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Chapter 5: “Appointment Setting for Unconventional Vs. Commodity Products/Services”

First, let’s define product types:

Commodity – a product or service for which there is a demand. It’s what everyone is familiar with and, chances are, get solicited for on the regular basis. Examples: insurance, investments, mortgages and merchant services.

Unconventional – a product/service that make you go “huh?” In other words, a product your consumer is unfamiliar with and have never or rarely been solicited for before.. Examples: bringing newly invented product or service to the market.

Advantages / Disadvantages / Suggestions


  • Advantages:

    • Your product is known. As soon as you say the word, the prospect will connect to it and
      understand what it is about.

    • Knowledge base line can be assumed and discussion can go straight into specifics. For example, if you offer merchant services, you do not need to waste time explaining how a credit card works – go into what makes you different.

  • Disadvantages:

    • Once your prospect hears your proposal, they are likely to associate it with their
      previous discussion about it.

    • Chances are, they currently have a provider for your product and this discussion is not on top of their list for the day or that moment. As a result, attention span will be
      extremely limited.

  • Suggestions:

    • Create a REMARKABLE OFFER. If you are expanding resources and investing money in telemarketing services, make it attractive to your prospect. Make it difficult to say no, create a win-win situation. For example:

      • “We will pay you $500 for your time if we can’t save you money on your merchant services…”

      • “We know your time is limited and you have various options for our product, we would like to offer you a gift certificate for your 10 minutes to meet with us…”


  • Advantages:

    • You have the “ahhhh” factor. Intriguing, helpful, unusual, problem solving, image enhancing or simply cool. Whatever your product’s claim to fame is, it is an advantage.

    • Considering your products uniqueness, what problem does it solve? What advantages does it bring?

  • Disadvantages:

    • Let’s assume your prospect is busy. We want them to stop their activity and learn something new about your product or service. Imagine that you are working on a spreadsheet, reading an email or day dreaming… Then – bang! a call comes in and you have to think! We are asking our prospect to activate their cerebral cortex to decipher if your unique product is worth the time.

  • Suggestions:

    • Understand the challenge in presenting something new. Your confidence in your product is expected and commendable, but it has to be backed up by hard facts, not your eagerness alone. Save your excitement for the sales meetings, but not for the appointment setting call.

    • Keep your focus. The focus of telemarketing services is to set the appointment, nothing else.

    • Consider fostering the appointment through “multi-touch” approach:

      • Ask if you can send a short email presenting your unique product

      • Follow up with a call

    • Putting yourself into your prospect’s position, what would you want to hear? How
      about: “I am sure you are very busy and the last thing you need is for someone to
      present something new. I am only requesting a few minutes of your time to review
      our email, I promise to make is short and to the point, would that be ok?”

Whether your product or service is a Commodity or Unconventional, be realistic about defining it. A subtle difference form a commodity does not make it unconventional. A good rule of thumb: if you have to say “but”, then you may have to do more explaining. For example, “I offer merchant services, but we are unique in…..”. Once your prospect registered merchant services, you have been cataloged with that commodity.

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