1. Refine your objective(s): Likely as not you want to get to meet the person, but if you can’t get that you could obtain information or elicit referrals.
2. Prepare: remind yourself of the questions and benefits you will use according to how the situation develops, and how you will answer the most likely put-off’s or objections. Go over the information you already have about the person/organisation; ensure you have your diary and other materials to hand.
3. Be polite and respectful but sound confident: use your prospect’s name immediately and ensure you get it right.
Give your first name and surname; never sound apologetic for interrupting but thank your prospect for speaking to you if he/she has done so at an inconvenient time.
4. Obtain their attention quickly: use a question, a referral, a previous request to “contact me again”, a factual statement or some other ‘attention getter’ as soon as possible; and don’t waste time.
5. Make the benefits of a meeting clear: motivate your prospect to want to meet you by giving a persuasive reason for doing so; but remember that at this stage you are selling the interview and not your product/service.
6. Answer objections and avoid any rebuttal politely but firmly: always appreciate your client’s point of view; never argue; emphasise that the meeting can be brief; explain why a personal meeting is necessary in your client’s interests; don’t be led into making your actual presentation by phone (unless this is appropriate).
7. Close on your objective: ask for the appointment directly, with or without one of the back-up closing techniques (e.g. offer alternative times/dates); be as flexible as necessary in terms of when/where; resort to a secondary objective only if you completely fail in your primary one.
Any tips , refinements or advice you would add to this approach ?