If you want to generate more leads that actually convert, you need to make sure you have a creative appointment setting strategy in place.
We all know how underwhelming cold prospecting can be when you don’t get any leads. The good news is failed prospecting usually has less to do with your solutions than it does your appointment setting technique. If you want to book more appointments, give your sales team a script, invest in a Scheduling Software and reach out to prospects as soon as possible.
Before we dive into our top tips for appointment setting, let’s make sure everyone is up to speed on:
How to set an appointment
To set up an appointment, your sales team first needs to reach out to prospects. The most common appointment setting technique is to call or email prospects and invite them to pencil something in their diaries.
Here’s three steps to successfully set a sales appointment:
- Charm: We’ve all felt our blood boiling the moment we realize we’re on a cold sales call or reading a sales email. Try to inject some personality into your outreach to win your prospect over.
- Explain: Next up, you need to explain why you’re reaching out before the prospect loses interest.
- Ask: To finish your killer pitch, be sure to end on a compelling question that highlights why the prospect should set an appointment with you.
Setting appointments is an important step because you can put a face to a name for your prospects, start to build a relationship and promote your brand.
9 creative ways to get more sales appointments
According to Mailchimp, the average email open rate is only 21.3% across all industries. So, how do you make sure you’re getting through to more people–and getting those all-important appointments set?
Let’s find out with our top 9 appointment setting tips.
- Reach out as soon as possible
- Make booking an appointment seamless
- Use an appointment setting script
- Share personal recommendations
- Build rapport with your prospects
- Prepare for objections
- Work closely with marketing
- Encourage referrals
- Share client-specific content
Reach out as soon as possible
When it comes to setting more appointments, the early bird really does catch the worm. As Google revealed in the Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing report, 30-50% of sales go to the vendor that makes first contact with the prospect.
And there’s a perfectly logical reason why. The first company to reach out is typically far more memorable than the sixth, seventh or so on. Once you’ve found who you want to reach out to, there’s no time to delay. Send an email or give them a call directly.
Use an appointment setting script
Equipping your sales representatives with an appointment setting template has three common benefits:
- Higher conversion: If your sales experts know ahead of time what they’re going to say, they’ll seem much more prepared to your prospects. This lends a certain amount of credibility that will help you to convert.
- More control: The more support you give to your sales team, the better they’ll perform. Offering a sales script is an effective way to give your representatives more control over their pitches.
- Consistency: Once you’ve found the best sales approach for your organization, you’ll probably want your entire sales team to follow it. With a script, you can ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to outreach.
Make it clear that your team doesn’t have to follow the script word-by-word. In fact, you should encourage them to go off script as and when the conversation calls for it.
Example sales appointment setting script
- Introduction: “Hi [Their Name], this is [Your Name]. I’m calling from [Company Name]. Do you have some time for a quick chat?”
- Pitch: “Wonderful. I’m calling because [Reason for Call]. I really think this would be a fantastic opportunity.”
- Problem: “Are you having any issues with [Pain Points] at all?”
- Solution: “I’d love to set up a quick demo to show you how we can fix those problems and help you to [Main Benefit].”
- Clincher: “Are you available sometime next week for a call?”
- End: “Thanks again, [Their Name]. I look forward to catching up with you soon.”
Make booking an appointment seamless
Evidently, scheduling an appointment as early as you can is essential. Yet, the single largest blocker to getting an appointment is how easy your scheduling process is.
The last thing time-poor prospects want is the hassle of deciphering how to book an appointment. In 2023, there really is no excuse to delay using a Scheduling Software to make the booking process a lot more seamless and efficient.
With key features like two-way calendar syncing and automated appointment reminders, the best Scheduling Apps can prevent buyers from forgetting about upcoming sales calls. If they need to reschedule, they can seamlessly click a link in their latest reminder email and pick a new time in seconds.
Share personal recommendations
It’s nice to think your prospects will immediately engage with your brand but in reality they may take some convincing.
After all, it crosses every shopper’s mind when they receive a cold call that they might be talking to scammers.
Fortunately, name-dropping well-known clients can add legitimacy to your appointment setting calls. If you haven’t worked with any high profile clients yet, don’t panic. It’s still worth walking prospects through how you’ve helped other organizations.
Build rapport with your prospects
Contrary to popular belief, the purpose of appointment setting calls is not to sell. It takes more than a few minutes to entice a prospect to buy a solution.
The real purpose of setting appointments is to build some level of trust and rapport with a prospect.
Don’t be afraid to ask about the song you can hear playing in the background. Your goal is to get to know your prospects and establish a relationship.
It’s only natural to want to close a deal as soon as you can. That said, if you connect naturally with a prospect, good things will usually follow.
Prepare for objections
Part and parcel of cold calling prospects is receiving resistance. Few people are thrilled when they realize they’ve been contacted by a stranger.
Some classic objections you’ll hear:
- “Not interested”
- “I don’t have time”
- “Just put it in email”
To get ahead of the inevitable, why not acknowledge these concerns straight off the bat? Try starting with, “I’ll be quick because I’m sure you don’t have much time”.
Alternatively, make their objection into a benefit. Frame their objection as something you can solve. For example, if they tell you that your solution is too expensive, explain how cost-effective it is.
Work closely with marketing
The difference between a successful and unsuccessful appointment setting strategy is targeting.
Typically, your marketing team can share a list of prospects to reach out to which includes any prospect who has visited your website, downloaded content from your site or attended any of your events.
Let marketing take the lead when it comes to finding prospects. This way, you’re reaching out to set appointments with prospects who have already shown interest in your software.
If you’re struggling to set sales appointments, try to focus on getting referrals. Encourage your network, prospects, clients and colleagues to recommend your services to interested parties.
You can get a key advantage over your competitors with a referral. Buyers will be far more likely to set a sales appointment with you once they’ve heard good things from someone they trust.
Share client-specific content
When brand leaders see that you’ve taken the time to create content specifically for them, they’re more likely to take you seriously. Customizing content simultaneously tells the buyer you’re serious about supporting them and that you have the resources to help.
Be sure to include key information on ROI, use cases, client results and anything else you think will help to close the deal.
Book more appointments with Qudini by Verint
Qudini by Verint helps brands to create a seamless appointment booking experience. Engage with appointment customers via any channel, share post visit messages to drive future bookings and gain invaluable insights.
Key results our clients have seen:
- Double the number of appointment bookings
- 60% rise in returning appointment customers
- 40% increase in footfall from online visitors
- 10% jump in store conversion
Check out our Retail Choreography solution suite online to learn about our other SaaS solutions.