Unqualified Appointments = Cancellations = Loss of Revenue
Excessive cancellations can be debilitating to any WebCenter owner. You lose irreplaceable time, resources, revenue and even confidence in your ability to produce. If you find this happening to you, itís time to stop the cycle now and take back control of your business by setting better appointments.
How do I know if I have excessive cancellations?
A good rule of thumb to follow is to check your last 5 appointments. If you have 3 or more cancellations for every 5 appointments set, then you have excessive cancellations and need to make a change.
The good news is that you can easily turn this setback around by mentally going through the following Appointment Checklist before setting every appointment:
÷ Make a Good First Impression
The quickest way to lose a sale is by giving a bad first impression. So before you pick up the phone or walk into that business, make sure that youíre prepared with business cards and brochures, are professional and know the script inside and out.
÷ Make sure you are speaking with the Decision Makers (DMís)
Since DMís are the only ones who have the power to purchase; itís imperative that you speak directly with them. A good way to verify that they are indeed the DM is to ask:
"Who takes care of your marketing? Normally I speak with the business owner, would that be you?"
÷ How to find your DMís Hot Buttons
Once you have found out who the DMís are, the next step is to determine what their needs are and just how likely they are to purchase. The easiest way to accomplish is to ask this qualifying sentence:
"Is a Business Web site something that you have considered doing in the past, currently or in the near future?Ē
Youíd be amazed at how much insight you can gain by asking this one simple question. Listen carefully to their answers. Then think of these answers as clues into what your prospect is looking for in a Web site and in what time-frame they are looking to buy. Then include these clues or ďHot ButtonsĒ in the ďNotesĒ section of your Sales Calendar, so that your Web Specialist will know what to focus on during the presentation.
÷ Never Discuss the Price with your prospect
Your Web Specialists are experts at adding value to your product. They have years of training and experience, and know better than anyone how to present the software in a way that will maximize your profit potential. When you discuss the price and/or preview the sample site before the walkthrough, you undermine your Web Specialist and risk losing your profit and even the sale. Thatís why we suggest that you never discuss the price. Instead, if your customer asks about cost, move the appointment forward with this answer:
ďIt really depends on your needs. It wouldnít be fair of me to give you a price without knowing exactly what your companyís needs are.Ē
÷ Donít oversell the Web site
Sometimes DMís will hit you with a barrage of questions before they will commit to an appointment. The best thing you can do in this situation is to just keep it simple and reply:
ďThatís a good question, my Web Specialist will answer it during the appointment.Ē
Then move the appointment forward.
÷ Move the appointment forward
Your goal at this point is to get your prospect to commit to a time and a date for the presentation. Discourage them from asking more questions by saying:
"Now what I will do is have my corporate office put together an interactive Web site Package for your company to review at no cost or obligation. Then I will have one of our Web Specialists walk you through it."
This politely reaffirms that they will get all of their answers by a qualified person during the presentation; but now is the time to set the appointment.
÷ Setting the appointment
The most effective transition into setting the appointment is:
ďWhat works best for you, mornings or afternoons?Ē
Once they answer, finish setting the appointment by having them commit to a firm date and time.
÷ Solidifying the Sale
Once you have set the appointment, it is important that you go through this final checklist:
1. Find out exactly which DMís need to be present in order to close the deal. You can do this by asking:
ĒIf you like everything that you see at the time of the appointment, is there anyone else who you may need to consult with before making a decision.Ē
2. Once you know who the Decision Makers are, it is important that you set the appointment at a time when they will all be available. Also, this is the perfect time to reconfirm the date and time of the appointment to avoid any confusion.
3. Verify that your prospect has both Internet and Phone access. Itís impossible to do a walkthrough if the prospect is without them, so double-check to make sure that this wonít be an issue.
4. Never leave without giving your prospect both your name and number. Just in case they have a question or need to reschedule, they will need a way to contact you.
*This is also where current brochures and business cards will come in handy. Whether you print them up or email them after the appointment is set, this will not only give them your contact information, but also will do wonders for your credibility.
5. Always confirm the time and date of the appointment with your prospect 24 hours before the appointment.
The Appointment Checklist is designed to help you take back control of your business by setting better appointments. Weíve sold tens of thousands of Web sites and are experts in what we do. If you use this checklist every day, the quality of your appointments will increase, as well as your sales numbers.
For more information on proven ways to set better appointments, check out these other great articles and Conference Call at:
"Setting an Appointment" Sample Presentations:
How to Confirm an Appointment: