Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Play #26 Setting An Appointment The Right Way!

Subscribe to Paul Castain's Sales Playbook by Email

There are no less than a hundred thousand telemarketing tips out there waiting to help you overcome objections, reach the decision maker, get by the gatekeeper etc.

How about some advice on how to set a proper appointment once you get to that magical word “YES”?

I’d like for you to think about an imaginary website In fact, don’t just think about it, print it out and keep it by your phone for easy reference.

Let’s go through each letter of this crazy acronym, shall we?

The first "W" stands for Where you will be meeting. I know this may sound basic, but is it possible that you are calling from a list that is like the ancient sea scrolls of prospecting lists? Could they have moved? Is it possible that they are in building #4 on a large campus? How about floor number 3 of a large building? So the first “W” is a reminder to confirm the address and check on the building, floor etc. I say something like this “Becky, will we be meeting at your 1,2,3 Main St. Facility?” She might say something, like “No, Jackass, we moved from there back in 1972. Why the hell aren’t you taking Castain’s advice?”

The second "W" is one of my favorites (I feel like I’m on Sesame St getting excited about the letter W but what the hell) This is your way of tactfully trying to get a key decision maker or additional decision makers in the room without making your contact feel like Skippy in the mail room. It stands for Who Else as in “Who else besides yourself should join us?”

The third "W" is a critical component. Before I tell you, did you ever get the feeling that while you are setting the appointment the other party was committing it to memory? If you never had that feeling, let me ask you . . . Did you ever show up to a meeting and get that “What in the hell are you doing here, I forgot we had an appointment, ha ha you wasted your time” look? This is simply a tactful way of asking Forrest to write it down if he was planning on leaving it to chance. I simply say “Forrest (just kidding) I am going to write this down, if you would like to do the same, my name is spelled C, A, S as in Sam, T, A, I, N like No F’n way I will let you forget the appointment”.

LF is my cue to utilize my Jedi like gorilla warfare tactics which state: Get in and get out. Don’t chit chat your way out of the appointment. Keep it short and to the point. The LF stands for . . . Looking Forward as in “Becky, I am looking forward to meeting with you on Tuesday, March 17th at 3:30 at your 123 Main St facility, 3rd floor.

COM simply means complete the call, ring the bell, moon walk, moon the others in the bull pen and get your ass back on the phone to do it again!

OK, it’s a brand new week. You are now armed and dangerous. Go sell something!

Before I forget, we have a brand spanking new group on Linkedin called Sales Playbook. Come join us!
Subscribe to Paul Castain's Sales Playbook by Email


  1. Paul, I had this happen last week... I finally got a meeting with a top Fortune 100 company, after several phone calls and mailings. After the buyer agreed to meet with me, I then sent an e-mail confirming the time and date and wanted to know who else would be joining us... and can I hook up to your internet to show a demo...
    She then sent back an e-mail saying thanks, but let's put off the meeting to another day. I think I came off too pushy. Was I asking too much for our first meeting because I was soo exciting to just get that appointment?

  2. Ruth:

    The honest answer is Who knows? We could argue that the appointment wasn't solid (through no fault of your own) to begin with. Things might have gotten really crazy since making the appt and this became an easy out.

    I would love for you to pose that question in our sales playbook group on linkedin. It reminds me of the classic "To confirm or not to confirm?" debate.

    Thanks for getting me thinking on that one Ruth!

  3. Paul,

    I read this blog just before I headed to an appointment. Apparently it did not sink in because as I pulled up to the address I found on the Reference USA site, I found that the door was locked. I called the client and he gave me their NEW address which they had moved to a year ago. Ok, so I totally blew your first "W" but I promise not to make that mistake again. In fact, what I will also do to add to the "W" is confirm that the client has secured a meeting room for us to use. I find that if you don't do this there is a good chance you will be meeting with the individual at their desk where they have a million distractions between e-mail and paperwork which defer their attention from you and your message.

    Kristen Modica
    The Printery

  4. No worries Kristen!

    I didn't come up with this technique because I always step up to the plate and belt it out of the park.

    I made quite a few of those mistakes myself and its understandable how in the excitment of finally getting that yes, we can miss the basics of setting the appt properly.

    Go get em!


    PS One of my biggest clients was landed because I screwed up the address. When I saw the name of a different company, I kind of laughed, wrote it down and said "maybe this is a sign" $350,000.00 later I guess it was!

  5. Our firm specializes in inside sales training (cold calling) and we have a demand generation unit where we schedule meetings with decision makers in the Fortune 500 for our clients.

    What you bring up is SO important. Once you have the conversation, once you pique their interest, once they agree to a meeting, you still have to make sure your t's are crossed and your i's are dotted.

    Someone mentioned sending a confirmation email to the prospect. I rarely send an email confirmation, but rather an outlook meeting planner. In the planner, I do a short recount of the conversation so that when they look at it as the meeting approaches, they remember what the meeting is about. Also, by entering the meeting location in the planner, you're triple-checking with them to make sure you're going to the correct location.

    I'm interested in reading more of your blog, and will add it to my feed-reader.



Free Sales Tips By Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Shades to hide my true identity! :)

Join Our New Linkedin Group! Click On The Picture

Add Me

View Paul Castain's profile on LinkedIn


Castain Guarantee

Castain Guarantee

About Me

My photo
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul This has been a paid announcement by the friends of Paul Castain!

About This Blog

Paul Castain's Sales Play Book is blog dedicated to strengthening our sales game, supporting rock star development and developing jedi like skills. All that is required is a willingness to learn and a sick sense of humor!

Topics Discussed: sales, sales leadership, cold calling, networking, telemarketing, presentation skills, social networking, twitter, linkedin, facebook, google, technorati, digg, training, sales tips, SEO, job hunting, hiring, recruiting, best practices, pipeline management, CRM, goals, time management, motivational, inspirational, social media, online marketing, ning, job openings, speakers, trainers, associations, blogs, bloggers, articles, sales management, onboarding, NLP, SPIN Selling, Unemployment, news, wordpress, dress for success, inside sales, call center,

Blog Archive


Add to Technorati Favorites


Sales Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory