Does Size Matter when Appointment Setting?

The debate has been eternal.
Does size matter when prospecting?

Some with wide smiles swear that it does.
Others, with knowing looks insist “If you know what you are doing, it doesn’t.”

The question was posed to me again last week. Let me share the answer.

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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?”

My eyes rolled in frustration for a moment as many times other companies call me and say “We need to set appointments with large companies and your strategies seem to be oriented to small and mid-size companies, will they work for us?”

This is how I answer the question.

The size of your target account does not matter at all in terms of the core process you will use to set appointments 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, Plan B, 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, no matter what you are selling, has targets that typically buy more, and targets that typically buy less. Simple economics mandate that you can’t 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 every target. It is not a new or different process. It is not a totally new 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.

TWO FINAL THOUGHTS…

1. 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 larger more 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.

2. Many times the problem is in your mind. This happens a lot. Company or individual will work me yet insist that they are not ready or comfortable to meet and sell larger type accounts. Mr. Experience will insist that some call time be allocated to these larger size accounts they think they are not ready for. Inevitably, this happens frequently, 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 primarily on the larger accounts they had previously thought beyond them.

Why would you invest a certain volume of time & resources to sell X to one group, when you can invest the same volume of time & resources with another group and sell 4X or more. You wouldn’t of course.

Best wishes for good selling,
Scott Channell

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