Appointment setting can be a very challenging aspect of sales and business development, and taking the wrong approach can hinder your results, leading to a loss in both time and money invested into the strategy.
To help improve your appointment setting approach and results, we’ve gone through 5 ways to improve your appointment setting success. Take a look below!
#1 - Know Your Audience
When talking to a decision-maker, you need to sound sure of what you are saying, and not sounding flustered on unprepared, which is why understanding who you are calling is vital. By knowing your target, it allows you to tailor your pitch to each individual prospect and explain your offering in a way that is relevant to their needs and problems.
Busy decision-makers won’t want to waste their time listening to how great your offering is for other businesses, they want to know how it will benefit them specifically, and why they should free up some space to discuss it further in an appointment.
Before going into the call, have in your mind exactly how you can benefit the prospect, what problems you can solve for them, what needs you can meet; doing so will prepare you for the questions that the decision-maker will likely ask and will equip you with the appropriate responses.
Knowing key details about the business you are calling, such as what they do, what industries they operate in, and the size of their business is vital. Researching your prospects and finding out these key details doesn’t need to be incredibly in-depth. It could be something as simple as taking a quick look at their website’s ‘About Us’ section or having a quick scroll through their company LinkedIn profile.
Doing this research gives you an idea of who the prospect is, what challenges they likely face, and what needs they have in their current industry climate.
#2 - Good Timing
With appointment setting, timing can be everything, and can make the difference between securing and appointment, and missing out on an appointment. Some people try to avoid calling decision-makers if they feel they would be busy, but when is a high-level decision-maker not busy?
No matter when you call, you’re likely going to be interrupting what they are doing, it’s just about finding the time that they will be most likely to actively listen to what you are offering.
Monday mornings will often be the busiest time of the week for a decision-maker as they start getting things up and running for the week, reply to emails that came in over the weekend, and get their goals for the week laid out. Friday afternoons are often difficult as many decision-makers are either focused on the weekend or have already left the office.
Calling at these times can hinder your appointment setting success as decision-makers will either be too busy to take your call, or not in a fully focused business mindset.
We have found that the best times to call are usually on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 11am – 12 pm and 4pm – 5pm (depending on the prospect’s business hours). At these times, decision-makers are usually in the office and in a focused business mindset and are typically more willing to take your call.
#3 - Be Friendly
No one likes to be aggressively sold to, and its common sense that being polite and friendly on the phone is going to result in more appointment setting success than being blunt and pushy.
Making your prospect feel comfortable when interacting with them and speaking in a manner that reflects your brand image is such an important aspect of building positive relationships with your prospects.
With our experience in the telemarketing and appointment setting fields, we’ve come across our fair share of aggressive sellers, and it very rarely creates long-lasting business relationships.
Decision-makers don’t have the time to sit on a phone call with someone that constantly interrupts them, shows that they aren’t listening, and just wants to focus on booking the appointment. Taking the time to listen to the prospect speak, understand their needs and concerns, and focusing on the value of the appointment is a more effective approach to appointment setting.
As the saying goes, 'good manners cost nothing'. But bad manners could cost you potential business opportunities.
#4 – Don’t Oversell
Its important to keep the goals of the call in mind, so if your goal is appointment setting with prospects, avoid overselling the product or service. Instead, you should focus on providing the key information about your offering and how it will help your prospect, and then turn your attention to arranging the appointment and telling the prospect why having a meeting with you will be of value to them.
Droning on and on about why your product is amazing and why the prospect should buy it, isn’t going to instil confidence in the prospect, as all they will see is an over-eager salesperson simply looking to make another sale as quickly as possible.
Remember your goal isn’t to sell the product or service there and then on the call, that time will come at the appointment, so your job is just to get that first step in the process of selling moving.
#5 - Improve On Every Call
Learning something from every call is very important if you want the best chance at getting an appointment. The initial interaction with a prospect is the most important, that first impression can make or break your chances of securing an appointment.
There will always be times that you will make a mistake on the first interaction, and it may even cost you the opportunity, but each opportunity that is lost, is an opportunity for you to improve.
It’s important to analyse what went wrong on the call and make improvements to your pitch or tone, to improve your results and prevent opportunities from slipping away due to the same mistakes next time.
The more experience you gain from calling your prospects, the more you can refine your approach and improve your skills and results. If you find certain aspects of your pitch or even your tone aren’t working, it’s important to make adjustments until you find the approach that works best for you. It’s all about improving the little details that can influence the call and lead to successfully securing an appointment.
Does your business need help generating fully-qualified sales leads or appointments?
If you would like to know more about our B2B Lead Generation and Appointment Setting services and how we can help your customer acquisition process back on track, then please get in touch on 01329 277558, or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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