Question from a reader:
I am fearless when it comes to the phone and I know the people I want to reach. My problem, however, is that I have been forgetting that my real goal is to get appointments. Instead I’ve been focusing on simply gathering information about prospects on the phone, including whether they use services like mine, if they have 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 they say, ‘I’m not interested’ or ‘I already have a vendor.’ I have spoken to thousands of prospects over the years, 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.My question now is this:
What would you recommend that I say 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 with the generic ‘did you get my information?’ How do I engage them in conversation and then ask for the appointment this time around?
I am so afraid that I have missed the opportunity 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 so you didn’t ask for the meeting or you didn’t ask clearly or you gave up too easily. This is a situation that happens often and is the number one reason many sales professionals are unable to schedule appointments. They simply never ask.
Call your prospects back and ask for the meeting. Don’t talk about the information you’ve sent them and don’t gather more information, instead introduce yourself and your Value Proposition and then simply ask for the meeting.
Moving forward with new prospects, focus on asking for the meeting.
And from here on in, SK and all the others reading this who also forget the goal… you must always ask for what you want. Otherwise, you will end up like S.K. with lots of missed opportunities, lots of follow-up calls and very few appointments.