Appointment Setting

In this article, we'll discuss appointment settings when it comes to business-to-business sales. Let's discuss how to protect your salespeoplle from getting shut out when they go down and see a customer. Now, these are some really good tools that you should use when it comes to visiting customers in another state or another country. Anytime you have to travel a great distance in terms of covering the cost of the flight, the cost of rental cars, cost of a hotel. Anytime you get into that kind of business travel, you really got to do everything you can to make sure that you're not shut out.

What we're going to do is to basically talk about a couple of tricks that you can use in order to make sure that when your salespeople go down, they've done everything in their power to make sure that they're not going to go down there. And gut should get shut out and not be able to see somebody. The first thing you want to do is you want to do the confirmation but you got to do it properly. And when we talk about the confirmation for the visit, we want you to confirm the topic. In terms of the confirmation, whether we're coming down and we're talking about a proposal, or we're talking about options to help your customer reduce costs or whatever it is, we want you to confirm the topic and the time.

Now, this is pretty self-explanatory. Obviously, you know in order to set up a time to go see a customer, you've got to be able to agree upon a time. But I really want your customer to understand what's involved in the travel because it's natural for individuals to kind of take things for granted. So the way you go about doing the confirmation is, you literally have to define the travel itself. You don't have to go through the cost of the flight, the cost of the hotel, and the cost of the rental car. But you just need to define that. So a good idea is to say something along the lines of:

Listen, mister customer, I'm flying out on Sunday we're taking two flights and I'm flying to wherever. Then I'm thinking of another flight. And then I'm gonna get my rental car, and I'm gonna drive by your facility on you Monday at two o'clock in the afternoon.

And they're gonna confirm. They're gonna be able to say:

"yes, I'll be available"

Now What you want them to do is, not only do you want them to confirm it, but you want to have an email afterward. You literally want them to kind of confirm through an email that they'll be available. But before you get to that email which we want you to focus on is to have your customer provide you with what amounts to the backup plan.

Now the backup plan is basically a confirmation of what should happen. Should your main contact not be available? And this is how you're gonna put it. You're gonna say:

Listen, I'm excited about seeing you on Monday, March 25th at 2:00 p.m. and I know you have every intention of meeting with me. But we also know that things happen. There's a schedule of emergencies.

You might get sick that day or you might be called away. You know something might happen. And I know you've agreed to meet with me but if for some reason you're not available, who do I meet with? So if you're not available, who can I meet with? Now when you position it like that with your customer, nine times out of ten they're gonna say:

Listen, I have every intention of seeing you.

But if there's something that happens and I'm not available, you want to meet with John or Steve. And what you do is you immediately write down that individual's name. So capture the name, get the email address for that individual. What you're doing is, you're kind of building your network of contacts. So when your customer says:

Yeah I'm gonna meet with you.

And you say:

"Listen, I totally believe you're gonna be with me but just in case something happens, and you get called away, and we know these things happen. If that happens, is there someone else I can meet with you and you can even go as far as saying because you know it's there's a lot of cost in terms of coming all the way down and something like this.... and I really want to make sure that I'm not coming down there and getting shut out because of something that happens that you and I aren't aware of...."

Nine times out of ten they're gonna have no problem giving you another name. You're gonna capture that name. You're gonna ask them for their email address. And then when you send your email confirmation, you're gonna say:

"mister customer I'm gonna send you an email confirming the time and when we're gonna meet. I'm gonna reiterate the topic and the time and everything else is what we're covering and I'm gonna copy these individuals. And can you please let them know that if you know they're you're not available they need to take care of or see me?"

Okay, that's how you build up your list of contacts.

Now the third thing we want you to do is to focus on preparation in terms of how you go about making sure that you're not shut up. Not only do you have to cut a cover the topic, the time, the quote, and everything else. But we really want you to focus on making sure that you're there on time. We actually traveled with the CEO of a company once. He tried to confirm his appointments by email and we spent two days on site. We didn't need a single decision-maker that could help us grow the business. We met a person in particular that just managed this terminal. But at the end of the day, we didn't meet anybody that could help us grow our business. And that's because this individual did everything by email. He didn't have a backup plan. He didn't develop his list of contacts. So you really need to understand that and we don't want you guys leaving at the last minute and showing up at your customer's facility and being late. So make sure that you're prepared for the meeting not only in terms of what you're going to discuss in the time but also in terms of your list of contacts. The ultimate goal is for your customer to set up appointments for you. When you've got a decision-maker scheduling your visit for you, then all the people that report to that decision-maker better show up and meet with you, so that's it.

When it comes to appointment settings, get the confirmation confirmed by email. Have the customer reply to your email. You can have a backup plan "You're not available Mr. customer who can I meet?" And explain to them you just don't want to come down and get a shout-out. If you do all these things and you still get shut out, it won't be for a lack of effort. You've done everything you can to make sure that you know you're meeting with the right people. so that's it this is the business sales appointment setting.