Your First Sale Is The Next Appointment!

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A common concern I hear from sales representatives is that they have trouble booking appointments to present their recommendations to their prospects.  Everything goes well in the needs analysis meetings, but when it comes time sit down and present the solutions, the prospect won’t return their calls.

One of the biggest mistakes made by sales representatives is that they finish a needs analysis meeting or fact find with a statement like, “Thank you for your time, Mr. Prospect.  I’ll get back to you when my proposal is ready.”  Weeks of voice mail tag can go by before the next meeting, and by then all of the momentum created has long since been forgotten.

A better way to end your fact find is with a statement like “Thank you for the information today, Mr. Prospect.  Based on our conversation, I believe that the use of our widgets can help you to acquire new customers and increase revenues.  I would like to go back to my office, put my ideas on paper, and then return next week to discuss them with you.  Are you available Tuesday at 10:00, or do you prefer Wednesday at 2:00?”

A fact find interview is only considered a success if you and the prospect confirm that the sales process should continue to the next step and when that will take place.   Eliminate voice mail.  Always book the next appointment!

Once you have booked your presentation appointment, you must make sure that your proposal is written so that it keeps the sales process moving forward.  Otherwise, it’s just a waste of paper.  For a proven Proposal Template that will help you close more sales faster, download Action Plan For Sales Success.

Aim Higher!

Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Connections
www.b2bsalesconnections.com, www.linkedin.com/in/susanenns, or www.twitter.com/SusanEnns

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6 thoughts on “Your First Sale Is The Next Appointment!

  1. Wonderful platform for business people! Thank you so much for this effort. Practical solutions of real life already faced issues are something that very few websites could provide with. The shared experiences by the entrepreneurs are motivating and will help others. http://www.karmiccoach.com is another good site that offers business tools and the blogs at http://www.mysticselling.com are very motivating.

    -Sunoj

  2. I wished more salespeople would use this simple approach to setting their next meeting time. Unfortunately, most salespeople were born without the organizational gene in their DNA stream being activated and usually don’t know where they are going after the current call let alone a week from now. :>)

  3. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for the discussion. I review lots of sales books. A common theme I’m reading is that salespeople need to use first appointments to truly listen to the issues prospects are dealing with. They should ask probing questions but they shouldn’t recommend any products or services in this meeting. Then, like you said, they should get the 2nd apppointment on the calendar before they leave.

    The second appointment should have an agenda based on what problems you are going to solve and which products or services are going to help you solve them. There should be an agenda that reiterates what was discussed in the first meeting. Most importantly, they should have examples of customers who had the same problem and show how they were able to help them (even if it’s simply to get a better price).

    Most prospects stop returning calls or emails because salespeople simply “show up and throw up.” They don’t listen or ask the right questions. They are self serving and it is quite obvious to their prospects. So they sit there, listen to the pitch, pretend they are interested, and hope they never run into that salesperson again after the meeting.

    When salespeople truly listen and get 2nd appointments on the calendar, they have a better chance of solving the prospects’ problems with the products or services they sell.

    There are three books that can help salespeople with this issue:

    1. “People Buy You” by Jeb Blount
    2. “SNAP Selling” by Jill Konrath
    3. “Getting the 2nd Appointment” by Anthony Parinello

    Good luck,

    Emanuel R. Carpenter
    Author of “Six-Figure Cold Calling”

  4. Thanks for the comments Emanuel. One of my favorite quotes is “I have more fun and enjoy more financial success when I stop trying to get what I want and start helping others get what they want.” Like you, I have found that all the top sales performers believe and practice this.

    The quote is from the book “The One Minute Sales Person” by Spencer Johnson and Larry Wilson. Another great read!

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