Calendar Management

Here’s a radical concept, we’ve noticed that the most successful sales professionals are no longer in the sales business.  They’ve made the leap and took on a new profession, a new direction in their careers – they are in Calendar Management business.

For the last few years we’ve come back to this topic – it seems to us that the concepts have remained as true as ever.

Firstly, Calendar Management is not time management – time can’t be managed anyway. But calendars can be managed – the process of managing the calendar of your prospect.  Let’s face it; if you can’t get on the prospect’s calendar, they can’t become a prospect.  Duh, no kidding Tom!

We’re competing for the time and attention of the people we wish to meet.  And that competitor is way fiercer than any of your rivals in the marketplace.

The challenge of actually reaching people is quite understandable.  Everyone who has a job has at least two jobs.  Remember the days when we actually had assistants?  Ahh, but I digress!  Look at your computer screen – you probably have at least four or five programs open right now.  Plus your communication devices that never sleep, this need (hey, it’s a false need) of having to be always available at the push of a speed dial – all this noise results in a bit of madness.   And, oh no, Twitter just went public!

Here’s another digression – ever wonder why we send our monthly newsletters out at 2:00 a.m. on a Friday morning?  It turns out that the least amount of business related email traffic is on Friday.  This is just our modest attempt to actually get you to read our newsletter – we’re not making this up!

Yes, as difficult as this is to take – even with your extraordinarily stupendous proven products and universally recognized ultra-cool service packages at prices that can’t be beat, getting through the noise is a struggle.

So, how do we deal with this challenge that resides at the very front end of the sales process?  With precision, creativity, sustained energy, joyful perseverance and a sense of humor is helpful.

Speaking of humor; have you ever said to someone that you actually did reach: “Could you please switch me over to voice mail, I don’t know what to say”.  This gets a good laugh because everyone gets it – try it out for yourself.

…and yet the best sales pros persevere.

Some strategies used to manage the calendar of others:

Q: When is the best time to contact a prospect?

A: When you’re conscious

Q: How often should you contact the prospect?

A: Until they surrender

Q: What is the second best sales book ever written?

A: Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham – check it out – the prospecting message is inspiring and the technique works.  We hand out copies of this book at our seminars.

We are still advocates of using the phone along with email, social media in any and all configurations and even (radical alert!!) snail mail.  When making contact using any of these methods, here are some ideas to consider. We’re not kidding; these written and spoken methods have worked – if they didn’t work, we wouldn’t be writing about them:

  • “This is my attempt to get on your list of important people to talk to.”
  • “Would it put more joy in your life if you were to meet with (insert your name)?” How can anyone say “no” to that?
  • Work with the gatekeeper – they can provide invaluable assistance and ultimately can become your advocate. Take the time to learn their name.  Just say: “I don’t know your name”.  Keep in mind that you will be making multiple contacts and will be joyfully greeting the gatekeeper in the future.
  • “I’m going to be in your neighborhood – I REALLY am going to be in the neighborhood, I really really am…and hope that meeting with me could put more joy into your life, etc. How’s Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.?”  Many of us do a fair amount of travel and it makes sense to manage the travel time in the most efficient manner.
  • “I know I’ve been missing you – so I’m going to take a leap here and put you on the calendar – I will call you on Thursday at 9:00 a.m.” Follow up with a call at 9:00 a.m. and leave another voice mail – rinse and repeat with humor, the human touch and your professionalism.
  • After several attempts with no response, take another leap and send an Outlook invitation for a call or appointment. We initially thought this idea was over the top intrusive but it’s a real winner.  When we began using this technique here at Redmond Group, we went ten in a row, that’s ten for ten in successfully setting up appointments.  With those results we figured that we no longer needed to track this activity.  We use this approach every day.
  • If you get to know your target a bit (or think that you do because you’ve left a number of voice mails, emails, etc.), try: “You might as well give up, I’m going to contact you until you surrender.” The Green Eggs and Ham
  • “John Jones referred me to you and if I don’t contact you, John will kick my butt all over the county”
  • OK, we admit it; we’ve tried sales by telepathy. Sounds like a great title for our next sales book:   “Sales by Telepathy – read this and you’ll never have to make another outbound call again!”
  • And what about regular mail a/k/a snail mail? – we’re not opposed to regular mail – give it a try – at least we know the mail gets through but you must follow your mailing up immediately with a call or an email – you need to contact them as they are opening the envelope. Why not call as you’re clicking the send button.

Another good rule to prospect by:

  • Eliminate any emotional attachment that anyone will get back to you. This becomes quite easy after the first 100,000 unreturned phone calls, emails or telepathic contacts.

If you have any other hints on how to get in the door, please tell us what you may have tried.  Don’t worry about giving away your secret formula – you have an unlimited supply of prospects – you can’t get to them all anyway.

Best wishes are flying your way.

Sales Coach Newsletter is a product of Redmond Group, Inc.  We are specialists in the systematic process of developing and retaining new business.  We design sales and retention process maps and unique measurement tools to track progress to meet business objectives.  We conduct Advanced Sales in-house workshops, webinars supported by individual and sales team coaching.
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