One of the best ways of ensuring the most effective use of your time – particularly for the technical or speciality sales person – is to work as much as possible by appointment. In fact, many companies now have a ‘by appointment only’ policy to see sales people.
Also, when you are making a first call on a prospect, working by appointment makes you seem more business-like. It’s not usually possible to work entirely in this way but the more calls you can arrange, the better – you will achieve more face-to-face selling time.
And to obtain appointments, the telephone is probably the best tool of all. But it can have disadvantages – it can make it all too easy for the prospect to turn you down. It depends on your particular line of goods and how skilfully you use the telephone.
So, to get an appointment follow these stages:
1. Get to know the prospect’s name.
2. Send a piece of promotional material and a covering email or letter. Or direct them to your company’s website.
3. Call to check that the material has arrived and arrange an interview.
In the phone call you must:
get to the point quickly
make the prospect see how your product/service will benefit them
arrange a day and time for interview.
But don’t try to do the whole selling job on the phone. Remember, your aim is to get an interview, so concentrate on this. And if you want to know what you need to do to achieve success when you’ve secured that interview, our Professional Sales Techniques course will give you all the help and advice you need.