Talking about ‘quality appointments’ is something we hear a lot; but what does this actually mean and how do we measure quality?
As professional appointment setters it’s crucial that our clients perceive everything we do for them as high quality; it’s what they expect and rightly so. Therefore, quality is often quite subjective.
For example, some clients will tell us to get them in front of someone no matter how we do it and they’ll do the rest. They’re basing this attitude on their own ability to convert someone from a face to face meeting. However, this can be dangerous for three main reasons:
- If we force an appointment with someone who isn’t really ready to take it for whatever reason then come the time when the decision actually is being made then our client may have faded from memory.
- If insufficient intelligence has been gathered on that company; pain points, triggers, value add opportunities etc. then the appointment won’t be as powerful and our client may lose out to a competitor who has really done their homework.
- Making unqualified or tenuous arrangements usually increase a sales phenomenon called ‘buyers remorse’. this is where someone is sweet talked into agreeing to something only to change their mind almost immediately thereafter.
At Newton Fox we much prefer, almost insist actually, on taking our time with each prospect, building rapport, fact finding and making sense of any offering we may wish to put forward. Just as a doctor won’t write a prescription out before you’ve even sat down in her surgery then nor should we try to solve a prospects issues before properly finding out what ails them.
Have you heard of Aesop’s Fable where the wind has a bet with sun as to who can get a man to part with his coat the quickest? Despite an energetic attempt by the wind the coat remains even tighter wrapped around the man. All the sun does is come out and the man warms up and so removes his coat of his own free will.
This is the essence of sales. An appointment should only be set as a natural ‘next step’ in a well managed and sensible process that the prospect is very happy to engage in and a real need has been established and agreed upon.
As a great many of you will know there is a simple system we can use to quickly take a temperature check on the validity of any meeting we may be tempted to set up. The BANT system stands for:
Budget – has the prospect got the financial resources right now to proceed to a purchase or not?
Authority – Are we talking to the only decision maker or are there other stakeholders whose opinions and thoughts need to be taken onto consideration?
Need – Does the prospect really need your product or service and if so to what extent?
Timeline – If the prospect agrees that your company is the right one to go with how soon are they looking to buy?
By scoring each individual criteria we can quickly assess the potency of any potential appointment arising. It’s not meant to be a real in-depth analysis but rather a quick, ‘back of envelope’ calculation to help decide where next to go with this prospect.
As said at the top of this blog, how qualified an appointment needs to be is very much in the eye of the client but we’re not shy in offering real help and advice in order to get the very most out of each and every call made.
Put simply quality appointments lead to quality business and the perception of our client’s business is always much higher when the way in which we have conducted ourselves is as consummate professionals who are capable of listening and offering sensible solutions.