Appointment setting for the sake of appointment setting

Invariably we get inquiries from companies that pretty much say … “All we want is appointments”.

And our response … “Are you really sure about that?”

Take for example a call I received this morning from XXXX Bank.  Unfortunately it was obvious from the get go that this person had no clue about myself and our business.  In fact my presumption is he was calling about the business, but even that I’m not sure about.

This was the gist of the (one sided call):
  • Hello my name is ______ from XXXX Bank.  Mr.  Falkson we sent you a package recently about XXXX bank.  Did you receive it?
  • MF:  No.
  • Mr. Falkson,  I’d like to arrange for someone to stop by for a half hour … not to sell you anything … just to introduce ourselves and discuss your banking needs.  Is that OK?

Needless to say I was not going to provide a half hour to a sales representative to stop by.  Furthermore, why should I? No reason at all was offered to justify me giving them any of my valuable time.   Furthermore, the lack of professionalism left a read bad taste and so inadvertently XXXX Bank has probably tarnished their brand in my eyes irrevocably.

Here are some ways in which the caller might have been more successful:
  • He might have spent some time beforehand determining in who I was and during the call, asking questions about me and my business (“How have you fared in the recent economic downturn? How did it affect your business? Was your bank at all helpful in helping you maintain or even grow during the recession?)
  • He might have actively probed as to
    • Need
    • Concerns
    • How decisions are made in our company
    • The nature of our current banking relationships / solutions
  • He might have given me some details about what was sent and why

Clearly, he was obviously disingenuous when he said “ … not to sell you something …” .  Really?  It was pretty clear that he was only interested in securing an appointment.  Everything else be damned.

Although I cannot prove it, my hunch is that the caller was being paid on a ‘Pay For Performance’ basis.  The net result is that XXXX Bank will eventually pay the price for not engaging in professionally handled lead generation effort.

So careful what you pay for.  If your brand s worth anything think twice before engaging in poor lead generation practices.   You could do yourself more harm than you think.

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