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Appointments are the Name of the Game

What are your current strategies for getting to decision-makers? Do you have a consistent focused approach? First you must know who your target market is and what the benefits of your product or service are. Without this foundation in place, persuading someone to talk with you will be a hit or miss proposition at best. This is the function of marketing.

Myth #1 ~ "Marketing equals new clients". Don't confuse marketing and sales. While many people have this mindset, the truth in the matter is that marketing equals appointments. Appointments plus professional selling skills equals new clients. This misconception often leads the inexperienced salesperson to attempt "selling" his or her product or service when the focus should be on setting an appointment.

Myth #2 ~ "People must be pre-qualified or my time is wasted." This is also a challenge for salespeople both new and experienced. The inexperienced person often does not qualify the prospect effectively enough while the seasoned person often over qualifies. Never forget that one on the benefits of seeing someone face to face is that is becomes easier for them to trust you and catch your excitement about your product or service. This, in turn, increases your ability to learn about the client, the company, and their industry.

Myth #3 ~ "The President of the company is the decision-maker". More often than not, the person who leads the team using your product or service will be the most influential determinant of which company gets the business. Which company has the strongest sense of confidence that the project (product or service) will accomplish the stated objectives with the least risk of failure? Never forget that there are many influencers, each of whom deserves your attention and inclusion into the sales process.

Marketing and sales strategies must be applied consistently in order to determine effectiveness over time and by client group. Especially when a company is new to the market, creating your value statement and delivering it with confidence is critical. The most important question to be answered is "Why should I do business with you?". Ask yourself if you deliver such thought-provoking response that merits someone investing their time in exploring your solutions.

Terry M. Sullivan founder of T M S Consulting, has an extensive sales and marketing background.She has developed and implemented a wide range of corporate training programs, and offers sales and marketing support for small business. For more information, call 770-448-2117 or visit her website at www.tms4success.com.