The R.U.T.A. Report: Making Appointments Easier to Book

by 05 Jan 2015
How many appointments ahead are you booked? Are you booking appointments on Monday for Tuesday? Some agents are. I discovered this some time ago during a Monday Phone Night – anyone remember those? It was a part of the traditional career business that developed a lot of new sales. Agents called lists of prospects on Mondays to fill up their schedules. But success ratios differed a lot from one agent to the other.

Agents who were booking for the same week were having a tough time.  Their prospects’ schedules were already booked and they couldn’t squeeze in a time for a meeting. Everyone’s schedule is even worse today, so I can just imagine how tough it would be today. I find the same thing in my business.

But, of course if you have no new business and no appointments, you can get desperate.  

That means you go “client deaf” and push for an appointment when the possibility doesn’t exist.  You sound needy and desperate on the line and that is the least attractive trait when you want an appointment. In fact, it repels appointments.  The more you need an appointment (or a sale for that matter) the less likely anyone is to give it to you.  It’s like life insurance that way – if you need it, you can’t buy it.

The answer is surprisingly straightforward.  You are better off booking appointments into the future rather than the current week.  This means calling to book appointments 3 or 4 weeks in advance and definitely not tomorrow. You have to pay that price – 3 or 4 weeks without appointments so that they are easier to get.  You’ll come off as more professional, busier, NOT needy and an in-demand advisor.  That changes the game completely.  

With this approach, it seems that you really are calling to help me out. Yes, you are busy now, but you do have time in the future to help me… let’s book that time now.

A quick note though.  This is not to say that there aren’t times when “tomorrow” works best or that time is not of the essence.  It’s just booking ahead is the practical reality of calling effectively.

Booking 3 weeks ahead also means you have the time to “cultivate” your client. You can send a personal brochure or an elegant reminder note or even a small gift with the right prospect – a business book is ideal.  It helps you demonstrate your appreciation for their consent to see you.

This is professional selling at it’s best… and it all starts by booking your appointments far ahead.  Invest in that appointment delay once and it will pay dividends for your whole career.

The RUTA Report – Real Usable Tactical Advice – is provided exclusively to the Canadian Life e-newsletter each week by veteran financial industry consultant, speaker, writer and media commentator Jim Ruta. Starting at age 22, he led one of Canada’s largest insurance agencies by age 40. Jim has been featured around the world including the MDRT Main Platform and has several best-selling books to his credit. He is Managing Partner of Boston-based InforcePRO Software, a unique automatic presentation from existing policies system.