3 Secret Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Sales Appointments


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Appointment setting is a critical part of the B2B sales process, but many companies struggle with it. Some companies get plenty of inbound sales inquiries from their website, or from other outbound marketing activities, but then fail to convert these initial inquiries into confirmed sales appointments. If you feel like your sales prospects are not taking the next step to agree to a sales appointment, there are a few possible reasons. You might need to make some changes to your sales qualifying questions, your early stage sales process, or your overall approach to building trust to help convert more sales inquiries into sales appointments.

Here are a few reasons why you’re not getting sales appointments:

You’re not asking the right sales qualifying questions: Every sales prospect has “pain” issues – problems in their business that they’re hoping to solve. This is why they contacted you – or agreed to talk with you – in the first place; their business has some kind of problem, or they’re not happy with their existing vendor or supplier, and they need a solution like the one you sell. The challenge is, many companies do not do a good enough job of asking lead qualifying questions upfront to identify the customer’s “pain” issues. As a result, the prospect doesn’t feel any urgency to agree to move forward to the sales appointment – or there might be a miscommunication where the sales person doesn’t listen and ask follow-up questions to understand the hidden problems and unmentioned pain points.

Not having a clear sales process in place: Many B2B sales organizations do not have good, consistent lead qualification processes in place to sort, rank and organize their sales leads. For example, your company should have a process in place where you can take a new sales lead through a step-by-step system of escalating the conversation toward a sale: 1. Sales inquiry received, 2. Initial lead qualification conversation (find out whether the prospect is a good fit, search for “pain” issues), 3. Send sales literature, 4. Ask the prospect to agree to meet for a sales appointment or online demo, etc. Every conversation with the customer should end with a clear “next step” where you ask the prospect if they will agree to schedule a subsequent conversation and take the next step in the sales process. If not, you’re going to lose your prospects’ attention – if they feel like you don’t have a well-organized process, if you’re not guiding them along and making it clear that they need to commit (or not) to a sales appointment, then they will take their business elsewhere.

Not building trust: Trust is essential to sales. It’s especially important to build trust in the early stages of the sales process when you’re trying to get a sales prospect to feel comfortable agreeing to meet with you for a sales appointment. If prospects don’t trust you, they won’t want to meet with you. If you aren’t listening to prospects, if you’re not asking good questions, if you’re not showing them that you care about improving their overall situation and helping solve their problems, then they’re not going to agree to meet. Take a closer look at your early stage sales process. Which questions are you asking? Are you conveying the right attitude? Are you coming across as being too pushy or too eager to close the sale, instead of being a helpful contributor to the prospect’s business?

If you re-evaluate your sales process, ask better lead qualifying questions, and do a better job of building trust upfront, your customers will be more likely to agree to meet for sales appointments – and more likely to convert to sales.

Al Davidson
Al Davidson is the founder of Strategic Sales & Marketing, a "leading light" among lead generation companies, delivering B2B lead generation and b2b appointment setting services for clients ranging from local small businesses to the Fortune 100. Since 1989, the company's sales agents have generated over 7 million sales leads, and created millions of dollars for clients.


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