appointments

Never Assume the Deal is Done

Leads are great, but what value do they have unless you can convert the prospect into an appointment? Too often, sales agents will assume that they are the only game in town. They say to themselves, “Hey, I have this great prospect talking to me via email or the phone, they are so close – this deal is in the bag.” They give great information (sometimes too much) and have the attitude that when the prospect is ready, he or she will call back or email to set that appointment. They think, “Where else is this person going to go? I am the only one working on this listing/community/home.”

With this mindset, online sales specialists are actually creating more work for themselves with fewer results. Not asking for the appointment while we are engaged requires more follow-up with a higher chance of not reconnecting with that same prospect. We want to convert them while they are in the mood, engaged, and on our website browsing.

Reminder: speed wins. You need to be fast with your responses, and fast to get prospects to meet in person.

Have a Goal for Every Interaction

I believe every interaction with a lead, either on the phone or by email, should have the end goal in mind of setting an appointment.

To do this, you need to be armed with some great “closing” scripts. In the lead management process, your first opportunity to “close” is by setting the appointment. Here are seven phrases I have tested that work extremely well.

1) The Assumptive Close: “It seems like you are interested in this home. The next step would be to meet in person. What time would work for you?”

2) The Soft Close: “Thank you so much for taking the time to talk. What do you think about meeting in person for a VIP tour?”

3) The Trial Close: “Do you feel like you have enough information to take the next step and meet in person?”

4) The Hard Close: “What are we waiting for, let’s get together today!”

5) The “No Means Yes” Close: “You wouldn’t mind if I asked you to set a time to meet in person, would you?”

6) The Tie-Down Close: “I think an in person meeting makes perfect sense, don’t you?”

7) The Alternative Close: “I would love to set a time for a VIP showing. We have time during the week or on the weekend, which works best for you?”

Go for the No

In most conversations, your prospect will give you all the chances you need to ask for the appointment. Remember, the appointment is merely the natural end to a great interaction. What is the worst they are going to say? “No.” Go for the no every time. But don’t give up. If they don’t set the appointment right away, be sure to have another reason to follow up with them and keep the conversation going.

So what is your most effective way to set an appointment?

This post was originally published February 8, 2010.

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