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It can be hard work for the average MSP sales professional to schedule meetings with prospects; you must get through the gauntlet of gatekeepers, voicemail and messages that are never returned. Once you’re able to finally schedule an appointment, it’s essential that you’re properly prepared or all your efforts will be wasted.
How Do You Properly Prepare for an Appointment?
The preparation process begins before you actually schedule the appointment; when you’re targeting your prospects, doing research and identifying market segments that are suited for your product and/or services. Once you’ve got a target prospect in mind, you should develop two groups of questions to ask them during the phone conversation.
The First Group of Questions
Identify specific IT problems that your prospect needs to solve, as well as goals they’re trying to accomplish—specifically areas in where your services/products will be helpful. Here’s a good example:
Recently, companies in your industry have requested that we help them develop more cost-effective methods to adhere to the new HIPAA requirements for storage and transmission of protected patient information and other healthcare data. Has your clinic taken on this initiative yet?
The Second Group of Questions
These questions should reveal the many different aspects of your product and/or service that will benefit your prospect, and give them a reason to meet with you. Here’s an example of this type of question:
Would you be interested in exploring the specific ways that we’ve helped other clinics similar to yours reduce the impact of the new HIPAA compliance requirements, while simultaneously helping primary caregivers see more patients? Would you be interested in seeing if any of these strategies would work for your healthcare clinic?
Asking questions and obtaining answers will help you succeed at scheduling appointments, because they’re relevant to both you and the prospect. Your prospect will realize that a meeting with you will be productive and not just a “meet-and-greet” sales pitch.
Prepare Questions For the Appointment
Prepare questions to ask during your appointment that will control the subject and direct the conversation. These questions should expand on the initial reasons for meeting, and also assist the prospect in realizing the reasons they need to do business with you. Design a strategy you can use to obtain the information you need. For instance, ask them about IT problems or equipment issues. It’s not necessary to memorize the questions, however, you should begin the appointment feeling confident with when and how you’ll bring up relevant topics.
Now, Even More Preparation Work Is Needed
There’s additional preparation work to be done, even after you’ve scheduled the appointment and developed your question strategy. Attempt to learn as much as possible about your prospect; visit the company’s website and Google their key employees to learn what you can. The more you know, the more intelligent and relevant your conversation will be.
Be prepared to ask for commitment. If you leave things open-ended at the end of the meeting, all your preparation means nothing. You’ll have more control over the selling process if you’ve prepared for your appointment; and the more control you have over the selling process, the more business you’ll secure.
Questions? We Can Help!
Ulistic’s 13 Step Sales and Marketing Process explains the importance of research and preparation. It’s critically important for the MSP sales professional to research everything they can about their prospect and their marketplace. How are their competitors using technology? What compliance regulations impact that industry? What applications do they use? What associations do they belong too? Contact us today to learn more.
Or attend one of our upcoming workshops!
Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL and Fort Erie, ON-based Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.