Appointment setters are the unsung heroes of any sales operation. It is a difficult task at a precarious part of the sales funnel, so when it goes right, it’s a cause for celebration. When trying to arrange an appointment, you come up against a lot of resistance, which you can tackle by staying organized, being persistent, and understanding the prospect’s perspective. Here is a quick guide to become a rock star of appointment setting.
Take It a Step at a Time
Too often, salespeople have the “big sale” in mind when dealing with a prospect. There’s nothing wrong in warming up a prospect for an eventual sale, but you can’t lose sight of the primary goal: to shuffle the prospect to the next sales process stage, an appointment. Remember that you are selling them on setting an appointment, first and foremost. Demonstrate the value of making an appointment and manage objections to making an appointment.
Don’t Give Up Too Quickly
Don’t get crestfallen after a single call. It can take upwards of twelve touches (even more sometimes) to see engagement success. Persistence pays off. And it doesn’t need to be entirely over the phone either. Send emails, leave voicemails, and send messages. It is entirely possible that a prospect, who is busy with work, isn’t paying attention to one of their channels, or simply didn’t have the time when you reached out initially, which is why persistent effort across channels is important.
Human error is a fact of life. You might forget to remind the prospect or sales rep about the appointment, you might accidentally double book or you may even fail to send proper invites. Don’t leave it up to a manual process – promote better-qualified appointments with appointment setting software. This can be done through a sales engagement platform, to maximize appointment-setting success at every step, from reaching out to the prospect to reminding them of their appointment.
Give Them Their “WIIFM”
WIIFM – or “what’s in it for me?” – is an important perspective to keep in mind. You might be able to wax for minutes about the value of your product/service, but the prospect still might wonder, “what’s in it for me?” Understand the value of the appointment from their perspective, how it benefits them. You might assure them that the appointment is a no-pressure way of learning more about a product/service that could save their business time and money. There’s no downside to taking the appointment, but there could be a potentially major upside.
Early objections are hard. You don’t want to get knocked off the call before you have a chance to demonstrate value. That’s why you need to learn how to manage smokescreen objections like “I’m busy right now,” “send me some information and I’ll look it over,” or a simple “I’m not interested right now.” It’s a skill that takes practice and a fair amount of trial-and-error.
As long as you are organized, persistent and adept at handling objections, you will quickly become a star appointment setter.
Pearl M. Kasirye is a writer at pearllemonleads.com, editor, and researcher who spends most of her time reading. When she isn’t reading or working, she can be found sitting on her balcony writing her own novels or traveling.