Phone Prospecting Tips for Setting up Appointments

In an age when everyone is suffering from email overload it pays off to simply pick up the phone.  Of course, you probably know by now my first recommendation is to use LinkedIn to help you make connections before your even begin your phone prospecting. People are much more inclined to listen to your entire phone prospecting approach if you first build that connection online.

The key to successful phone  prospecting is planning. Using guidelines and a script on the call doesn’t have to make it sound mechanical if you’re listening to a customer and connecting with his communication style. These tips will increase your phone prospecting close rate and build your confidence in using the phone for marketing and setting up appointments.

1. Have a written out phone prospecting approach.

You might think that winging it is will make your phone prospecting approach sound more natural. On the contrary, “winging it” only leaves you with inconsistent results. It also ends up making your phone prospecting sound more confusing to the person answering your call because you inherently end up spitting out fragmented phrases you’ve used randomly in the past.

Since a confused mind says “no” be sure to take the time to write a well thought out phone prospecting approach that quickly builds rapport, asks relevant open ended questions and gives the customer enough information to accept your invitation to set up an appointment.

Make your phone prospecting calls from some place comfortable. Relax, think about successfully closing during your phone prospecting calls and have a smile on your face. Your body language comes through over the phone in subtle ways so have a positive attitude before you dial, suggest ATC Conferencing. If it’s helpful, imagine that each customer is actually sitting in front of you watching your body language.

2. Be an active listener.

When your prospects are answering those open-ended questions you’ve prepared don’t be thinking about what you will say next. When the prospect is speaking do nothing but listen to get a sense of:

•  how the person communicates
•  what the person currently needs in his or her life
•  how your product can fulfill one or more of those needs

Notice things like – does the customer seem rushed? Out of breath? How did he or she answer the phone? What background sounds can you pick up? This will give you some sense of the person you’re speaking with. Based on that, you can begin to match his or her communication style.

3. Mirror the Customer.

Match the speed and volume at which the person is speaking. Listen for the person’s choice of words, phrases and slang. Try to use them throughout the conversation. When you use the same language during your phone prospecting calls it resonates more with the customer. It makes communication easier. Use the customer’s name two or three times in the conversation as well.

4. Qualify the lead.

If this is a cold prospecting phone call, then you’ll have to qualify the person as a potential customer while you are going through your phone prospecting approach. For example, if you’re an insurance company you can use a resource such as QuoteWizard homeowners insurance leads, you’ll have a list of pre-qualified customers. You’ll still need to listen to the customer to determine where your product will fit into his needs. He may be in the market to purchase a new home, which would be a good time to switch his home insurance to your company.

5. Get the prospect involved.

One of the best ways to set up appointments during your phone prospecting is to get the customer active in the buying process, according to The Sales Hunter. Ask the customer when he thinks the best time would be to make a purchase decision. Perhaps he’s neglected to add a rider to his homeowner’s policy to cover expensive jewelry or electronics in his home and is about to leave on a month-long trip.

Ask the prospect if he or she was in the market to work with someone like yourself, what would the key decision criteria be to help them determine if you were the right fit.

6. Be sure to invite them to connect with you.

If the prospect ends up saying “no” to your invitation to set up an appointment, don’t get discouraged and toss out their phone number. “No” often means “not right now” or “I don’t understand the product well enough.” You want to leave each call with and invitation to stay connected. The best place to connect is on LinkedIn, so you’ll need to ask them for their email address to send them a connection request on LinkedIn. (which should be included in your written out prospecting phone approach).

7. Give before you get.

The number one rule of networking is also my number one phone prospecting tip — GIVE BEFORE YOU GET! What motivates a prospect to want to connect with you beyond the initial phone call is the opportunity for them to gain the type of introductions they are most interested in building.  Ask your prospect the simple question:

“In my line of work I end up meeting lots of different types of great people.                                                                                                                              What kind of strategic introductions would be most valuable for you as a _____?”

You will never know what your prospect’s biggest priorities are if you don’t ask. Finding out what is most valuable to them allows you to speak in terms of their currency — their money language. Typical answers I’ve heard range from:

•  looking for new hires in key positions
•  introductions to people who would be their target buyer
•  introductions to referral partners for them

Don’t expect you will have an immediate contact you can introduce them to. That’s why it’s smart to get their email address to send them a connection request via LinkedIn. That way, you can tell them you’re going to jot that down and keep your eyes out among your network.

Practice these 7 phone prospecting tips when you want to focus on proactively setting up appointments.

QUESTION:  What is your biggest challenge when it comes to calling those decision makers in your target market? Please share in the comment box below.

How to Attract MORE Clients Using LinkedIn

Did you miss this?

If you are a business owner, sales professional or rainmaker in your firm, I hope by now you have a LinkedIn account and a basic profile set up. However, if that’s about all you have, then chances are that you’re not really attracting a steady flow of new clients on LinkedIn.

In fact, if you’re not generating
at least 6 figures in new business from LinkedIn, you need to learn the inside strategies on how to play the LinkedIn game. See, once you learn these strategies, tips and techniques, the game of LinkedIn becomes a lot of FUN! (more…)

4 Tips to Attract Clients on LinkedIn

Attracting clients on LinkedIn is one of the easiest ways to build 6 figures in new business, but most people don’t know how to use LinkedIn other than simply accepting those LinkedIn invitations you receive. If that’s you, you’re missing out on easy business which means you’re leaving money on the table. I meet lots of entrepreneurs who had a LinkedIn account for 10 years, but never learned how to monetize LinkedIn. LinkedIn can generate 6 figures in new business (and 7 figures for some businesses) That means in 10 years those people left 1 Million dollars on the table from missing out on easy business.

LinkedIn does not have to be a time suck if you know how to leverage Linked to grow your business. In fact, you can attract a steady flow of new clients if you’re consistent at doing the right things in less than 30 minutes a day. And, why wouldn’t you want to use LinkedIn? After all, it’s free!

I want to help you get started with 4 easy LinkedIn marketing tips.

1. Get clear about why you are using LinkedIn for business.

Unless you know why you’re doing something, you’re liable to flounder around without much progress. Spend 15 minutes journaling the answers to the following questions. What business result are you trying to create? Use Linkedin to accomplish one result at a time.

Here are a few results you might be going for:

  • Sell more of your product or service
  • Establish yourself as an expert
  • Grow your list
  • Attract joint venture partnerships
  • Find speaking opportunities.

Who are you trying to reach? Think about what position they have, what their level of knowledge is about your service, where they spend their time and attention.

What are their needs? Think about why they need you and what their specific struggles are. Think in terms of regular language rather than industry jargon. Unless you’re targeting others in your specific industry, avoid jargon. Brainstorm keywords and key phrases that they would use to look for your service.

2. Complete your entire profile.

This sounds obvious, I know. But I see so many profiles that someone started but never finished. As you complete your profile, use the keywords you found in step 1. Make sure it sounds natural and not like you’re peppering it with awkward phrases and words that don’t go together. Read it out loud to catch any stilted or clinical sounding language.

3. Answer questions

Spend a few minutes each week answering questions that allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. Give a ton of value, answering the questions as thoroughly as you can. Then follow up with a private message offering more support.

4. Use the post feature.

You can now showcase your expertise even easier by sharing your thought leadership through your own LinkedIn posts. Your posts read a lot like a blog article and gives you the ability to have all your LinkedIn connections be notified every time you publish a new post. People can share, like and comment on your posts. Best of all, all of your published posts have built in tracking so you know how many views, likes and comments each received.

I’ll show you even more secrets in my free LinkedIn training. Go to to sign up.

Here’s what I’ll be covering:

1.)  Why LinkedIn works and why it’s so effective at reaching the business community.

2.)  What to do when you’re on LinkedIn to build your list of raving, loyal fans.

3.)  The 3 little known LinkedIn marketing secrets to attract new clients with ease.

4.)  How to use LinkedIn to quickly build your expertise and be seen as the go-to expert.

5.)  Time saving strategies to profit from LinkedIn in as little as 30 minutes a day

QUESTION: What do you think is keeping you from attracting more clients on LinkedIn?  Share your comments and questions. 

© Copyright 2016
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Stop Wasting Time and Start Making Money — 6 Productivity Tips to Help You Make More Money This Year!

To make more money is probably one of your goals.  There are entrepreneurs whose business makes them $20,000 a year and then there are other entrepreneurs whose businesses makes them 2 million a year. Both entrepreneurs had the same amount of time and yet achieved completely different results.

There are two kinds of entrepreneurs — icons who whip through their day and always finish their to-do list and everyone else. The “everyone else” column holds an awful lot more mere mortals that the other one does.

It’s tough getting through the workday sometimes when you’ve got no one to tell you what to do or how to do it. Too often, this results in hours of sitting at the computer, not really accomplishing anything.

Savvy entrepreneurs try every tip they find, and use the ones that work in their daily routine to avoid the loss of income that dawdling creates. Here are 6 productivity tips to help you stop wasting time, so you can start to make more money this year as an entrepreneur.

#1.  Decide to Unitask

Multitasking has long been held as the way to get a lot done in a small amount of time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. According to Forbes magazine, our brains don’t work that way. Concentrating on one task and doing it well to completion is the way to work most effectively.

#2. Schedule Your To-Do List on Your Calendar

You can’t get any work done if you don’t know what you need to do. Detailed scheduling will eliminate any question of what to do in any part of your day. Sit down the night before and write an hour-by-hour schedule for your work day, filling in the task you’ll complete in each time block. Do nothing during each hour but the assigned task.

#3. Try the Pomodoro Technique to Make More Money

Many people have a hard time concentrating even one straight hour without their mind wandering. The Pomodoro Technique of work training can help solve this problem. It’s a method of working flat-out for 25 minutes, then taking a 5 minute break. Use an online timer such as the Tomato Timer built for this technique or Instant Boss, and you’ll have audible and visual clues to keep you on track.

#4. Block Distractions

If social media and other fun sites are taking your attention away from work, get rid of them during your day. Download an app such as LeechBlock. These apps set a block on your browser that don’t allow it to load a list of websites. Create the list of sites from your personal distractions, set a timer for work hours and you won’t be allowed to goof off.

#5. Look for Recurring Tasks You Can Automate

There are lots of little tasks you have to do every day that could be done more efficiently. An easy one is automating your bill payments. Just as important is backing up your work on a regular basis. You can back up automatically with a cloud service like Mozy to not only secure your work, but access it from any device anywhere.

#5. Organize Your Finances

I find a lot of my clients spend upwards of 50 hours between December and January simply trying to get their business financial reports together for their CPA.  That is completely unnecessary and easily avoidable. If you’re constantly searching for invoices and your taxes are a mess organize your finances by installing a simple bookkeeping program. Ones such as QuickBooks or Peachtree are designed for non-experts and have a very shallow learning curve. Make a habit of using this for a few minutes each day or just one hour per week and your finances will be much simpler to deal with.

#6. Improve Your Work Environment

Streamlining your work  environment can help to streamline your work day. Get rid of everything on your desk that doesn’t absolutely need to be there. You should have as few distractions for your mind as possible, and that includes items off the screen as well as on. Create an organized work space, whether it’s a dedicated room or a corner in the den, and give it a neat and tidy look. The lack of distractions will help you keep your mind on your work.

Achieving your BIG goals starts with making a series of small changes in how you leverage your time. I challenge you to start implementing these 6 tips. Practice them on a regular basis and eventually they will become engrained as a part of your success habits.

QUESTION: What is the #1 challenge that is getting in your way to make more money this year?  Please share your comments below.


4 Software Solutions to Help a Busy Small Business Owner Manage

You’re competing with nearly 22 million small business owners in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau. How quickly and efficiently you get something done for your customers can make the difference between earning their loyalty or losing them to the competition.

Managing your time well can get you repeat business and referrals, and these tools will help you be fast and efficient, no matter what your business.

 (1) Manage Customers

Not long ago, only large corporations could afford to use sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Now they are available through software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers on the cloud. A good CRM system lets you access and analyze customer information, get better visibility into the sales cycle and learn the business trend information that helps with forecasting. Zoho CRM is one such cloud-based tool. Use it to:

  • Get reports on customer activity every morning
  • Integrate your sales activity with customer contact information and have a complete record of how the sales cycle is progressing
  • Access customer information on the road with the Zoho mobile app

(2) Manage Accounts Receivables (AR)

Your cash flow depends on getting payment from customers, and payment from customers depends on you getting your invoices out promptly. A cloud-based invoicing tool such as Intuit Quickbooks automates many AR tasks and lets you monitor customer account activity. Quickbooks can:

  • Schedule electronic invoices for delivery and follow them up with reminders when payment is past due
  • Find your slow-paying customers, so you can send incentives to get their payments in on time
  • Generate revenue reports and tax statuses at any time
  • Access customer account information whereever you are with its mobile application

(3) Manage Your Team

Whether you have one or 100 employees, you need to manage company and project information in a way that gives people access to what they need when they need it. Expensive and complicated collaboration tools such as Microsoft’s Sharepoint were out of reach for many small businesses. Evernote Business is a better option for small businesses, and it continues to add helpful features. With Evernote Business you can:

  • Manage all company data and create notebooks that contain information for specific projects
  • Easily search for data within all project notebooks
  • Link team notes, so you can view the thread of activity and comments on any project
  • Capture data from the Web and store it in a project’s notebook for future reference
  • Access Presentation Mode, which lets you display team results and statuses directly from within Evernote without having to use other presentation tools

(4) Manage Your Social Media

If you are heavily invested in social networking for your business, use Hootsuite to manage all your social media campaigns from one place. All of the major players including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are integrated into one dashboard view. Use Hootsuite to:

  • Track your campaigns, analyze results and receive customer feedback
  • Access advanced analytics, including an integration with Google Analytics (Pro version only)
  • Save time you would spend working on each platform individually

There are hundreds of excellent software tools out there today to help you manage your staff and your time. The place to start of course is to first identify which of your tasks are tedious or recurring and then find a software solution to improve the process.

Once you’ve shortlisted the time consuming tasks in your work you can then begin searching for the right software. Or, even better why not just ask our community right here and share what you’re searching for in the comment box below.

QUESTION: What is your favourite piece of software that has helped you manage your small business?

© Copyright 2016