Let’s be real — every business has the goal of growing. And to grow, your business needs to sell something, whether a product or a service. Before that happens, though, your salespeople or sales development representatives (SDRs) will set appointments with potential leads.
Although it’s a pretty simple process, accomplishing it may not always be the easiest. It’s not just about getting sales appointments — like many businesses, yours might be running into the issue of not getting enough well-qualified sales appointments.
If you’re a business owner, salesperson, or B2B organization, you know that selling a product or service is one of the last steps of the buying process. Leading up to the purchase of a product or service, your SDRs or salespeople have to prospect, qualify, nurture, and engage potential leads to successfully set appointments.
So, we know how to set an appointment. But how do we go about setting more qualified sales appointments? Read on to learn important appointment setting techniques and how your B2B company can successfully set more qualified appointments with virtually anyone.
What Is Appointment Setting?
As the name suggests, an appointment setting is a way to set appointments with new prospects. More specifically, B2B appointment setting is a strategy by the sales team to perform outreach or bring in potential prospects through social media, call, or email. Depending on how the appointments go, sales reps will follow up with nurture and set meetings with qualified sales leads.
When it comes to appointment setting, many companies tend to outsource to save on expenses and avoid training and building an internal sales team. Knowing the B2B appointment setting service that your business needs is crucial and will allow your organization to meet goals and score more qualified sales leads successfully.
Some popular B2B appointment setting services, B2B lead generation companies, and B2B cold calling services include Science Technologies, Belkins, SalesRoads, Intelemark, VSA Prospecting, and Callbox.
How To Set An Appointment
Now, let’s get to the good part: how to set an appointment. Ultimately, your success with setting an appointment boils down to how effectively you go about the appointment setting process, which consists of three different stages.
Three stages to setting an appointment:
- Disarm: Your goal is to get your prospect to lower their guard. One thing is for sure — your prospects are busy. So, it’s always best to acknowledge this upfront.
- Purpose: Dive straight into the purpose of the call and explain why you’re calling. This is a good time to tell them how much of their time you’ll need.
- Question: End your call with a question on how to accomplish your purpose. This is where you’ll ask to set up a specific time and date for the appointment.
How To Ask For An Appointment Over The Phone
A lot rides on the success of you asking for an appointment over the phone. The more effective you are at setting up sales appointments, the more you’re able to increase your prospects’ conversion rate later down the line. But essentially, you will usually get more rejections than acceptances, hence why it’s called a “numbers game.” However, that shouldn’t stop you from always putting your best foot forward.
Before calling, review any customer details/records and have them in front of you while you’re making the call. It helps ensure that you’re prepared and makes the calling process more smooth and less stressful.
When asking for appointments over the phone, make sure that you’re aware of what your goal is: making an appointment. Don’t get too caught up in trying to sell to your prospect over the phone.
8 Steps Of A Successful Cold Call:
- Introduce yourself calmly and enthusiastically. Keep it short, and do it right at the beginning of the call.
- After introducing yourself, let them know that you’re aware they are busy. This lets them know that you respect their time, and as a result, they’re less likely to be defensive.
- Tell them why you’re calling them clearly and concisely. Remember, you’ve already told them that you value their time, so get straight to the point. Ask them if they have a few minutes to talk, and if so, proceed with the call.
- Outline a broad and brief benefit of the product/service you’re selling, and follow up with a qualifying question, such as “Our product is proven to cut marketing costs and increase ROI. Is that something you’re interested in?” Remember, don’t go into a whole sales pitch; focus on getting a positive response.
- Ask for the appointment, and be sure to give your prospect different options. Ask, “When is the best time for you?” “What day of the week works for you?” These questions ensure that you’re leading the conversation and that you value the prospect’s time and schedule.
- Avoid asking “closed” questions, which are questions that allow your prospect to respond with “yes” or “no.”
- Let your prospect know that the date and time is set and reiterate the appointment back to them.
- After the call, send an email to your prospect thanking them for their time and confirming the specific date and time. It’s also good to send the email with supporting documents, videos, or PDFs to build value and nurture the relationship.
How To Make An Appointment Via Email
With cold emails, your appointment setting messages will be more effective if you know who you’re sending it to. Essentially, this means understanding who your customer is and the value that your product/service can bring them.
Here are some appointment setting tips for emails:
- Personalized: Show your prospect that you’ve done your research about them or where they’re located.
- Build rapport: Be sure to break the ice and warm your prospect up with a greeting. Humanize the conversation, but make sure that the email is compelling and engaging from the start.
- Keep it short and sweet: No need to include the company history in the email. Keep your email brief and focused on the prospect and their needs.
- Time-conscious: Don’t waste time with email fluff; remember, your prospects are busy. Get straight to the point.
- Explain the problem: What is your prospect’s issue, and how will your product help solve it? This is your opportunity to show the value that your product or service offers.
- Be clear about next steps: Do you want your prospect to reply? Click on your calendar link? Give you a call? Make sure to be clear on what action you want your prospect to take.
How To Write An Email Asking For An Appointment
Here’s a good example of how to write an email asking for an appointment:
How’s your week going? I saw it’s been surprisingly warm out in Los Angeles so far this month. Have you had an opportunity to get to Santa Monica Pier or Griffith Park? Regardless, I hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy the beautiful weather.
I took a look at your marketing collateral and noticed your company hasn’t pursued any co-marketing partnerships. Your tech is top-tier — I think it could be the industry standard for higher-ed curriculum and schedule planning — but you’re selling yourself short by staying isolated in terms of partner marketing.
Would appreciate to earn 10 minutes of your time to learn more about whether you intend to pursue co-marketing partnerships. Alsom, the resources you might use to do so. In case you are interested, we can schedule a meeting.
B2B Appointment Setting Techniques
Now that we’ve gone over how to set an appointment via phone and email, let’s get into some appointment setting tips to help you become more effective in setting appointments with anyone.
Appointment Setting Tactic #1: Have The Right Attitude
Play it cool. It’s important to remember that your tone in your voice or message is evident to the prospect and can make them uneasy about the product or service that you’re selling.
Appointment Setting Tactic #2: Have A Strong Value Statement
Don’t leave your prospect wondering what you’re selling or why buying from you is a good idea. Within the first minute, they should already know what you’re selling to them.
Appointment Setting Tactic #3: Don’t Use A Script
Don’t use a script to read from. It helps to have an idea of what you’re saying, but you want to sound natural and friendly, not robotic.
Appointment Setting Tactic #4: Be Natural
Match the speed of your voice along with your prospect. Mirroring your tone and speech can help build rapport with your prospect, but try not to overdo it. Also, avoid using technical jargon or complicated words. Again, you want the call to be natural.
Appointment Setting Tactic #5: Share Social Proof
According to Hubspot, 88% of customers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations. Social proof such as customer testimonials and case studies are super helpful in securing appointments because they generate interest and captivate your prospect. Also, they appeal directly to what your prospect is looking for, giving them proof of what your product or service can do for them.
Setting up sales appointments is the first step that your prospect needs to take before becoming a customer. However, that first step is usually a hump and takes creativity and skill.
But, with these appointment setting tips and techniques, you can only get better at setting appointments. While you won’t always be guaranteed the sale, you’ll be taking the necessary steps to get closer to one — improving your ability to set an appointment with anyone.