I woke up this morning a bundle of nerves.

My efforts in the sales blitz from last week had secured two appointments with potential advertisers to learn more about their businesses and see how my station could help them hit their goals…and my first one was set for this morning.

I woke up early. Made coffee and fed my dog. And then proceeded to scour over all of the notes and research I’d done to prepare for my meeting. I was sure I was missing something. Sure that this first appointment was going to make or break my first impression as a broadcast marketing consultant.

After pulling myself together, putting on my warpaint makeup, and an impromptu pep talk from my college roommate (who could not have called at a better time)…I made my way to the appointment. My manager met me there to be my wing-woman/make sure I don’t blow it, and we talked through how the meeting should go:

  • Keep it conversational. Show you’ve done your homework, but without making it too serious.
  • Ask questions. Don’t carry the conversation. Let them tell you what they need, and dive deeper into that need.
  • DON’T SELL ANYTHING. This first appointment is not the time to shove products down the prospect’s throat. You don’t even know what their specific needs are yet. That’d essentially be putting the cart before the horse, and could turn your prospect off with a quickness.
  • Take a chill pill. This is not a big deal. Just two (or in this case three) people sitting down and getting to know each other professionally. No pressure!

So once I was sufficiently relaxed, it was time to walk through the door…

I recognized my prospect immediately (hello, I did my research…Google searches for the win!), and saw that he was engaged with a customer. Once he was finished I introduced myself and my manager, shook his hand…and he apologized, that he had something come up unexpectedly and asked to reschedule for another day.

This is, and will always be, par for the course. Things  happen, and appointments need to be moved. The important thing to take away from my experience today is that flexibility is key in this business, and you just keep moving forward and make that next appointment.

Besides, this wasn’t a cancellation. Just a postponement to getting to know more about this prospect and his business. And I’m excited for our the opportunity!