5 Lead Generation Mistakes to Stop Making in 2018

B2B lead generation is often thought of as being a mysterious and unpredictable process – where do good sales leads come from? How can you get more of them? How can you get higher conversions and better sales results from the existing sales leads that you already have? There is no single “right way” to do lead generation; different techniques work better for different companies or industries. However, there are several common “wrong ways” to get sales leads and to manage your sales leads. Many B2B sales organizations are still making these mistakes, despite all the great customer relationship management technology and marketing tools and accumulated sales knowledge that we have now.


Here are a few lead generation mistakes to avoid:


  1. Relying Too Much on Outbound or Inbound Lead Generation


Lots of businesses fall into a rut with lead generation – they get good results from one type of lead generation and then they start ONLY doing that type of marketing and outreach. For example, lots of businesses still use direct mail as their primary way of getting new customers. Other companies might rely on email marketing. Other companies might be enthusiastic adopters of social media and online marketing, which is great, but they forget to just pick up the phone now and then to do cold calls.


Whatever works for your business is fine – keep doing that; you don’t have to stop doing what works – but keep in mind that lead generation should be a diverse mix of activities. You might need to change up your routine from time to time. Try something new. Ideally, you should be getting a wide array of sales leads from a mix of sources, both outbound (cold calls, email, direct mail, etc.) and inbound (online marketing, PPC ads, search engine marketing, etc.).


  1. Not Pre-Qualifying Your Inbound Leads


What happens when someone responds to your ad or clicks your sponsored post or picks up the phone and calls your company? Who is the first person to answer the phone? Take a closer look at the first impression that your company is making. When a new prospect contacts you, that is a massively important event – you need to make sure they’re being welcomed into your company’s sales process and treated with care, not just getting dumped into voicemail or given an impersonal automated email reply.


We see this all the time – too many good sales leads fall through the cracks because of careless handling or bad follow up. Take some time to build a relationship with each new prospect. Ask questions. Spend time on pre-qualifying them by assessing their needs – are they serious buyers or are they just doing their initial research? Is your company or solution really the best fit for what they need?


  1. Not Asking for Referrals


What if I told you that your company is already sitting on a gold mine of sales leads – that many businesses never bother to pursue? That’s right: it’s your existing customers! Current customers can often be your best source of new sales leads – if you handle it the right way. There is an art to asking for sales referrals. Don’t be pushy, don’t be indiscriminate – but if you have a customer who’s had an exceptionally great experience with you, who loves your solution, who is on board with what you do, you should ask them for sales referrals. You can make it natural, like, “I’ve loved working with you on this implementation – do you know of anyone else who might like to hear from me?”


  1. Underutilizing Your Website


Your website should be a lead generation machine. Too many B2B sales organizations are not making good use of their website for sales purposes. A few high-level tips to think about:


  • Is your website easy to read on a mobile device? More people are using smartphones as their primary way of accessing the Internet, and even B2B buyers are increasingly using mobiles for research.
  • Does your website have a “Buy” button? Amazon became the most powerful retailer in the world by making it really easy for everyone to buy from them. Does your website make it easy for people to contact you, ask for more information, or otherwise show that they’re interested in starting the sales process?
  • Is your website good for building relationships with customers? Does your site give your customers an authentic sense of what your company is like, or is it chilly and impersonal? Ideally, your website should put your customers inside the mind of your company and make them want more.


  1. Not Making “The Ask”


Too many people think that lead generation is a numbers game – it’s just about getting as many prospects as possible; get as many people as possible at the trade show to sign their name on your list, get as many email addresses in your database as possible. But quality is more important than quantity! You don’t want a long list of people who aren’t sincerely interested. This is why, as part of your lead generation activity, you need to make a specific request – an “Ask” – to get the prospect to commit to a next step to move the process forward. For example, you might want to ask for a sales demo. Or an in-person meeting. Or an initial phone call to get acquainted. Whatever your “first step” in your sales process is, you need to ask for it!


Lead generation doesn’t have to be mysterious; it’s all about finding new prospects and building relationships. Whatever tactics work for your company, you should definitely keep doing them – but be careful not to make these common mistakes along the way!

Strategic Sales & Marketing, Inc. has been named to its 37th annual Inc. 5000 List

NEW YORK, August 15, 2018Inc. magazine today revealed that Strategic Sales & Marketing, Inc. has been named to its 37th annual Inc. 5000 List, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.


We are honored to a part of this prestigious list,” said Al Davidson, Founder, and President of Strategic Sales & Marketing, Inc. There’s an old African proverb that says “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” It is with thanks that I dedicate this award to the talented and hardworking team that has driven us forward throughout our 30-year history. They are a testament to those three words under our logo reliable, predictable, consistent.


Not only have the companies on the 2018 Inc. 5000 (which are listed online at Inc.com, with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc., available on newsstands August 15) been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists. The 2018 Inc. 5000 achieved an astounding three-year average growth of 538.2 percent, and a median rate of 171.8 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $206.1 billion in 2017, accounting for 664,095 jobs over the past three years.


Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.


“If your company is on the Inc. 5000, it’s unparalleled recognition of your years of hard work and sacrifice,” says Inc. editor in chief James Ledbetter. “The lines of business may come and go or come and stay. What doesn’t change is the way entrepreneurs create and accelerate the forces that shape our lives.”

About SSM

In 1989, Al Davidson founded Strategic Sales & Marketing (SSM), where he helps deliver B2B lead generation and b2b appointment setting services for clients around the world. Under Al’s direction, SSM has designed and implemented new business development programs for thousands of B2B companies which generated over 3 million new sales leads and millions of dollars for clients. As a result, SSM has developed major account development expertise in the high technology, manufacturing and business service sectors. Al Davidson was nominated as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management by the Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA) in 2011. The annual award identifies and recognizes the top performers and influential leaders of the sales lead management profession.

About Inc. Media


Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Inc. took home the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in both 2014 and 2012. The total monthly audience reach for the brand has been growing significantly, from 2,000,000 in 2010 to more than 18,000,000 today.  For more information, visit www.inc.com.



CONTACT: For additional information contact;

Gregg Schwartz

Vice President



Marketing and Appointment Setting Lessons from Mike D’Antoni, Houston Rockets Head Coach

Mike D’Antoni is the head coach of the Houston Rockets and is one of the most influential people in the NBA; his style of fast-paced, pass-intensive basketball that relies heavily on the 3-point shot has become the predominant style in today’s professional basketball game. But what can marketers learn from a basketball coach when it comes to appointment setting? The truth is, the same types of personal strengths that have made Mike D’Antoni successful as a coach can also help you get better at appointment setting.


Here are a few interesting lessons from this article about Mike D’Antoni, and what we can all learn from his approach to coaching and life:


1. Be persistent! Mike D’Antoni has been fired many times, and he and his wife have moved 13 times in 31 years of marriage. The life of a basketball coach is uncertain and full of rejection, but he keeps bouncing back. When you’re doing appointment setting, it’s important to maintain that same sense of calm persistence and resilience. Not everyone will want what you’re selling, not everyone wants to talk to you, not everyone wants to move on to the next stage of the sales process. But if you can keep calm and keep moving forward and keep doing the work every day, you will get results.


2. Defy conventional wisdom. Today’s NBA looks very different from the style of basketball played 20 years ago, and it owes a lot to Mike D’Antoni and the high-speed offense with lots of three-point shots that he introduced to the league when he was the (now-former) head coach of the Phoenix Suns. People thought D’Antoni was crazy at the time, but the advanced statistical analytics have caught up – as it turns out, the entire NBA was under-valuing the 3-point shot! Teams that shoot more 3-pointers have a higher chance of winning the game than teams that settle for 2-point shots. Mike D’Antoni was an outside the box thinker and he has been vindicated – his style of basketball has made the 2018 NBA what it is today. Lessons for the rest of us? Don’t be afraid to think creatively and totally reinvent the way things are done at your organization or in your industry. What’s your industry’s equivalent of the undervalued 3-point shot? How could you change your processes or change your approach to reimagine the best way to find sales leads or do appointment setting? Bringing some fresh thinking to just one stage of your sales process could unleash huge improvements.


3. Have a good sense of humor, have fun! D’Antoni is known for being (by the standards of professional sports) a pretty humble person and having a great sense of humor; he calls himself “the Forrest Gump of basketball.” Even though D’Antoni’s teams have not won an NBA championship, even though he’s been hired and fired many times, he is comfortable with himself and he loves to laugh. Try not to take yourself too seriously; that will help you manage the ups and downs of appointment setting. We all need to be able to laugh at ourselves sometimes and keep perspective about the bigger picture.


4. Build strong relationships. Basketball is not about X’s and O’s, it’s about teamwork and chemistry and personal relationships. The five players on the court have to be able to trust each other and build off of each other’s ideas. Mike D’Antoni is still in touch with lots of players and former staff who have worked with him over the years and he’s tried not to hold grudges, even against people who treated him unfairly at previous coaching jobs. Appointment setting is also about building relationships and keeping in touch with people for the long-term. Every single person you know in your professional network, and everyone they know could be a potential source of leads. Don’t burn bridges. Don’t be too quick to discard or disregard a business relationship. You never know who might be the next source of big sales results for your company.


Even though he hasn’t (yet) won an NBA championship, Mike D’Antoni is one of the most respected and influential coaches in basketball. He keeps working every day on building relationships and creating a process for bigger success. In a way, that is the ultimate game of appointment setting – it’s not just about the end result of “winning a championship” by closing a big sale, it’s about all the little things along the way: building relationships, building trust, doing the research and legwork to know more about prospective buyers, and everything else that leads up to a sale. Some of the best coaches are process-oriented: they find joy in the work. Hopefully, your appointment setting process can do the same.

How to make your inbound lead qualification process fail-proof?

It is very rightly said that a business without qualified leads is just like a car without fuel; regardless of what kind of engine it has, it’s not going to move ahead. Especially, inbound marketing is proved to be an effective method of lead generation, where a lot of time is spent creating and promoting resources for consumers. Below 30% of inbound leads are sales-ready. The majority of the inbound leads you receive must be further educated by sending newsletters or emails instead of using sales mechanisms of making cold calls.


47% of potential customers read at least three to five pieces of content published by a business before starting a conversation with their sales rep – Hubspot


But do you have a tried and tested inbound lead qualification process?


This is the pain point of every modern organization.


The bitter truth about inbound lead generation


In inbound marketing, when you get a lead, you have no idea about who they are. All you know is that they were interested in acquiring the free report.


Things you would like to know are:


  • Whether they actually need your products or services.
  • Whether they can afford you.
  • Whether an individual responder is a decision-maker or an influencer in the buying decision.
  • Whether they are located in your service area.


There may be other more particular qualifying criteria such as “Whether they have a particular software program installed” or “whether they are responsible for purchasing a particular product category”.


Some of the best approaches to close leads in our inbound lead qualification include:


  1. Following up your leads via an email that gives them information about your offer as a business and drives them to a micro-conversion, which helps you in understanding their pressing needs.


  1. Concentrate on impelling them to reply to your email, request a demo or contact you on the phone. This is because having a two-way discussion is the best way to understand how ready a lead is to convert.


  1. Make use of cloud telephony, integrated with a CRM to focus on following up your qualified leads promptly. This will help your sales team stay on track and keep a record of all the conversations they have had with consumers, that allows them to nurture the leads into customers.


In addition to inbound lead qualification by proactively contacting people that suits your right prospect profile, you can over and over again benefit from using their extra cycle time to enhance the quality of your prospecting database.


The final say


No doubt, that an effective inbound lead generation campaign is one that converts leads into sales, visitors into customers, without a lengthened sales cycle – that’s where inbound lead qualification also comes into play.

4 Effective Techniques Only Pro B2B Lead Generation Companies Use

In today’s, competitive environment a lot of businesses striving hard to generate quality B2B leads to drive sales. So, how can your business effectively generate leads? Can B2B lead generation companies out there in the market actually deliver the Holy Grail that each and every business is looking for – the right amount of qualified leads in order to keep their sales pipeline moving? Not sure about every company but some of the B2B Lead Generation Companies apply the latest methods over traditional methods in order to achieve their lead generation target effortlessly.


Below are 4 Useful lead generation tactics that professional B2B Lead Generation Company put into action


1. Referral system – Referral is a more powerful way to get good leads compared to thousands of presentations. If your vendor/customer is recommending you and is encouraging other people they know to use your products or services, then it is the most desirable prize in selling, other than a sale. The referral system has the ability to make your lead generation easier and more professional and brings a higher return on investments.


2. Industry Research Reports – Another tried and tested technique to generate leads is to proffer full research reports or executive summaries of the industries you cater. By doing so, you will be benefitted in two ways. First of all, these documents are a brilliant source for generating industry-specific leads. And secondly, they increase your credibility and fortify your brand presence. Although, you must make sure that your research topics are of special interest to your target client group. Also, these research studies can be an outstanding medium to partner with a trade association or a noncompeting organization to decrease your marketing cost and increase your reliability.


3. SEO, SEM, & PPC – One more method to generate lead with the lowest cost per acquisition is via Pay per Click (PPC), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). These digital techniques are the most effectual way to generate leads because when companies need information about any product or service they search on Google. Hence, PPC, SEM, and SEO can be the efficient means to promote your websites through paid advertisements.


4. Direct Mailing – One of the most flexible means that provides you access to any number of prospects for generating sales leads. It helps you to showcase all the benefit of your product or service over those of your competition in a manner that’s totally consistent. Using direct mails, you can reach the right set of audience with the right offer and the right message which is the key to success. This is because the only thing that matter is how many sales or inquiries your mailing is ultimately generating.


The final say

Now that you are aware of the useful lead generation techniques only experienced B2B lead generation companies implement, make sure to choose the right partner. Have a robust lead generation plan created and executed by a leading B2B Lead Generation Company and have more leads, more prospects, and much more sales.

4 Tips That Will Make B2B Appointment Setting Simple as ABC

Most of the sales managers completely depend on B2B appointment setting in order to close a deal. In any business, it is impossible for a sale to take place without one-on-one interaction with a prospect. The maximum amount of the time is spent to in setting up an appointment with a potential client by talking on a phone call or by managing appointment setting activities on the computer.


If you are one of those sales managers facing a challenge to set up appointments, then to become a professional appointment setter focus on the below-mentioned ways instead of making unproductive calls.


4 Indispensable tips for appointment setting


Make use of multiple mediums


A lot of times B2B appointment setting is considered as just cold calling. Actually, this is totally a false perception. Appointment setting includes usage of numerous mediums such as websites, letters, voicemails, and emails, attached notes in packages, messages via social media and personalized notes. Some of the prospects are little interested in sales messages and many of them ignore. This is why; it becomes crucial for lead generation team to contact the prospects as many times as possible to reply to your messages.


Contact the prospects during “off hours”


Business pioneers necessarily do not punch in sharp at nine and leave the office sharp at five. If you are trying to get in touch with a top executive, try to call early morning before 8 am or else late in the evening after 6 pm, or during the lunchtime. This is because the high-level executives get their integral follow up done before the day ends. However, give your prospects the opportunity to take action that day—and they a lot of times do.


Make the most of referrals


Referrals are bullion. When someone gives you referrals, the trust your prospect has for the referrer shifts to you. This offers you a tremendous advantage as buyers will be more convenient to speak with you. The best place to ask for referrals is your own network instead of asking your prospecting calls. When calling an organization for the first time, it depends on you to steer through the gatekeeper and find the buyers and decision makers in the organization. And this can be done best by asking for an internal referral. The CEO or the executive assistant to the president can give a wealth of information and will often show you the right way. However, all this can only happen if you ask for.


Confirming appointment before meeting


The process of setting appointments for generating new leads needs too much of hard work and determination. Thus, while leaving a message with the client you must slow down and also reiterate the important information twice – it always helps. In the same way, grabbing all details about the client including their email and time and date of appointment is essential. This will avoid going to the client’s office and finding that the client is out or has completely forgotten about the appointment.


The final say


It can be hard-hitting to get past gatekeepers and persuade the decision makers to provide an audience. Another way is to hire a professional B2B appointment setting and scheduling service provider for a reliable supply of quality leads.

Strategic Sales & Marketing Partners with Clutch

In the nearly 30 years we’ve been in operation, our client portfolio and experience has grown into an array of impressive projects and relationships. For that reason, we feel it’s important to highlight these milestones and showcase why we’re a leader in the B2B marketing and sales outsourcing space. We have partnered with Clutch in order to gain transparency and give buyers an up-close and personal view of our operations, how we interact with our clients, and what separates us from the competition.


Clutch is a B2B ratings and reviews platform that covers over 7,000 companies across 500+ industry verticals, ranging from web developers to answering services. Their ultimate goal is to harbor meaningful business relationships between the buyers and sellers on their site. Clutch accomplishes their analysis by conducting client interviews, where they speak to a company’s references on the challenges, solutions, and results of their time working together. Coupling this, Clutch utilizes a scoring methodology grounded in over a dozen unique quantitative and qualitative factors such as clientele, market presence, and industry recognition. They are thereby able to identify the firms with the ability to deliver from those that do not.


Clutch has evaluated us on our prowess in voice and back-office services, including B2B lead generation, appointment setting, and customer verification through these client interviews. Here are some of the things our clients have had to say about us:


“What struck me was the integrity they had as a company. They wanted to learn about our organization’s culture. I was able to talk with them frequently about any areas that we needed to improve upon…neither I nor the clients felt like they were a vendor. I saw them as part of our marketing team,” explained the Senior Director of Health Care Marketing for a human services consultancy. They continued by elaborating on the measurable results of our work together:


“About 65% of our work came from the leads Strategic was able to bring in during that four years. The results spoke for themselves and it was as successful as it could’ve been.”


Another client, the Owner of a restaurant, referenced our impact on their business and the kind of success they’ve witnessed:


“We’ve actually improved a ton in the few years we’ve been with SSM. New customers come through weekly. Our team never expected to have such high sales this quickly.” They then mentioned what they consider our strengths:


“Personalized feedback and the positive influence they provide for our company.”


To learn more about our clients’ experiences and why we’re B2B lead generation experts, keep up-to-date with our Clutch profile here.

How to Improve Inbound Lead Qualification in 2018

The world of marketing can be compared to the world of sports, where teams must take a general approach to winning the game that includes knowledge, practice and sound execution of fundamentals, as well as constantly creating new strategies to beat your competitors and win over the crowd. The goal of optimizing your company’s approach to qualifying inbound leads falls easily into this sports metaphor. To improve inbound lead qualification in 2018, you will have to rely on some tried and true tactics and processes, while taking advantage of new tech-driven tools to increase lead quality.


Let’s take a look at some of the ways your organization can rally in 2018 and blow the doors off your sales goals in the coming year…

Change Starts From Within..


Is your organization set up to qualify inbound leads, or quickly determine where to pass the lead while it’s hot – or not? Every company needs that one person who is concentrated on inbound lead qualification. We know, everyone is busy and wearing a lot of hats. But it’s always a good time to step back and make sure everyone is working efficiently in their roles. You need to have someone on your team who’s assigned to be the gatekeeper for new inbound sales leads. When you have someone dedicated as the point person for inbound lead qualification, this gives you a consistent way of analyzing the initial information from inbound sales inquiries, whether an email address, questionnaire, or data from one of your CRM or SEO tools. This person can also help streamline communication between all teams involved.


Don’t Overlook Email
Email still remains one of the most effective marketing tools that businesses have. Much of your lead generation activity should be focused on capturing email addresses – whether it’s inviting website visitors to sign up for a free downloadable white paper or eBook, or asking social media followers to sign up for your email newsletter, or creating an email questionnaire for new prospects to fill out when they visit your site for the first time.


But once you’ve got those email addresses, don’t drop the ball. Prospects who opt into receiving emails from you are more likely to respond via email – so make sure that those precious inbound email inquiries don’t fall through the cracks. Have a consistent system in place to sort and reply to emails. Make it easy for customers to reply to your email newsletter. Make sure a real person is reading and responding to email inquiries within 24 hours – even if it’s a short preliminary message to set up a future phone call.


Especially in the current climate on social media, where platforms like Facebook are making it harder for companies to reach their audiences without paying for ads, any relationships you have with customers via email are more valuable than ever. So don’t let your email communication fall through the cracks.


Embrace Big Data and AI Tools

Phrases like “AI” and “Big Data” can sound unfamiliar to small business owners who might not consider themselves tech-savvy – or it might sound like something that only big companies can afford. But artificial intelligence is already integrated into so many ways in our marketing tools and platforms, such as Salesforce and others. In fact, you probably already use AI tools but aren’t even aware of it. AI and Big Data will continue to integrate and improve business performance, customer engagement, productivity, profits, and efficiency. Don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment with the latest tools and technologies to manage your customer relationships and handle your inbound lead qualification – AI cannot replace that essential human element, but it can help you save time and make your job easier.


Find the Right Consultants to Help With Your Inbound Lead Qualification
As experts in B2B lead generation, we provide consulting to companies of all shapes and sizes, with a wide variety of needs. Sometimes, a company simply doesn’t have the internal resources to develop their own process for optimizing their approach to inbound lead qualification. Don’t be afraid to recognize areas where you could use outside help to boost your business. Sometimes it’s a small fix – companies often need just a bit of extra help to optimize their current inbound lead qualification processes. With the right package of training, consulting or process improvement, Strategic Sales and Marketing can help take inbound lead qualification off of your worry list.


These are just some of the ways your company will need to stay on top of its inbound lead qualification game this year. Do you have additional insight or questions you want to ask us? Feel free to contact us with your questions about improving your lead gen process in 2018.

Top 5 Habits of Rock Star Appointment Setters

Lots of salespeople don’t like to think of themselves as being “appointment setters.” It’s more common for salespeople to aspire to be great “Deal Closers” who swoop in to seal the deal, win the business, and earn big commissions. But salespeople have to serve in multiple roles throughout the sales process, and the fact is, the work that they do as “appointment setters” is just as important to closing the deal in the end – after all, if you don’t build relationships and establish trust early on, it’s harder to convert those big wins in the end. But too many salespeople discount the value of this appointment setter mindset. It’s easy to start off in a mindset that focuses on quality or quantity when it comes to leads. There are many sales professionals who spend more time focusing outside their sphere of control, so to speak, instead of looking inward and continually improving their professional habits and mindset. The truth is, optimizing your approach to sales requires introspection, discipline, and persistence – and this is especially important when doing upfront lead generation work as appointment setters. You have to constantly be honest with yourself, be willing to look at your flaws, and take action to improve your shortcomings. Otherwise, you will get stuck in a rut, and find yourself blaming outside forces for things you have control over.


Whether your sales team is new to the world of sales or are all seasoned professionals, it never hurts to review some best practices and consider how you can improve your team’s effectiveness as appointment setters. Over the course of my career, I have been humbled by my own shortcomings. I have also been fortunate to find mentors who saved me from making costly mistakes and modeled the kind of integrity and passion for building relationships that are so essential for achieving real success in this field. Here are the top five habits of the world’s best appointment setters that I have witnessed throughout my career. It would be easy to write a list of 25 or even 50 items long. But if you apply these five tips to your workflow, you’ll notice a big difference in your response rate, and more positive habits will sprout as a result.


  • Make calls every single day. Even people who are natural at sales have days where they want to hide at their desk. Finding motivation can be difficult in any career, especially during difficult times. Regardless, making calls is essential. And sometimes, it just takes that one call to turn your day around. The real “rock star” appointment setters make time to call fresh leads every day. Don’t spend time making negative assumptions or creating reasons not to call. Instead, focus on how you can help solve the pain points the lead is currently enduring. A few positive conversations a day can go a long way towards keeping you inspired and motivated.
  • Learn the art of soft interrogation. One mistake over-eager appointment setters make is over-selling themselves instead of learning as much as they can about their lead. Instead of asking questions and listening, they tend to talk too much and wait to speak instead of actively listening. But by asking open-ended questions you can get inside the head of your prospect while making them feel more comfortable working with you. I call this a soft interrogation because you aren’t coming from a negative place, but you are trying to learn as much as you can so you can figure out how to proceed with the relationship. Be as curious about your prospect as you are excited to tell them how you can be of service.
  • Building trust is essential. You have to understand that people are naturally defensive when it comes to being sold to. When they first talk with you they will be on guard for the “catch” in the deal or signs that you aren’t offering them anything of real value. Building trust takes a mix of tact, knowledge, and patience. This means you should be conscious not to be pushy or impatient, which can make your prospect feel like just another call on your list. And during this time, make sure you can tell them exactly know your product or service can benefit them. This often takes time and multiple conversations. But if you truly offer something of value, and work at building trust with your prospects, your sales will increase – and so will your repeat customers.
  • Build relationships. Ask any marketing professional who knows today’s B2B and B2C landscape. No matter who your business aims towards, building relationships is the best way to achieve long-term success in today’s world. Thanks to social media and the Internet, today’s prospects have a world of options they can turn to at the click of a mouse. When you speak to prospects, don’t just tell them how you can help them today. Paint a picture that shows how you can be a solid partner in their success for years to come.
  • Apply a “Superhero” mindset to your work. Before Clark Kent turned to Superman, he usually ducked into a phone booth and changed into his blue and red tights before unleashing his superpowers on the whichever villain was trying to spoil the day. Before you pick up the phone or meet with a prospect, you have to mentally put on your “superhero” costume as well. In sales, this means: take a moment to collect your thoughts, rehearse your pitch, and reflect on how your service will make you a superhero in the eyes of your prospect. This will help them understand that you really can make a positive impact and that you aren’t just looking to close another deal and move on.


There is a world of great advice for appointment setters out there from rock star sales professionals. But, if you just follow these 5 simple rules, you’ll develop countless effective habits that can make you a superhero in the eyes of your potential customers. Just remember, you have to help them understand the benefits of your product or service while making them understand why you are the best person to deliver – not just today, but for years to come!

How Appointment Setting Companies Can Help Your Business

Many B2B sales organizations decide to enlist the help of appointment setting companies when they need more sales leads or when they’re trying to create a short-term increase in sales. These goals are valid, but they’re not always the only reason or even the best reason to enlist the support of appointment setting firms – these companies can help your business in a number of ways that go beyond short-term sales leads.


Here are a few reasons why you might want to ask for help from appointment setting companies – and how they can help your business grow:


Explore New Markets


Appointment setting companies are often an ideal fit when you are trying to launch a new product or expand your solution selling into new markets or industry verticals. Working with appointment setting companies can help you expand your pool of potential business leads in industries where you might not have sold before.


Find Supportive Stakeholders


One of the most important aspects of B2B sales is finding helpful “allies” and references within the prospect’s organization that can help your sales efforts by putting in a good word for you, offering you a referral, or introducing you to someone in the organization who might be the right person to talk to. Appointment setting companies can help you with this! You can outsource part of your company research and prospecting process to these 3rd party vendors, who can then help you do the legwork of identifying the right decision makers and building relationships with other stakeholders within the prospect’s organization. Chances are, to make a complex B2B sale, you need many months and multiple names of people to get into a room around a conference table before you can close a deal – and appointment setting companies can help you save time and find more of the right names.


Testing New Offers 


Appointment setting companies can help give you a fresh perspective on your sales process. If you want to experiment with new calling scripts or test a new special offer, you can work with appointment setters to help test the waters – sometimes working with a 3rd party can help you find a greater sense of objectivity about what needs to change with your sales process.


Understanding Your Market


Appointment setters don’t just read off of sales scripts, they also ask good questions and listen to what your prospective customers are saying – and this is a good opportunity to get valuable “market research” about what motivates your customers to buy (or not). For example, you can ask your appointment setters to ask questions and gain insights on topics such as, “What have you heard about our products?” and “What competitors are you considering?” You can use appointment setting companies to help get a better sense of what’s going on with your market and how your company compares to your competitive landscape.


Qualify Your New Sales Leads


Many B2B sales teams strongly believe that they always need “more sales leads,” but the truth is, “more” leads is not always the right answer. Sometimes you need to get better results from the list of sales leads that you already have. Best Appointment setting companies can help with this! For example, if you already have a certain pool of new sales leads or a regular queue of inbound sales leads that are contacting you via email or phone or your website, you can hand over these leads to your 3rd party appointment setter and ask them to call through and start the sales process by pre-qualifying these sales leads. By asking some smart, strategically focused pre-qualifying questions upfront, your appointment setters can help you hone in on which sales leads are truly the best fit and are the most highly motivated to buy – while de-prioritizing the leads that are not a good fit or not serious buyers.


As you can see, there are many reasons to call for help from appointment setting companies, and it’s not always just about “getting more sales leads.” These companies – at best – can help you get some fresh ideas and perspectives about your sales process, they can help you do upfront research, they can help you find decision makers and key stakeholders, and they can help you figure out how to get better results out of your existing sales leads. Good appointment setting companies are not just about reading off a script and making cold calls – they help your whole sales organization work more effectively and close more sales.