by Greta Schulz
Maureen is making her calls to potential prospects to begin to fill her calendar with appointments. She has spoken to lots of people and with an agreement of interest in her product she asks for the appointment.
The response she’s been receiving: “Well Maureen, I think it might make sense to talk further. Why don’t you call me after the holidays and we can get together then…”
Maureen is feeling excited with all of the interest but a bit frustrated with the procrastination. She speaks to her manager and others on her team and they say, “oh yeah, that’s par for the course this time of year. That’s just the way it is.”
What!! I don’t know about you but I am already getting booked up for January and beyond. If I waited until after the first of the year to book appointments, I wouldn’t be working very inefficiently.
I also am going to guess that if you looked at your blackberry or whatever form of calendar that you use, I would bet a million bucks (OK not really since this is in print) that you have at least a half a dozen appointments already set well into 2011.
So why am I pointing this out? If you are selling anything or even trying to make an appointment for another reason and someone asks you to call after the first of the year, then why are you accepting this blow off?
Here is how you need to handle this call. When you get to the point in the conversation to ask for an appointment and the prospect says: “You know, that sounds good. Why don’t you call me after the holidays and we’ll set something up?”
If it were me I would say: “I appreciate that Bob, but it’ll be so crazy after the first of the year with all of our calendars filling up. Let’s go ahead and set something now so we can have it already done.”
At this point, if Bob still asks to have you call later, I would say: “I’ve got to tell you Bob, when someone tries to make appointment with me and I am really not interested in meeting, I find a reason to put it off and the holidays are what I use this time of the year as a believable excuse.
“Please be clear, if you don’t feel like we have some things to talk about that could really be worth our while, let’s just say that now and not set anything.
“I am a big girl Bob, I can take it. But if we do feel like we want to talk further, let’s go ahead and set it, either way is fine with me. So Bob, what do you think?”
Some of you are not feeling good about this answer because you believe that you then lose your opportunity. Guess what, you really didn’t have one anyway.
Once you get real with a prospect and they understand where you are coming from they will set the appointment, or they will respect you for being honest about it. Wouldn’t you?