How To Start & Grow Your Business

Appointment Setting Made Easy

Kevin Thornton
Jan 8th, 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 5 min read
  • Hummy's
    Highlights

    1Review your intel on the lead prior to calling. 2"Focus on speaking slowly, clearly and concisely." 3Follow up with useful information.
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Sales Techniques

Customer Service-Smiling worker doing her job with a headset Photo Credit: wavebreakmedia Shutterstock

Appointment setting is sometimes looked upon negatively; however, it’s really a positive experience for the sales person and the prospect if it’s done properly.

This usually means that there has been agreement to take the sales conversation to the next step. I’m sure that most of you have heard of the ABC’s of selling (Always Be Closing), but there are critical steps that help get you to the “close.” You have to know the best ways to get from “suspect” to “prospect” in order to get closer to closing the deal.

Below are some key steps involved in the appointment setting process. The objective is to get your lead from point A to point B, but knowing how to get there is what will make you successful.

Prepare for the Call

  • Review the Lead’s History – Review the information you have on the lead prior to making the call. Check to see if anyone has already spoken to them and check the notes from previous calls. There may be information from those calls to help you know what angle to take in your appointment setting approach. Most appointment setting software provides sections to capture comments to aid the sales process. This is especially helpful if the same person isn’t the one following up.
  • Get to Know the Lead – Pull up their LinkedIn profile and get to know them a little better before making the call. See what their title and responsibilities are at their current company. Take a look at any groups they may be a part of or links they’ve shared to have those in your mind as conversational topics so that you do not just focus on what you are selling. Let them know you’re interested in them as a person and not just selling your products or services.
  • Know Your Sales Pitch – It’s important to know what you’re going to say before you dial the number. You don’t want to sound like you’re reading or stumbling over your words because you will come off as ill prepared. VanillaSoft’s appointment setting software has a logical branch scripting feature that will help your sales reps prepare for their call and manage the conversation so they know exactly what to say and how to overcome objections.

Making the Call

  • Get in the Right Mindset – Visualize the person standing in front of you as if you are meeting face to face. Body language travels through a phone conversation. Make sure to smile and nod as they’re talking. You may not actually be meeting in person, but you can pretend as though you are and that will come across during the conversation.
  • Be Considerate of the Contact’s Time – Before launching into your sales pitch, ask if now is a good time for the person to talk. Being cognizant of the lead’s time will show you value the person’s time and potential business.
  • Show Excitement – Be excited about the product or service you’re offering. If you’re excited then you’ll have a better chance of your lead being interested in it too. Just don’t overdo it with the excitement and scare them off. Focus on speaking slowly, clearly and concisely.
  • Listen – This is one of the key elements to a successful sales call. Don’t let finishing your script be your main focus. The script is important as a resource guide, but your leads voice is top priority. By listening, you are displaying to them that their words matters to you.

Listening allows you to pick up on cues the customer may be sending out or indicating that they need your product or service. Once the cue has been thrown out there, take it and go with it. Don’t worry about the rest of your pitch and set up time to further discuss their needs. Make sure to get additional contact information if there are other key stakeholders that should be involved in the next call.

Follow Up

  • Schedule the Follow Up Call – Send the lead a meeting invite to the follow up call so that they have it on their calendar. This will help to prevent them from double booking. Also, if something comes up, they will be reminded to inform you so that they can reschedule.
  • Send Useful Information – After the call, make sure to send over any additional product information or industry related content that may be relevant to their needs. It’s important to continue developing the relationship. VanillaSoft’s appointment setting software has an email drip feature that will allow you to automatically send specific emails to your lead based on the result of your call. This feature is great during the lead nurturing process.
  • Send a Confirmation Email – Send a confirmation email the day prior to the call reminding them of the appointment. Briefly recap what the topic of the appointment. Make sure to remind them of the previous call’s discussion and date.
  • Get Information on Declined Appointments – It’s vital to understand why your lead declines an appointment. Politely ask what their reasoning is for declining the call. The feedback they provide may be invaluable to your organization and the sales process. Knowing why a lead declined, can help you refine your approach, moving forward.

Knowing the right steps to take during the appointment setting process is crucial for your sales team. Ensuring your sales reps know the steps to take between point A and point B can make all the difference in the success of your lead management process. VanillaSoft understands the steps needed to make a successful call and has developed an appointment setting software to help your sales team achieve their goals.

This article was written by Kevin Thornton and published on the VanillaSoft blog.

Kevin Thornton is EVP Sales & Marketing for VanillaSoft, the number 1 CRM for selling by phone. Perfect for prospecting, phone sales and appointment setting.