Are you a cold caller that sets appointments?
Then you understand the importance of sales involvement in the comprehensive sales call process.
Your ability and the tools you have at your disposal will determine the quality of your outreach. Let’s not forget that today’s buyer is much more difficult to contact.
According to The Sales Development Technology Report, connecting with a customer today takes an average of 18 dials.
That’s right, you read that correctly.
It now takes twice as many attempts to connect with a buyer as it did previously.
As a result, when you eventually connect with the customer, you should be on your game. Here are some recommendations for a more effective appointment-setting strategy.
1. Consider The Time Zone.
For anybody working as an inside sales appointment setter, time is of the importance. It’s also crucial to every prospect you speak with, so you want to make sure you capture your target contacts at the right moment. Don’t make cold calls to potential customers while you’re eating supper.
Remember to consider the time zone of the person you’re speaking with. If it’s dinnertime where you are, your prospect may be up beyond 8 p.m.
What could be more annoying than a telemarketing call during dinner?
When you’re looking to unwind or spend time with relatives, give this number a call. You don’t want to disturb anyone’s downtime or, even worse, their sleep. Instead, make sure you call at times that are convenient.
Do your research if you don’t have any prior experience in the industry.
Determine when your target decision-makers are likely to be at the office and call during those hours in their time zone. When phoning a company to schedule a sales demo or consultation, make sure you know when they are open.
You may believe you’re making a brief afternoon call from your West Coast platform to an East Coast potential customer, only to discover the firm is closed and you’re forwarded to voicemail.
Don’t be that person who schedules appointments. Do your homework and prepare ahead so that you may call at a time that is convenient for your customer.
2. Inquire About Their Availability For A Conversation.
Let’s not forget about business etiquette.
The problem is that you’re literally barging into your prospects’ offices and interrupting their work with your call. Needless to say, many of them will simply roll their eyes and remark that they’re too busy to listen to what you have to say.
As a result, it’s not only polite, but also vital, to ask them if they have a few minutes to chat with you. This thoughtful approach will not irritate them, increasing your chances of conveying your message.
If they’re busy right now, ask them when it’ll be a better time for you to call. Because you’re most likely reaching out to decision-makers who have practically every minute of their day booked, many people won’t be able to answer your call right away.
Your prospects will be more inclined to reschedule the initial contact and inform you when you may call them because you were polite of them.
3. Do Your Homework
82% of B2B decision-makers think sales reps are unprepared. — According to MarketingProfs
Not prepared for a call is one of the most irritating behaviors an appointment setter can have.
You must have a thorough understanding of your target audience in order to know what they would like or want.
An competent appointment setter is knowledgeable about the product he or she is promoting and can anticipate the call recipient’s requirements or worries.
Do your homework. Know all there is to know about your product or service.
Find out more about the industries that your company services. Anticipate difficult inquiries and prepare responses ahead of time. If this is a B2B situation, do some research on the firm you’re calling. Examine a potential customer’s social media pages to learn more about his or her personality and interests. Understand the mission and core objectives of the organization where your prospects work.
Also, ask questions and pay attention to the responses of the people you’re phoning.
The more you know, the better you’ll be able to anticipate the queries and demands of the people with whom you’re seeking to schedule meetings.
4. Demonstrate An Interest In Serving
36% of B2B executives believe that salespeople understand their business problems and offer clear solutions for them. — Forrester Research
Having empathy and interest in your prospect is a core guideline of appointment making and inside sales.
Make an effort to comprehend the wants and requirements of the individual you’re speaking with. Don’t simply pretend to be interested. Dishonest conversation can easily detected. Try to show genuine interest in the person you’re phoning about their life or business.
Because you’ll be able to relate real-life human experiences and talk to issues that are disturbing, hard, or unpleasant for your potential client, you’ll be a better appointment setter.
The client is always curious about what he or she will get out of the deal at the end of the day. Work hard to build their trust and express the value proposition you’re providing effectively.
Individuals conduct business with people they enjoy being with. Make it simple for them to accept an invitation.
5. Don’t Put Too Much Pressure On Customers
17% of salespeople think they’re pushy, while 50% of prospects view them as pushy – Hubspot
Yes, you’re an appointment setter, which means you’ll need to use some traditional sales techniques to assist you make the appointment.
You’ll have to exert some pressure as a result of this. However, you do not need to exert too much pressure. In fact, if you come on too hard and too early, the prospect may become irritated and dismiss you entirely.
Before you go into your pitch, be respectful and ask whether now is a good time to discuss. Take some time to ask some questions that show your enthusiasm.
Instead of attempting to intimidate the prospect into making an appointment that he or she will never keep, be collaborative in your counterargument.
Set the tone for a favorable sales encounter by using persuasive language, client tales, and facts rather than pressure techniques.
6. Allow Technology To Lead You
At the end of the day, having the most up-to-date technology is one of the finest methods to make amazing appointments. You’re looking for a solution that has features like appointment scheduling software to assist you:
- make calls in the relevant time zone
- depending on qualifying requirements, call the next-best lead
- logical branch scripting overcomes obstacles while simultaneously keeping you on topic
- drop messages in voicemail while you proceed to the next call
- Increase the number of calls per hour by using progressive or preview dialing, and then follow up with an email.
- Leads who aren’t ready for an appointment should be nurtured.
- Set appointments depending on a sales rep’s location and their geographic closeness.
- For efficient team selling, combine multiple calendars.
- Make scheduling appointments easier by automatically scheduling appointments in the next available time slot on calendars.
- send out emails reminding people of their scheduled appointments
Make sure you’re using appointment scheduling software to help you be more efficient with your B2B conversations.
7. Distribute Social Proof
88% of customers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations. – HubSpot
When individuals hear from you for the first time, don’t expect them to be immediately interested in what you have to offer.
This implies they won’t be overjoyed to see you, which is understandable considering the abundance of aggressive salesmen whose primary purpose is to sell regardless of whether their product is a good fit for the individuals they contact.
If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to work with any well-known brands or industry figures, you can still pique your prospects’ interest and intrigue them by offering examples of how your solution has helped people and firms in comparable situations.
Social proof is one of the most successful marketing methods for persuading potential consumers that utilizing your product or service would provide them with significant benefits.
For example, you might direct your prospects to a review website or landing page where they may read what satisfied customers have to say about your product. Mention it over the phone and provide them the links to the materials.
However, if you want them to give you the benefit of the doubt, use name-dropping to identify a few high-profile clientele with whom you had a great business relationship.
Case studies and client testimonials that illustrate the issues an organization or individual encountered, how your solution helped them, and the outcomes they obtained can reassure your potential customer that what you have to offer is the correct fit for them.
8. Identify The Right Prospects And Improve Your Outreach
Don’t take our word for it, but we believe you’ll have a better chance of scheduling appointments with prospects who have already dealt with your organization.
This is the point at which marketing and sales collide.
We advocate collaborating with marketing and tracking specific indicators to call the prospects that are getting closer to being qualified:
Do you have any white papers, webinars, or case studies available for download on your website? Prospects who have downloaded this article are the ones you should follow up with.
Add this to your must-do list if you aren’t receiving notifications when prospects visit your website. It’s a tremendous game-changer to know when they’re thinking about you. Furthermore, you may use these notifications to reconnect with prospects with whom you’ve previously spoken.
Obtain the complete list of attendance for any events or webinars in which your firm supports or participates.
Obviously, appointment setting entails more than cold calling — but you’ll need to do a lot of it to break through, and not just on the phone.
It’s a plus if you know which prospects are interested before you contact, but it doesn’t excuse you from the following phase in the appointment-making process: reaching out via several channels.
Good luck breaking through the cacophony if you’re not leaving voicemails, composing emails, interacting on social media, or sending carrier pigeons or smoke signals.
Your prospect is most likely getting a meeting request from someone else right now.
9. Develop A Relationship Of Trust With Your Prospects
If your prospects don’t believe what you’re saying or selling, they won’t give you their time, much less their money. Why would they want to?
Try these two methods to develop trust on your next appointment-setting call.
Be A Human And Establish A Connection
If your customer wanted to talk to a robot, they’d phone Mr. Big Name Seller and have their order completed quickly.
Nobody wants that; instead, they want you. So you may inquire about the dog barking in the background or the toddler singing Bella Ciao. Do you hear any piano music?
Heck, ask about that, too!
Rapport is the bedrock upon which your interactions with prospects are built. You must know how to create rapport if you want to be more effective at scheduling appointments.
You just have a few seconds to catch a cold lead’s attention, so help them relax by making the call all about them. Ask the proper questions and, above all, be kind.
Believe It Or Not, The Purpose Isn’t To Sell Anything,
Isn’t it contradictory?
Not nearly as much as you believe.
Appointment setting calls are intended to encourage a prospect to meet with you in person – in other words, your purpose is to arrange an appointment, not to sell them something.
Yes we know how it sounds.
Because, as salespeople, we’re compelled to sell as soon as we’ve piqued a potential customer’s interest. But, as we’ve already stated, no one wants to be rushed into making a purchase.
Instead, call with a genuine desire to assist, and the rest will take care of itself.
10. Be Ready to Deal with Objections
You’re not making appointment-setting calls without doing research, are you? Seriously? Are you?
You can effectively position your value when you know your stuff and your customers. However, even qualified prospects who are a great fit for your solution may have objections.
That is why you must understand objections and learn how to deal with them in order to put the issue in a positive light and explain to your prospect why your product or service is unique.
These basic suggestions can assist you in overcoming objections:
- Do some market research.
- Align your prospecting efforts with the services that your business offers.
- Create a detailed profile of the audience you’re aiming for.
11. When In Doubt, Write It Down
Before you ask, yes, you may utilize a script while sounding like a human.
You need to refine the script you use to pitch leads, even if you’re a master at winging it.
Keep in mind that a good script should include the following elements:
It comes with a branded introduction.
It tells people who you are and what organization you work for.
It sounds unscripted and spontaneous.
Your lead will be gone before you can even consider about arranging an appointment if your pitch isn’t up to par.
12. Be As Specific As Possible!
Now that you’ve piqued the prospect’s interest and piqued their curiosity enough to want to continue the conversation, request a follow-up appointment – but don’t be mysterious.
Say, “How does October 7 at 10 a.m. work for you?” instead of, “Would you like to meet about this?”
Do you see the distinction?
One is sincere and willing to commit, while the other is only interested in texting you at odd hours until you both move on.
Also, don’t forget to tie everything up.
Send your lead a confirmation email message with a brief review of the conversation and the date and time of your next meeting.
Even though we’ve gone through the finer elements of what B2B appointment setters do, how appointment setting works, different methods to ask for appointments, and even the tactics that have helped us succeed, it’s still not the same as doing it professionally.
So, if you’re looking for some experienced professionals to work on appointment setting for your company, you know where to find Only B2B.
Vikas Bhatt is the Co-Founder of ONLY B2B, a premium B2B lead generation company that specializes in helping businesses achieve their growth objectives through targeted marketing & sales campaigns. With 10+ years of experience in the industry, Vikas has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by businesses today and has developed a unique approach to lead generation that has helped clients across a range of industries around the globe. As a thought leader in the B2B marketing community, ONLY B2B specializes in demand generation, content syndication, database services and more.