Following Up on Literature to Set the Appointment: Tip #3

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Follow up written on calendarYou worked hard to get your foot in the door, and you finally reached the decision maker (DM).  It took a few minutes, but you established some rapport in the initial cold call.  You sent out your information package and called back in anticipation of setting an easy appointment.

However, you reach the prospect, and she does not seem to be anything like you remember.  The call starts out seemly more frigid and awkward than the first cold call.  Is this a warm call? Now instead of setting an easy appointment, you struggle to regain the bit of rapport you had.  The prospect stalls, and you resolve to try for the appointment again on the next call.

However, in the next call it seems the same thing happens.  The sale stagnates in the sales process.

If this situation sounds familiar, you are not alone.  Sales people make several mistakes on the follow up call to set an appointment after sending literature.  Below is Tip#3 to help you set more appointments in this sales process.  If you have not already done so, please read Tip#1 and Tip #2.

Tip#3: Take Personality Notes
What is it that makes a cold call cold?  Of course, it is that you and the prospect are complete strangers and there is no rapport or familiarity.  However, you may find that often your second, third and consequent warmer calls, begin just as cold.

The reason for this is that during that rapport building first call, you get to know a little about the prospect.  You become aware of their personality, speaking patterns, and some likes and dislikes.  However, after the call ends, you make notes as to what happened in the call but usually all you enter is information as to the disposition of the call and no information as to the prospect’s personality, mood or mental disposition.  A week or so goes by and you call back, with no “feeling” of the person you spoke with before.  Therefore, the call begins just like the first—cold.

The Solution
Take personality notes to reference the prospect’s attitude, mood, pace of speech and more.  Use the information to help you begin the second call, exactly where the first call ended.  Here is an example:

On the initial cold call, you reach the DM who you find to be an enthusiastic, jolly type of fellow who mentioned golf a few times.  He also talks so fast, sometimes it is hard to understand him.  During the few minutes in the cold call, you got to know him a little, and started to establish a relationship.

Now, on the second call, if you have not written those personality notes down, you start out all over again from the beginning.  If you have personality notes however, you know immediately to begin talking fast and upbeat and to mention golf.

You can use symbols to help you remember the “feeling” of the conversation and the prospect’s personality.  Perhaps you might use an “!” to denote an upbeat personality and a “?” for someone who is more subdued.

Try “S-1” for someone who speaks really slowly and “S-4” for the fast talker.

Record more than just the deposition of the call.  Record the “feeling” of the call and it will help you begin the follow-up call as if the first call ended just minutes before!

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

MTD Sales Training | Sales Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Originally published: 29 July, 2011