From the Desk of Joe Prospect
Here is the picture that comes into my head when I receive a call from a salesperson trying to book an appointment with me. I see myself sitting at my desk going through the obligatory ‘rapport building. Then I see myself suffering through a sales pitch that goes on a lot longer than it is supposed to. Then I know I will have to fend off The Close and pry the sales rep out of the chair and push them out the door.
I think you would agree that’s not a very attractive picture if you were the prospect. Is it any wonder that it is so difficult to book an appointment with me? I have to be in desperate need of your product or service or you must have something that is really earth shattering for me to risk the possibility of another painful sales presentation.
Here is an approach that worked on me.
- ” Mr. Prospect, I just want you to have the information. “
- ” Could I give you the information? “
- ” Great, I will drop it off to you and I just need 5 minutes to introduce myself so you can put a face to our company. Could you give me just 5 minutes? “
That sounded a lot less painful than a full scale, ‘guns a blazing’ sales presentation. It is all in the way you present it.
Says you, ” What good is 5 minutes? “ Well if you get me to agree to 5 minutes and you handle that 5 minutes well, then the chances are pretty good that you will catch my interest enough that I forget about the fact that the appointment was only supposed to be 5 minutes. 5 minutes is better than 0 minutes. But be prepared to give me the best 5 minute sales presentation I ever had. No dumb personal patter please because you and I both know that you are not my friend–you are trying to sell me something.
“But I want only well qualified appointments where the prospect is highly motivated to listen to my presentation,” you say.
And in my dreams, I want all my clients to guarantee to pay me on time and never complain before I accept them as a client.” But my dream isn’t going to happen any more than yours is.
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