott Channell

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