“Hello there! Do you have time to meet for half an hour tomorrow?
Too direct, right? How many prospects do you think would access the meeting if you used this question? Maybe one in a hundred. If you want to increase that average, you must first prepare the prospects, for which we recommend using these two psychological strategies with proven effectiveness.
1) Use the foot-in-the-door technique
The psychological phenomenon of “the foot-in-the-door technique” states that someone is more likely to agree to a larger request if they have accepted a smaller one first. In a study conducted by Jonathan Freedman and Scott Fraser at Stanford University, participants were first asked to speak in a phone call about the cleaning products they used. The researchers then asked them if they could visit their homes to conduct an in-person analysis of the cleaning products.
The results were evident:
“When compared with the control group (who had only been asked to carry out the analysis of the product at home), the subjects who had responded positively to the first request were 135% more likely to respond positively to the second, ”Neil Patel said of the experiment at Forbes.
Bottom Line for Sales Reps: Preparing prospects with a smaller request increases the likelihood that they will accept a larger one.
So before requesting a meeting, first consider asking for information, a recommendation, or an opinion. Here are some questions that might help you:
- What do you think about trend X?
- Could you explain to me how you currently approach X?
- Who is responsible for making decisions about X?
- Where can I find more information about Initiative X?
After the prospect has responded to the first request, ask about the meeting. Now that you’ve got your foot in the door, the prospect is more likely to want to schedule a meeting with you.
2) Explain the reason
As obvious as the reason may be, explaining to the prospect why you want to meet with them will increase your likelihood of success. Harvard University psychologist Ellen Langer found that someone was 34% more likely to give up their place in line to a stranger if the stranger explained why they were in a hurry; for example: “Excuse me, I have five pages. Could I use the copier since I’m in a hurry? ”
Then I change the question to: “Excuse me, I have five pages. Could I use the photocopier since I have to make photocopies?
The same number of positive responses was obtained, even though the second reason was much weaker (and illogical) than the first.
Bottom Line: When you ask a buyer to schedule a meeting with you, offer them a reason. For example, you can say something like, “Do you have 15 minutes tomorrow for us to talk about strategy for the next quarter?” or “Is it available on Tuesday at 11.30 so I can give you more information about the product?”
With these strategies in your power, you will be able to request meetings in a much more efficient way. Start using them today and you will notice the changes in your calendar.
Are you interested in booking more sales meetings in your calendar? Feel free, to schedule a demo to show you how we can help you HERE.