How to Use City Scheduling For Investment Sales Success

If you're in investment sales, you already know that meetings are everything.

In order to have success as an investment firm, you need to set up and get meetings. You're probably tired of hearing this if you've been in the industry for any amount of time, but if you or your team struggle to get these meetings, don't worry — you're not alone.

We're here to help.

The first thing you need to know is that half the battle is knowing who to call on. 

When you know who to call on, you'll have more success executing against your total addressable market (TAM) and will be able to get these meetings.

The way to do this is by asking for meetings with firms in every city you travel to. In addition to keeping your sales team focus, scheduling this way helps make the most of your team's time.

Dakota has successfully taken part in city scheduling for years, really since our first salesperson started. We didn't want them to land in a particular city and not have a plan for the day. Since 2006, we've raised over $40 billion, and we've done so with the help of city scheduling to help us plan and set meetings.

In this article we'll focus on city scheduling and why this will ultimately lead you and your firm to success. By the end of the article, you'll know how to supervise your sales team by having a plan, as well as the strategy for city scheduling.

Have an outlined plan for the day

The easiest way for a salesperson to have a plan for the day is to put cities on the books.

What that means is booking a specific city on a specific date and time. For example, put it on the books that you're going to Boston on November 27th. You now have a set amount of lead time, and you know you're going to Boston. In the time between setting the date and the day you leave, you mission should be reaching out and asking for as many meetings with qualified buyers as possible.

This is when you utilize your investment sales email best practices. Make sure you have a tight subject line, a meeting request, one sentence that introduces yourself and your firm, and a clear call to action.

“Can you meet at 9 o’clock on November 27?” Don’t be intimidated to go through all of your contacts. If you've been in this business even for a day, you know it's hard to get meetings, and there's so many no’s. 

To get those 5 meetings, you may have to send 35 or 40 emails. On the other side, they're still seeing your email, seeing your name, and seeing your brand. It seems inconsequential, but that outreach is still making an impact.

Just because someone doesn't want to meet with you right now doesn't mean they'll never want to meet with you. This is why being persistent and consistent with city scheduling is so crucial. Schedule your key cities four times a year.

Finally, as you're going through the process of setting meetings in a city, it is critical to have a full database of all the allocators in Boston, or the allocators in Boston that fit the channel and the product that you're selling. You arrive in Boston, and are now scheduling for Boston. You can plan your meetings in two-hour increments, scheduling meetings for 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, and 4:30 PM with ease because you knew who to call on.

It's that simple: you're now city scheduling

How to put it into practice

The strategy with city scheduling is to have between 5 and 10 cities on the books at any given time. This removes any opportunity for a salesperson to have any idle time. It has proven effective that they will come into the office and have a clear focus that they're always trying to schedule for certain days.

By sitting down several weeks in advance and going through each metro area and circling times, it gives a salesperson purpose and focus. You’ll go through your entire total addressable market in each metro area and try to book those meetings.

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Written By: Gui Costin, Founder, CEO

Gui Costin is the Founder and CEO of Dakota.


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