- 1. Put the Customer First
On the phone, forget about your underlying goal to grow the business you represent. Instead, put the customer in the forefront and think about how you can help them.
If you change your mental framework, you will come across differently — not as a salesperson seeking self-gain, but as a consultant who is there to help solve a problem. This approach enables you to break through defensive barriers and to develop a relationship with a prospect.
- 2. Uncover Prospects’ Needs
Before calling your prospects, do some research that allows you to anticipate their problems and how your company might be able to help them. Look at their website, latest press releases and social media profiles. Or, to make this step easier, use a sales intelligence platform that puts much of the most recent information at your fingertips.
Of course, learning does not stop once you make the call. With the prospect on the phone, dig into their issues. Your deep understanding of their situation and genuine desire to offer assistance could be the differentiator that lands you the appointment.
- 3. Use Stories to Sell
We’re hard-wired to love stories, so let your customers’ tales do the work for you. For example, at 3D2B we might say, “From cold calling activities in a similar industry to yours, we were able to generate $5 million in pipeline within the first year of calling”
Starting with a story spurs a prospect’s interest in how you accomplished a specific goal. He or she considers the impact a solution you implement could have on their organization.
- 4. Don’t Be Pushy
B2B is not the environment for the tactics of the classic used-car salesman. You’ll get further with courtesy and a desire to discover if there’s a good fit between your solution and the prospect’s needs. Always ask if the individual has time to talk. Be professional and consultative. Consider it a peer-to-peer conversation in which respect and consideration win the day.
- 5. Become Laser-Focused
So far, I’ve been talking about tactics to use in preparing for and conducting phone calls. Another option is to enhance your appointment setting process by adopting a new, more focused marketing and sales strategy. Many companies are moving to account-based marketing and sales, which focuses narrowly on companies that could have the most significant impact on your organization’s growth. That differs from inbound marketing which casts a wide net for leads.
Account-based marketing uses web- and predictive-analytics to determine which accounts on your target company list are interested in solving the problem your solution addresses. With this strategy, you can narrow down the number of companies and individuals you call, knowing you’re operating in a target-rich environment.
- 6. Don’t Give Up Too Soon
Wanting immediate gratification is natural. This tendency, however, has already led to the downfall of the B2B appointment setting process in many companies. For most complex solutions with a high price tag, there’s a long buying cycle with many people involved in the decision to buy. That means we can’t expect instant results. In the US & UK, you should expect to have to contact your prospects between eight and 12 times. In other countries, you’ll likely be successful with fewer attempts.
So plan and test your phone call cadence. And remember, variety is the spice of life. While talking person-to-person on the phone may be your prime communication tool, weaving voicemails and emails into the mix is likely to increase your success rate.
- 7. Use Referrals
You won’t always have a referral, but when you do, use it. They are door-openers that help you to build trust. In fact, that is one of the benefits of account-based marketing and sales. Once you start doing business with one of your target accounts, you can leverage your relationships to expand your business in that organization.
- 8.Outsource Your B2B Appointment Setting
As you can see, there’s a lot involved in setting appointments. Companies that do it day after day know the intricacies of the appointment setting process and how to make it work.
If you outsource your appointment setting to a professional B2B tele-services company, you don’t have to worry. You can continue running your business, while they create your campaign and assign a mature and competent team to implement it. You don’t have to be anxious about whether they’ll understand your business because that’s part of their job description. The right company will train their business development specialists on your products, markets, competitors and industries. Plus, you can rest assured that their reps know how to break through barriers to make contact with your prospects and set up appointments. It’s what they do. Every day.
Call us at +1 813-320-0500 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn how you can start scheduling appointments for your salespeople.