Appointment Setting 

So the advert and the prospecting has begun to bring in results – we’re getting phone calls or emails suggesting the person is interested in our offering. 
Most businesses are going to be shooting out of the gates and making a bee line for the prospect’s money by getting a sales person on their couch. 'BUT WAIT' I say. 
Let’s begin with the initial appointment setting process - don't just hurry to get a salesman sat in front of the client. That could be a real waste of time and manpower. I will rule them out in a heartbeat to save my time. I ensure at this stage the prospect wants my stuff and not just some cheap crud my competitors are flogging. Ask pertinent questions to see if 'we' really want 'them' to take up valuable time when they have no real urgency to buy from us. Yes - you might find that the client doesn't really want to buy anything - they're just satisfying an urge to find out if they can afford a product. They might be looking to re mortgage next year and add something to the budget. In this case, even the best salesman you have won't/can't close the deal. 
Once we find a need for the product/service we offer we need to ascertain a time frame. 
Ask whether they have other quotes in the pipeline (I don't relish being first across the door, so I set my appointment AFTER they have collected a few quotes) 
Ask about their timeline - when do they want it fitted/delivered. 
I also ask if they want the best or the cheapest!! If they answer ‘cheapest’ I’ll probably not bother going. If they say ‘we want the best, but not sure what that is or what it costs etc’ – I’m going - to educate them. 
Once I have all the information and have tried to rule the prospect out, only then will I decide to sit the appointment. 
In this telephone questioning phase - that is when the real influencing begins. I find if you mention just a couple choice phrases (throw away lines - like, ‘we are running possible discounts to one home in that area’) you will be amazed at how much they will push to be the 'discounted' customer. Pretty much closing themselves. 
In short – I decide if I want to sit an appointment, after all – it’s my time I’ll be investing. I also make it fit with my schedule not the prospects. I will give the prospect an illusion they have a say by asking ‘I’m available Monday or Tuesday, does Monday work for you?’ I will then say ‘I can be with you for 10 or 11am – which is best?’ I then fill up both days with other appointments (who have also ruled themselves in) to maximise my round trip. In two days I might sit 4 or 5 apps having conditioned them over the phone. I went to one last week having said it’ll be about £4500 in my price conditioning, I actually sold at £5000 after a discounted rate. It was mostly sold in my appointment setting phase. 
Read more in my new book – ‘How to convert a HOT prospect’  
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