46 Tips to Sell the Meeting Part 4

35. The next time you hear the “send me some info” blow off, try this setting sales appointments script example.

“You know, I don’t send out general information. The corporate stuff I would send you is just going to tell you what I just told you. We do A, B and C. Get results like 1, 2 and 3, and, have clients like E, F and G. If there is something specific that would be helpful to you, if you have a purchase coming up, or a project we might help with, I would be happy to put something together and send it out. Do you have anything specific in mind that I can help you with?”

At this point do the most difficult thing thing in the world for a sales person to do. Say nothing. Wait for your prospect to speak.

36. When you hear “CALL ME BACK,” successful appointment setters must find out…

Is this a run-me-around-the-block, time wasting, no-need, go-nowhere decision maker who thinks that on their whim you are going to call and call and call, and who is going to suck every bit of set appointments motivation and energy out of your body by having you chase them, or is this a qualified senior level decision maker who would welcome a phone call from you for a legitimate reason? You can find out now or find out 10 telemarketing calls later. It’s your choice when setting appointments over the phone. Learn the script path for this.

37. Contrarian Thought for B2B Inside Sales Reps: This is not about appointment setting.

This is about generating worthwhile profitable sales at an acceptable cost. That is what b2b sales lead generation is all about and the sacred responsibility of sales management. All b2b sales and marketing efforts must contribute to reaching your pre-determined worthwhile goals. You need qualified appointments for your sales team to meet your profit objectives.

Answer questions like this: What volume of new revenue do you seek? How many new accounts do you need? What is the average new account worth? How many sales appointments or leads do you need to obtain one worthwhile account? What appointment setting techniques do I need to know to get there?

Your ability to engage executives like a b2b sales pro means knowing the answer to these  questions.  Professional sales managers know their appointment setting metrics so that they don’t end up meeting with decision makers who don’t buy or buy too little.

38. Design your incentive system. A significant word to the wise for sustained b2b appointment setting programs and low turnover.

Here is an overlooked appointment setting tip for proper sales management. Your incentive system is a major reason why your inside sales reps will stick around and your b2b marketing program will consistently generate results at a reasonable cost. Big mistake made is to set up b2b appointment setting metrics that are unreachable. Sales managers too often think that if they set the goal high for their sales team before any extra money is earned, that sales lead generation productivity is increased.

Nothing could be further from the truth. You want to have a sales organization where no matter what happened yesterday, the last two days or last week, the appointment setters can feel that if they do a good job that day, they can make more money. If you set a high monthly goal and the first week or so is poor, the appointment setter mentally gives up for the month because the appointment setting campaign goal is now out of reach. Same for a high weekly goal. You need more than just good appointment setting techniques The right incentive system keeps your inside sales team focused and motivated to keep smiling and dialing to reach more high level executives.

39. Alter script tactics used to set b2b appointments with highly qualified prospects.

Keep this lead gen pointer in mind. Some people lie. Some people don’t know. Some people won’t tell you. So if you are going to ask qualifying questions over the phone and expect to get straight answers you are naive. But, we do know this. As a class, senior level executives who tell you they have a need and would be comfortable spending $whatever on a project will more likely convert to a closed sale than those who don’t.

So after you have crafted the best language for selling and artfully delivered your winning set-the-appointment script, you might want to ask two additional questions that qualify for money and timing.

A question like this leads to the highest conversion rate of meetings to closed sales: “Mr. Prospect, if the price was right and you felt comfortable with everything, what would you do?”

If they say, “Hire you to start in one month,” those are great meetings. That type of response provides the best conversion to sales. If a senior level executive starts talking about talking to someone else, convening a committee, checking with finance 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. Our ability to engage and probe deeper can thwart an appointment setting dead end.

40. When setting appointments over the phone most of your profits are in “Plan B.”

In most complex selling situations costs are high for b2b appointment setting programs up front. Calling experience teaches us that most of the profits are in that group of prospects who don’t immediately respond positively.

Plan B should be a part of your b2b appointment setting best practices. Your Plan B enables you to realize higher sales conversion rates and greater return on investment on your outbound marketing program. You will be more likely to meet your sales goals. A Plan B enables you to generate business from those who don’t immediately agree to meet by enabling decision makers to “raise their hands” from the crowd when they are ready to sign a check.

The most profitable business to business appointment setting programs have a Plan B as a strategic sales component. Complete well crafted phone script paths help your telesales executives capture these profitable business leads.

41. Preparation for b2b telemarketing is not the same as action.

If five people are on a cliff and three decide to jump, how many are left? Answer? Five. Why? Because deciding to jump and actually jumping are two different things!

So it is with appointment setting strategies You can be determined to increase sales with better b2b lead generation, improve margins or both. You can acknowledge that improving your b2b sales appointment campaign will mean altering work habits, organization methods and sales process. You can also enthusiastically announce to your sales force your determination to increase qualified leads. But actually changing and implementing improved cold calling techniques is quite another story.

You can convince yourself that you have taken a meaningful step to filling your sales pipeline. Reality is that all you have done is waste scarce lead gen resources while months pass by. Months of qualified leads being closed by your competition because your sales team wasn’t actually implementing improved communication techniques with prospects.

42. Appointment setters are often “too busy” to increase appointment setting and lead generation results?

Why is it that sales people have plenty of time to waste,  to use inside sales techniques over and over that which gets them nowhere, to triple shovel on the slow road to b2b appointment setting success? Inside sales reps can be “busy” like a hamster in a wheel going nowhere. Very busy smiling and dialing in cold call low probability land but no time to embrace proven strategies used by top sales lead producers?

43. If b2b sales appointment setting it is a numbers game, what are your numbers?

“It’s a numbers game” is a simplistic misguided way of approaching an appointment setting program. But since so many say it, what are your b2b appointment setting metrics?

Too often sales management don’t know the metric numbers that matter in b2b sales. “It’s a numbers game” too often equates to more sales activity for the sake of sales activity alone. Sales management cannot let telesales reps make the mistake of believing that more dials, more pitches, and more appointments automatically lead to more profitable accounts being closed. Sales activity alone doesn’t mean the highest probability decision makers are being targeted or that the most sales conversations with with decision makers are being generated. You can have a ton of sales activity and little conversion to sales conversations, qualified appointments or profitable closed deals.

It is not the level of activity that wins the appointment setting game. Surprise…. top producers do not make the most appointment setting calls or pitches.

There are skills, strategies and craft involved. Judgment and sales ability come into play, particularly with complex sales. There are strategies behind the component parts and structure of successful phone scripts to set appointments.

44. Are other sales and marketing strategies superior to appointment setting for sales lead generation?

“My business is best built on relationships. Getting referrals is best for me.” This from someone with practically no business. “Cold calling wouldn’t be good for me…word-of-mouth is the source of my best lead generation.” This from an inside sales representative of five years who also confesses she is still merrily bouncing along the bottom.

Both of these under-compensated business builders are right. Generating qualified accounts by referral and word-of-mouth is preferable to cold calling. But, they also miss the major point that is costing them revenue. Cold calling to set sales appointments with the highest level decision-maker is merely a tool.

The sales question is never “which tool is best?” The issue is always, what MIX of tools is most appropriate at this time to meet my b2b appointment setting campaign goals. The sales team that has positioned itself over time so that all goals for revenue and profit are met by responding to senior level inquiries generated by referrals and word-of-mouth is in an enviable position. All business to business sales organizations 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?

Learn from these appointment setting tips, pick  up proven appointment setting strategies and focus on improving your appointment setting techniques with every dial. Pick up the phone!

45. More appointment setting success alone-without improving two other strategies guarantee you NOTHING.

Setting  more sales appointments is often a necessary first step to new account generation. Yet, sales and revenue increases may not materialize without  adjusting your sales process. When you substantially increase your rate  of access to targeted companies, your expectations and sales approach must adjust to avoid serious disappointment. When your improved appointment setting strategies, scripts and techniques start to kick in,  you must typically improve two other areas or your efforts to improve appointment setting will not convert to new accounts.

Enhancing (1) “first meeting” skills and (2) increased focus and attention on making advancements in the initial stages of the sales funnel are necessary to realize your revenue expectations. Ignore these two issues at your peril. Improved phone scripts to set appointments alone are typically not the sole factor to sales success.

46. You must properly “manage the mix” of new sales appointments.

Go  on too many short sales cycle small volume accounts and your volume and  margins will suffer. Go on too many long sales cycle large volume account appointments and not many may close in the short run, killing your cash flow. If you go on too many appointments and don’t have the time or support to follow-up, follow-up and followup, you are doomed to failure as your new contacts will not receive the frequency or quality of communication necessary for them to feel comfortable writing you big checks.

These summary samples of appointment setting tips hopefully got you thinking.