Appointment setting probably isn’t on your list of favorite things to do as a salesperson. Unfortunately, it is an important part of the sales process and necessary to keep the sales funnel full.
When approaching appointment setting calls, remember that time is money. While appointment setting can be an arduous task, if you succeed at getting an appointment set, a large part of your selling work is done. That’s because prospects who make appointments are more likely to buy what you are selling.
In a perfect world, you could outsource your appointment duties. Since this is not always possible, here is some advice to help make the process go more smoothly:
Don’t waste your time trying to get a hold of just one person. Large companies usually have more than one decision maker so you can cast your net wider and attempt to track down more than one person at a time. Keep in mind, however, that although there is usually more than one decision maker in a company, all of those decision makers are likely to be high up in the organization.
Persistence is the name of the game. It may take an average of 10 attempts to get the opportunity to ask just one prospect to meet with you, but it could take even more. The only thing you know for sure is that you never know how long it will take to connect with a potential appointment. The key is to remain determined, even if it takes longer than you expected.
You are trying to set an appointment, not make a quick sale. While it is human nature to want to try to sell your product or service as soon as you get a prospect on the phone, this is never a good idea. Since the prospect wasn’t expecting your call, he or she is unlikely to be wiling – or able – to make a decision on the spot. Don’t squander the opportunity to meet with a prospect by launching into a hurried sales pitch that will in most cases be rejected.
No-shows aren’t always the end of the road. It is easy to get discouraged when an appointment is a no-show, however, this is an expected part of the appointment setting process. It may help to know that 50 percent of no-shows can be rescheduled. Further, the professional manner in which you react to a no-show can actually improve your prospect’s opinion of you and increase the likelihood that the prospect will show up the next time around.