Tom was ecstatic. On top of the world. After trying to reach Steve for the past month he finally got through and scheduled an appointment for Tuesday morning at 10:00am.
Steve is VP of Purchasing for ACME Industries. From Tom’s perspective he is a WHALE. A fabulous prospect. A huge opportunity.
On Tuesday morning Tom got up bright and early for it was a two-hour drive to Steve’s office, which was about 50 miles away.
Traffic wasn’t too bad, and he arrived at ACME with about 15 minutes to spare. He pulled out his briefcase, reviewed his presentation one more time. Looked at himself in the mirror, straightened his tie, got out of the car and walked confidently into ACME world headquarters.
With a strong and firm voice he told the receptionist that he was here for his 10:00am meeting with Steve Smith. After a momentary pause, she replied, “I’m sorry, but he’s not in today. He’ll be out of town for the entire week.”
Tom was crestfallen. “How can that be?” he stammered. “When we spoke on Friday, he said that 10:00am on Tuesday would be fine for him.”
Sue, the receptionist, continued, “I wish I could help you, but he’s had this business trip planned for weeks. If you would like, you can leave him a voice mail message, and I’m sure he’ll call you when he checks his messages.”
Tom left Steve a half-hearted message, returned to his car and commenced the L-O-N-G drive back to his office.
Steve never returned Tom’s call.
Nobody Likes Being Stood Up
Has this ever happened to you? It used to happen to me. But years ago I vowed that I would never allow it to happen to me again. I always confirm my appointments!
One of the things I discovered when I first got started in sales, 30 years ago, is that many people don’t write down their appointments in their calendars. Today, they also fail to enter them into their Palms, Outlook or their contact managers.
To get around this problem you should always say, “Let me give you my direct phone number. [You could also give the person your cell and/or home phone.] If you’ve got a conflict or problem could you please call me so we can reschedule.”
By asking the other person to take your phone number, he’s got to write it down on something. This forces him to enter your name and number on his calendar.
Confirm Your Meetings
Just because someone has written down your name on the calendar isn’t a guarantee he’ll keep the appointment.
The best way to guarantee that you don’t waste your time going to a meeting with someone who won’t be there, is to call first to confirm your meeting, BEFORE you leave your office.
I’ve worked with many salespeople who have told me they are afraid to call a prospect to confirm a meeting. Their fear is that the prospect may take this opportunity to cancel the appointment.
That’s why you should call first.
If the prospect doesn’t want to meet with you, why force the issue? It takes too much time, effort and energy to attempt to force square pegs into round holes. In the end 90 percent of the people you’re talking with don’t buy. That’s a lot of WASTED time.
Why waste your valuable time making presentations to people who aren’t particularly interested in meeting with you. They’re actually doing you a favor by canceling the meeting.
Now you’ve more time to look for a better prospect. Someone who WANTS to buy whatever you’ve got to sell.
When I first started my consulting practice in the early 80s I decided to use the phone to better qualify my prospects. I would meet with far fewer people, but more than 80 percent of them bought.
Time is the most valuable asset you’ve got. You don’t want to manage your time, you want to LEVERAGE your time.
Spend your time looking for people who want to do business with you. You’ll close a lot more sales, be more successful, and have more time to look for more customers.
Learn how to leverage your time – by eliminating the wasted time – and you’ll become more successful than you ever dreamed.
|Reprinted with permission from “Jeffrey Mayer’s SucceedingInBusiness.com Newsletter. (Copyright, 2003 – 2005, Jeffrey J. Mayer, SucceedingInBusiness.com.) To subscribe to Jeff’s free newsletter, visit www.SucceedingInBusiness.com
About Jeffrey Mayer
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