Phil Kuhlenbeck Successful Result #1: Getting Appointments
The first closing technique is aimed at getting appointments on the telephone. If you use a telephone to get appointments, you know how difficult and frustrating it can be. Many people do not use the telephone because they’ve been rejected and turned down so many times. The very thought of telephoning triggers feelings of anger and frustration. As a result, they seek every other way possible to make contacts. The telephone however is the finest and the fastest way to get good appointments, if you know how to use it properly.
In approaching the prospect by telephone, the first thing that you say has to be something that breaks preoccupation, grabs attention, and points to the result or benefit of the product. Here is an example. I used to sell sales training programs. I would qualify my prospects when I called to make appointments. I found that I could get appointments nine out of ten times with qualified prospects using this very simple technique.
I would call up and ask the person answering the phone, “Who is the person who makes the decisions regarding sales training in your company?” She would say, “that would be Mr. Jones.” I would say, “thank you. What is his first name, please?” Bill Jones. I would ask, “Could I speak to Mr. Jones?”
I would then say, “Hello Mr. Jones, this is Phil Kuhlenbeck. How would you like to see a method that would enable you to increase your sales by 20 to 30 percent over the next 12 months?”
If you’re speaking to the right person, you opening question will be aimed at something that is relevant and important, and at something that the other person needs or wants. What do sales managers sit around and think about all day long? Increasing sales!
When you say, would you like to see a system that would enable you to increase your sales by 20 to 30 percent over the next 12 months, the first question that the prospect asks should be, “What is it? If this is NOT their response, move on. A good salesperson is a good match maker. Don’t waste your time on someone that is not response to what you have to offer, they are just getting in the way of someone that really wants and needs what you are selling.
That is where you can go into the close for the appointment. When you are telephoning for an appointment, you are telephoning to sell an appointment, not to sell a product. The biggest mistake you can make is to start describing your product on the telephone. The prospect will almost always say, “Well, no, I’m sorry, I’m not interested, can’t afford it, I don’t have the time” and so on.
All you are selling is a few minutes of his time. When the prospect says, “What is it?” You respond by saying, “that’s exactly what I want to talk to you about. I need about ten minutes of your time.” “I’ll show you what I’ve got, and you can judge for yourself if it’s what you want.” If the prospect asks, “How much is it?” This is the way you handle it. You say, “Mr. Prospect, if it’s not exactly what you’re looking for, there’s no charge at all.” This is a very powerful response. Get the price issue out of the way immediately. “If it’s not exactly what you’re looking for, it doesn’t cost you anything.”
If the prospect then asks, “Well, could you tell me a little about it,” I’d say, “Well, that’s exactly why I need just ten minutes of your time. In ten minutes, I’ll be able to show you what I’ve got, and you can judge for yourself if it’s what you’re looking for.
Remember that good prospects are always busy and hard to get to. Poor prospects are not busy, and they’re easy to get to. If you call up somebody and you ask for an appointment, and they say, sure come on over anytime, you can be sure the person isn’t going buy anything from you.
The prospect may say, “Well, could you tell me a little bit about it. “ You say, “Yes, I would like to, but there’s something I have to show you.” As soon as you say the word show, you’ve sidestepped the request to describe it on the telephone. If the prospect says, “Well, could you send me something in the mail?” I would say, “I would like to send it to you in the mail, but you know how the mail is. It’s just easier to drop it off in person.”
If the prospect is at all interested, he will say, “Okay, drop it off personally sometime this afternoon.” I would then ask, “Will you be there?” “Yes, I’ll be there.” I would say, “Okay, about 3:00, I’ll be in your neighborhood. I’ll drop it off personally.”
Never mail information. When people say, “Send me some information in the mail,” what they’re really saying is, “Go away. I’m not interested.” When you send it to them in the mail, it usually goes right into the trash. If you’re going to send things in the mail, it is better that you put it in the envelope, throw it in your own trash, and save yourself the cost of a stamp.
Sometimes, we make the mistake of thinking that when we mail information, we’re actually making sales. But only sales are sales, not mailing out sales information that no one reads. You ask for ten minutes of his time, and this is the key expression, “You be the judge.”
“You decide for yourself if this is what you’re looking for.” You repeat, “All I need is ten minutes of your time and you can judge for yourself.” This assures him that you will only be there for a short period of time.
You assure him that you will put no pressure on him. You will just show them what you’ve got, like an Arab trader bazaar lays out his wares. If the prospect doesn’t express some interest within ten minutes, you’ll be going.
I have found that if you ask for more than 10 minutes, you will have to wait for weeks, maybe forever. If you ask for 10 minutes or less, you can almost always be slipped in. Don’t make the mistake of using the old high-pressure salesman’s trick of saying, “How about 10:00 in the morning today or 2:00 tomorrow afternoon?” This alternative close has been used so many times that it might insults the prospect.
Instead say: “Sometime this afternoon or maybe some time tomorrow?” Be very flexible. Sometimes the prospect says, “Why don’t you call me on Monday, and we’ll set up an appointment?” What you say to him is this, “Look, I’ve got my calendar right here. Is your calendar handy?” Of course, the prospect is sitting at his desk, with his calendar handy. You say, “Let’s set up a time right now; how about 10:00 Monday morning?
Don’t allow yourself to be put off with this “Call me back on Monday.” It is just another way of getting out of seeing you face to face. The very best customers you will ever have are the ones you’re going to have to fight to see the first time. They are also the ones who buy the most. When they try to put you off, when they try to avoid you, when they make excuses, what they’re saying is that this may be a very good prospect. Somebody is going to get to that prospect, and sell that prospect, and it might as well be you.
Be persistent, be polite, and be firm. Say, “All I need is ten minutes of your time. Just ten minutes will be enough. Give me ten minutes and you’ll be able to decide for yourself.” Just sell the in person meeting. If they ask you for details about your product or service, you say, “It’s too involved to go into on the phone, but it’ll just take about ten minutes or less, and I’ll show you what I’ve got.” Sell only that ten-minute appointment. If you can’t get the appointment you won’t get the sale.
You must become very good on the phone and very good at getting appointments. If you are tense about using the phone, if you’re nervous, it’s because you’ve had frustrating experiences in the past. You will become more confident as you get more appointments which lead to Successful Results.
Phillip J. Kuhlenbeck is an Entrepreneur, Sales Training Expert and Motivational speaker. To increase your income call him now: 323-451-2030 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen http://kuhlenbeck9.wix.com/sales