The Mansfield Sales Blog

Appointment Setting with the C-Suite: 5 Tips

In today’s SoMoLo world, social media and mobile appear to be the only way to connect with potential customers. But those are not the only ways, and they certainly are not the best ways. In fact, that old sales dog – the phone call – when used right, is still an effective way to get in front of key decision makers.

The key phrase here is “used right.” Gone are the smile and dial days when you’d call everyone in the yellow pages. Now, with LinkedIn, Google, and all of the other information you can find on the internet, you need to do some work before reaching out to your target C-level executives. An appointment setting call works best when it is a one-on-one, personal connection.

Here are five tips that can help you make that connection:

  • Know your target market. It’s important to start with a smaller, targeted list of well researched, high profile leads. A long list of prospects that will likely never convert to a sale is a waste of time.
  • Know your audience. When you reach out to each individual, make the call about their company – not yours. Do a bit of research so you know who the decision maker is, who their customers are, what they do well, and what the target CXO’s pain point is. Lead with that information before telling them how your solution can help.
  • Know your influencers. C-Suite executives are hard to reach. Many CEO's have neither the time nor the interest in "hanging out" on Twitter and Facebook, and often rely on assistants to "filter" their e-mail, direct mail and phone calls. Make nice with these assistants. Remember, these aren’t the secretaries you see in the typing pool of Mad Men – they’re generally young, eager, and knowledgeable about their company. Treat them with respect, have a conversation with them, ask them for help. Find out when is the best time to call, how the executive likes to communicate, etc. Often, a good administrative assistant can be your best friend.
  • Know your message. As baseball great Roger Maris said, “You hit home runs not by chance, but by preparation.” So, prepare. But don’t focus on yourself or your products; rather, focus on the prospect. Tailor your message. Remember that you’ll only have a few minutes on the phone, so keep it simple. Make it easy for the listener to understand your complex sales message and how your products and services align to the prospect’s needs.
  • Know what you want. After talking to the right person, asking the right questions, and offering the right solutions, you need to ask for the right appointment. But you need to know what this looks like. Is it a phone call, an in-person meeting, or a full presentation? You also need to know how to overcome objections or stall tactics.

Mansfield has found that the key to setting appointments is having a good caller who thinks of themselves as part of the sales team and can walk through the five points listed above.

Taking a personalized approach to appointment setting with C-level executives and decision makers can help build a strong pipeline, accelerate sales cycles, and ultimately increase revenue. We have developed an extensive background and database that covers a number of industries to help you grow your business.

Topics: Sales Strategy


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