8 Tips for Successful Sales Appointments

Have you ever thought about the natural process we all experience when making decisions?

We all—yes, even your buyers—go through a series of little bullet points: What’s important to me? What benefits me? What’s the value in putting in the time?

If you can’t give someone the emotional or mental intrigue to continue a conversation, they will likely not genuinely have the time or tolerance to do so. Use a simple approach rather than a complex one. People want authenticity in their relationships, not canned scripts like “we have a special program.” To land an appointment, consider one of these approaches:

  • “We work with X and X and X, and when I was talking with them recently, I asked who else I should be speaking to. They mentioned they do business with you. Can I come by and just introduce myself and find out whether we’d be a good fit?”
  • “I was driving by and noticed your fleet in the yard. You know, we work with X and X and X—do you know any of those guys? We do a lot in your line of work, and I’m wondering if I could come by and introduce myself.”

Let’s assume you get the appointment, but you’re not ready to get in. Here are some quick tips for accomplishing your goals and leaving a good first impression:

1) Be clear about your purpose. Begin with the end in mind: Think about what you’re “committed to cause.” Those are strange words we don’t often use in day-to-day communication, but what I mean is: What’s the experience or emotion you want to create for the other? Openness? Honesty? Willingness to move ahead? You will create or evoke a response—the question is: Do you want to be aware or not aware of what that is?

2) Think about what you offer that may intrigue them. Is it a service, approach, system or process that will genuinely help them achieve their wants?

3) Remember: This is one of multiple decisions this person has already made today. How can you make doing business with you an easy decision for them to make?

4) More than 65% of the population consists of visual learners who like to see things. That’s likely both you and your buyer. I ask myself, “What can I draw on a sheet of paper that appeals to them?” P.S.: It’s not your agency’s $5 tri-fold brochure!

5) Think about who the audience is. What line of work are they in? What do you know about them as a person? Do you need to do some pre-appointment research on the Web or in the manual?

6) Who do you already know, or who does the agency work with, that may know this person already? A personal reference or recommendation can make all the difference in moving forward vs. simply being seen as yet another desperate soul looking to get something from them.

7) Relax. Be comfortable in your own skin. This one takes many of us many years, and some of us more years than others. But the more comfortable you are just being yourself, the better you’ll present—and the clearer you’ll think.

8) Consider the other. What could be going on for this person as a person? Put yourself in their shoes, asking questions instead of selfishly telling them all about you and your product. Too many producers remind me of that country song that goes, “wanna talk about me, wanna talk about I, wanna talk about No. 1…”

Before your next appointment, do more research about both your own motives and who you're going to see. If your thoughts are mostly about you, you're starting off on the wrong foot.

Brandie Hinen is founder & CEO of Powerhouse Learning and will address the Big “I” Young Agents Leadership Institute in New Orleans this September.