Monthly Archives: October 2018

Door Openers That Work

Getting your foot in the door to make a sale can be difficult at times to say the least? How do you stand out from the rest? Do you bring chocolates? Or golf balls? Or Sally’s famous pastries? And if you send a door opener gift do these gifts work? Is someone really going to book an appointment with you or do business with you because you brought them a gift? They might if you managed to stand out from the competition.

I have a few great door opener ideas that are unique enough to help you stand out in our super competitive world.

 

1. Send a video email. People love videos and with cold calling we leave a lot of voicemails right? So imagine if you received a voicemail from someone saying “I’m John Smith with XYZ and I’m sending you an email with a video in it and I’d love for you to watch it.” You’d probably watch it, right? You’d be curious as to what John has to say and what’s in the video. There are video email programs out there that allow you to create a video and email it to as many people as you like. They get to see you and enough of a teaser to set that face-to-face appointment.

 

2. If you send a ‘standard’ door opener gift, include a clever note. For instance if you send a rose the note might say “Remember to stop and smell the roses”. If you send a notepad put your contact information on the front page along with a nice hand written note. Or if you send a sleeve of golf balls include a note saying ‘We’re going balls to the wall and you’ll want to hear what information I have for you!” Or something like that. J

 

3. Send a unique gift. Maybe your sister is an artist and she hand paints coasters. Everyone drinks coffee, soda, water and other beverages at their desk. A hand painted coaster would surely grab your prospects attention. Or maybe your best friend makes rustic pen holders. How many times does a person search their paper-filled desk for a pen. They won’t be searching anymore if they receive that cool pen holder from you!

 

4. Brand yourself. Create a fun saying, logo or slogan that makes you memorable. Include it on your business card, in your phone call and in your emails. Maybe ‘I’m a cut above’ and include a picture of you with a new or silly hair cut or ‘Don’t get stuck in a rut – see what I have to offer’. Or another one, ‘My product practically sells it self’.

 

5. Have someone else open the door for you. You’re busy and I get it. You just want to sell and you don’t have time for cold calling so you need someone else to open that door for you. Who better to do it than a friendly, professional assistant who knows how to get past gatekeepers, how to peak interest and how to give just enough information to make you sound interesting enough for a person to want to meet with you and hear what you have to say. I know plenty of those assistants at Elite Scheduling Services. Give us a call at 515.309.2838 and we’ll help you with all of the above!

 

 

Choosing the Perfect Scheduling Assistant

If you are a financial sales professional you are aware of how difficult it can be to schedule all your appointments, go to those appointments, manage your territory, manage existing clients, prospect for new clients, offer customer service and the list goes on and on. Many sales professionals have an assistant that they can rely on for assistance in growing the sales but many times that assistant and is so busy doing administrative tasks that they don’t always have a lot of time for appointment setting.

Most people in the investment industry that have ever worked as a wholesaler, advisor or recruiter know the value of a scheduling assistant/appointment setter. Some companies offer this service in-house and other companies are contracted with a third-party appointment setting firm or they allow their employee to contract with an appointment setter. No matter the option that is available to you – you want to make sure that your scheduling assistant is a great fit. The scheduling assistant can be instrumental in the success of your business and will not only offer appointment setting services they act as a relationship builder and are available to help grow your business in other ways.

If you have decided that it’s time to work with a scheduling assistant its key to know how to choose the scheduler that will be the best fit for you.

*Scheduling experience. In order for you to hand over your scheduling you really should choose someone with scheduling experience in the financial industry. This will allow you and your scheduler to hit the ground running and avoid wasting time on training someone on the ins and outs of financial scheduling. The scheduler will already know how scheduling works in your industry, who to talk to, how to manage a territory, best follow-up practices, how to get through gatekeepers, etc.

*Territory experience. Depending on the size and location of your territory, territory experience can be what makes or breaks your relationship with your scheduler. Make sure the person you hire is familiar with your geographic region – as you know scheduling in New York City is very different from scheduling in Des Moines, Iowa. You want to make sure your scheduler is able to be as productive as possible in the time they have to schedule appointments for you. You don’t want them constantly looking at maps, or sending you all over the place. An experienced territory manager is also familiar with traffic patterns in their region which aides in the strategic placement of the appointments.

*Personality. Every wholesaler has a different personality therefore every scheduler has a different personality. You want to work with someone who you get along with and that you can build a long-term business relationship with. You are hiring the person in charge of getting you in front of candidates that have the potential to do a lot of business with you. You also want to be aware of the personality of the people in your region – it may be beneficial to you to work with an appointment setter who is actually from your region as well.

*Great Referrals. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Just because a scheduler has experience and a great personality doesn’t mean they are a great scheduler. Ask to speak with current or former wholesalers or advisors that have used their service in the past. You want to make sure you are hiring a go-getter, someone self-motivated and passionate about helping you achieve your goals. You also want to hire someone with a successful track record of scheduling appointments.

*Availability. Make sure you are clear on the time and expectations you have for your scheduler. You want to be one hundred percent sure that they are available to give you the time and attention you require. Wholesalers and advisors want different things and you don’t want to hire a scheduler only to find out that you needed 10 hours per week and she only had 5 hours to give.

*Computer knowledge. There are varying calendar systems, CRMs and other computer software and programs that you and your company may use. It’s very helpful to make sure that the candidate you are interviewing has enough computer knowledge to work in the systems you work with. You might be surprised at how many scheduling assistants out there aren’t familiar with a CRM.

At the end of the day you want to be sure that you’ve hired a qualified, professional scheduling assistant who isn’t afraid to take control and get you in front of the right people. Your scheduling assistant is an extension of your team. Those teams that communicate and work toward a common goal always succeed.

If, of course, you are ready to hire a scheduling assistant but don’t want to spend time finding the perfect fit you can always work with a scheduling firm that will match you with a great fit. My clients love that I can get them a great scheduling assistant and within a day or two have them up and running setting appointments. It’s time to make life easier – let someone else make those calls and you keep doing what you do best, sell!

I am the founder of Elite Scheduling Services and can be reached at 515.309.2838, dbranson@eliteschedulingservices.com and http://www.eliteschedulingservices.com.

Danae Branson

Communicate or Off With Your Head!

Decrease Stress with Effective Communication

Communication seems like it should be a simple thing to do, right? It should be as easy as breathing, or eating or watching TV. Highly successful individuals have excellent communication skills. They communicate to others about what they want, what they need and how they’d like things done. They know that in order to succeed communication is key.

Most issues can be resolved with simple communication. Think of all the issues and stresses you’ve had in your business and your personal life. How many of them were from lack of communication or a miscommunication?

I would like to think that most people that work for me don’t think I’m an evil Queen but if there is one thing I’m a huge stickler on its COMMUNICATION. I want to know what obstacles my virtual assistants are facing, I want to know when they are sick or taking a vacation, I want to know the good, the bad and the ugly. And I’d better not find out that they are not communicating with their clients. So my VA’s know me well and know that if they communicate with me and their clients in a timely fashion then no one loses their head.

So how can you prevent communication breakdown in the office or at home? There are some simple things that everyone can do, even if you are an excellent communicator but you are dealing with someone who doesn’t communicate well – try the options below.

  1. Really listen to the other person. Sometimes I think we are so caught up in what we are doing that we don’t really listen to the other person and we miss important information. When speaking with someone try to give them your undivided attention.
  2. Pick up the phone if you need to. Sometimes email and texts just don’t cut it. If we are going to have to text each other 5 times to make plans then we probably should just get on the phone and talk it out. Or if you are emailing back and forth with an employee or client several times over an issue pick up the phone and resolve the issue.
  3. Respond to important emails and phone calls in a timely fashion. I will admit when people don’t respond to important messages in a timely manner – even meaning within 24 hours- this is a pet peeve of mine. Now what may be important to you and what may be important to someone else could be two different things so you can make your best judgement on what you feel that you need to respond to.
  4. Schedule time to communicate. We are all super busy people and a week, a month, a year can go by so quickly. Schedule a weekly call with people that need to know what you are up to. Set aside 10-20 minutes each week to get this call in and it could save you so much stress and headache. Sometimes a daily check-in may be required, just schedule the time and stick to it.
  5. Communicate what you want from others. People aren’t mind readers and don’t know what you want if you don’t tell them. I will admit that years ago my communication skills lacked a bit in this department. Finally, my husband told me that he could not in fact read my mind and this came as a shock to me. I started wondering if all spouses were like this or just mine – in case you haven’t figured it out yet – I’ve learned that there isn’t a spouse out there that can read minds so I guess at work and at home we need to tell people what we want.

Once you start effectively communicating with others you may find a huge increase in productivity among your employees, a higher satisfaction rate among your clients and a happier home life. Take a step back and look at the things in your life that cause you stress? Can any of those things be resolved with increased communication? If so, then start communicating more effectively today!