If you want more sales, you need to land more meetings. Prospective buyers need to be willing to talk with you. But how do you get to that point? You can’t exactly start a conversation with, “Hi. Can I get 30 minutes of your time next week?”

It can be tough securing sales meetings. However, it’s critical to get appointments with solid prospects. And if you consistently get appointments, you will hit your sales goal, says best-selling author and sales strategist, Marc Wayshak.

Want a quick refresher on how to book more sales meetings? Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, where we share Wayshak’s five simple steps on how to set more appointments.

1. Understand your target audience. Don’t book sales meetings just to fill your calendar—make sure you are targeting the right people. Wayshak says you should always know your IPP, or your Ideal Prospect Profile. Think about all the effort you invest to get to the sales meeting phase. If you’re talking to someone who doesn’t fit your IPP, that person was probably never going to buy from you in the first place. The clearer you are about your target audience, the more effective your outreach will be, says Wayshak. Want to get clear on your IPP? First identify who you don’t want to talk to. Keep narrowing down your list until you have a clear picture of your ideal buyer.

2. Customize your outreach. According to Wayshak, the more personalized your outreach, the more effective it’s going to be. This is why defining your IPP is so important. When you know who you want to reach, you can better customize your messaging. This is because you are probably sending messages to people in the same industry who are facing the same problems, he adds. One way to hyper-personalize your outreach is to research specific information on your prospects and include that in your message. When the prospective buyers see you’re not sending a mass email, they will probably be more open to scheduling a meeting with you.

3. Show your expertise. If you want to book more sales calls, you can’t flounder—you have to show you know your stuff. In fact, Wayshak says it’s important to demonstrate very quick insight because your prospects are busy. They don’t have time to explain their business or what keeps them up at night. Do your research in advance and be prepared to bring some fast insight. This can make all the difference between the prospect shutting you down or agreeing to a call.

4. Ask the right questions. Wayshak says once you show your insight, it’s time to get the prospect talking. The goal, he says, is simply for you to understand them. You have already shown that you have a general understanding of their business or industry, and now you want them to start opening up. Strive to ask questions that can help you uncover their biggest concerns.

5. Make a recommendation. The last step in booking more sales meetings isn’t trying to set an appointment right away—it’s making a recommendation. Wayshak suggests saying something like, “Can I make a recommendation?” If the prospect says, “sure,” you can continue with, “Okay great. How about we schedule a call where I can share some best practices around exactly what we’re seeing other people in your situation dealing with right now? Would that work?” The idea is to bring value to this last step. You don’t want the prospect to think you’re scheduling a meeting to try to sell something.

Do you find yourself staring at a blank calendar? It’s not a good feeling. Instead of blindly trying to book sales meetings, follow the steps above. Start by ensuring you are targeting the right buyers and end with a recommendation. Sometimes all you need to get more calls lined up is a simple strategy change.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Marc Wayshak is the best-selling author of Game Plan Selling. He is also a sales strategist and the founder of Sales Strategy Academy.