All said and done the first meeting with a prospective client is of utmost importance when it comes down to selling. Professional people take care the getting of the first appointment with the prospective client is well planned. Today we take a look at the flow of planned steps that we can take to have that very important first meeting with the client.
The first and the most important step in professional selling is to get in touch with the right people. By this I mean no beating around the bush but to try and get an appointment with the decision makers of the prospective company. This not only gets you better results but also helps you to get results in a lesser amount of time.
If you know before hand who is the right contact in a particular company for your business activity then well and good you can jump to step 2 if not then read on :
Step 1. Open a fresh page in your diary, write down the company name and the board telephone no and dial the no. You will be reached by the receptionist or the secretary. Greet her with a enthusiastic tone. After this ask her the following : “I want a small help from you side, I would like to know who is taking care of the (purchases/procurement/other activity) at company name>?” 90% of the time you will get a positive reply from the receptionist. Make sure that you get the person’s first and last name and if possible his email address. Thank the person and disconnect your call. In case the reception is not able to tell you the name of the right person, just go ahead with your second question: “Would you please put me on to someone who can help me in this ? ” Our aim over here is to get the right person for our future communication.
Step 2. is to fax an introductory letter/fax addressed to the right person. Here I am telling you to fax instead of email as there is so much information overload in the emails in today’s age that a busy executive will tend to delete a email, if he senses any kind of selling being done through it. Your fax should be not to sell your product or service but to get an appointment. An example of the content would be as follows:
Dear Mr. X
The purpose of writing this fax is to introduce myself and my company to you.
We are specialized into Products/Services> and our (product/services) are helping a lot of companies in achieving better results/ enhanced profits/ better management etc. We obviously don’t have any idea right now whether this may be of interest to you, so I will give you a call within 2 3 days to see if we can have a short meeting to discuss the same.
Step 3. Give a call to the the prospective company, and confidently ask “X please” Note that I have not used any thing like Mr. in the above dialog. If you are lucky the receptionist will put you directly to your target. In case she asks your name you can give it to her in an informal way too. if you are asked the reason for calling just tell that its regarding the communication that you are having with Mr. X. You should be able to get through.
Step 4. Greet the prospective decision maker of the company. The conversation can go on like this:
“Hello Mr. X” This is Jack with you. How are you doing today? Did you receive my fax? Good. The purpose of me ringing you is as I said in my fax (repeat what you had said). It would be great if we can fix a short meeting to further explore the benefits in your favor” (Here don’t let the customer take charge of the situation) Would tomorrow be fine at 10 am or you want me to fix it on Monday at 11 am?
You should be able to get through but sometimes there might be some resistance please plan ahead for the objections. In the coming days we will discuss various type of objections and how to deal with them. Once you get through please follow up with an email. The sample email would look like this:
Dear Mr. X,
It was wonderful to have a short conversation with you. I thank you for your time and assure you that you wont regret the time spend. I am pleased to confirm our appointment on (give date and time). I am really looking forward to meet you.
Thanks and regards,
I hope that by practicing the above and working out on the objections you will be able to get more appointments for your sales presentations. You can write different scripts as per your planning and experience. Good Luck.