4 Things To Do When an Appointment is Cancelled

When times are hard, you sometimes get canceled appointment and blank spaces in your calendar. If you find yourself with some extra time on your hands, the best way to spend it is to prepare yourself for future success. Here are six action items that will not only set you up for the future, but help you close more business, short-term:
  1. Make a business development plan. Create a 30-Day business development plan to outline what you need to do in the short term to achieve your revenue goal. Review your entire pipeline. Winnow out some bad leads and take some action on the good ones.
  2. Hone your questioning skills. Define questions that will help you understand your customer's current state and desired state and which will influence your customer to buy. Ongoing effort is important to keep your questions from sound rote.
  3. Practice closing and negotiating. Find a buddy and role-play skills to will help you reduce price erosion and increase profitability by giving away less at the negotiation table. There is probably no skill that's more important and more neglected.
  4. Develop your business acumen. Learn to think and talk like an executive by expanding your knowledge of how companies measure financial success and make investment decisions. You don't need an MBA to think like one!
Note: the above is adapted from a conversation I recently had with Bill Stinnett, author of the bestselling books Think Like Your Customer and the new Selling Results (McGraw Hill, 2006).

READERS: Any other suggestions?

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NOTE: Similar tips and techniques are contained in my soon-to-be-published book How to Say It: Business to Business Selling, now available for pre-sale here.
    All pre-sale royalties are donated to Wide Horizons for Children, an organization that facilitates foreign adoptions and orphanages.

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