Sales Call Excellence

Pandemic Prospection Series

Picture yourself prospecting and asking for an appointment. You ask for the meeting something like this: “How does next Tuesday look on your schedule; can we say 2pm?”

Three types of meetings can result from asking for appointments:

  1. Virtual
  2. Phone
  3. Face-to-Face

Here are tips to accomplish just that:

  1. Virtual Meetings

A clear challenge in conducting a virtual meeting is coming across as confident, authentic, and trustworthy when you can’t be physically present. But this can be accomplished with the right planning, a strong sales narrative and visual cues to elevate your virtual presence.
Consider these best practices as you prepare for your next virtual meeting:

  • Always have a welcome page and agenda when your prospect enters the meeting. This will reassure your prospect they are in the right place. Displaying the agenda reminds them of the purpose of the meeting and you can use the welcome page to include your logo AND the prospect’s logo, adding personalization.
  • Open your presentation and documents so you are ready to share. Your prospect doesn’t want to wait around while you fumble to find the right documents at the start of the meeting. Make sure you have all of the presentations and documents you want to share open and ready to go.
  • Make a smooth transition from small talk to the purpose of the meeting. Knowing when you should “get down to business” and move on from small talk (or trust talk) can be tricky. There’s no need to rush but you’ll put everyone at ease if you control the flow and navigate this transition smoothly.
  • Engage your prospects through annotation. Collaboration is key when it comes to engaging your prospect during a virtual meeting. You can use the annotation feature in your meeting software to get your prospect’s attention and ask them to change or clarify whatever you’re showing on the screen.

2. Phone Meetings

Are you running into some prospects that are simply burned out on virtual meetings? Could they have a case of ‘Zoom Gloom?’ A phone meeting is still a meeting and it drives new business. It may not beideal, but don’t let that stop you from using the phone as a virtual selling tool.

That said, not having any visual cues presents a challenge when you can’t show and tell or read their body language. To help you make the most of your phone meetings, consider these best practices:

  • Send a visual. Since your prospect won’t be looking at your screen like they would in a virtual meeting, send something via email right before the call. That could be a company overview, e-brochure, or snapshots/ pictures of your work. It’s important to give them something to look at so you both have a reference point.
  • •Maximize the power of the phone. A huge advantage of talking by phone is you can avoid the feeling of your brain being on overdrive like it can feel on a video call — multi-tasking, searching for body language clues and missing the eye contact. We can just talk, ask and listen carefully, really hearing a person’s tone of voice. Lean into the power of the phone and the advantage of being fully present. Relax and create an engaging conversation.
  • Follow up with a video. Personalized videos have power. This cannot be stressed enough; especially for those prospects who preferred a phone meeting. Utilize a program like Vidyard or Soapbox. Grab a white board, write your prospect’s name on it and record a 45 second to one minute video to say thank you and share a final thought. If you felt you were not able to convey your enthusiasm and genuine interest over the phone, this video will do the trick!

3. Face-to-Face Meetings

Your face-to-face meetings may be few and far between these days, so you want to be well prepared for these meetings if you are able to secure them.

Consider these things before you go on your next in-person meeting:

  • Confirm any safety protocols before you get to the office or facility. After confirming your onsite “Tuesday at 2pm” meeting, ask a couple questions such as: “Do I need to go through a special entrance?” “Do I need to sign a waiver before arriving?” “Are there any safety protocols I can be aware of so that I’m respectful of your staff’s preferences?” Come assuming you’ll wear a mask and follow their lead on comfort level. The key thing here is to understand the rules of conduct for outside visitors and to be respectful of those rules.
  • Have printed and electronic options. Bring your laptop to share any visuals just in case handouts are not permitted. As much as possible, plan well in advance and be ready for anything!
  • Smile and express your gratitude for this much needed personal interaction. By agreeing to this meeting they have demonstrated they value you. And by sitting down with a customer or prospect in person, you have demonstrated you value their business. That’s a win for everyone.

So go ahead…keep on dialing and asking for appointments. Be flexible and respectful in your quest to secure one of the three types of meetings. All will bring you one step closer to achieving your sales goals and financial goals, both now and in the months and years to come.

Much prospecting success to you!