How to Set Sales Appointments with CIOs, IT Managers, and Other Tech Buyers


Being able to set a sales appointment is every B2B marketer’s dream, next to closing the deal. It is also their greatest challenge. It becomes twice more difficult when dealing with tech buyers. If you want to land an appointment, you need to impress them. And in order to do that, you have to understand what makes them tick.

Here are some tips on how to land a sales appointment with a CIO and other tech buyers:

They have already done their research

They have already done their research

This holds true when dealing with B2B buyers no matter what industry they are in. According to Gartner, 27% of B2B buyers most probably have done their research before talking to a salesperson. More so, they must have compared different vendors or providers already. 

With that said, a CIO also expects that when you approach them, you have also done your research. In other words, you have enough knowledge about the company and the nature of its business, its challenges and goals, and many more. 

Related: The B2B Buying Process Has Changed: Here’s How Not to Get Left Behind

The team’s needs come first

The team’s needs come first

Tech organizations always consider the need of the whole team before they make buying decision. So no matter how cool or innovative your product or service is, you have to ask these questions:

  • Will it benefit the whole team?
  • Does it address the pain points of the team?
  • What value will it add to the organization?

If you are able to show this to the CIO or an IT Manager, you increase your chances of getting a sales appointment with them. 

They have talked to other salespeople

They have talked to other salespeople

CIOs, IT Managers, and other tech buyers are a cautious bunch — it goes with the territory. So chances are, they have talked to other salespeople who are trying to get a sales appointment with them. 

So how do you stand out? Read on for more tips and tricks on how to land a sales appointment with tech buyers

Tips to Get the Attention of Tech Buyers

Setting up a meeting is one of the most difficult phases in the sales journey. Despite that, 71 percent of buyers still want to have a sales appointment early on in the buying process. 

And here’s an important insight — those who accept meetings would be looking for value. Sadly, 58 percent of sales meetings do not provide value to buyers. So if you want to be noticed and be able to get a sales appointment, you’ve come to the right place. 

Call Before or After Work Hours

Call Before or After Work Hours

Most C-Suites — not only in the tech industry — start their day early before 9 AM and “close shop” after 5 PM. So if you want to get through them, especially if that is an insulated executive, you have to reach out to them during their off-hours. During these time frames, you have their full attention. 

The earlier the better — it will get you ahead of your competitors. Most of all, it gives your prospect an opportunity to respond within the day. 

Related: 7 Elevator Pitch Examples that Will Get Tech Buyers’ Attention

Stop Selling

Stop Selling

Remember that at this point, your goal is to land a sales appointment, so stop selling. According to Hubspot’s report called the 5 Sales Prospecting Myths Debunked, “sellers control many of the factors that influence whether the buyer will open their doors or not.” Two of these factors include result and opportunity. 

CIOs and those in the C-Suite level won’t often see the need for what you are offering them. What they want is to see the results. So if you want to capture their attention, show them the results when they connect their product with your solution. 

C-Suite buyers will often tell sellers that they don’t have a budget for new technology. But they are willing to take a risk if they see an opportunity.  So if you want them to say yes to a meeting, inspire them with an opportunity.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Create a Sense of Urgency

Another common characteristic among C-Suites and tech buyers is they can either cancel or delay buying if they are not convinced that there’s a need to change what they are doing within a specific time. Thus, salespeople need to create a sense of urgency if they want to set a sales appointment faster and shorten the sales cycle eventually. 

When the sense of urgency is evident to the buyer, the task of setting an appointment is much easier. The challenge comes when the prospect does not see the urgency at all. 

So, what are you to do? Here are the two types of urgency and how you can leverage it to your advantage. 

  • Unrecognized Urgency

If the prospects haven’t recognized yet that they need to act now, provide insights that will enable them to see that urgency. Present the information in a different perspective and connect it to their business goals. By doing so, your prospects will understand the potential of your offering for their business. 

  • Forced Legitimate Urgency

This type of urgency happens when the product or service you’re offering has an expiration date. For example, they need to upgrade their security or risk becoming vulnerable to cyberattacks. The prospects might not like the imposed deadline you gave them, so you need to be careful by introducing the change into their schedules. It will give them time to ruminate about it and take the required action. 

Follow Marketing’s Lead

Follow Marketing’s Lead

If you look at any successful campaign, you’ll see that sales and marketing are aligned. Thus, it makes sense to follow your marketing’s lead when it comes to setting sales appointments with tech buyers. Marketing should be able to provide a list of prospects who are ready to have a sales appointment with you. 

Utilize Multiple Channel Approach

Utilize Multiple Media Approach

Setting up a sales appointment isn’t just about cold calling. It includes several touches to get a prospect to say yes to you. If you want to successfully set an appointment with a prospect, you most probably have to reach out several times across multiple media. 

Prospects are busy and have been hammered with tons of sales and marketing messages and meeting requests. You’ll be able to attract their attention but probably not during your first try. 

Use all the tools you have on multiple media until you get the appointment you want. Send emails, write a note, call, send them a package, and more. Be as creative as you want. 

Related: Strategies That Will Help You Gain Freedom from Multi-channel Marketing Worries

Use Value-Focused Messaging

Use Value-focused Messaging

One of the best ways to get people to agree to a meeting with you is to make it attractive to work with you. In other words, you have to attract their attention and set yourself apart from the rest of the competition. 

Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and ask the following  questions:  

  • Is this meeting worth my time?
  • Is the offer worth pursuing?
  • Is the person worth my time?
  • Does interacting with the company worth my time?

These are the questions going through your prospects’ minds. If you can positively answer that based on your prospect’s perspective, you will be able to determine what will attract them to you. 

Just Ask… Persistently

Just Ask… Persistently

This is the most basic and overlooked step in an appointment setting. It’s very simple and straightforward so a lot of salespeople think it doesn’t work anymore. It does but you have to brace yourself from multiple rejections before your prospect says yes. 

For example, you can ask your prospect to have a meeting with you at a specific time and date. Avoid general statements like “do you want to have a meeting?” Instead, “how about a meeting on June 4 at 3 PM?” 

Your prospect might say no on the first try but be persistent. But do you know that 43 percent of buyers eventually say yes after the third try?

Final Thoughts

Being able to get a sales appointment with tech buyers and C-Suites can be quite exhilarating. However, you need to prepare and get the job done when you do land that meeting.

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Sample Cold Calling Scripts for Key Buyer Personas in Managed IT
Make your cold calls to MSP buyers more engaging and productive. Download these sample scripts and reach decision makers that impact managed IT purchases.