Question: I am fearless when it comes to the phone and know the people I want to reach. My problem, however, is that I have been forgetting that my real goal is to get appointments so that I can put my real skills to work (I present information very well and am a very good public speaker). Instead I’ve been focusing on simply gathering information about prospects on the phone, including whether they used services/vendors like mine, if they had needs that we could assist them with, etc. Some of the conversations were easy because they came out and said “yes, we have needs…” – but most of the time I have been told they weren’t interested or already had a vendor for our service. Therefore I have spoken to folks in dozens of companies since 12/20/07 (when I started this job), asked my questions, and when I was given one of those responses I simply said ‘OK’ and asked if I could mail them our literature and follow up later. I feel I did not ask for the appointment correctly and sometimes I didn’t ask at all.
My question to you now is this – how would you recommend I script my calls when I call them back I am very good at follow-up thanks to my administrative background and have a calendar FULL of follow-up phone calls to make. Do I start by the generic ‘did you get my information?’ How else would you recommend I continue engaging them in conversation and then ask for the appointment this time around?
I am afraid that all I will hear now is “we have your information, we’ll call you if we have a need.” I am afraid that I have missed the opportunity to ask for the appointment when the opportunity was there the first time.
Wendy’s answer: You have truly identified the issue, S.K. You forgot that your goal was a meeting and you didn’t ask for the appointment or you didn’t ask clearly or you gave up too easily. Unfortunately sending information whether via email or snail mail can be a trap that results in the response, “we have your information, we’ll call you if we have a need.”
My best advice to you is to call your prospects back and ask them for the meeting. Don’t talk about the information you sent, don’t gather more information from them, simply ask them for the meeting.
Use the “Appointment-Setting Mantra” from “prospecting College—Live:”
I’d like to introduce myself and (company name goes here) personally. I need 10-15 minutes whenever is good for you. Can we carve out a few minutes this week or is next week better?
If you find that you need more help, consider attending the upcoming “prospecting College–Live” which will teach you exactly how to schedule more new business appointments in less time. For information and to register: http://www.wendyweiss.com/coldcallingcollegelive.html “prospecting College–Live” begins on February 19, 2008.
[tags] engaging conversation, goals, prospecting, meeting, appointments, prospects, appointment setting mantra, prospecting college live [/tags]