One common goal you might be working toward is making appointments with target prospects during outbound sales. There are very clear and simple things that can be done to improve your results and effectiveness, even though it sometimes can seem challenging.


1. Stay Focused on the Primary Goal

Staying focused on the primary goal during the cold call is the first thing you can try to change or improve. Salespeople are naturally drawn to always be selling and closing, which makes this important. We find ourselves trying to sell our products and services during cold calls with that natural tendency.

The main challenge is that a cold call should only last between two to five minutes in length, and that’s not enough time to work with to effectively sell and close. With that being said, we can improve results by changing from selling our products to selling the prospect on why it makes sense to keep talking and then sell the appointment or real first conversation. We’ll have more time to work with and will have the ability to really focus on all of the key steps needed to effectively sell once we’re in the appointment and/or a more established conversation.


2. Communicate Value

One thing often left out is attention to communicating the value that we have to offer prospects when making appointments. It’s natural to fall into discussing our products and services or details about our company. That is not value, and that is the challenge.

The fact that you have really cool and innovative technology or that your company is the market leader is not something the prospect cares about. The prospect cares about how you can help them increase revenue, decrease costs, or decrease risk. The value you offer through the delivery of your products and services should impact one or more of these areas, and if you focus on communicating that business value, you’ll improve your ability to set appointments.


3. Qualify the Prospect

Not skipping over the step of qualifying the prospect is another way to improve making appointments. We can easily fall into the trap of trying to set appointments with anybody who’ll meet with us when we have sales targets on our minds and the need to increase commissions. This creates a challenge because your time is very limited and valuable, and because of this, you should only meet with prospects which you’ve qualified in terms of fitting well.

We don’t want to do extremely thorough qualifying during outbound sales because we don’t have enough time to work with and don’t want to push away prospects prematurely. Because of this, we want to perform soft qualifying during cold calling so that we identify that it makes sense at a preliminary level to keep talking for both us and the prospect.


4. Find Pain

It’s very important to uncover the pain that the prospect is experiencing in the areas that your products impact when making appointments. There will be no reason for the prospect to justify a purchase if there is no real pain and no reason for them to meet with you.


5. Build Interest

In order for a prospect to agree to a next step when you’re calling them while making appointments, you have to build at least a minimum level of interest. Connecting the value that you offer with the pain they’re experiencing is one effective way to do this. If that’s not easy, it can be good to have some silver bullets ready on how you stand out from the competition, how you have delivered strong ROI in the past, as well as some threats from the environment, etc.

SalesScripter provides a call script tool that helps sales pros improve making appointments.