Selling Skills

Should we ban pre-scheduled appointments?

By September 23, 2012 No Comments

Jeff Hurt’s blog posts always make me think – a very good thing, Because I look at everything from the salesperson’s perspective, however, his infographic Friday (which seems to be an advertisement for another company), Can appointments redefine event success?, Onsite Scheduled Appointments Are Changing The Event Landscape, really got the juices flowing.

I loved the way my friend Jeff diagramed how event success is measured today. Every hotelier should pay attention to how their clients’ customers measure success. And those hotel salespeople who can help authentically ensure that their environment/ambience/culture helps foster/support these outcomes, should be talking about this in every interaction with prospects and customers.

But then I got to the “Deliver Value with Automated Pre-scheduled Appointments” part and from the sales person’s perspective, I started getting a bit fidgety because this only works when the person making the appointment truly has a need/desire/want. To attend many conferences today, however, a planner need not pay. Instead, they only need to agree to attend appointments which helps the event organizer because they get to say something like Wowie, zowie… look at how many potential buyers we have. If you have a product they might be interested in, pay to attend and for them to attend. We’ll make sure you get to meet them.” It’s a pretty compelling argument to attend – kind of.

Because this is what I hear from hotel sales people:
“My appointment showed up late and after about 2 minutes said, ‘I’m so sorry but I’m just not that into you. I signed up because I had to commit to 8 appointments so my registration would be comped. I’ll leave now because there is no reason to waste both our time.'” Handshake. Good bye.

Event organizers might be perceived to be “delivering unprecedented value” because they charge the hoteliers and others to support the planners who really don’t have a need/desire/want for the vendors they are required to see. And the hapless sales people are left to explain to their management why the investment didn’t pay off. Again.

Scheduled appointments between people who want to meet F2F is fabulous. But sponsoring those appointments and requiring planners to attend (or not be sponsored) and forcing sales people to pay to have the privilege of a full dance card (but with married partners) just isn’t right.

Your thoughts?

Leave a Reply