How to Run Effective Prospect Appointments
First impressions are everything in business (and life.) Are you sure you’re making the right impression on your initial prospects calls or appointments? After running several businesses and coaching dozens of biz owners over the years, I have to say there are usually a few key elements missing. Here’s my rundown on how to run the most effective prospect appointments.
It all starts before the actual appointment. Usually, a prospect appointment (by phone or in person) will last 30 – 60 minutes, so you definitely want to be sure that time is worth it!
I suggest that before you have the full appointment, set up an initial interview call of 10-15 minutes to see if the prospect would be a good fit for your coaching, product, or service. Do NOT treat all leads as if they are equal!
Next, do your homework. Research the prospect by checking out their LinkedIn profiles, websites, online publications, and more to get a better idea of who they are and how you can add value to their life.
Finally, set some questions. Write up at least 5 key questions you want to ask during the call. These can be standard for every call you do, but you should try to tweak them to customize to each prospect. Examples include:
- What was the dream you had when you first started your business?
- How has owning and running your business been different than you imagined it would be?
- What would it look like if you “made it”?
On the call:
During the actual call/appointment, set the stage that you are the one interviewing the prospect, rather than the other way around. Of course, it’s a conversation so they are allowed to ask questions, but overall you should be the one directing the call and conversation.
Take notes. Be sure to take good notes throughout the call so you can refer to them throughout the call or in future calls or followup emails. Also, try to note things mentioned during the call that might have more significance than the prospect realizes. For example, they might make an off-hand remark about their previous divorce, but that could actually be playing a much bigger role in how they’re running their business than they realize.
Be confident in your rates. At some point, your rates will probably come up in the call. At this point, it’s important not to waiver. Even if the prospect mentions that someone else is cheaper or their budget is low – let them know you are completely confident that your work is absolutely worth the rate you’ve set.
Steps to the first call/appointment:
- Trust and Rapport (can be started before the call with the SM/website homework). Do not go into anything about you until you’ve had a chance to talk about them and given them a chance to talk about them. Only say what you MEAN, never lie just to build rapport or give a compliment.
- Gathering info (interview). People never give you the full picture with one question/answer. Always ask followups until you get to the root of the issue!
- Review alternatives they’ve explored/tried. Don’t be afraid to ask them about other products, coaches, programs, etc. they’ve tried, and what they liked or didn’t like about those alternatives.
- Introduce potential solutions. On the call, try introducing a few possible solutions to their current needs. You can start these with, “Have you ever tried…” or “It might help to…” or something similar. If you can’t think of possible solutions right on the call, let them know you have a few different options and would like some time to compare them before recommending any.
- Communicate your history of success. It’s extremely important for you to let the prospect know what you have done in the past, especially if you’ve ever worked with clients similar to them.
- Q&A. Ask if they have questions for you. This is an excellent opportunity to root out any reservations or objections they might have.
- If you want to do business with them by the end of the call, schedule a followup RIGHT ON THE CALL. NEVER, EVER leave a meeting or call without scheduling the followup one!
Try out these tips and steps on your next prospect appointments and be sure to track the results. I’d love to hear how they help you!
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