Today I share some collective sales wisdom in bite-sized chunks from three experts. Enjoy…
Confirming Client Appointments
Let’s say you successfully scheduled a face-to-face meeting with a prospective client, and the time for that meeting is tomorrow. Because you don’t want to waste your time, you feel like you should confirm that meeting especially because you originally scheduled it a couple weeks ago. But if you call to confirm, you’re giving the prospect a chance to back out of the meeting. What should you do?
Call the prospect after hours the night before and leave a voice mail message, according to Al Davidson, president of SSM Strategic Sales & Marketing, Inc. The prospective client will likely listen to the voice mail the next morning.
It’s still possible the prospective client could still cancel on you, but it’s not as likely. As Davidson writes: “If he hasn’t gotten proactive and called to cancel before the day of the meeting, then chances are good that he won’t do it the day of.”
Phones Are Sexier Than People Think
The telephone was invented 146 years ago, so it’s “old” technology. Nevertheless, it remains the most powerful communication medium for sales professionals. Sales author Mike Weinberg says salespeople should “use ALL effective, ethical, and appropriate methods to prospect for new opportunities, and that newer tools and approaches are wonderful supplements to, not replacements for, traditional methods like the phone.”
The lowly telephone is still number one when you consider the benefits generated from the time and money invested.
I often say that effective sales pros are like detectives in that they are always searching for clues in order to discover a useful truth. Well, Keith Lubner, Chief Strategy Officer at Sales Gravy, apparently agrees with me. He recently wrote an article titled, “How Detective Work Helps Ultra-High Performers Hit Their Number.”
In the article, he provides three investigative techniques for sales detectives:
- Take advantage of trigger events – Check social media and notice when your prospects make career changes. Talk to them before your competition does.
- Leverage the availability bias – Lubner says people often make decisions based on the information that is already in front of them (“availability bias”). Having an investigative mindset allows you to be first in line when it comes time for the client to make a decision.
- Build familiarity to establish connections – “Your detective work may not always find opportunities, but the process you adhere to will always build familiarity with the contacts and connections in your network,” Lubner says. “That greater familiarity will breed likability over time. It always does.”