The reasons you can’t get appointments.

The reasons you can’t get appointments.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at


The reasons you can’t get appointments.

The guy won’t appoint me.

I can’t get through to the decision maker.

He won’t commit to an appointment.

She won’t return my phone call.

He has rescheduled me three times in two weeks.

She didn’t show for her appointment.

Quit your whining. Those aren’t real reasons. Those are symptoms or wake-up calls to the fact that your fundamental sales skill are lacking.

Why aren’t you setting appointments?

Easy answer: No compelling reason on the part of the buyer to do so.

Hard answer: You couldn’t sell them on “yes.” They sold you on “no.”

And the appointment is the fulcrum point of the sale. You can’t sell squat without a face-to-face or phone-to-phone appointment with a decision maker.

NOTE WELL: “This looks great, let me share this with my boss,” is a statement that signals you have just wasted your time. And in my opinion, that is NOT an appointment. That is visiting.

An appointment is when you meet with someone to further the sales process or you meet with someone who can decide.

What do you have to do in order to achieve or exceed your sales appointment objectives?

Create some compelling reasons beyond the feeble ones you now use like “saving money,” “five minutes of your time,” “I’ll be in the neighborhood tomorrow,” “gather some information,” and other “puke.”

AND stop blaming other people for your lack of sales skills.

Now, some of you make appointments and sell over the phone. Some make appointments and go outside to sell. Some make appointments at events. And all of you think “my way is different, Jeffrey.” Well, you are wrong. All appointment setting is the same. Engage a qualified decider and get the “decider” to commit to your presentation.

Don’t sell the product.

Don’t sell the service.

Sell the appointment.

The probable purchaser can’t push a contract or a check through the phone. Just sell the appointment.

How do you get an appointment?

You ask for one. Well, not quite. You engage. You spark. You provide value. You interest. You create desire.

If you call and the person is willing, you just might set the appointment. But that’s dumb luck. My five-year-old granddaughter Morgan can mail out information and set an appointment with someone who’s willing.

MAJOR CLUE: If they have no interest, you will not get the appointment. If you provide no perceived value, they will not appoint you. If you are not engaging, they will not appoint you. If they PERCEIVE they have no need, they will not appoint you.

You need to build your expertise beyond your brochure and your price list. Instead of studying TV at night, you need to become an expert in the industry or categories you cover. You need to know where and how your prospects or customers use YOUR product or service to build their business and make a profit

As a result, you may need to become an expert in branding, customer loyalty, use of media, customer response, delayed response, publicity, public relations, converting responses to sales, image building, and EVERY element that the customer is seeking as he or she plans a sales campaign.

None of this appears in your literature.

If you want to know the effectiveness of your current brochure, grab a red marker and circle ALL the areas that your customer or prospect would consider valuable or worth saving.

The first thing you gotta do BEFORE you ever get the appointment is get the attention and interest of the DECISION MAKER. You do this by engaging the DECISION MAKER. And you engage with questions or statements that lead to wanting to know more. But not necessarily more about you-rather more about what you know that could help the DECISION MAKER.

You have to know something about them.

You have to be brief.

You can’t sell more than an appointment.

Don’t ask “How are you today?” or “Have you ever heard of us?”

You engage-the heart of the appointment process is the engagement

Ask compelling and engaging questions.

When I sold lists of new corporations and new homeowners, I would walk up to a potential customer and ask, “Who’s in charge of sales leads?” That question got me an appointment more than 50 percent of the time. If you sell copiers or you’re a printer, ask: “Who’s in charge of image?” If you’re an accountant or a banker, ask: “Who’s in charge of profits?”

Ask prospects what they think.

And tell the prospect how he or she wins or could win by meeting with you.

Do not save the prospect money-earn the prospect profit.

Ask for a short meeting time with an option to make it longer if interested.

Start higher on the decision-making chain than you dare.

If you’re thinking, “Should I go to the accounting department or the office manager?” NO! Go to the CEO

Talk profit and productivity-NOT SAVING MONEY. Talk ideas and

opportunities-NOT WHAT “I” DO. They want friendly, help, answers, productivity, and profit.

It’s not a benefit statement.

It’s a profitability statement.

It’s not a benefit statement.

It’s a productivity statement.

THEY DO NOT WANT TO BE OR NEED TO BE EDUCATED. They want answers, just like you do. THEY DO NOT WANT SOLUTIONS. They want answers. THEY DO NOT WANT TO TAKE THEIR TIME TO HEAR ABOUT YOU. If they give you time, it better be about them.

Which do you think prospects want, answers to their problems or your sales pitch?

Offer answers as a reason to meet and PRESTO, the appointment is yours.

Free GitBit: Want a lesson in persistence? It’s yours by going to – register if you’re a first time user, and enter the word PERSISTENCE in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, is now offering licensed training programs to corporations, as well as distributorships to individuals, based on his best-selling books and the TrainOne online learning series. This process is starting with his newest book The Patterson Principles of Selling. Jeffrey can be reached by phone: 704/333-1112 or e-mail:

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