As soon as you are about to wrap up a sale or are in the final stages, you will have to set up an appointment with your prospects. If there are specific parts to hash out, then this appointment will do it for you. It is your job to set up the appointment and formulate ways of closing the meeting.
What would you do if the prospect you were charming had to cancel on you the last minute? If it was going so well, you will be racking your brain trying to find out why they bailed and whether the sale is salvageable. Not all prospects are out to take you for a ride, some might have genuine reason for canceling a meeting. Do not hold it against them_ at least not yet.
It is at this point, you need to come up with a strategy for locking in meetings, making them a sure thing. Below are some of the main strategies you can employ when setting up meetings with your prospects.
Be Proactive When Reaching OutYou need to be bold when dealing with any client. Most newbies in sales/marketing are skittish about dealing directly with clients for fear that they might drive them away. They might not bring up the subject of meeting up to seal the deal for fear that they might botch the request. You need to be bold while bringing up the subject of meeting. This is important because it not only connotes the seriousness with which you take the business at hand but also gauging the mood and openness of the prospect meeting with you.
In reaching out to the prospect, you need to suggest a date for the meeting first, then ask the prospect to check if they are free then. Always remember to ask them to look at the calendar so that there will be no hindrances to your meeting. If they are not free on the day you have suggested, let them suggest a day they are free for a meet. It is up to you to be available during that date. Always remind them to put it up in their calendar. Most people might suggest a date and forget to put it up. When the day eventually comes and you call them up, they have totally forgotten about what you had already arranged. On your part, that can be very infuriating, especially if they are doing other things and you were left.
Upon agreeing on the date, you need to send a meeting request that very moment. If you are on phone, ask them to confirm receipt. This is essential for the avoidance of any doubts whatsoever. Most people rarely do this and wind up paying for it dearly. Think of it this way, sending a meeting request right there and then is a way of keeping everyone honest and accountable. Both parties are obliged to keep their word about when they will be meeting.
Sending The Meeting RequestIt has been highlighted that after agreeing to a meeting verbally, it is time to send a meeting request to the prospect. This request must be in writing to make it official. It also serves a reminder to which they can refer to in case of any doubts or concerns.
You need to be keen with the mood of the prospect after you have sent a meeting request to them. This is the stage where you get to see if the prospect is serious about going ahead with the deal or not. Eager prospects will always send a meeting request first. They are as invested in making the meeting has just as you are. If they do not bring it up during the conversations you have on the phone and you are the one making the labored effort, you might be dealing with a flake.
With flakes, you need to be very careful. Prepare for the worst just to be on the safe side.
Provide Options To The Prospect In The Event Of A RescheduleCircumstances beyond our control could impact whether or not a meeting happens. As much as you would like meetings to be set in stone, you need to be a bit flexible.
In scheduling your meeting, you need to politely ask the prospect to get back to you in the event they need to reschedule. Although it seems to be non-committal on your part, it ultimately shows you are conscientious enough to take into account your prospect’s needs. If they need to meet you earlier than expected, they can be comfortable enough to let you know.
Follow-up With An EmailAs powerful as calling is, sending a follow up email is even more powerful because it shows full blooded commitment on your part.
In your email, you need to include the dates and times of the meeting. Everything needs to be spelt out clearly and concisely. At the end, always include the option of the prospect calling you up in the event something comes up and the have to reschedule.
Call On The Eve Of The AppointmentAs the day of your meeting fast approaches, you need to be sure that the meeting is happening. You must call the prospect and confirm that they are still coming to the meeting. This clears any doubts and sets up the meeting to flow smoothly.
By following the above steps, you will be on course making your meeting stick and weed out flakes.