Set Appointments Like a Doctor

Think back to last time you saw your primary care physician. You had your appointment, you saw the doctor, and the appointment was over. He walks you over to the person in the office responsible for checking you out. What happened next? At least in my doctor’s office, the person there says, “The Doctor would like to see you again in two weeks to review the results of your tests.” Does that sound similar to your doctor? What do you do? If you are like me, you open your planner and you schedule an appointment for two weeks from today and you think nothing of it.

Two weeks later, you show up for your appointment, meet with the doctor and go back to this checkout person. What happens this time? She says, “The Doctor would like to see you again in six months to see how the prescriptions are working.” What do you do? You open your planner and you schedule an appointment for six months from now and you think nothing of it.

Now let’s think about your sales meetings. You have a sales call scheduled with a prospect. The meeting goes great, they tell you they really like your product and that they will follow-up with you. Do you attempt to schedule that appointment? How do you do it? I know I am guilty of agreeing to wait on their follow-up call. I also will commit the mistake of saying I will follow-up in one week if I don’t hear from them.

Take the approach of your doctor. The reason your doctor is able to schedule you for the two week later follow-up and for the 6 month follow-up on the second appointment was because he laid out the plan. During the first appointment we talked, did my vitals and drew blood for testing. I was to come back two weeks later to review the results of my blood draw and then during the second appointment I was prescribed a medicine that would help me and then I was told we would follow up in six months to determine how well it was working.

Do you lay out your sales process with your prospects? That last part of a meeting should discuss next steps. Be a little selfish here and tell the prospect, “In order for us to provide you with {proposal, contract, delivery of the product} we need to do the following steps… At that point set a time to meet. You should close the meeting with an appointment on the calendar. Close your prospects like your doctor closes you!

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