If you want an appointment with a prospect bad enough, you can get it if you are willing to do something extra to prove to the prospect you are deserving of their time.
Far too often, we just use the phone to try to set up appointments. And far too often we just leave messages on their voicemail over and over again, somehow expecting them to call us back.
When I work with media companies, I always try to emphasize with the sales reps it's about being creative and rising above the clutter to gain a prospect's attention. That's when they start to notice you in a world jammed with package-peddling sales reps. When the prospect sees that you're willing to do the little extra to get the appointment, they are likely to at least see what you are bringing to the party/table/appointment.
A few years back, when I was working in Savannah, Georgia, I was given a list of "20 Ways to Get the Prospect's Attention...Now" by Kathy Teague Enfinger. Here's and example of taking #4 - " Cake: Let WWWW be the icing on your cake!" to a whole.other.level.
I was on the phone last week with my friend, D.J. Williams who has taught me a thing or two about creativity in commercials. We come from the same school -- you sell the creative process and ideas and it doesn't matter if you're in Timbuktu, you get in the door and eventually will get the business. D.J. does great creative, of course. D.J. is also on the street in Denver where the rubber meets the road and he sells for a living. He was telling me about an idea where he gets the appointment almost every time. I was impressed.
After he qualifies a prospect, he goes to work on sending them a cake to gain access to the decision-maker. I will let D.J. take over from here.
When I am doing the research for my spec spot on the client's website, I just right click and "save picture as." I usually use the logo or try and find a staff photo so that everyone is included in the fun. I then send the pictures/logo to our sales assistant Del and he puts an amazing collage together with our station logos on it and puts it into a pdf and emails it to the bakery. They scan it right onto the cake and then I go and pick up the cake myself and personally deliver it to the prospect's place of business.
(D.J. either gets the appointment on the spot or follows up with a call to the key decision-maker, or he emails the decision-maker directly knowing he has their attention. Here's an example of his follow-up email. Also, Saturday afternoon? Who does that? )
Good Morning P.T....it's D.J. Williams.
I'm not sure if you heard/saw that I stopped by on Saturday afternoon and dropped off an awesome cake for your team! I've attached a photo in case you didn't see it.
Obviously, I have heard some of your recent commercial messages on WWWW and was wondering what I may able to do to get in on the fun!
We have some pretty cool things going on at Jammin 101.5 and 107.1 Jack FM that I'd love to tell you about and wondered if there might be a good time for us to meet this week?
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Good work D.J.! You do more than "talk about it".you actually DO IT!
Here's the full list of "20 Ways to Get the Prospect's Attention...Now."
1. Colorful Tennis Shoe: All I am trying to do is get my foot in the door!
2. Hook and Lure: Once you try WWWW, you'll be "HOOKED."
3. Plastic Fish: Catch the big one -- Invest in WWWW!
4. Cake: Let WWWW be the icing on your cake!
5. Pie: WWWW deserves a piece of the pie...I mean invest in WWWW and don't miss your piece of the market!
6. Carrots: WWWW has a fourteen "CARROT" idea for you!
7. Squirt Gun or Play Money: WWWW can deliver more "Bang for your buck."
8. Basketball: DUNK your competition with WWWW.
9. Pizza: Let WWWW be the SUPREME TOPPING in your marketing campaign.
10. Plant: Your business WILL GROW with WWWW!
11. Puzzle: WWWW can SOLVE your marketing puzzle.
12. Watch: There is no TIME like right now to increase your market share!
13. Dice: Don't GAMBLE with your advertising dollars...Make a SURE BET with WWWW.
14. Deck of Cards: With WWWW, you'll always have a FULL HOUSE.
15. Airplane: With WWWW, the sky's the limit for your business's success!
16. Dart Board: Hit the BULLSEYE with WWWW.
17. Tools: WWWW will BUILD your business!
18. Golf Ball: It's always a HOLE IN ONE with WWWW. (If you made someone mad..."Sorry I tee'd you off.")
19. Red Hots (candy): Your business will be "RED HOT" with WWWW.
20. Alka Seltzer: Oh! What a relief it is to advertise on WWWW.
Have fun with your prospecting! Focus follows fun!
Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for Luce Performance Group International and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.luceperformancegroup.com.