Magazine article The Catalyst

BEST PRACTICES: Eight Secrets to Setting High-Value Appointments

Magazine article The Catalyst

BEST PRACTICES: Eight Secrets to Setting High-Value Appointments

Article excerpt

Imagine if a prospect told you "Lack of preparation on YOUR part does not necessitate an emergency on MY part"....? Unfortunately, what usually happens is worse, they just avoid you.

If you are not prepared to start something that is meaningful to you or your college, DON'T DO IT. If you are prepared to schedule an appointment with a prospect, then at the very least, know who you're contacting, know a little about their business and provide some value along the way. This alone will efficiently and effectively turn your prospect encounter into a positive experience, whether you get the appointment or not!

You probably already know that getting appointments with qualified prospects has never been tougher, but there IS a way to stand out, to break through in such a way that prospects will be interested in seeing you.

Think Through Your Value Proposition

Begin by articulating an in-depth description of your products and services and what sets you apart from the competition. Resist the temptation to rely too heavily on product features and benefits. What do you bring to the table beyond delivery of your product or service? Do you have in-depth industry or category knowledge? Do you have research or case studies that can help a prospect make good choices? Are you very good at tailoring solutions to particular problems?

Determine Who Your Best Prospects Are First

You need this model BEFORE you get started. In today's world you can't simply tune up a phone script and smile and dial. In order to set high-value appointments you must first identify and approach prospects that are likely to be interested in you.

Clean Up Your Prospect Lists

Our experience has indicated that one of the biggest challenges sales organizations have in approaching high-value prospects is outdated or missing contact information. Often it takes significant detective work, combing through databases and placing live calls, just to identify the right buying influence within a prospect organization, and certainly to gather or correct contact information. But, unless someone does this work, you are essentially DOA.

Prepare and Then Prepare Again

You must have relevant market research, scripting that emphasizes your value proposition as a company, tailored Valid Business Reasons that will make the prospect want to see you now, and capability brochures that illustrate how you do business-not just your product line. Also Personal Marketing Resumes for the salesperson that will meet with the prospect can break the ice and establish credibility in advance. …

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