Getting More Appointments

Lost Appointments = Lost Business

Earlier this year I found myself at the beach attempting to do a little body surfing. What did I find but an empty bottle (see photo) every 10 or twenty feet propped up in the sand. The string of empty plastic bottles seemed to go on forever.
As I closed in on the bottle I realized there was a message in the bottle with a cork at the top. The front of the bottle had a label with one word; “Lost.” I of course had to open the bottle and unroll the note. This is what it said:
“We are 48 survivors of Oceanic flight #815. We were about 1,000 miles off course when we went down. The black box and radio are useless. Help. Rescue us. Come fast as you can. Please we are “lost.” Look for us Wednesday, September 22 at 8pm.”
The only other thing on the note was a ghosted stamp of the logo for ABC.
Obviously this was a promotion for the TV show, “Lost.” I watched as person, after person picked up the bottles and discussed it with their beach-going friends. There is no doubt that ABC created some buzz over this little gimmick. While all this was happening, I also noticed several of those airplane banners advertising other TV shows to which no one paid any attention. I couldn’t help thinking about how memorable, simple and cost effectiveness this promo was when compared with traditional media like airplane banners, print, radio and TV.

Attracting AppointmentsLast week we talked about how to get more appointments. Imagine if we could apply this type of marketing to getting more appointments. We might be able to “attract” people to us rather than chase after them.
As I mentioned last week many people tell me “if I could only get in front of a prospect then I could sell them my services.” But in getting the customer’s attention and interest we run the risk of losing credibility and being perceived as a “salesperson.” There IS a way to use attraction-based marketing principals to secure more appointments “without” selling!
I will actually be talking more about this in my upcoming Tele-Clinic on Monday Learn how to use a simple yet powerful five step marketing approach to getting more appointments:

  1. Preparation
  2. Reconnaissance
  3. Contact
  4. Rejection
  5. Response

Simply click here and complete the brief registration form to take part in the Tele-Clinic.
Practical ApplicationThis might be great for a television show or a product in the mass market, but what about a B2B product or service such as what most of us are offering? How can we apply this strategy?
It’s quite simple. Here’s my action plan developing a marketing campaign that results in getting more appointments:

  1. Identify the smallest most influential market that you can possibly find – a powerful, yet reputable subgroup that will have interest in what you have to offer.
  2. Create a compelling message that clearly articulates the problem of challenge they are facing.
  3. Figure out a way to give them a small taste of the product. Do so in advance of everyone else.
  4. Empower the leaders of this group to make claims and statements to their community regarding the product that you have created.
  5. Build your marketing right into your product or service rather than tagging it on as an afterthought.
  6. Inject your own passion in what you do. Do it because you believe it. And if you don’t believe it, don’t do it!
  7. Do what you love. Love what you do. Let it show no matter what anyone thinks!

Audience for RansomHere’s another example of a campaign that uses these elements which we launched for our radio show last year:
The average life of a radio show is less than 15 months according to a 2001 Aribitron study. The Small Business Hour has beaten the odds, this year celebrating it’s 7 year anniversary on the CBS Network! I attribute this not so much to our super selling skills. Truthfully, my staff and I have spent little to no time selling sponsorships for our show. In fact, I can count the “sponsor presentations” on one hand.
How have we done it? By building a highly targeted audience of listeners and potential sponsors. These are organizations that find it difficult to get entrepreneurs and small business owners to really listen to what they have to say using traditional media. So we targeted banks, accountancies, credit card processors, Professional Employment Organizations and Internet hosting companies. Senior executives of these organizations get so many solicitations for sponsorships, they tend to ignore just about everything. While we’re always involved in viral and buzz marketing campaigns for our show, we wanted to find a way to break through their preoccupation.
How do you get the attention of the marketing manager of Bank of America or AOL? We came up with a rather “shocking” campaign that not only received a great deal of attention it demonstrated how we would get the results that sponsors are looking for. We purchased the cheapest portable CD player that we could find. They cost $7 each and came with headphones. We recorded a message to precede the samples of some of our very best shows with guests like Zig Ziglar, Jay Abraham and Seth Godin. We sent this to several hundred highly targeted prospects. We also created a web site that answered all of the sponsor’s potential questions about the show and helped them to see how the show would solve their most challenging problem, “increasing their small business marketshare.”
This type of compelling, rather controversial message was instantly embraced and we received several sponsorships without investing very much in dollars or time.
Monday Tele-ClinicAgain these are the principles that we will be discussing in our Tele-Clinic on October 18 at 1pm. In this Tele-clinic we will present non-selling principles, approaches and techniques that will get you more appointments with qualified prospects. We will cover:

  • How to establish the ground rules so it’s easier to ask for an appointment.
  • What information your prospect should have BEFORE you meet with them (or even talk with them).
  • How to reach the right person without a battle.
  • The things you should never ask a prospect when you get them on the telephone.
  • The things you must ask your prospect before you set up an appointment.
  • Why you should spend more time REJECTING prospects rather than trying to get them to accept you.
  • How to get a prospect to ask YOU for an appointment instead of you asking them.
  • Why you should give your prospect homework after you’ve set the appointment.
  • Several ways to pre-sell your services even before meeting for the appointment.
  • How to dramatically reduce appointment cancellations.

We are only able to accommodate a maximum of 20 participants for this Tele-Clinic, so sign-up today. Simply click here and complete the brief registration form to take part in the Tele-Clinic.

Posted in Sales Improvement, Uncategorized.

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