Appointment booking for solar energy company

44 replies
Hi guys, first posts here. I am an appointment booker for a sales company. This is my first sales-related job, I was a chef for 7 years and wanted a change of scenery. I always thought it was a type of job I'd enjoy, which I currently am, as I'm a very competitive person. I'm currently in my third week, thus far am second in most appointments booked for this week and was third last week. I have been working on my pitch.

I'm doing all-right in regards to handling the majority of objections there's just a couple I'm struggling with.

The aim is obviously an appointment, so someone can sell the home owners photovoltaic solar panels or the ritter tubes for the RHI. The problem is, we have to clear an hour and a half for the appointment, which instantly puts people off as it's a relatively long time.

The second would be is they're interested in everything you have to say, until they realise someone needs to come over to convey the information about the panels. I've had so many people just hang up when they find out someone would be coming over.

Any help on these with someone with experience in similar roles?
#appointment #booking #company #energy #solar
  • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
    I have two thoughts:

    1) If they aren't on the hook for 1.5 hours, then they aren't interested. So you don't want them anyways.

    OR

    2) They are interested and the sales presentation at the appt needs to be reeled in. Does it REALLY take 1.5 hours?

    Either way - can the appointment not be more of a quick explanation? Seems like the sales people need to get on selling more than the explanation. They either want it or they don't. There isn't much I'd let someone come in my house for 1.5 hours and explain to me. If I'm going to buy it, sell it to me and do it, don't walk me through the 50 step process.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      It might be that the company has a Kirby style presentation.

      There's a sales system that works or whatever but sales people are required to follow it and it takes about 1.5 hours.

      Originally Posted by Mwind076 View Post

      I have two thoughts:

      1) If they aren't on the hook for 1.5 hours, then they aren't interested. So you don't want them anyways.

      OR

      2) They are interested and the sales presentation at the appt needs to be reeled in. Does it REALLY take 1.5 hours?

      Either way - can the appointment not be more of a quick explanation? Seems like the sales people need to get on selling more than the explanation. They either want it or they don't. There isn't much I'd let someone come in my house for 1.5 hours and explain to me. If I'm going to buy it, sell it to me and do it, don't walk me through the 50 step process.
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    My question is this... Why mention the 1.5 hours? The at home visit by nature of the business is obvious, there are onsite factors that need to be looked at. Roof angles and the direction of the sun vs how the house is placed Where the power box is etc. etc. How the assorted lines and or tubes will and can be run. A good comparison would be satellite TV, and its installation process. You simply don't know till you get there.

    Word it as your companies way to ensure the Estimate given is as accurate as possible instead of hitting the customer up later for additional charges, people don't like hidden additional charges!

    I would simply skip mentioning the 1.5 hours and go right into the home apt, and what they will be looking at.

    Do you have access to the guys/gals that go to the actual appointments? Ask them how long the appointment takes. If it takes less time, Tell the customer that you are "Supposed" to say that it is 1.5 hours ( leaves the possibility open it may take that long ) but having spoke to our pre install team they say it usually takes x amount of time.

    Hope that Helps!

    Originally Posted by jpetrie View Post

    Hi guys, first posts here. I am an appointment booker for a sales company. This is my first sales-related job, I was a chef for 7 years and wanted a change of scenery. I always thought it was a type of job I'd enjoy, which I currently am, as I'm a very competitive person. I'm currently in my third week, thus far am second in most appointments booked for this week and was third last week. I have been working on my pitch.

    I'm doing all-right in regards to handling the majority of objections there's just a couple I'm struggling with.

    The aim is obviously an appointment, so someone can sell the home owners photovoltaic solar panels or the ritter tubes for the RHI. The problem is, we have to clear an hour and a half for the appointment, which instantly puts people off as it's a relatively long time.

    The second would be is they're interested in everything you have to say, until they realise someone needs to come over to convey the information about the panels. I've had so many people just hang up when they find out someone would be coming over.

    Any help on these with someone with experience in similar roles?
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    • Profile picture of the author jpetrie
      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      Do you have access to the guys/gals that go to the actual appointments? Ask them how long the appointment takes. If it takes less time, Tell the customer that you are "Supposed" to say that it is 1.5 hours ( leaves the possibility open it may take that long ) but having spoke to our pre install team they say it usually takes x amount of time.

      Hope that Helps!
      Thanks it did help. But I'd like to answer this. First we have to mention the 1.5 hours, I sometimes don't and leave it for the confirm team. This can work quite well/ As they've already agreed the app with me, when their appointment is confirmed with the scheduling team and they're asked "So this is good for yourself and your wife for hour and a half?" - they might get funny about it as they weren't told, but they do usually reluctantly agree.

      Unless the customer kicks the rep out, it will generally take longer than the 1.5 hour - not much but around 2. However, if it sells it's more around the 3 hour mark
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      • Profile picture of the author jpetrie
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        If I were setting the appointments for myself, I'd just not mention the length of the appointment. "It takes 90 minutes" is a killer, no way around it. And you are setting the appointments for other reps. So if you say that the appointment takes 20 minutes, your reps will scream at you and blame you for them not making a sale. If you are allowed to do this, schedule the appointment for "between 7 and 8PM", instead of 7PM sharp. That way you know you'll have at least an hour, and the rep just shows up at 7PM.

        If they specifically ask you how long it takes, you can reverse it by saying "We want to answer all your questions. We schedule 90 minutes, to give you as much time as you need to get your questions answered. Fair enough?"

        So now you are giving them time..they aren't giving you time.


        I don't know how much latitude you have with your script, or your reps...but it's an idea.




        You have to give them a good reason, from their point of view, and to why they would want you to stop by.

        What can you only do in person? Measure, take a layout of the home, answer questions that pop up in the moment. Show the different options in physical form so they can make an informed decision.

        Maybe say "Would you like a customized estimate for your home?"

        After they say "Yes", say "We don't want you to buy what you don't need, or what won't work. So, I'll arrange for a technician to come out, take measurements, show you a few options, and answer any technical questions that come up. The service is free. That way, you'll have the information you need when you decide it's time to do something. OK?".

        You have to sell the idea to your manager, and the reps, that they are called technicians. Why? Because "representative" scares the hell out of prospects.

        See how I made it to the prospect's advantage to have a technician come out? I gave reasons that sounded good. And it sounds like the technician isn't even prepared to accept their order. Of course, once the rep does his thing, they will want to buy, as they should.

        I don't know how these ideas will fly in your office, but I promise you that they will work.


        Added a minute later;

        Damn you Aaron! I swear, I didn't see your post until after I posted my response. I guess great minds think alike, eh?

        Ok now before I schedule this I want to make sure we give you enough time to get all your questioned answered. For this reason we like to make sure the tech we send out and you both have at least an hour and half open. Do you have this open?

        I understand that and please be aware that we use this 90 minute schedule for your benefit. The appointment could very well get over much soon. But we never want to rush our customers or their questions. So we commit our techs to a full 90 minutes. So would you be free till 4:30 that day?

        Great let's schedule this for you. John, one of our techs, will be at your home on wed at 3pm. He will call you before he arrives. Is ###-###-#### the best way for him to contact you that day?
        I like this post, a lot.. Thanks. Definitely going to toy with much of this.

        I have full jurisdiction over my pitch, as long as it gets leads and sales, they don't care what I say on the phone.

        Originally Posted by DABK View Post

        Don't sell a 1.5 hour appointment, sell 3 30-minute appointments back to back.

        I'm not being facetious. Break down what will happen in that 1.5 hour into activity group:

        30 minutes so the technician can measure
        30 minutes so homeowner can ask questions
        30 minutes so homeowner can view possible solar widgets and select one he/she likes.

        And, things should be re-framed. Instead of We need 90 minutes to do our presentation, you have You can have the technician for only 90 minutes....
        If you need longer, we'll gladly make another 30-minutes appointment.

        Someone did something like that with me, and I didn't reluctantly agree to the long appointment. I wanted it! (He was a lot more polished than my description of what he did here, but this is the essence of what he did... he broke it down into 3 parts and made me think each part made sense at the length of time he wanted, so, therefore, me being a logical person, had no problem accepting the total:rolleyes:.)

        If I am not exceptional, it will work on a lot of other people... Maybe, I'm special, huh?
        This is just brilliant, why I didn't think of this. I'll definitely be trying this out tomorrow and kinda looking forward to it. Thanks for this.
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        • Profile picture of the author DABK
          Yup. That's me: brilliant. Humble too!

          Originally Posted by jpetrie View Post

          This is just brilliant, why I didn't think of this. I'll definitely be trying this out tomorrow and kinda looking forward to it. Thanks for this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    I'm guessing you're required to slate that time for the in home sales person so lets focus on one possible way to help you over come it.

    One thing I LOVE to say when a prospect tells me they don't have enough time is that nobody has enough time (re-frame) until they learn/discover that the first years utility savings averages X per year.

    Then divide the savings into the 1.5 hours for them and say, that's X per hour you paid yourself. You're worth it too.... and then keep on rolling to set the appointment according to your script.

    I know it's a little bold but you said your competitive so you're probably are a type A personality so you can handle it.

    Go get um!
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  • Profile picture of the author PremiumSignals
    Man that does seem like a huge amount of time. If I was that solar company I would shorten the appointment time down to 20-30 minutes. Even 15 if I could. People dont want strangers in their house for that long.

    Conversions would go WAY up. You should ask the owners if you can perform a split test to see which one converts better.

    Or, just do a better job convincing the prospect that the only reason they need to set aside 1.5 hours is because they will have so many questions after seeing the huge savings and benefits.
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    I agree with what Savidge said, and would also be interested in hearing what Cluade has to say. Those damn Kirby demos take forever. I personally wouldn't sit for a sales appt for an hour and a half, however that's how long I chat with an offline client.

    I would say that the appt will take some time. The rep that specializes in solar will need to do some calculations and configurations to determine the best possible options. They say the appt lasts an average of 1.5 hours, however, I rarely see that happen. It really depends on a few things. The way yourt home is structured, the different options that would be the most beneficial, and how many questions you ask. The reps main job is to make sure you have the most informationpossible.
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  • Profile picture of the author neuroscience
    Think I saw a video of Claude saying something like. It will only take 15 minutes unless you have questions.

    If they are hooked during the 15 minutes, the pitch can take 2 hours, just keep it interesting and to the point. If they are interested they will have questions.
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    • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
      Just say hour to hour and a half depending upon questions and complexity. People hear what they want to hear so will hear the hour bit of that line.

      You should be mentioning the things savidge mentioned anyway prior to this. Surely people understand that things that weigh a lot and depend upon the sun needs some sort of survey.

      For most people their home is their biggest financial asset. It is going to be tinkered with. Do they want professionals round to carry out a proper survey and give an exact price or do they want someone to pop round, have a quick glance and then give a quote that in reality goes up once they start and uncover the fact that it is not as straightforward as first seemed?

      Also if the company are smart they would look the house up on Google Earth as close as possible with the axis of the house. So feasibility, access issues, etc would be known and the rep has it stapled to his lead sheet.

      Dan

      PS: I would not say 15 mins but the idea of garnering attention is correct, people will continue listening. Claude sold vacuum cleaners in home so to say an hour plus would seem odd to hear. Your brain would automatically think, eh? An hour for someone to survey a property, crawl in loft space, measure things out is not odd.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Here is a bit of a quick outline of how I would handle it.

    Great I am glad you are interested in learning more about how our company can help you save money while helping the environment. Now at this point we need to really have someone come out and offer a customize solution, would that be ok?

    Perfect would you be home on Wed afternoon at 3pm? Ok now before I schedule this I want to make sure we give you enough time to get all your questioned answered. For this reason we like to make sure the tech we send out and you both have at least an hour and half open. Do you have this open?


    I understand that and please be aware that we use this 90 minute schedule for your benefit. The appointment could very well get over much soon. But we never want to rush our customers or their questions. So we commit our techs to a full 90 minutes. So would you be free till 4:30 that day?

    Great let's schedule this for you. John, one of our techs, will be at your home on wed at 3pm. He will call you before he arrives. Is ###-###-#### the best way for him to contact you that day?
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    • Profile picture of the author SalesGod
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      Here is a bit of a quick outline of how I would handle it.
      This is so incredibly flawed I cant even begin to rip it apart I don't have the energy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by jpetrie View Post

    The aim is obviously an appointment, so someone can sell the home owners photovoltaic solar panels or the ritter tubes for the RHI. The problem is, we have to clear an hour and a half for the appointment, which instantly puts people off as it's a relatively long time.
    If I were setting the appointments for myself, I'd just not mention the length of the appointment. "It takes 90 minutes" is a killer, no way around it. And you are setting the appointments for other reps. So if you say that the appointment takes 20 minutes, your reps will scream at you and blame you for them not making a sale. If you are allowed to do this, schedule the appointment for "between 7 and 8PM", instead of 7PM sharp. That way you know you'll have at least an hour, and the rep just shows up at 7PM.

    If they specifically ask you how long it takes, you can reverse it by saying "We want to answer all your questions. We schedule 90 minutes, to give you as much time as you need to get your questions answered. Fair enough?"

    So now you are giving them time..they aren't giving you time.


    I don't know how much latitude you have with your script, or your reps...but it's an idea.


    Originally Posted by jpetrie View Post

    The second would be is they're interested in everything you have to say, until they realise someone needs to come over to convey the information about the panels. I've had so many people just hang up when they find out someone would be coming over.

    Any help on these with someone with experience in similar roles?
    You have to give them a good reason, from their point of view, and to why they would want you to stop by.

    What can you only do in person? Measure, take a layout of the home, answer questions that pop up in the moment. Show the different options in physical form so they can make an informed decision.

    Maybe say "Would you like a customized estimate for your home?"

    After they say "Yes", say "We don't want you to buy what you don't need, or what won't work. So, I'll arrange for a technician to come out, take measurements, show you a few options, and answer any technical questions that come up. The service is free. That way, you'll have the information you need when you decide it's time to do something. OK?".

    You have to sell the idea to your manager, and the reps, that they are called technicians. Why? Because "representative" scares the hell out of prospects.

    See how I made it to the prospect's advantage to have a technician come out? I gave reasons that sounded good. And it sounds like the technician isn't even prepared to accept their order. Of course, once the rep does his thing, they will want to buy, as they should.

    I don't know how these ideas will fly in your office, but I promise you that they will work.


    Added a minute later;

    Damn you Aaron! I swear, I didn't see your post until after I posted my response. I guess great minds think alike, eh?

    Ok now before I schedule this I want to make sure we give you enough time to get all your questioned answered. For this reason we like to make sure the tech we send out and you both have at least an hour and half open. Do you have this open?

    I understand that and please be aware that we use this 90 minute schedule for your benefit. The appointment could very well get over much soon. But we never want to rush our customers or their questions. So we commit our techs to a full 90 minutes. So would you be free till 4:30 that day?

    Great let's schedule this for you. John, one of our techs, will be at your home on wed at 3pm. He will call you before he arrives. Is ###-###-#### the best way for him to contact you that day?
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    • Profile picture of the author rhinocl
      I'm guessing that the initial home visit is only to sell and that the technical info gathering is done by a more senior person who only goes out once a sale is made. If the location won't work he'll inform the homeowner and cancel the sale.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        I doubt that, it would be a serious waste of time and resources for the company to do it that way.

        You can't sell anything construction related without knowing the scope of work, which when determined lets you figure out the pricing AND then you can sell it.

        Originally Posted by rhinocl View Post

        I'm guessing that the initial home visit is only to sell and that the technical info gathering is done by a more senior person who only goes out once a sale is made. If the location won't work he'll inform the homeowner and cancel the sale.
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      • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
        Originally Posted by rhinocl View Post

        I'm guessing that the initial home visit is only to sell and that the technical info gathering is done by a more senior person who only goes out once a sale is made. If the location won't work he'll inform the homeowner and cancel the sale.
        I don't think you're right in this thinking. Here's why and my thoughts on it.

        Using the car world... One of the most powerful sales techniques is to do a proper walk around of their trade with them. This builds value in why the deal you re giving them is the best for them. It feels customized. You didn't just pull the trade number out of your hat. They saw how you came up with it.

        They want that same feeling. Even if the solar installs are 100% the same by adding in that factor it makes it seem customized.

        After all if you were going to spend thousands on solar wouldn't you want the solution to be perfect for you?
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  • Profile picture of the author jpetrie
    Thanks for the replies, guys. Have read them all, and seems I am unable to thank specific posts. But, thanks Claude, Aaron, Rus and Paul.

    The reason why it takes an hour and half because the "consultant" who is showing up will also be trying to sell the system there and then.

    I have read your responses, seem decent will give them a shot. I like the idea of using 'technician' - I've been using 'consultant', will be changing that. The reason why prospects don't like people showing up, because the first thing which goes through their head is someone will be there for 4 hours trying to pressure sell them.

    This is what I was working on today:

    "An hour and a half, I don't want that!"

    "I completely understand your reservations, Mr Smith, however this is completely for your benefit. It seems you have a basic understanding of the solar trade so it shouldn't take that long at all (it will). We like to ask for an hour and a half because if you're interested, you may have many questions and queries which need answering. However, if you decide during the consult that it's not something which would would benefit you, just tell him or her to sod-off, like I said it's completely no obligation. At the end of the day, all you've lost is a little bit of time and maybe a cup of tea, to my understanding they even bring their own biscuits. Can I assume you're like myself and want to see everything in black and white and have all the facts and figures to look at first? (answer will ALWAYS be yes), fantastic, bearing this in mind would a morning, afternoon or evening appointment suit you best?

    If they still say no, I instantly hang up and move on.

    Cold calling is difficult. Because I don't know what it's like elsewhere, but everyone we cold call are the people who haven't registered on Directory X or the TPS. This means everyone I call gets at least 4 cold calls a week. So I've been working on my opening script as well.

    "Hello, Mr Smith? Speaking. Hello, my name's John, I'm just doing a quick call from xxxx, I believe our company called someone in your property roughly a year ago (we didn't, but you can guarantee someone has and they'll remember a call, but not who's it's from or where), relating to solar energy, but it wasn't something you were interested in, or you weren't viable for it at the time, is this right? yeah but we still aren't interested.. Fantastic, we understand that, however we kept you on our system in case of any new development, which is the reason for my call today Yeah..

    I've done this over 100 times now, but if you successfully complete this pitch without the customer hanging up at a previous point it works great. I love getting passed that bit. Usually the prospect is trying to get me off the phone asap, but now, all they want me to do is talk, they're pretty much always interested in what you have to say.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by jpetrie View Post

      Thanks for the replies, guys. Have read them all, and seems I am unable to thank specific posts. But, thanks Aaron, Rus and Paul.
      Yes, Thanks Aaron, Rus, and Paul. You guys are great.
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      • Profile picture of the author jpetrie
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Yes, Thanks Aaron, Rus, and Paul. You guys are great.
        Urgh I feel bad as you clearly made a lot of effort in your post. I scanned which users I wanted to thank, as I went to write them I forgot and must have missed you out on my second attempt. Sorry dude! I have read a lot of your stuff throughout the forums and even plan to purchase your books on payday, if that's any consolation?
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by jpetrie View Post

          Urgh I feel bad as you clearly made a lot of effort in your post. I scanned which users I wanted to thank, as I went to write them I forgot and must have missed you out on my second attempt. Sorry dude! I have read a lot of your stuff throughout the forums and even plan to purchase your books on payday, if that's any consolation?
          Sir; Are you implying that I would be so petty as to use a passive aggressive "Thanks Guys" message to remind you that you didn't thank me?

          Are you saying that it looked like I was so sensitive, and so needy for applause...that I would take the time to point out that you didn't pay tribute to my contribution? Can't I just bask in the thanks you gave my friends?

          Do I come across as needing constant stroking of my ego, and I can't just congratulate my friends for their contribution?

          Am I really that petty?

          Yes. Yes I am.
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          • Profile picture of the author jpetrie
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            Sir; Are you implying that I would be so petty as to use a passive aggressive "Thanks Guys" message to remind you that you didn't thank me?

            Are you saying that it looked like I was so sensitive, and so needy for applause...that I would take the time to point out that you didn't pay tribute to my contribution? Can't I just bask in the thanks you gave my friends?

            Do I come across as needing constant stroking of my ego, and I can't just congratulate my friends for their contribution?

            Am I really that petty?

            Yes. Yes I am.
            To every single question my answer was "well, would/do"
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    • Profile picture of the author wsands
      Originally Posted by jpetrie View Post

      The reason why it takes an hour and half because the "consultant" who is showing up will also be trying to sell the system there and then.
      I'd imagine this one word change will have your conversion rate cranking up a bit.

      Additionally I agree with DABK about breaking it up. The initial reaction to "The technician will only need about 90 minutes..." is naturally going to be negative because they just want to get the info, they don't want to give up 90 minutes of someone at their house to get it. That sounds horrible. If you break the appointment down into a few chunks its a bit easier for them to swallow, plus all they are going to hear is 30 minutes, even though if they stopped to think about it they would realize that you booked them for 90 min total, it feels easier for them to say ok because its just three 30 min parts.

      Any time I have had anyone balk at the time I've needed for an appointment, I have my go to move of "all the facts" which is what you have said you use. The only thing I do differently is compliment them first:

      "ME: Bob, you seem like a sharp guy, I'd bet you like to make your decisions based on all the facts am I right?

      BOB: Of Course (Nah, I make stupid decisions with no information)

      ME: Great, well to make sure we present you with all the facts, the technician will take the time to properly measure your property in around 30 min, then they will show you what options will be the right fit for your home, this typically takes around 30 min, and then answer all of your questions. Some of our customers have a lot of questions and our technicians give them the time to get them all answered. Now, I can have a technician out there wednesday or friday which one is better for you? Morning or afternoon? Ok great, my technician has an opening for 1:15pm-2:45pm will you be available then?"

      I think breaking it up makes it sound quick. Set the appointments on the 15's. If I tell you I'm going to be at your house from 1:15 to 2:45, most people aren't going to have enough time to do the math in their head and realize you just setup an hour and a half time slot of their day until you are off the phone. And since they are a sharp individual, and wouldn't want to seem like a dummy, they are not going to call you back and balk at that because they've committed to it when you've hung up.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    It may be in the way you're telling them it's going to be an hour and a half. Or it may be you haven't driven up their desire enough by that point. Many times I tell people we'll need about "an hour to two of uninterrupted time" and never ever ever never get anyone balking. Ever.
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    • Profile picture of the author jpetrie
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      It may be in the way you're telling them it's going to be an hour and a half. Or it may be you haven't driven up their desire enough by that point. Many times I tell people we'll need about "an hour to two of uninterrupted time" and never ever ever never get anyone balking. Ever.
      It's solar panels, mate. How excited can you really get someone? I'm careful with how many hooks I drop in as well. If I throw every hook I have at them, a few days later when the sales guy pops over will have no ammo.
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      • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
        Originally Posted by jpetrie View Post

        It's solar panels, mate. How excited can you really get someone? I'm careful with how many hooks I drop in as well. If I throw every hook I have at them, a few days later when the sales guy pops over will have no ammo.
        You'd be surprised what people get excited about. You just have to connect solar to that.

        For example with me this is how I would get me excited for them.

        "With these solar panels you could save $$$$ on your energy bills this year. What would you spend $$$$ on?"

        "That's a few payments on my Vette."

        "Ah a car lover. I'll make sure when our tech comes out that he discusses the solar options we have for garages as well."

        The solar panel isn't exciting. Hell the savings isn't either. But spending that money on cars is. Just got to find their hot buttons.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

          You'd be surprised what people get excited about. You just have to connect solar to that.

          For example with me this is how I would get me excited for them.

          "With these solar panels you could save $$$$ on your energy bills this year. What would you spend $$$$ on?"

          "That's a few payments on my Vette."

          "Ah a car lover. I'll make sure when our tech comes out that he discusses the solar options we have for garages as well."

          The solar panel isn't exciting. Hell the savings isn't either. But spending that money on cars is. Just got to find their hot buttons.
          Aaron; Aren't these things saved for the presentation? When I set an appointment, I just want to sell the appointment. In fact, if they ask about "How much money wold I save?", I would say "Let's not get ahead of ourselves. First, let'e find out if you'll save money, and how much...then you can decide if it's right for you. Fair enough?"

          Any discussion of product gives them the ideas that they know enough, on the phone to decide to buy or not. And the answer...on the phone...will always be "No". So you want to avoid any information on the phone. Just teases.... like "Our customers tell us about their savings, and it's pretty exciting...but the important thing is..will you save money. Let's find out. Will you be there tomorrow at 3PM? I can send a tech out to measure."

          You just can't get into a discussion of benefits.

          And...the reps will blame the OP, when they don't sell.

          Personally, I'd become a rep, and make my own calls.
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          • Profile picture of the author misterme
            Originally Posted by jpetrie View Post

            It's solar panels, mate. How excited can you really get someone?
            That's the way you feel about it?

            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            Aren't these things saved for the presentation? When I set an appointment, I just want to sell the appointment. In fact, if they ask about "How much money would I save?", I would say "Let's not get ahead of ourselves. First, let'e find out if you'll save money, and how much...then you can decide if it's right for you. Fair enough?"
            I've found the need to start selling with the initial phone call because it's that which sells the appointment. You plant teasers about the benefits to be explained further at the presentation. "How much money would I save?" would get the reply, "Most of our customers save anywhere from $XXX to $XXX. Some as much as $XXXXX. Does that sound like something worth looking into?" and suggest the appointment from there.

            Plants the idea you most certainly get savings for your clients, this isn't an exploratory appointment to see if there's even a remote chance of saving some money.

            And the customer will hear that high money amount and they'll reason if you've saved that much for others they can get similar results.
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Originally Posted by misterme View Post

              I've found the need to start selling with the initial phone call because it's that which sells the appointment. You plant teasers about the benefits to be explained further at the presentation. "How much money would I save?" would get the reply, "Most of our customers save anywhere from to . Some as much as . Does that sound like something worth looking into?" and suggest the appointment from there.

              Plants the idea you most certainly get savings for your clients, this isn't an exploratory appointment to see if there's even a remote chance of saving some money.

              And the customer will hear that high money amount and they'll reason if you've saved that much for others they can get similar results.
              I can certainly see saying that. And when I set appointments for myself, I will answer the first question with a benefit statement, once. My limit is usually one question or one objection. But I don't think I would answer another question about savings.....And starting on the path of answering questions about what you sell, turns into a presentation on the spot...which is nearly always "No win".

              To me, it's part of the sales process. Again, if I'm setting appointments for myself, I want the most qualified, prepared to buy, prospect. So I would engage more, and whet heir appetite a little.But the OP is setting appointments for other reps. So, it's numbers...and that's why I would have a far more "don't give them anything to say "no" to" approach.

              The question is "Can two sales geniuses co-exist on the same planet, with very slightly different approaches when prospecting?".

              I propose a fight to the death.

              PS. If you read my book on Sales Prospecting, you would see that my personal approach nearly matches yours, word for word. Lazy bastage.


              Originally Posted by wsands View Post

              ME: Great, well to make sure we present you with all the facts, the technician will take the time to properly measure your property in around 30 min, then they will show you what options will be the right fit for your home, this typically takes around 30 min, and then answer all of your questions. Some of our customers have a lot of questions and our technicians give them the time to get them all answered. Now, I can have a technician out there wednesday or friday which one is better for you? Morning or afternoon? Ok great, my technician has an opening for 1:15pm-2:45pm will you be available then?"
              .

              I kind of like that. And I might use it to set appointments for someone else.
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        • Profile picture of the author jpetrie
          Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

          You'd be surprised what people get excited about. You just have to connect solar to that.

          For example with me this is how I would get me excited for them.

          "With these solar panels you could save $$$$ on your energy bills this year. What would you spend $$$$ on?"

          "That's a few payments on my Vette."

          "Ah a car lover. I'll make sure when our tech comes out that he discusses the solar options we have for garages as well."

          The solar panel isn't exciting. Hell the savings isn't either. But spending that money on cars is. Just got to find their hot buttons.
          First post in a while. I'd like to elaborate on this. This is my first telemarketer job. I have done this for 3 months now. I am one of the top lead generators, better than people who have been doing this for years. I have already been put on training new agents.

          In this time I have generated over 120 leads, with 60 confirmed appointments, 40 sat and 10 deals. A sat to sold of 1 in 4 which is what our company aims for. I have amassed over £100k in installed business.

          Not one of these 120 people have ever been "excited" about solar. They've been interested and intrigued to find out what it can do for them. At the end of the day I want my call to be as brief as possible. I don't want them to be excited for solar. I want them to be intrigued enough to want to find out what the potential is there for them. If I tell them every single benefit about solar, to get them excited, this leaves nothing for the consultant.

          My first mission is to hook them without being specific about any of the benefits. If I strike out, then I start getting more in-depth.

          "I'm sure you'd agree, if we could save up to 40-50% on your energy bills, return yourself a tax free income and protect yourself from rising energy costs, then that's at least something worth looking into, wouldn't you agree?"

          Yes.

          "I'm sure you're like myself and like to see everything in black and white first before you completely disregard something, is that fair to say?"

          Yes.

          Fantastic. Well what we offer as a starting point is what we call a performance savings assessment. It's completely free of charge and no obligation. It's an appointment with a technician to get all the facts and figures, to accurately detail what you would save, what your return would be and what the cost would be. At the end of the day it's entirely up to yourself and your partner to ascertain whether you feel this investment would be for yourselves. What I'm going to do is pop you on hold and just check my diary and see what slots we've got available for you.

          [PAUSE]

          that's fine

          Great

          Most the time they'll still not be interested, but I do generally pick more people up here who weren't interested during the rest of the phone call.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      It may be in the way you're telling them it's going to be an hour and a half. Or it may be you haven't driven up their desire enough by that point. Many times I tell people we'll need about "an hour to two of uninterrupted time" and never ever ever never get anyone balking. Ever.
      I think the reason they don't balk, is that they are calling you (that's just a guess), or they are expecting it to take an investment in time.

      But cold calling? It would be deadly. I've had a few thousand people ask me "how long is this going to take?"...on the phone, or at the door...

      And saying "Usually, it takes an hour or two" is the kiss of death. They are asking "how long will this take?', because it's their last ditch effort to justify cancelling the appointment.

      I've experimented with answers to that question, because I got asked it a lot.

      I started getting push back at any answer longer than "Twenty minutes".
      Of course, twenty minutes is a lie. It takes me a couple of hours..and three hours, if they are undecided. ("No", just takes longer")

      So I had to resort to "Ten minutes, unless you ask questions". And two things happened. It was nearly impossible to say that they didn't have ten minutes. And once I was there, they didn't care how long it took.

      The only reason I didn't suggest this answer to the OP, is that his reps will use it as a reason they didn't sell. So, he has to either schedule a time, "between 6 and 7PM", to guarantee at least an hour...or state it in a way that taking 90 minutes is a courtesy they are extending to the prospect.


      It reminds me of the first three months I was selling vacuum cleaners. I was 22 years old. Every presentation went fine...and then when we were at the end, I would pick up my folder (contracts, applications) and say "Let's go to the kitchen table so I can close you". I'm not kidding, that's what I said.

      It was as if I slapped them in the face with a cold wet towel. Even if they had just told me they were going to buy...they didn't. I killed all my sales that way. And I had no idea what I was doing wrong.

      And saying, during a cold call "This will take 90 minutes"...has a similar effect.
      It's like saying "I want to do an in home demonstration"...it just kills any momentum you have for an appointment.

      I can't believe the stupid things I used to say when I started selling. Some of these moronic things, I did for years.
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  • Profile picture of the author jpetrie
    Found the thanks button, turns out I have my res up too high.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    The reason many presentation like this are so long is because they are designed to move a prospect through all the buying phases. Discovery - Paying.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      Don't sell a 1.5 hour appointment, sell 3 30-minute appointments back to back.

      I'm not being facetious. Break down what will happen in that 1.5 hour into activity group:

      30 minutes so the technician can measure
      30 minutes so homeowner can ask questions
      30 minutes so homeowner can view possible solar widgets and select one he/she likes.

      And, things should be re-framed. Instead of We need 90 minutes to do our presentation, you have You can have the technician for only 90 minutes....
      If you need longer, we'll gladly make another 30-minutes appointment.

      Someone did something like that with me, and I didn't reluctantly agree to the long appointment. I wanted it! (He was a lot more polished than my description of what he did here, but this is the essence of what he did... he broke it down into 3 parts and made me think each part made sense at the length of time he wanted, so, therefore, me being a logical person, had no problem accepting the total:rolleyes:.)

      If I am not exceptional, it will work on a lot of other people... Maybe, I'm special, huh?
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  • Profile picture of the author pozas77
    I agree with most on this thread.
    It's got to be 15-20 mins top.
    What are they talking about for 90 mins?
    * Do you want solar panels?
    * It will save you x money on your electricity bills.
    * This is how much?
    * You get this exceptional after sales support!
    * When do you want them fitted?

    Job done! =)

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    I see a lot of replies that feel 90 minutes is to long and that around 30 minutes or so is what they feel would be an ideal time to go through a sales presentation.

    Not pointing fingers at any one who's posted in this thread but from what I've read in the past on this forum is that most can't sell their way out of a wet paper bag!

    Sorry but if that's you, you aren't going to EVER sell a 10k, 15k, 20k solar panel system in 30 DAMN minutes. If you think you can you aren't qualified to give that type of feedback in any authoritative sense, it's just opinion.

    This reminds me of a post a couple of years ago on this forum about Facebook and Hulu allowing users to indicate if they liked or disliked an ad, or if they didn't want to see a particular ad.

    Several people said that was utterly stupid for these companies to allow users to control what ads they see.

    I retorted, and told them when you have a multi-billion dollar company I'll listen to you.

    The point is, this company has already figured out the optimal sales process and all this discussion about the length of the sales presentation isn't even ON TOPIC to the OP's original question! lol

    Also Claude's suggestion is very smart... Mr. Home owner we give you the 90 minutes to ensure any and all your questions are answered.. oh and by the way if you and the technician or finished in 60 minutes be ready to entertain him for 30 minutes. We don't allow them to leave early. HAHAHA
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    • Profile picture of the author misterme
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      I don't think I would answer another question about savings.....And starting on the path of answering questions about what you sell
      It would be only one mention about savings, stated the way I put it.

      To me, it's part of the sales process. Again, if I'm setting appointments for myself, I want the most qualified, prepared to buy, prospect. So I would engage more, and whet heir appetite a little. But the OP is setting appointments for other reps. So, it's numbers...and that's why I would have a far more "don't give them anything to say "no" to" approach.
      Even if appt. setting for others, I'd want them all "whetted" and presold or predisposed favorably. I want them hooked on keeping the appointment. I'd have the sales person's going to dig further into the benefits, not exactly repeat what's been said. It's what I do for my own appointments too.

      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      I see a lot of replies that feel 90 minutes is to long and that around 30 minutes or so is what they feel would be an ideal time to go through a sales presentation.

      Not pointing fingers at any one who's posted in this thread but from what I've read in the past on this forum is that most can't sell their way out of a wet paper bag!
      Just to add to that, I had started selling a new genre and it was taking me one and a half to sometimes two hours for the sale. I worked on the script and products and the result was an hour for the sales session, and an increase just shy of a doubled sales average.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by misterme View Post

        It would be only one mention about savings, stated the way I put it.
        You and I are agreeing. Accept it.


        Originally Posted by misterme View Post

        Even if appt. setting for others, I'd want them all "whetted" and presold or predisposed favorably. I want them hooked on keeping the appointment. I'd have the sales person's going to dig further into the benefits, not exactly repeat what's been said. It's what I do for my own appointments too.
        I've set appointments for reps (only my own). And I agree with you. It's better for their appetites to be whetted. But if I were getting paid, just for setting appointments, I would avoid anything that might hurt the chance for an appointment. And more specifically, anything the rep could bitch about the appointment. I may be just a tad more mercenary than you. Sure, whet their appetite, but don't tell them anything about the product, or it will be used as a reason (by the rep) as to why they didn't sell.

        You and I are agreeing. Our experience is just a tad different.




        Originally Posted by misterme View Post

        Just to add to that, I had started selling a new genre and it was taking me one and a half to sometimes two hours for the sale. I worked on the script and products and the result was an hour for the sales session, and an increase just shy of a doubled sales average.

        To the OP.
        When I would do a training class, selling vacuum cleaners, my presentation was about 45 minutes. But it always takes longer than that in real life. There are introductions, rapport building, questions, interruptions, and the decision process of whether to buy or not. Answering objections and closing may take an hour in itself (at least when I sold vacuums)

        Now I sell high end marketing programs for small business owners. Now it's between 90 minutes and two hours, before a decision is made. That doesn't include interruptions and pleasantries. But most of the answering objections and closing is gone now.

        Yeah, You want to get a $10,000 sales? It takes time (for the customer) to just let that sink in....
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        • Profile picture of the author misterme
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          I agree with you. It's better for their appetites to be whetted. But if I were getting paid, just for setting appointments, I would avoid anything that might hurt the chance for an appointment. And more specifically, anything the rep could bitch about the appointment. I may be just a tad more mercenary than you. Sure, whet their appetite, but don't tell them anything about the product, or it will be used as a reason (by the rep) as to why they didn't sell.

          You and I are agreeing. Our experience is just a tad different.
          I don't think we are but that doesn't matter.

          If I were setting appointments for others, I'd want to have the appt. ready to buy, as if all the sales person has to do is pick up the money. That's just me. The worst thing would be making appointments for making appointment's sake as long as they have a pulse.

          So it's two steps in selling. The teaser builds desire and interest and sets up the sale - and that's what also gets the appointment as its logical consequence.

          The sales person has the ammo derived from the call and presents and closes.

          Now that I'm writing this, it reminds me of that movie clip posted on a thread here recently with Vin Diesel closing a doctor on a sales call about buying stocks. The first guy tries to sell the doctor and then calls in Diesel to close... but if you look at it as the first guy tries to get the appt. for Diesel and then Diesel handles the sales call, then this is like the model I'm describing.
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          • Profile picture of the author rhinocl
            I think it's really important to understand the whole process from what the appointment will be like on through installation and follow up servicing so that what you tell people is accurate, and so you can take any negative things in the process and reword them to turn them into selling points.-"Our competitors only spend 45 minutes with their customers. Who would want to spend so little time when ordering a major upgrade for their home?" (I'm sure there are people in the copywriting forum who can do this better but you can see where I'm going).
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  • Profile picture of the author SalesGod
    HAHA this question was ment for me and me only. Don't listen to anyone here. I set solar appointments every day. Look out for the PM
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  • Profile picture of the author SalesGod
    Don't tell them how long the appointments gonna take unless they ask. if your manager says you have to tell them ignore your manager. he wont tell you anything when your the top appointment setter. and if they ask tell them " it will take less then an hour depending on how many questions you have" people like to block there days in hours so if they think its only gonna be an hour out of there day it comes off better. hope that makes sense if not i can go more in depth and don't be one of the armatures that asks for the appointment by saying. " will you be available tomorrow?" "when will you be available?" I have a Friday at 3 or Saturday at 3 witch one works best?" this is the biggest mistake appointment setters make. anyways im not gonna give away all my secrets. and im not gonna teach the entire board how to set appointments.
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  • Profile picture of the author SalesGod
    and the biggest tip I can give you is stop appointment setting and get into outside sales. once upon a time I worked as an appointment setter at now probably the largest solar company in the US became the top producer within a week. got cocky and felt like I was to good for $10/Hour, walked into the outside sales office shut the door behind me and pitched the outside sales manager on why he needs me until he gave me the job. First month in outside sales made 5 figures, company car, gas allowance, full benefits, bonuses. if you want a good sales job that's the way to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    Solar City, First Solar Inc., ....???
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    Brain Drained...Signature Coming Soon!
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