As you attempt to schedule appointments, realize that your biggest competitor is battling the status quo, the path of least resistance that your buyer is currently travelling. At times this trajectory can be extremely costly, as detailed in the following historical example:
In Montana, during the hot dry summer of 1949, Wagner Dodge and a dozen other firefighters were battling blazes in the Mann Gulch area. Suddenly the winds reversed course and drove the flaming inferno towards them. Knowing that they could not get to the river before the fire overtook them, Dodge stopped and ordered his men to do what he did. Dodge lit a fire in the grass around him and created a small circular area of burnt grass. Then he lay down on the ground and stretched a wet handkerchief over his head. Instead, his men panicked and in “status quo” fashion, kept moving. On the other hand, in that moment of severe stress, Dodge was still able to think of a creative solution. That decision enabled him to survive as the fire burned around and past him. Of the twelve men from his crew who panicked, only two survived.
When one of your prospects becomes anxious about something, the thing they need the most, imagination, is often paralyzed. This action causes them to be unable to visualize creative solutions. So keep in mind that most buyers think they are happy with what they’ve got. If this were untrue, they would be calling you, right? Hence, the status quo controls.
Therefore, here is the antidote and some selling food for thought:
- About one third of your sales will occur regardless of your technique. This points toward your need to constantly contact enough needy prospects so that some will always be buying.
- Regrettably, the second third will never buy, no matter what you do or say. These people will either do nothing, or buy from one of your competitors. Sometimes they simply adjust priorities at their companies when changes alter things internally (promotions, illnesses, relocations). Either way, you won’t “ink” that group.
- The final third is the group that’s up for grabs. That said the more prospecting and proposing you do, the more of that third-third you will ultimately sell.
Many people will not respond favorably to your first appointment request, but don’t let that deter you. You can often salvage a meeting by attempting one of the following “…get together anyway” responses:
- Regardless what they say, respond with, “Oh well, that’s OK. Why don’t we get together anyway?”
- You should also learn to establish a foothold for any negative response, by simply asking a question related to that particular comment; followed by suggesting to “get together anyway.”
As an example assume during an appointment setting phone call your buyer says, “We don’t make decisions like that here locally.” Respond by asking, “Oh, where are those decisions made?” After he/she answers, respond with, “That’s fine, but to help me gain a better understanding of your operation why don’t we get together anyway?” Often this will turn a prospecting conversation into an appointment.
- To regain your footing following a negative response, try answering with, “I’m just curious,” and then ask another pertinent question. Regardless of the response you receive, answer with, “Interesting, why don’t we get together anyway?”
- When someone says, “I’m the wrong person to talk to,” simply say, “Gee, what do you do?” If they really are the wrong person, say, “Well, who is the right person?” Unless they are openly obviously the wrong person, just say, “Oh, then you know what, we should get together anyway.” Often they will end up being somebody who can help you secure an appointment and maybe even help get a deal done, although they are not a
Realize that 65% of your selling success is finding people willing to talk and then explaining what you do. It all begins with a conversation that can lead to an appointment that may lead to a new customer.
————Here’s a Tip————
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