It's not uncommon for facility managers, plant managers or maintenance managers to schedule appointments to communicate with a supplier. Rather than buying your industrial sign company's products or services immediately, for example, they'll set a specific date and time to talk with one of your company's sales reps so that they gain a better understanding of the product or service. According to ZoomInfo, the average B2B sales rep schedules nearly two dozen appointments with prospects each day, 72.3% of which become verified sales opportunities. Whether your company schedules fewer or more appointments, though, you should follow these tips to streamline the process and increase your indoor and outdoor sign company's productivity.
Allow Prospects to Book Appointments Online
You can (and should) allow prospects to book appointments over the phone or in person, but don't overlook the benefits of accepting online bookings. When a prospect books an appointment over the phone or in person, he or she will have to talk to a sales rep, thereby diverting the sales rep's time and attention away from other tasks. But prospects can book appointments online without ever needing to talk to a sales rep.
Specifically, you should allow prospects to book appointments on your sign company's website as well as its Facebook or LinkedIn Page. Depending on the platform used to build your website, you may be able to integrate online appointment bookings using a plugin or extension. WordPress, for example, has the free-to-use Easy Appointments plugin, which lives up to its namesake by easily integrating this feature into WordPress websites.
You can also accept appointments on your company's Facebook Page. This is done by logging in to your Page and clicking the blue call-to-action button underneath the cover photo. From here, select "Book with you," followed by "Book Now." Proceed with the instructions, after which visitors to your Facebook Page can book appointments with your company.
Schedule a Specific Time
A common mistake sign company sales reps make when communicating with industrial prospects is failure to set a specific date and time for an appointment. If a prospect is reluctant to buy a product or service, the sales rep may simply say, "I'll call you back later." Without a specific date and time, however, the sign company sales rep may struggle to reach the prospect, resulting in a lost sales opportunity. Statistics show that 83% of industrial sign buyers such as plant managers, maintenance managers or facilities managers prefer to schedule a specific date and time for appointments, so don't make this mistake. Their days are normally booked up.
Don't Double-Book Appointments
Another mistake to avoid is double-booking appointments. Assuming your sign company has multiple sales reps, it should be able to handle multiple appointments at the same time. Two sales reps, for instance, can conduct appointments with two prospects simultaneously. However, double-booking can still occur if you aren't careful. If you book three appointments for the same date and time but only have two sales reps available, you'll have to reschedule the appointment for one of those three prospects. To prevent this from happening, use caution to ensure that you aren't double-booking appointments.
Research Prospects Before the Meeting
Industrial sign sales reps should always research prospects -- specifically the company for whom they work -- before meeting them. Once a sales rep has set an appointment with a prospect from a warehouse, distribution center or manufacturing facility, he or she should begin researching the prospect's company to gain a better understanding of their unique needs. No two industrial prospects have the same needs. Therefore, outdoor and indoor sign sales reps must research prospects so that they can create a custom-tailored sales strategy that converts them into customers. Prior to the scheduled meeting, a sales rep should try to identify, for example, the distribution center’s size, budget, executive leadership and offerings. Using this information, the industrial sign sales rep can address the prospect's problems and increase the chance of generating a sale.
Be Prepared for Objections
Sign company sales reps should be prepared for objections when meeting with maintenance managers or the plant manager. Even if a prospect willingly booked an appointment with a sales rep, he or she may be reluctant to make a purchase. But that's okay, as hardworking sales reps can overcome many common sales objections by prospects. If a maintenance manager, for example, declines to purchase a product or service because it's too expensive, for example, sales reps should try to convey the long-term cost-savings benefits of the product or service. It might be expensive at first, but over time it may save the maintenance manager even more money.
Keep Your Sign Company's Calendar Full of Appointments
Try to keep your sign company's calendar full of appointments. If you notice an upcoming week in which few or no prospects have booked an appointment, ask your sales reps to reach out to facilities managers to book more appointments for that week. With a full calendar, industrial sign sales reps will have an easier time nurturing prospects through the sales cycle, resulting in more sales and greater success for your sign company. Another common sales objection by industrial prospects is that they are already using a similar product or service offered by a competitor. If one of your sign company's sales reps encounters this objection, he or she should explain the benefits of choosing your sign company's product or service over your competitor's.
Sometimes industrial sign company sales reps are discouraged by the lack of appointment setting. One way to increase quality appointments is with knowing what projects are going on in your area. If you know that a company is expanding, renovating their facility or building a brand new facility, your sales rep can do something about it quickly. SalesLeads can help. Our Industrial Project Reports service has already identified projects going on in your area. We’ll provide a description of the project along with the contact person(s), direct phone number and email address. Give it a try.