Taking notes on appointment can be difficult and sometimes ineffective. I always suggest building in prep time for every scheduled activity. I know it sounds overwhelming and wasteful. Let me provide you with five reasons why you should build prep time into your schedule and how to do so simply.
1. Recognize Opportunity – Be the salesmen whom always knows who’s who. People tend to remember how you make them feel. A name or a family members name is an important title in life. Cultivating a relationship with a prospect, landing a sale and following up with a customer can range in the time frame from industry to industry. Imagine during your first appointment with Client (J) she indicates that she is engaged and contemplating a baby in the near future. As the volume of your sales practice increases, this set of details may not be something you keep in your head or think to ask during your next interaction. If you record your notes, you’ll never forget a name or familial relationships. Build 3-5 minutes into your schedule before your appointment to review this information. This will allow you to keep up with future opportunities and stand out among the competition.
2. Be Proactive– plan for special opportunities for repeat customers. If you know a large number of clients are experiencing a similar life occasion/ frustration or change, you’ll have the ability to address it in an efficient manner. Create structured marketing plans around similar life events unrelated to major holidays, such as town or neighborhood events, local sports team winning a game, etc. Build 15 – 20 minutes into your schedule at the beginning of your week to review which appointments you should include in this promotional effort. Prepare the number of promotional pieces required to reach the clients you designate for this opportunity. (This does not have to be a financial investment! Even a great stock photo and an email can make an impact.)
3. Improve Your Communication When meeting a prospect (I hope) you make sure to collect the best contact methods. As a quick insider tip, be sure to always ask the best days and times to reach your client. This will allow you to streamline the future process of information collection or appointment confirmations. You will also show that you respect their time! If you build in 10 – 15 minutes at the beginning of your week to review this information you will have the ability to confirm each appointment/ call at a time you know should work for your prospect/ client. This one tip alone will save enormous amounts of time on missed connections through the week.
4. Streamline Processing Paperwork If you take accurate notes you can reduce, if not eliminate the number of times you need to contact the client only to collect additional information. Build in an hour at the beginning of each week, or a couple of minutes each morning to partially complete application(s) or related paperwork before your scheduled appointment to reduce the amount of paperwork your client has to complete.
5. Be Professional provide a summary of the appointment to your client. If you create an accurate review of the appointment and goals your client will have a personal reference of goals and progress measurement. You can explain at the beginning of your appointment that you will provide the summary. This will allow them to provide you with their complete attention and feel confident they have had an opportunity to relay the information you needed to collect. Block a couple of minutes before the appointment to prepare what information you will need to collect and how you will collect it. Be sure to build in time post appointment to record the details of your appointment while they are fresh in your head. Be sure to follow-up each appointment with the appointment summary. Then always be sure to thank them for their time when sending the summary. ***Bonus Tip– Streamline this process by requesting to record the conversation.
With the numerous items on your current to do list, you probably don’t feel as though you have the time. Believe me, if you implement this step now, for this week you will reap the dividends in the very near future.
To begin, try to take 3 – 5 minutes in your car post each appointment to complete your notes. If you have back to back meetings through your day, do a complete brain dump before the end of the day.
***Blog Tip- As a special note to my blog readers, as this tip is not included in the audio… You can create even more time by streamlining every process noted in this blog by batching the strategies into two hours. Build in one hour every Friday afternoon to implement strategies one through four. Build in twenty minutes every evening to implement the fifth strategy with a template you can prepare from your initial summary.
Think about it, how you will feel with the knowledge that you have captured the information you needed and you are prepared to take each next step with each prospect/ client?
Blocking time in your day is one of the foundations of creating MORE TIME for life! The MORE TIME program is a 10-week virtual group coaching/ mastermind program covering the four pillars of a successful sales practice.
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