It is important to apply many of the Event Flow techniques to your day to day selling. We learned from weekend events a long , long time ago that appointments afford us the highest possible closing ratio. The same is true for day to day selling as well. Appointments should be the goal whether you are engaged in “day to day” or “event selling.”
An appointment with a prospect in a non-sales event situation is a good and exciting opportunity, though for many sales teams an anomaly. Many times, the prospects initiate an appointment themselves because they are busy professionals in the habit of keeping organized. The harsh fact is that sales professionals should be organizing themselves via a calendar of appointments whether there is a sale in progress or not.
A typical exchange is when a sales person will tell their sales manager or the dealer principle that they expect to see a serious prospect “sometime” Thursday afternoon after they get off work. Many times, the prospect becomes side tracked and, since it was a casual agreement or simply an “intention,” the prospect ends up being a “no show.” The prospect senses no obligation to communicate to the sales person that they won’t be by. The prospect simply figures that he or she will get around to the store sooner or later. Since they know when the gallery is open from the web site, they go on about life.
Since people buy on emotion backed up with logic, your job is to create excitement and instill value in the opportunity to assist them with a very important and (I don’t hesitate to say) life changing decision. A piano is not a small ticket item. Even more so than other luxury items such as fine jewelry or cars, a piano says more about a person’s lifestyle, because it is musically oriented. Buying a piano is most often a decision made by someone involved in or with a love for music and the arts. This is important as pianos don’t have universal appeal, since they’re not a necessity. Only a sliver, relatively speaking, of the general population has piano interest, so the flames of a passion need to be fanned. Ample attention should be paid to positioning yourself as the helper of the prospect in their quest to find the perfect piano, dare I say a piano that can fulfill their dream. Great importance must be placed upon your goal of being the trusted ally assisting them in this important endeavor. Whether the piano is for them, or for their children or grandchildren, there are strong motivational emotions which must be empathized with, bolstered, and fed.
The decision to purchase a piano is a large one, no matter what characteristics they present to the buyer. You mustn’t be pushy and turn the prospect off, but you must join in psychologically with their excitement and allow them to feel safe for them to share it with you. You must let them know by your excitement to serve them that you share the feeling with them. All that to say this: you can’t position yourself as a trusted advisor in a major decision if you treat their opportunity too casually. A statement such as, “Well, I’ll be here all morning. I’d love to see you and help you find just the right piano in your price range” should be stricken from your vocabulary. It is lazy, unexciting, and easily dismissed. The reference “in your price range” is proper and friendly, but acting like you’re available at any time paints a picture of you as the local furniture sales person, waiting like a piranha for their “up.” This is poor positioning for a specialist to have. You need them to know that you are the right person to help them make a decision which will help them express themselves – meaning better mental health, wellness, and quality of life.
Sales professionals should run their lives striving to set appointments just as if they were working a never ending weekend sales event. Let’s examine the solid reasons why… and there are many!
The Benefits of Appointment Setting as a Day to Day Protocol:
#1) It gives you a goal to strive for. Sales individuals always assess the strength of a promotion and come up with how many appointments they can bring to the dance, a forecast of their short term yield. Daily selling should be no different. Set a goal of how many appointments per week you want to book, then work your ass off to book them. Hold yourself accountable to your goal. Top performers have goals. Get some!
#2) You are more organized. Setting appointments avoids the scenario where two opportunities manifest themselves at once, meaning neither get the attention they deserve.
#3) It teaches you to value your time as a specialist and not a floor monkey.
#4) It trains the prospect to view you as a specialist with a schedule, and once more not a floor jockey. (I have many derogatory terms for lazy sale individuals.)
#5) It pre-closes the prospect in that they are going to set aside some “specific time” to address their need/interest.
#6) It forces you to revisit the nuances and benefits of the instruments you are going to show. In short, appointments demand a higher level of preparation and preparation is a main ingredient for success.
#7) It gives you the first, most critical goal in the steps needed to close a deal. Step number one is to get in front of the person. People sell pianos, not marketing.
#8) If you embrace the appointment setting as your primary activity, you will get in front of more people. More people, more opportunities.
#9) It will make you focus on the right activity first. I’ve heard the acronym ABC (Always Be Closing), but I believe you to need to close the right steps along the way to the final close. Step number one: accomplish a face to face encounter so you have the opportunity to establish rapport and make a friend.
#10) You will sell more. Appointments create higher closing ratios.
#11) Therefore, you will double your income.
#12) You will organically harvest more e-mails which will aid your pipeline of possibilities and add to your e-mail marketing efficiency. When you invoke the confirmation of date and time via e-mail, it forces you to gather e-mail addresses which should be a high priority. Note that I don’t suggest making the confirmation as formal as EventFlow with a confirmation number, but I certainly would ask the customers to reply to an e-mail confirming the day and time, thereby giving greater commitment and value to the meeting.
#13) You will no longer live the boring life of a Floor Lizard and will have a purpose driven sales life!
I could go on, but these are the main benefits.
Making appointment setting your personal culture will improve you and those around you by example. It is imperative in today’s world that you find a way to convert digital activity into live encounters. Focusing on setting appointments, whether they be exploratory or fact finding meetings or closing opportunities, will make your sales world a much more profitable place.