People Raising is all about engaging with people one on one. Before that can take place you have to secure the appointment. There are 5 components to getting appointments.
- Making the call
- Asking for the appointment
- Handling objections
- Asking for the appointment again
- Confirming the appointment
If you are having trouble getting appointments, a good coach can help you identify where the problem lies and then fix it!
1. Making the Call.
Problems at this early step stem from either making too few calls or not getting through to the right person.
If the problem is that too few calls are being made, it could be that fear or laziness is a problem, or that you’re lacking a sense of urgency. Attack this problem by praying about it. Imagine a worst-case scenario—that is, what is the worst that can happen when you pick up the phone and make that call. Then start with the easier calls, especially one that will almost certainly be a win. With the help of your coach, set some goals and deadlines for how many calls you will make.
The problem may be that you are not getting through to your prospects. This could simply be a matter of bad timing. Try various times of day and weekends. Increase the number of people being called to improve your percentage. Ask the people you do reach when is the best time to reach them.
2. Asking for the Appointment.
The words you use and the tone and content of your conversation are important. Get a script written down, and then role-play with your coach. You can never do enough role-playing. Continue to go back to role-playing to get the scripting perfected.
3. Handling Objections.
If you are having trouble making appointments because the prospects bring your conversation to a standstill, then you may be having problems with fear, with insufficient training, or with responding to new objections. It’s important to tackle this issue before discouragement sets in. Ask God to calm your fear or nervousness, and remind yourself that you are about His business. Work with your coach, allowing him or her to look for ways to tweak your approach and improve your script. Have your coach work with you to handle the usual objections until your responses begin to be natural.
Discouragement is a point where a coach becomes a vital part of your fundraising process. When you’re discouraged, your coach can come alongside with solutions to fix the troublesome issue and with help for training you to handle the objections that come your way.
4. Asking for the Appointment Again.
Together with your coach, practice that two-step approach: Respond to the objection, and ask for the appointment again.
5. Confirming the Appointment.
A coach may discover that you as the fundraiser didn’t finish the appointment call well or follow through afterward. The phone call should end with your confirmation of the date and time that you have agreed on to meet with the prospect or with setting up a time when you will get back in touch with this particular prospect to ask for an appointment again. The next step is to send an email or a letter if necessary to firm up what you’ve settled over the phone.
A coach may find that you are taking “no” too easily, or that you are failing to make confirmation of your appointment. Get back to role-playing, so the coach can see where your follow-up isn’t working and so you can practice getting the final stage of making the appointment right.