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Making the Most of the First Appointment to Close On Discovery!

Whenever we get in front of a prospect we need to make the most out of the opportunity to further the Sales Process. All too often we get hung up on trying to “seal the Deal” on the first appointment, or begin talking about our solutions, or even worse… give them a price! There is a time and place to present your solution and “Seal the Deal”, but it’s not on this first appointment…

Co-Author: CharTec’s Nick Points

Co-Author: Axcient/eFolder’s Tom Watson

If you find yourself leaving first appointments and only dropping off Marketing Collateral then hoping and waiting for a prospect to call back after they’re done “thinking about it”, you need to register for this webinar.

Join Tom and Nick to learn how to make the most of your first appointment and avoid the common pitfalls MSP’s face that cause prospects to lose curiosity, disengage from the Sales Process and ultimately commoditize your offering!

During this Webinar you’ll learn how to properly hold a first appointment that will set the foundation to close on Discovery and give us the best chance of winning on presentation day.

Closing on the first appointment may seem like a daunting task even for the most experienced salesperson. This goal is clear, but the real question is how do you successfully make this happen each time? The first and most important thing is pretty simple actually, research. Research does seem like a cop-out answer.  Any professional, especially sales, knows research has to happen. However, are you researching the right information, finding the right details and discovering what really matters?  Figuring that out first will help you put your best foot forward.

Start with some general company research such as a simple Google search, followed up by visiting the company website. Take some time to do a short website audit. Look at the layout, blogs and overall content. This will give you insight as to the company theme and offerings. Take a look at the about us and FAQ section. Look at the date of publication and pay close attention to how often they’re updating their site. Hopefully, this simple once over will allow you to find out who the gate keeper or main players are, as well as give you a pretty solid baseline on the company, but you’re not done yet.

Next dive in to social media. Search for the company on any social platform you can think of. Facebook and Linkdin are usually the most utilized for business purposes. Here you should be able to gain a little more insight. You can see engagements (or lack therof) and get a feel for the customers/clients that company services. LinkedIn should help you discover the gatekeeper and decision makers at the company. Once you discover that, don’t be afraid to do a little recon on any key individual’s Facebook or LinkedIn. Don’t friend request them at this point, they don’t really know you; but maybe your favorite football team is the CEO’s too. Or perhaps you find out you went to the same college. All of these things make great icebreakers and increase your chances of getting down the sales funnel.

Glassdoor.com can assist in discovering pain points at the company. For this one, you’ll want to remember that the reviews are a little biased. Most come from past employees and more often than not, disgruntled past employees. However, they can give some insight into the issues your prospect may be having. If an employee says the company is disorganized, you may want to use that when discussing your processes or ticket systems. If they complain about how often technology goes down, you know how to leverage that information.

Now, you can start looking into the nitty gritty business details. Using websites like census.gov, you can utilize several different data tools available to you, including key statistics from the Economic Census with per capita ratios using data from Population Estimates for a selected industry. Also, quick facts provide frequently requested Census Bureau information at the national, state, county, and city level. Another little-known website that packs a punch when it comes to company info an industry knowledge is hoovers.com. You can discover the number of employees a company has, gross sales, and main contacts. This information is huge when preparing your sales pitch. Finally, if you are not familiar with Google Trends, you should be. This is an amazingly helpful tool. It can assist in finding search terms for your area and or industry. How does it help you close on your appointment though? Well, by using the data side by side with the above, you can really pin point items of interest, pain points or anything else you would like to leverage for the sale.

It is extremely important to know what Line of Business applications and typical customers that your potential clients use and target. Not only will it make your life easier, it will make your pitch far more relevant. It is key that you present yourself as the expert of whatever subject matter you find yourself dealing with. Find out who, what, when, where and why of that prospect’s industry. If they work with the medical field, you better be ready to discuss HIPAA compliance, and the technology needed to maintain compliance. Perhaps they work with construction companies, then be ready to present them with technology that can handle their CAD programs. Do research on the Line of Business applications that vertical utilizes and become an expert on them.

Research is a very important factor to closing the first appointment. If you skip this step, you are guaranteed a door slammed in your face, as you show up just like any other generic Joe schmo out there. There is plenty more you must do to make sure you can get that next Discovery appointment, though.

Join Nick and I on October 23rd and find out how to make the most of the First Appointment to close on Discovery.  Click here to register: First Appointment.


By Tom Watson of Axcient/eFolder’s MSP Ignition! Program and Nick Points of CharTec Academy. Read more Axcient/eFolder blogs here.

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