Selling the Appointment

"Selling the Appointment" - read a few comments from sales experts today saying that getting the appointment is everything in sales. Is it? 

Now I'm not an idiot (no matter what the comments on LinkedIn posts say) and I know that in sales you have to MEET people to sell STUFF and THINGS. 

But meet...whom? 

What I mean is this...most outbound prospecting starts with a SUPER WIDE net. Collect as many fish as you can, meet with them (or let the SDR set an appointment so the AE can meet with them) and then qualify them as a prospect and an opportunity. Move them past the opening of the funnel, through the pipeline and into the WIN column.  But the first meeting is a USUALLY a discovery meeting.

I understand that value for the sales person. It's vital to have proper discovery to ID whether or not the prospect is a real fit/opportunity.

What's the value of a discovery meeting for the prospect?

Michael Miller told me that he "bought an appointment yesterday and it looks GREAT on him!"

Hilarious!  What he meant was our customers aren't looking for appointments...they're looking for solutions to their problems. 

So what do your customers want to discover in your discovery appointment? 

And if you know, how can you deliver it if you're still figuring out if they're a fit?