Sometimes you get to the point where you cannot close that sale on the current call/appointment. You need to set up a follow-up.
There is a right way and a wrong way.
In this episode, I cover my best way for setting that follow up appointment. I also cover where to look for feedback to how well you are doing on appointment setting.
Episode 98 – Transcript
Welcome back to the sales experience podcast. This is episode 98 this week. Week 20 is all about closing. Now hopefully you listened to episode 96 where I talk about if a closing strategy is actually needed, make sure to check that out. Sets the framework for this week.
Yesterday’s episode, I talked about the assumptive close being a professional and when you do your job right, you get yourself into a situation where you are now prescribing the right solution to your prospect to move them to a customer or to send them on another path in life towards another business and other solution, whatever that may be. That might not be what you’re offering. Fundamentally, the right approach for creating the ideal sales experience for yourself and for your prospects is when you don’t have something that’s a fit for everyone. Not everyone wins when you talk to them, right?
Not Everybody is a client for your product or service. It just depends on if it’s a good fit. If it can help them get into a better place, solve a problem or you know, reach some kind of goal or deal with pain, whatever it is on that whole spectrum that you’re trying to solve for somebody in even mind. Based on my experience, you can have one solution. You’re providing a service, whether it’s B2B or B2C – doesn’t matter. And for some of your prospects it is solving a problem and handling a pain and an issue that they have. For others, it’s helping them achieve a goal in a positive light where they’re trying to get to. It’s the same solution, but it could be two different feelings, two different experiences from the prospect side of what they’re hoping to achieve. So always keep that in mind.
Yesterday’s episode, all about prescribing, being the professional and assuming the sale and making them stop you. Now there are times when you can’t close the sale or you have to do a follow-up. Now when you’re doing a follow-up, the number one thing I always prescribed to everyone I work with on the sales side, yeah. Is to use the alternate close. So the alternative close is also what it’s called, and that’s where you give somebody two choices.
Now you can use this throughout your sales process, but specifically this is the best thing to do when trying to set up a follow-up appointment, a scheduled appointment or something outside of the realm of the sale that you’re doing right now. So if you can’t do one call close and you’re setting it up now, what’s the alternate or alternative close mean? It means you’re giving somebody two choices, A or B, red or green, one or two.
Okay. Now how about two or three? Like if you’ve ever gone to the eye doctor and they do those tests, they put the weird special glass thing in front of your face. You’re looking at the eye chart and they say, okay, which is better? One or two. Okay. And then you say two and they say, okay, how about two or three? Okay. And then you say three, okay, how about three and four? And then they’ll do four and they’ll say, okay, about four and two and they’ll just give you two choices and narrow it down until you’ve gotten to where they want you to be, which is perfect. 2020 vision. In this case here, when you’re setting up an appointment, the worst thing you can do in my experience is ask somebody.
Okay, one would be a good time for me to follow up with you. That’s so open ended and it doesn’t provide a clear framework for when you should call them and when they’re expecting your call. That’s basically just hoping that they tell you a time and hoping that they answer when you actually call them. In my experience, this is such a week way to set up an appointment that you want to avoid this at all costs. Now, sometimes that has to happen that way. Some people, they’re just not going to give you a nailed down time. That’s totally fine, but as a professional, if you’re a sales professional who’s trying to set up appointments and follow-ups that are strong, which will lead to a closing, and again, if you’re doing a one call close, you know sometimes there’s ones where you have to do follow-ups in that percentage of the time. This also applies to you if you’re having a long sales cycle.
So if it’s a three month sales cycle or one month sales cycle, then you want to make sure you use this. Now, alternative clothes sounds like this when setting an appointment. Okay. The next step is I’m going to send you an email and then I’m going to follow up, which is better for you the first part of the week or the second part of the week? Earlier in the week. Later in the week. Okay. Later in the week, which is better? Thursday or Friday. Thursday.
Okay. Which is better for you? Morning or afternoon. All right, which is better, three o’clock or four o’clock would you like me to call you on your cell phone or your office phone? Okay, sounds good. So I’m going to call you Thursday at three o’clock on your cell phone and then we’ll go from there. So if you noticed as I went through that, I’m giving two choices, A or B. Okay, A or B. Now how about A or B?
So it’s, you know, beginning and part of the week, later, part of the week. And then it’s a specific days. So two days you option A, option B. So Thursday or Friday, Monday or Tuesday, and then early or later in the day. Do you want morning or afternoon, which is better? Okay. So if it’s morning, all right, so I have time right now available at either 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM. Give Him two times nine 30 or 1130 oh 11 doesn’t work. Okay. Can you do nine 30 or 10 o’clock always two choices. Because if you say, hey, when’s good for you?
They’re going to say, ah, I dunno. Yeah, just call me around 10 like, and that doesn’t mean anything. That’s not a solid appointment. So you want to make sure you give two choices and then nail down where they want you to call them. So that it’s all set and so then you end up with Thursday at three o’clock on the cell phone, I’m going to call you.
You can expect my call if you haven’t called them already. It’s best to give them your caller id number and what’s going to show up on their phone. Tell them like if you want to go to the next level on setting appointments. I will tell people it’s like, yeah, the phone number I’m going to call you from is this. Make sure you save that in your phone. I’m going to be calling you and that way you know it’s me. I’ll call you Thursday at three o’clock and then we’ll go from there. So make sure when you’re setting appointments or doing any kind of followup is that you use the alternative clothes and give them two options each time and nail it down. And if they throw some back and say, well, I can’t do Thursday. Okay, how Wednesday or Friday just always giving two choices and narrow it down.
Yeah. Into a funnel where you’ve got a strong appointment. That’s the best way to go. If you find yourself just doing open ended appointment setting where you ask the person, hey, when’s a good time for me to call you? And they’re like, I don’t know, just call me next week sometime. Then you’re not operating as a true sales professional. So again, if we go back to the doctor example, which I use a lot, I mentioned a lot yesterday know if you were to call the doctor, most doctors aren’t going to say, you know, just come by sometime next week and we’ll see you whenever you show up. Like no, there’s a structure, there’s a schedule, they’re busy. Same thing. You want to make sure that everyone knows that your busy as well, not too busy for their business, not too busy for their referrals but too busy to just be on call and on standby all the time at a whim for whenever they’re going to be ready.
Hopefully this helps you set some stronger appointments and falls. Remember and I’ve covered this [inaudible] many times in the show so far, is that if you’re setting follow-up appointments and a majority of them do not answer when you call at your scheduled time and do not call you back if you’re leaving messages or don’t call you when they were supposed to call you, then there’s something you’re doing. You want to make sure you take responsibility for something you’re doing that’s not effective in your follow-up appointment setting.
Most likely it’s you’re not using the alternative clothes or some method to make really strong follow-ups and you’re doing the week follow-up appointment setting, so take that feedback from your prospects. If they’re not answering, they’re not available, they don’t seem interested. When you call, then take responsibility for something you’re doing well in advance and how you’ve set this up.
That’s it for this episode. Please make sure to subscribe, rate review, share this with everybody. You know anybody who’s in sales, thinking about sales, if you’re a salesperson, share this with your sales manager. Might be good tools for them to use with the group or to learn from. And if you’re a sales manager, have your whole team listen to this. It’s could be some great additional training for your team to help offset and supplement what you’re telling them that they may or may not be listening to.
And as always, remember that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.