Data shows that at least 50% of business prospects are not a good fit for what they are selling. This means that it is important to get to the right people when introducing a product or service. Appointment settings enable a business to establish meaningful communication with their prospects.
Setting an appointment may sound difficult to execute but with the right goal and setting, it’s as easy as scheduling a reservation to your favorite restaurant. All you need to do is to talk to the right person, deliver the right message, and negotiate the right time. There are a ton of appointment setting techniques out there to try this 2022. The question is: which technique is the right one for you?
In this article, you will learn everything about appointment setting – from the general definition to the ones you should never do – that can help scale your business this 2022
What is an Appointment Setting?
An appointment setting in sales generally means an activity when the salesperson and the prospects agreed to meet at a certain time to talk about the business. B2B businesses are commonly known to set this appointment. This is because the B2B setting requires a C-level decision-maker in order to close a sale.
A case study from Embarque, currently a ground transportation support for Carey Worldwide Chauffeured Services, found that telemarketing has helped their business to be established in areas where they would not imagine. They added that telemarketing has increased their brand awareness and found new sales opportunities.
There is a reason why telemarketing is different from appointment settings. Telemarketing revolves around making an instant sale over the phone. An appointment setting is just getting the prospect onboard about the business. This is to test whether the prospect needs more time to purchase or is not interested at all.
An appointment setting allows businesses to learn more about their prospect. They can know what setbacks are preventing them from pitching further. It can save time for “fakers” and focus more on prospects who are most likely to buy from them. It can also help the sales teams to evaluate their sales action plan, sales scripts, and strategies.
Things You Should Never Do in an Appointment Setting
Making a Sales Pitch Right Away
You can never say “you’re not selling” when you’re trying to set up an appointment with a prospect. Of course, you are selling something, but that doesn’t mean you have to make a sales pitch right away. Start with who, what, and why statements. Tell them who you are, what is the reason for your call, and why you’re calling them for that reason. If you make a sales pitch right away, they might have the impression that you are “just there to make money”.
Not Building a Relationship With the Receptionist
Most cold calls reach the front desk officer or the receptionist. It’s hardly ever the C-level executives. This doesn’t mean you are hopeless to getting that appointment with the senior marketing officer. You just need to build momentum with the receptionist by establishing your message well, doing consistent follow-ups, and valuing their time.
Providing Too Many Options for Scheduling
Science has proven that having too many choices is detrimental to decision-making. When provided with a lot of information, the brain can be temporarily paralyzed. This is why it’s important to provide a specific date and time to a prospect rather than asking them, which is the last thing you want to do.
5 Appointment Setting Techniques to Win More Sales
An appointment setting does not necessarily happen on the phone. It can be set up anywhere, especially if your business has omnichannel communications. Here are 5 appointment setting techniques you can use.
1. Use a Power Dialer
A power dialer is a sales dialer that can do automated cold calling. It can dial more than 500 leads a day and upload and sync changes in the CRM. A power dialer can also automate SMS follow-ups and drop pre-recorded voicemails if the prospect did not answer the call. By the time the sales representative reaches their prospects, they have already been notified about the incoming call.
The RAIN Group reported that 70% of sales individuals still prefer to contact and schedule a meeting over the phone. This can be complemented with an omnichannel solution in order to get more appointments from decision-makers. Connecting through them other than the phone call would help sales representatives build meaningful relationships with C-level prospects.
2. Improve Voicemail Scripts
Use voicemail scripts to get you more callbacks from prospects who were not able to answer your calls. It is estimated that 80% of cold calls go to voicemail. This is only as bad as you think it would be. Voicemails are not dead-end yet, you can still work around these numbers by dropping quirky and friendly voicemail scripts.
You have to add a little mystery to your voicemail. Do not put all the details in one message as this ruins the curiosity of prospects. Remind them of the event you attended together. Tell your prospect where you got their contact information. Record your voicemail in a short, quick, and friendly way to make it personal.
3. Set a Balanced Communication
Ensure that your sales teams know that an appointment should be mutually beneficial between your business and your prospects. They have to listen more during the appointment. Your sales representative should ask more open-ended questions so they can understand your prospect better about their needs.
Balanced communication benefits your business to match back some relevant benefits and cut objections before they arise. This will make the appointment more qualified and salable. Closing a deal with a prospect who has been heard is easier. This also reduces the cost for lead nurturing and increases the chances of retaining the customer.
4. Put Less Pressure on Prospects
Your sales team probably has used “pressure tactics” on their prospects. Some may find this really effective especially when they are chasing their quotas. While putting pressure on prospects might be successful at times, you must still not overdo it. Not all prospects will fall under pressure tactics, and they may also feel you are hurrying them.
Prospects will most likely buy from businesses they trust. Overdoing pressure tactics will make them feel uncomfortable. You have to persuade them and use positive language. Let them decide and come to their own conclusion. You must always show your honesty and courtesy to them even when they decline.
5. Know When to “Back Out” from Prospects
You have to understand that not every prospect would be at the right stage of the buying cycle. Your sales team would be able to handle some objections but never push a prospect in purchasing. This would put your business in a bad spot and prevent future engagement. So, your sales representatives must know when to back out from prospects.
If your prospect is not yet ready, you can just put a positive note in their profile. This works best when you already obtained the decision-maker. An ideal prospect may undergo 12-16 touchpoints in 3-4 weeks during the sales sequence. When the time is right, closing a sale to a prospect is as smooth as butter.
An appointment setting sets the stage for your prospect to become a customer. This stage requires creativity and skill to accomplish. It lets your prospects become more familiar with your business, making it easier for sales representatives to close them and making it easier for sales representatives to close them. When done right, appointment setting gives a lot of benefits to your business.
In summary, you can get better at doing appointment setting with these techniques. It won’t guarantee you making a sale right away but moves you closer to having one. Getting your business acquainted with a vigorous, data-driven, and personal approach to appointment setting can improve your sales performance” or something