Why do some Appointments no-show? I have had a couple of interesting in-house consulting and training jobs just recently. In both, the telephone sales team were cold calling to make appointments for the salesperson. The first company were making appointments for a face to face sales presentation and the second were making appointments for a teleconference by phone.
In the first scenario, the telemarketers were saying they wanted to make an appointment for a sales consultant to say “Hi and drop off some samples”. Was that a compelling reason for anyone to feel they had to keep an appointment? If the prospect had something important to do at the time set, I am sure they would have felt it unnecessary to keep the appointment. After all, the sales consultant could just leave samples at reception.
In the second scenario, the prospect was not turning up for the teleconference call,. I believe this was because the telemarketer, on the initial cold call,had not given enough compelling reasons for the prospect to make sure he kept the appointment; He had not created enough pain for them telling them what they were missing out on if they did not attend. In some cases, he had not reconfirmed the appointment the day before or even given the prospect a number they could call in case they had to reschedule. There is considerable cost in having salespeople scheduled to do presentations to prospects. It is beyond my comprehension why Managers are not watching what is going on with their telesales team. Perhaps the telesales team needs to be rewarded for making the appointment only when the appointment shows up?
Today I had a call from someone wanting to make an appointment with me to help me with my IT. He told me he wanted an appointment so he could spend just 15 minutes telling me what his company could do for small business owners. What the heck would I waste 15 minutes of my time when I already have IT help? He never told me once what he could do for me which was all I was interested in . He just talked about him and his company without asking me a single question. Then at the end,to add insult to injury, he asked me what the name of my company was! Didn’t he know whom he was calling? Why do Managers waste their time employing people like this without training them?
Ten Ways To Ensure Appointments Show Up
Inactive customers are people who may have bought only once from you or placed a small order. Never think they are not worth calling. It is a vital sales strategy to stay in touch with these customers as well as with your existing customers because you will be able to make more sales from them. Here’s how …
Maybe at the moment inactive customers might not justify a face to face call but you can certainly pick up a phone to stay in touch. You might be afraid to call them because they might tell you that they have gone to another supplier or they had a bad experience with you.
In order not to miss out on sales, it is important to change our strategies from time to time, particularly strategies to retain existing customers
I remember in the recession, when the training side of my business slowed down, I realised how important it was to retain existing customers. I made the decision to call some of my past in-house training clients to give them ideas of what they could be doing to get more sales at that time.
As a result of asking them good strategic questions, (And not just “How are you going?”) they realized what they were not doing and should be doing. Recognizing the extent of my experience in sales and marketing many hired me to review their marketing material, write their sales systems and strategy, (something they had never documented before) create their inbound and outbound call scripts, document the tasks of each salesperson’s role and create a training manual so that anyone new starting the role could start training themselves. The number of consulting jobs that resulted from this exercise replaced the reduction in training jobs I was experiencing at the time.
Making sales by phone requires skill. One of the main reasons some staff (particularly new staff) fail at prospecting is that they do not sound confident . Well, if you are new, understandably you may not feel confident so you might need to be trained in some simple techniques how to sound confident. You might have to fake it till you make it. This is so important as no-one is going to buy from someone who is not sounding confident in themselves or their product or service. Your job is to generate such confidence in your product or service and transfer your energy to the prospect on the other end of the phone.
When making sales by phone, here are 5 simple techniques to sound confident
Managers are worried that their sales and telesales team is forgetting basic sales/telesales etiquette and using language that is too casual. In case you are guilty of this, here are some alternative words you can try using instead.
Sales and Telesales Etiquette
1. Calling customers “Mate”.
If you are calling people and they call you mate first, then it is okay but some people take this to extreme and use the word every sentence. Whenever you think of saying “mate”, simply use the person’s name. It is more professional and builds rapport.
2. Yep, Yep – “Yes” is more professional!
3. Someone asks you how you are, you say “Not Bad”. Instead be more positive and say “Fantastic” or “Excellent” . It sounds much more enthusiastic.
4. “Cheers” – say “Thank you for your call” or “Good-bye.”
5. “No worries” – “That’s okay”,”That’s great”, “That’s fine”, “Excellent”, “Brilliant”, “That’s good”. Remember we only use positive words in sales.
6. “Bear with me” say “Would you mind holding for a moment?” (Wait for the customer’s answer).
7. “I have a good deal for you.” – a good offer is more professional.
Remember you only get 15 seconds to make a first good impression on the phone. Let it be a positive one.
Sales Etiquette For Face to Face Sales People
In the last two weeks, I seem to have had a series of bad sales experiences and, honestly, if you have people in your team doing this, they will be losing you business big time. They need to be trained (or fired), whichever way you think best. But if you are a Manager, maybe you are not aware of what your staff are doing (or not doing) on their sales calls. Do some phone calls and face to face calls with them and check out what is happening.
In the space of 2 weeks, here is what happened and what you can do about it:
I emailed 5 floor tilers to get quotes for a kitchen floor. Three did not reply, one replied asking me to call him. I called him, he asked no specific questions to clarify my needs and gave me a random figure over the phone. Another one rang to say he could not quote without coming round to see the job first. Obviously I went for the last person because, if he could be bothered to come round and see the job first, he was going to be bothered to do a good job for me. He was the only one out of five who went the extra mile.
I was in a shopping mall and was asked to sample a new skin cleanser. The sales assistant said I should keep it on for 5 minutes so I said I would go to the ladies and come back. My skin felt great so I decided I would buy it. When I got back to the shop, the girl was nowhere to be seen. A guy was busy with another client and told me my sales assistant had gone to lunch! That was one lost sale for sure forever.
I tried to book a holiday house down south. The real estate person said she would email me the details. I never got the details so I rang back. She said she would send them again. Once more I did not get the details. I rang back and was told it was her day off, I would have to ring tomorrow. Needless to say, I went to another agent to find a house,
I got a leaflet from a chiropractor offering his services at half price for the first visit. I rang for an appointment and he said he was busy with a patient, and asked if he could ring me back. I gave him my number but he did not ring back. Another lost sale because I certainly did not ring him back.
I see people like this abusing the profession of sales all the time these days. To be the best you can be, I recommend you stand by my 3 principles, as they have been the making of my own sales success over the years
1. “People don’t care how much you know, they want to know how much you care” (show them you care by staying in touch, addressing their problems until they are resolved, following up quotes and information you send out to them.)
2. Never say, “I don’t have time to do that” . Ask yourself a better question “How can I make some time to ensure I do that?”
3. Follow up every enquiry by phone that comes in via email and web. You can end up selling more than was originally requested and more importantly you can build a relationship with the customer.
Follow up inactive customers, you will be surprised that you will be able to revive 25% of them back to doing business with you.
Sorry if this is a bit of rant but truly, let’s raise the bar and make sure we are always performing like professional salespeople so we can proud of our profession.
I m honoured to be invited to write monthly for “Sold” which is a wonderful digital sales magazine with a circulation of 100,000 salespeople in the USA. Here is the link to my page so you get this month’s article “How to Qualify Leads” and access to the whole magazine. It’s free so you can go there any time for some sales training and motivation
In addition there is an e-book I was invited to contribute to. It will give you inspiration and motivation from many well-known entrepreneurs. speakers and trainers. You can download it here:-
Motivating your mind, inspiring your spirit.pdf
From now on, you’ll be able to enjoy many bus, train and plane journeys absorbing these resources.
Happy New Year! I hope you made some good New Year’s resolutions.
One of my major messages to people I train is “Never delete people off your database”. You see, you never know when people are going to be ready to buy from you in the future. Their situations change and they are going to do business with the salesperson who keeps in touch with them, the salesperson who shows they care about them, the salesperson who demonstrates consistency so they know they can rely up them.
Let’s look at the idea of a telesales person selling new cars calling 10 people. Probably only one person is interested in looking for a new car right now and the other 9 are not. However if this person were to call the same people in 6 months time, they might get another person interested out of the remaining 9. If they were to call again in 12 months time, yet another person might be interested. It is worth keeping all these people on the database then isn’t it? That’s how telemarketing works. My favourite saying is “No” means “No, not now, not forever”.
When I was working in the seminar industry promoting Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins and Jim Rohn I worked in a team of 10. Everyone except me used to delete people off the database if they said “No, not interested” on the first call. I was aware that they might not want to see the speaker I was calling about but I realised that there would be other speakers to offer them in the future that might interest them. I was in business for the long term so why delete people with whom you have already started to build rapport? You can put your initial “Nos” into a separate folder in your database to be brought out for the next time you have something to offer.
December is your chance to become even more active on the phone.
Here are 3 Actions you can take:-
A) Call your best clients to say “Thank You” personally, give them your best tip for next year and wish them a happy Christmas.
B) Ask them how you can help them next year giving at least 3 suggestions.
C) Call all the people to whom you have sent quotes in the past year. I will be doing that myself and can guarantee from experience that you will convert 20% of them into sales when done professionally.
If you cannot reach them, here is what you do:-
If you have been reading my tips for a while, you will know the importance of having an interest grabbing opening on a cold call – i.e; one sentence that will make the customer want to hear more from you. So it’s not:-
“This is Sally Smith from XYZ Computer Services. I would like to tell you what our company does.” or “I’m Simon from XYZ IT. We do computer hardware and software and I wondered if you would like some information on this?”
It must be a sentence with a major benefit to the customer, i.e. the results the prospect might gain from using your services. For example, this opening would have more interest:-
“This is Sally Smith from XYZ Computer Services. We can offer you a service which guarantees your computers will never be out of action for more than 24 hours if they go wrong.” (The aim is to create curiosity.)
More Ways to Open The Call