OK…I get asked this all the time by clients and prospects. “How do I get more appointments with qualified prospects without cold-calling?”
It’s a great question for two reasons:
- Most sales people, business owners and entrepreneurs hate cold calling and do a poor job of it.
- Cold calling puts you in the position of chasing prospects. It’s a lot of manual labor, with typically dismal results.
That’s great, but for many businesses cold calling is the Number 1 source of sales appointments (qualified leads). So we need an alternative.
The good news is that this simple system I’m about to share with you can move you from pursuer to pursuee…with prospects tracking you down. So here how the system works…
Everyone Likes to Buy…No One Like to Be Sold
The old school of sales says you use the first contact to “sell” the sales appointment. Meaning that you typically hard sell the prospect in a cold call or brief initial meeting to take a sales appointment with you.
The idea behind this is that you can’t go right for the sale in that first contact and you need a chance to spend time with the prospect to understand his or her needs.
I can’t argue with either of those reasons, but prospects know you’re going to sell them when they get to the appointment. And they don’t want to be sold.
Your goal, getting the appointment, is in conflict with the prospect’s fear of being sold. So you’ve got an uphill battle right from the start.
Sales is often compared to dating and when you take this approach it’s like inviting a girl you’ve never met before for a romantic evening at your place for a first date. The odds of success are not on your side.
Step 1: Stop Selling the Appointment and Sell Free
A better approach is to “sell” something for free:
- A free report
- A free event (teleseminar/webinar/live seminar)
- A free audio recording (on CD or download)
- A free video (on DVD or online)
- A free email course
Your free information product should accomplish four things:
- Tell your story - this humanizes you and your business and helps you build rapport with the prospect.
- Strike a nerve - clearly identify the problem your prospect faces and the pain he or she feels.
- *Position you as the expert - * the mere fact that you created a report or seminar or CD positions you as an expert with something important to say.
- Provide proof - showcase others who are happy and successful after buying from you.
Step 2: Let Your Information Product Sell the Appointment
At the end of your free report or presentation make an irresistible offer that gets the qualified prospects to willingly signup for a sales appointment. Here are some ideas:
- Offer a valuable free 1-on-1 analysis related to what you sell.
- Offer a bonus for setting the appointment (dinner for 2 at a local restaurant, free golf…be creative).
- Offer special pricing for prospects who schedule an appointment and buy before a deadline you set.
- Limit the number of available appointments (and take a waiting list for the overflow) to create scarcity and exclusivity).
Step 3: Follow-up automatically to convert more appointments
A good, automatic follow-up system will double the number of appointments you get from your free product. The reason is simple…your prospects get busy and they need reminding.
Reminding to read your report or attend your event. Reminding of the problem and pain they face without your solution. And, reminding to make the appointment so they can solve their problem.
The best and least expensive ways to follow-up is with an email marketing system. Using email, the entire follow-up process can be put on autopilot…freeing your time to take more appointments. And that’s the goal!
If you want to start (or improve) your email marketing, you might want to checkout my 3-part formula for an email newsletter that gets clients and download my template for planning newsletter content that converts.