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
- Write down 5 reasons, i.e. benefits of a prospect wanting to look at your product or service
- Turn these into questions so that you create pain. i.e. if one of your benefits is saving the prospect money/time, you would ask how much time or money do you spend on……….? If you make things easy for people you would ask “How difficult is it for you to ………? “
- Always make sure the questions are open-ended beginning with “What”, “Why”, “”Where”, “Which” “How”, “When”, “Who”, “Why” .This engages the person in a conversation and prevents them from hanging up.
- Repeat back after all the questions you asked to demonstrate you were listening. Get them to agree they have a problem and that they would like a solution.
- Close with,” It does sound like it would be worthwhile meeting with one of our sales consultants – (give them the reason why) so that we can take you through the process of …………. or (benefit) so that you can see for yourself how powerful/effective this could be for you or your company).
- Create urgency for them to have the appointment in the next few days,the importance of them being there at the scheduled time and the importance of having the courtesy to let you know if they cannot make it.
- Ask for the appointment with an open-ended question and give a choice so they cannot say “No”. “When would be a good day for you next week, Monday or Wednesday?”
- Send an email to confirm with a number they must ring in the event they want to “reschedule”(not “cancel”)
- Reconfirm by email or text (if they prefer) the details of the appointment the day before.
- Do not send too much information about what you do in an email as you want them to be curious enough at the appointment to have questions.