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The Sales Buzz Issue 95 - Sales appointment calls - Connect with your prospects
October 26, 2010

I'm Stephen Craine from the website

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Sales Appointment Calls - Connect with your prospects

Have you ever received a telesales or sales appointment call where a couple of minutes into the call you still don’t know who they are or why they are calling you.

The other evening I received a cold call and the caller wanted to make an appointment for a home improvement specialist to come to my home.

Disguising a sales appointment as something else can be very good sales technique. You can see more about how to use it at Telephone-sales-skills...

After a hurried introduction the caller went straight into the question stage and asked me about the age of my windows and other fittings.

I didn’t answer, and I suspect many of the prospects she cold calls don’t answer her first question either. Here’s why:

In her introduction she gave me the name of the company she worked for and I had never heard of them.

She said that they did building work on behalf of the local authority and they had some materials left over. So what?

This told me nothing about their business or what it meant for me.

Were they a big company, a windows and fittings specialist, a house builder.

We all create pictures in our mind when talking on the phone and we need words and phrases we can relate to so we can make these pictures.

In direct sales where you make appointments to visit a prospect at home this is even more important. They need to know who they are inviting into their personal space.

If you work in Direct sales see Direct sales tips... for more free training.

In those important first few minutes the prospect’s mind is looking for something to connect to, like a computer search engine going through its memory files. At this point in the call I had nothing to connect with and there was nothing in my memory files that had been triggered by her words.

She said the reason for the call was to arrange for a home improvement specialist to visit me. I still had nothing to connect with as I didn’t know what this person would do, or what to expect.

How the call could be made effective

Instead of answering her questions I asked her to explain who her company was and why she was calling me.

She had not connected with me or captured my interest and I’m sure all the other prospects she cold called had the same reaction.

I was asking questions and that meant she had lost control of the call.

A good introduction should include: Who you are and a reference point that the prospect can quickly relate with.

The reference point could be your company’s name, your products, or a very brief description of what you do.

The key here is that it must be information that connects with something that the prospect already knows so that they quickly understand who you are and what your call relates to.

If you are calling from a well known company, or you have a high profile product, the prospect instantly has a point of reference and can relate what they know to your call.

If you have a small business, or a unique product or service, the prospect may never have heard of you.

You then have to give them something that will register with their experience and knowledge.

For example:

Say you were selling vacuum cleaners, and on your telephone call to make a sales appointment you introduced yourself and said you were from the Spangler Company. The prospect may never have heard of Spangler and cannot connect it with anything from their experience.

So you have to add a point of reference that connects with them. You could add that you manufacture vacuum cleaners, or tell them how much better than Hoover you are. Both vacuum cleaners and Hoover are common terms that the prospect will quickly make a connection with. They now know what you are talking about.

That may sound like common sense and a very basic sales appointment technique. But I have heard many appointment setting calls where 2 minutes into the call the prospect has still not fully grasped who it is that is calling them, or the reason for the call. Make your sales appointment calls effective by adding words, names, and phrases that will connect with your prospects.

Learn more about making effective sales appointment calls.

You can have a free workbook training course on making appointments by telephone, just open Free sales appointment training...

Or click the image.

This free sales training course is published by the website

Leave a comment – Ask a question

Leave a comment or ask a question and give us your opinion on making sales appointments. Open the comments page and simply click and type.

How do you make sales appointments - what tips and techniques can you share?

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Stephen Craine

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