Proper appointment setting in sales is essential to making the best use of your time. It also shows other people that you value your time as much as your own. Getting a virtual assistant to set appointments for you is an efficient way to make sure you keep an optimal schedule for sales calls.
An excellent appointment setter has to know how to handle business-to-business and business-to-customer engagements properly. Knowing how to set an appointment effectively with customers and suppliers can lead to more opportunities to close deals and strengthen business deals when they need your products or services.
Appointment setters are in charge of managing and contacting prospects to establish sales opportunities further down the line. The role includes tracking schedules, researching leads, and maintaining databases. Their main duty, however, is reaching out to prospects to introduce the company—or one of its products or services—and convince them to agree to a more detailed discussion later on.
The process typically looks like this:
- The appointment setter contacts a prospective customer
- They briefly introduce your company, product, or service
- Try to persuade the contact to agree to another meeting at a later date
- They update the leads database based on the outcome of their interaction
- If it went well, they appraise the sales team of the appointment
Tips That Appointment Setters Can Employ
Setting appointments is more challenging than before. The Sales Development Technology Report cites that it takes around 18 dials to connect with one buyer. To increase your chances of getting successful commitments, here are twelve tactics you can use for appointment setting services.
Tip #1: Consider Time Zone
Time is vital to both your business and your prospects, so it’s best to contact prospects when it would be convenient for them based on their time zones. Research their typical working hours and call them within those times. If you do business-to-business (B2B) sales, be sure to call during office hours.
Making calls when your prospects are trying to relax is a bad practice. In the same way, if you call their office without knowing their business hours, you’re bound to get redirected to voicemail. So, make sure to know the optimum time that your prospects will welcome a call from you.
Tip #2: Confirm Time Availability
Remember to always practice business etiquette. B2B appointment setting involves barging in on your prospective customers and interrupting them at work with your call. They won’t be happy getting a call from you, especially if they’re busy. So, make sure to ask politely if they can spare a few minutes of their time to talk to you. A considerate approach will pacify their annoyance with the interruption and can increase your chances of successful pitch delivery.
However, in the event that they’re busy, ask them for a convenient time to call back. As you’re contacting decision-makers, be mindful of their busy schedules as well. Being respectful opens doors to more receptive moods and can earn you favorable answers like a great time for you to call them again.
Tip #3: Be Prepared
Preparing for each call by adding value and insight closes up to 74% of deals. Know the product or service that they like or need. Better yet, discover their preferences and anticipate their needs or concerns, whenever possible.
In the same way, know your products or services inside-out including the industries that they cater to. Learn difficult questions and plan your answers. For B2Bs, check their social media profiles to get insights into their personalities and preferences. Plus, know the mission and core goals of the businesses where your target customers work.
The right introduction to what you’re selling goes a long way.
Tip #4: Show Interest in the Service
One fundamental rule of appointment setting is to have interest and empathy for your prospects. Pretending to be interested won’t let you truly understand what makes them tick. Plus, many people can spot insincere chatters. So, be genuine in your interest in their businesses or lives.
An appointment setting requires connecting human experiences and talking about prospective customers’ troubles, challenges, and difficulties. From here, you can offer products and services that can help them, thus, making it easier for them to agree to an appointment.
Tip #5: Don’t Be Pushy
You need some sales skills to be successful in an appointment setting. It requires you to be a little forceful. However, you shouldn’t be too pushy. Don’t think you’re not giving your prospects too much pressure, when in fact you are – at least according to your prospects’ views. Hubspot cites that 50 percent of prospects think salespeople are aggressive while 17 percent of salespeople think they’re not.
Be courteous in asking for a great time to call them. If they’re busy, call them back at the suggested time to deliver your pitch. Outright offering your pitch comes too fast and too strong, making your prospect annoyed and uncomfortable. This can result in a negative answer to your pitch.
Try a consultative approach when handling objections. Don’t bully them into agreeing to an appointment. The tendencies are that they won’t want to keep it. Use customer testimonials, facts, and persuasive language to pave the way for a positive appointment.
Tip #6: Take Advantage of Technology
Virtual assistant services have increased as integration tools have grown more sophisticated, providing better communication and collaboration for remote workers. In line with this, use the latest technology to enhance how you can set appointments. You’ll want software with features that:
- Make inter-time zone calls easier
- Drop messages in voicemail while you make the next call
- Increase hourly dials with preview dialing
- Follow up by email
- Allow multiple calendar synchronization for efficient team selling
Proper software helps you increase efficiency in both B2B and B2C calls.
Tip #7: Share User Reviews Online
You have to build your online presence, especially if you’re a startup or small and medium-sized enterprise (SME). One way to do this is to share reviews and recommendations from actual customers. Hubspot observes that 88 percent of customers trust user reviews and recommendations. Thus, sharing yours on your website and social media accounts can convince new prospects to agree to an appointment setting.
Name-dropping high-profile customers you have good business relationships with can convince doubtful prospects to take a chance on you.
If you don’t have famous clients to mention, share customer testimonials or stories that show how you’ve helped them solve their problems. Mention how you can help them if they were in similar situations.
Persuade prospects through social proof of how they can benefit from using your products or services. Direct them to review websites or landing pages showing customers who are happy with the solutions you gave them.
Case studies and testimonials give detailed accounts of the problems a certain person or company faced, how your solution resolved them, and finally, the results they accomplished. These can help earn the trust of your prospects so they’re more likely to set an appointment with you to discuss further.
Tip #8: Think Target Market
Your prospective customers come from various platforms. To get qualified leads who are seriously looking or need your products or services, work with your marketing team. Follow up on the metrics such as:
- Website visitors – Request to be notified when prospective customers visit your website. This allows you to reconnect with people to whom you’ve spoken previously. For first-time visitors, setting an appointment to discuss your products and services can be a game-changer.
- Website downloads – Ask to be given a list of prospective customers downloading webinars, white papers, and case studies published on your website. They’re more inclined to book an appointment with you.
- Event attendees – Get a list of all attendees of webinars and company events. They’re also prime prospective customers that you want to book appointments with.
Tip #9: Build Trust and Relationships
Your relationship with your prospects and customers must be based on trust and confidence. Here are two strategies you can use to build trust with prospects.
- Be human and build rapport: Customers want to talk to a human being, not a robot. Effective appointment setting calls for the skill to build rapport. Rapport allows customers to feel comfortable enough to hear more about your offers by agreeing to an appointment. Empathy goes a long way toward building trust, especially with just a few seconds to capture their attention.
- Appointment setting’s goal is to book appointments – not sell: You’ve called this prospective customer several times and they’ve finally answered your call. Though you want to sell your products, now is not the time. Remember that appointment setting aims to book a meeting. Don’t pressure your prospect by selling your offers at this stage. Call to build trust genuinely. Then let it progress naturally from there.
Tip #10: Train to Handle Rejections
Even a seasoned appointment setter needs refresher training. Training allows you to have the right preparation to face and manage rejections. It includes knowing and understanding your prospects individually and your products or services.
Know that even qualified prospects can have objections, too. Understand their objections so you can present circumstances in a favorable light. Include what makes your product or service unique.
Tip #11: Use a Script
People should use scripts. They allow you to know exactly what to say when pitching to potential customers you’re calling to set an appointment with. Even master appointment setters who can successfully wing it should have a script prepared to make sure that their pitch is at par with the standards of the company and its competitors. Here’s what a good script should have:
- A branded introduction
- The caller’s name, position, and company (i.e. yours)
- Rehearsed and natural speech
Tip #12: Be Specific
After piquing the interest of your prospects, make sure to ask for a follow-up meeting. Suggest a specific time and date and ask if that’s convenient to call them again. Lastly, make sure to send them an email confirming the agreed time to call back including a short recap of what you talked about during the most recent call. This tactic works well, especially for industry-specific services, whose owners are always busy and on the go.
Why Outsource Appointment Setting to Magic
Appointment setting work is often outsourced since the work can be done remotely and the need for such a role may fluctuate with seasons or circumstances. There’s no shortage of freelancers taking on remote appointment setter jobs, so businesses have several options for delegating the role.
Outsourcing appointment setting for your business frees this time for you to make more sales and increase customers. Magic strives to be every business owner’s resort for virtual assistance services. Plus, they want to make it convenient for you and your hired virtual assistant to start work as soon as you need them, thus, the client portal was created. To hire one to handle your commitments, call us today.