Yes, it actually has been since June that I last posted here. I spend the last 6 months in a race to keep up with my clients, traveling every week for training sessions and consulting work including Masters of Media Selling seminars in San Francisco and Los Angeles and New York City, and clients in New York, Des Moines, Los Angeles, Greensboro among other media hotbeds.
I love every minute of being with my clients and in ad-sales classes focusing on how to solve the most pressing ad-sales problems. Here is the toughest one, shared by almost all: How do you get appointments when prospects think they don’t need you?
You can’t sell without engagement. But prospects today think they know all about your category or your property, and they know they don’t need yours. Prospects say “we’re not planning now” and “we’re too busy to see you” and “we’ll call you when we are ready.” They say “just send me the information,” even “send me the ideas.” The most common story I hear is that a prospect says “check back in March” then when you call in March they say “we’re done with that plan.”
This is a not-so-new fact of the internet age. Your prospects have so little time and so much access to information that they feel little need to see you. Back-in-the-day, prospects had time, and they knew they needed to learn from you. Sales people were the ones with the research information, the ideas, and most certainly the prices. Today, our prospects are expected to turn around far more work, in the form of media plans, in less time then ever. And they can look up your property on the web, maybe even access your rates. Or they figure they can buy you through a network or real-time-bidding/buying platform, getting just the impressions they want with no waste.
You can influence the buy, getting a prospect to take a new view of your property, only by getting ‘engaged,’ earning your prospects genuine attention. You can do this ideally with an appointment in person, next best on a web-meeting/phone appointment.
All this is a preamble to this simple point: You better have a really good message when you ask for an appointment. If it works, you’ll win more appointments and ultimately win more business. If your message is so-so, you and your property will stay in the mental “circular file.”
Have you given careful thought to what you say when asking for an appointment? Is your message, that you’ll so often leave in a voice mail, and repeat in a follow-up email, on-point and succinct? Will it be hard for a prospect to say to themselves “I don’t need that?”
When you are having a tough time getting an important appointment, do you have a strategy to break-through to or ask for a 10-Minute Sales Call?
An investment of your time in carefully crafted messages to get appointments will pay off handsomely.