Here are some common mistakes many direct media sales people make when they try to make appointments and what to do instead.
Mistake #1 – Call the client during trading hours
I often see this when direct media sales people are calling an advertiser cold. They call during business hours.
What to do instead: Phone your advertisers before the phone rings at their place in the morning, and after the day has finished: If you phone before the main business hours you usually get the decision maker. If it is a store with just a few employees then the chances of getting the owner are pretty good. Why? Usually the owner is the first one in the store, setting up and getting ready for the rest of his employees to join him or her. If the company you are calling is bigger then you get to avoid the gatekeeper and you catch your decision maker before they set off to meetings all day or just before they leave for the day.
Mistake#2: Talking to the non-decision maker
Many direct media sales people call the non- decision maker.
What to do instead: If you’re planning for an do a little research. It’s a simple phone call to the business during trading hours to find out who makes the decision on advertising and marketing at that business. A warm body is not the outcome- a qualified decision maker is.
Mistake #3: Do not have an outcome for the call.
Often direct media sales people do not have any purpose or outcome for the call.
What to do instead: Be clear on why you are calling a client. If it is to invite them to a meeting or seminar, be precise, have scripts if necessary. Makesure you have a plan, sound professional and do not waste the clients time when you make contact. We are all busy.
Mistake #4: Speak too fast and make mistakes on delivery
What to do instead: When you make contact with a client, or even get a voicemail, immediately slow down; take your time to deliver the message. You know what you are going to say, but this is the often the first time you might have spoken to this client, and they do not know anything about you your product or your medium. Remember it is not a race to get off the phone.
Mistake #5: Are not prepared to use scripts
What to do instead: If you make appointment or are prospecting on a regular basis I highly recommend using scripts. They are a useful tool if used correctly. When I train direct media sales people they often resist using scripts because they feel it is rote selling. Scripts are only a guide, but the great sales people use them all the time because of one important element, they become natural over time.
Mistake # 6: Do not repeat phone numbers and contact details
What to do instead: If you have to leave a message make sure you repeat the vital information twice. “Hi its Mike here from The Capital Times please call me on 04 888:888.” Then repeat it again and remember to slow down.
Mistake #7: Do not follow up to confirm the appointment.
Our clients are all busy people and many sales people are so excited when they get the appointment that they do not follow up in any form. They are happy they got the appointment and it’s in their appointment schedule, but it may not be in the client’s schedule
What to do instead: Before you get off the phone, make sure you get the clients details, then email the time and date. I have heard so many stories of sales people turning up at a clients business only to discover that they forgot and are out of the business doing something else.
PHOTO – e-magic