Do you want to set more sales meetings? Of course you do. More qualified sales meetings mean more sales--and more sales mean more income. But setting sales meetings isn't easy; they don't just fall into your lap. The most successful salespeople have a systematic process in place to set a specific number of meetings every week, month, and year.
Maybe your strategy for sales meetings could use some work--or maybe it's completely nonexistent. Either way, you must be proactive about getting more meetings scheduled on your calendar if you want to crush your sales goals this year. Follow these 9 powerful steps to set more sales meetings than you ever have before:
1) Create a sales prospecting campaign plan
The first--and most important--step to setting more sales meetings is to have a prospecting campaign plan in place. Without one, you're just shooting in the dark. When it comes to prospecting and identifying cold leads, most salespeople are doing it the hard way: They just pick up the phone and start dialing. But when you call prospects who have no idea who you are, it's very unlikely they'll want to talk to you--let alone set up a sales meeting.
Instead of cold calling, use a sales prospecting campaign approach. Plan out a series of direct mail, email, and event invitation outreaches to your prospects so they become familiar with your name, company, and product. Then call them. By following a sales prospecting campaign plan, you'll set the stage so that when a prospect answers your call, they already know who you are.
2) Consistently ask for introductions
Introductions are one of the most effective ways to set more meetings in sales. Why? Because other people are doing the heavy lifting for you by connecting you with ideal prospects directly. When prospects are sent your way by a friend or close colleague, they're exponentially more likely to agree to a face-to-face meeting with you. The trust is already there--you just have to ride the momentum of the introduction. So, what have you done this week to get more introductions to prospects? Set specific daily and weekly goals to ensure you never stop asking customers, friends, family, and prospects for introductions.
3) Invite prospects to private events
Everyone loves an exclusive event, including your prospects. It's no surprise that private events can be an incredibly powerful way to set more meetings in sales. Invite your existing customers and prospects to attend invitation-only events throughout the year, hosted by you. To implement this strategy, simply rent out a small private space in your city or town, and organize some kind of event that offers value to your clients. Let your prospects and customers each bring a friend to the event, too. You'll be shocked at how many sales meetings you set after an event like this.
4) Speak to associations and trade groups
Speaking in front of crowds might make you feel uncomfortable, but it's time to break out of your comfort zone. Giving speeches to associations and trade groups in your industry is like starting a sales conversation with 70-200 new prospects, all at once. If that doesn't inspire you to embrace public speaking, nothing will. Your prospects are already out there attending these meetings for associations and trade groups. Take advantage of it and you'll find yourself with a calendar full of sales meetings following your speech.
5) Create special reports for your prospects
Many salespeople make the crushing mistake of failing to offer any real value to prospects when they reach out to them. You can avoid this pitfall by creating special reports for your prospects, loaded with useful information that pertains to your prospects' industry. If you lead with a report like this, prospects will view you as an expert and see great value in meeting with you. These reports don't have to be difficult. Simply gather specific info or data on what's going on in your prospects' market. Then, put that information into a short report that walks prospects through what you see going on in their industry today.
6) Conduct a study and share the data
Nobody expects you to conduct massive amounts of research with thousands of samples. But you can easily conduct a small study to reveal powerful data that your prospects will find interesting and useful. More sales meetings will come naturally if you continue to establish yourself as an expert in this way. Here's how: conduct a small study of around 20 clients. Collect information and anecdotal evidence through the course of your interactions with them over time. Whether you use a survey or ask specific questions in conversation, collect the data and then share what you find with your prospects.
7) Submit articles to trade publications
Don't worry, you don't have to be a professional writer to create compelling, effective articles for trade publications. In just 500-700 words, describe a common frustration that your customers face, and outline ways to solve that challenge. This shouldn't take more than an hour or two. Have someone edit it for you, and then submit it to a publication that has a membership base where you'd like to gain some traction. Repeat this every month or so. Trade publications are always hungry for more content--when they publish your articles, it's free advertising for you. Prospects will read your articles, reach out to you, and want to set up meetings with you.
8) Use multiple prospecting strategies at once
It's crucial that you never start relying on just one prospecting strategy if you want to set more sales meetings. Make sure you're always using multiple prospecting strategies at once, with all of your prospects. That means mailing packages, sending sales letters, crafting prospecting emails, leaving voicemails, making calls, and sending invitations to exclusive events--without leaving a single strategy out. By mixing all of these approaches together, your prospecting campaign will more than double in effectiveness, and bring tons of sales meetings along with it.
9) Repeat the same prospecting process with every prospect
This step couldn't be more simple: No matter how tempting it may be to skip one of the steps above, make sure you stick to them, and give every prospect the same treatment. Sales superstars are consistent across the board, never making an excuse or failing to follow through on any part of their prospecting plan. Do the same, and you'll reap the rewards of more sales meetings.