Tips to Avoid Prospect Rejection before Your Appointment
Do you set yourself up for failure before you even set foot in the prospect's home or place of business? Whether you are opening up your own professional arbitration firm, are a real estate agent or salesperson looking to improve your conversion rates, there are pitfalls that can be simply avoided by following these common courtesies.
- The first phone call. A prospect calls and leaves you a message with their first and last name. Return the call ASAP and begin with Ms. or Mr. (last name). Be formal until they say call me (first name). Be sure you return the call if and when they designate a time frame in the call or not too early in the morning hours or too late.
- Setting up an appointment. Make sure that all decision makers (husband, wife) will be able to be there for the appointment if possible or set up when they all can be present. If it is not possible for all to be present then make sure you can visit via phone prior to the appointment to introduce yourself. If there are children, see if there is a best time to come where it will not conflict with routines.
- Place a call the day before the appointment. This is to confirm the prospect's convenience as well as all parties to be present.
- Be on time. This is a respect extended to your prospect. Get to the meeting place early and park down the street to gather thoughts and to assure you will be ringing the door bell right on the dot. Be sure you have spit out the gum before leaving the car.
- Dress the Part. Make sure you are dressed professionally and clothes are in good repair. Business professional is best with ladies allowed a little flare but not over the top. Make sure your hair is groomed and shoes shined. This does make a difference. Never let your appearance be the obstacle before you open your mouth. This includes odors (avoid food odors that penetrate your clothes at lunchtime i.e. Mexican food) Don’t wear heavy cologne or perfume as the prospect's may have an allergy or respiratory medical conditions or just not like the scent.
- Never park your car in the driveway. Unless there is no street parking. By parking in the drive when there is nearby street parking is making a statement that you are controlling.
- Carry your presentation/materials in a professional binder or case. Again it is a statement of image, organization and professionalism.
- Hi there. When the door opens know the prospect's name and call them again Mr. or Ms. (last name) unless they have told you otherwise.
- Time to shine! Have your hand free to extend a handshake. Not too soft of a handshake nor to hard. This is your first impression so make it good!
- Showtime! As you enter through the door remember you are a guest but be confident and take control of the meeting from the beginning to the end.
These first steps that if followed will keep the prospect from shutting down the opportunity or contract before you have a chance to dazzle them with your presentation and negotiating skills.