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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I recently sat in on a training session with a cold-calling guru that advocated scheduling just a "15 minute" meeting to get in front of senior executives.

15 minutes? Is it really worth it?

This isn't anything new; I blogged about this back in 2006 having witnessed this same thing in a classic "boiler-room" appointment setting company (see "The Meetings Game": Some truths about B2B Appointment Setting).

So, is it worth just going for 15 minutes?

Without doubt, the less you ask for the higher the conversion you'll get.

Going for a telephone call will pull more results than going for an more traditional 1 hour meeting.

Years ago when I ran a sales team with reps "in the area" we would always push for a "15 minute drop in" just to put a "face to a name".

Our pitch would go something like "Look, we'll both know in the first 10 minutes if this is something for you; let's put aside just 15 minutes and, if you think it's worthwhile then I'll stay longer".

That always worked a charm.

But, that was because we were "in the area", so it was actually a productive use of our time. Plus, the number of meetings attended was a metric.

For most of our clients, however, this isn't the case.

When we're booking appointments with senior decision makers we're usually committing our clients to a long journey which usually results in breaking up their whole day. We need to make absolutely sure that it's worth their time attending.

So, on balance, I prefer to play everything with a straight bat and only book appointments where there is a clearly qualify interest in meeting.

That means a lower conversion than if you shoot for "just 15 minutes".

I only advocate softening my stance on this if I had a very tight wish-list and found going for a longer meeting wasn't getting traction.

But then you need to think beyond those first 15 minutes.

Our clients would need a rock solid process to turn that 15 minutes into a second, longer and more productive meeting.

Otherwise, they really will be wasting their time.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 11:35 am |   | Links to this post  

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