Startup Sales Tips: Selling an Appointment on the Phone

PhoneHaving spoken about sales 2.0 processes and how you can maximize your sales while minimizing the client interfacing with your sales guys, there are times when your clients are not as tech savvy and reaching them with technology touch points will not help. (Innovative furniture design or gifting products)

There are some techniques which have helped me close those sales faster in the traditional sales 1.0 way and it really works!

Getting an appointment on phone:

If you have tried doing this, you must be having an idea how frustrating it is. (For both) Have seen a lot of guys fret just by thinking about it, it is nothing but the fear of rejection and so they try and find all other ways of getting an appointment. But trust me a telephone call if executed properly is the fastest medium of getting to what you want.

1. First thing to say: The first thing you say to a prospect has to be something that is not run of the mill should grab attention and should point to the exact benefit of the product. For e.g. If you are selling training programs for the sales force you should say something like: “Sir, how would you like to see a method that will enable you to increase your sales 20-30% over the next 12 months?” (Note: Make sure you can support your facts with right references)

2. Reaction: If it’s the right person you are talking to, the reaction would be “Yes, what is it?” Any sales manager thinks about increasing sales day in and day out. They would want to know all methods of INCREASING SALES. You should ask him 10 mins of his time, and ask him to judge for himself if that’s what he wants. (Note: You are selling an appointment here, do not try and sell your product)

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3. How much is it for?: You will hear this more often than not. You will find clients asking for a price without knowing what the product is about. You can negate it by saying “Mr. XYZ if it’s not exactly what you are looking for, there is no charge at all” (Note: Get the price out of the way on the first call)

4. Busy people: You need to know, that good prospects are always busy and are hard to get to and poor prospects are very easy to get to. If you get a reply saying “sure, come over anytime” be sure as hell he is not going to buy a thing from you. You will find a lot of prospects like these, big mouths, big promises and no buying power. (Note: Don’t waste time and efforts on them)

5. Tell me something about it: Your prospect is bound to ask you “can you tell me something about your product?” – DO NOT tell him J A response like “Yes, I would like to, but there is something that I want to SHOW you” as soon as you say the word SHOW, you have eliminated the chance of explaining it to him on the phone. (Note: Talking about your product on the phone is as good as screwing it up)

6. Mail me something: DO NOT send them information on mail. It’s something that your prospects will use to shoo you away. Instead stress for an appointment and words like “Judge for yourself” “I just need 10 mins of your time” it will assure them that you will be there for a short time, and you will not put pressure on them. (Note: Your mail is never going to be read, and you will end up following up your prospect only to check if he has read the e-mail for months)

7. Call me to set up an appointment: Another one of those Houdini disappearing tricks. Instead stress on “My calendar is right here in front of me, is your calendar handy? Let’s set up a time right now, how about 10 am on Friday?” (Note: Don’t let the prospect slip, this is the last step for getting an appointment)

One thing to be kept in mind here is the quality of the prospect is directly proportional to the difficulty to get through him. (Once you know he is the right guy) So have patience, find your way out, keep your objective in mind and happy selling!

About the author

Divyesh Kharade is the Co-Founder and CEO of Deltecs InfoTech a company which endeavors to take employee and customer engagement to the next level through its flagship product DRONA. He is of the firm belief that Technology Product companies from India can make it big and loves meeting and mentoring start ups in the similar space. Having done his engineering from Mumbai University he also serves as an advisor on the board of one more startup. Divyesh is on Twitter at @divyeshkharade

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