Discovering the Best Methods for Setting Appointments

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The process seems simple: Call qualified leads; briefly inform them you have a solution to the current issue; and set an appointment to educate the prospect. “It will only take 15 minutes,” your appointment setter explains — hoping to convince a fair amount of leads to give in, and meet with you. Some do, and your schedule looks great.

However, many of these leads will turn out to be no shows. Perhaps they wanted to get off the phone or maybe they agreed to an appointment they had no intention of keeping. Others may show up, but they could be a poor fit for your product or service. It doesn’t benefit anyone to set appointments with leads who don’t intend on setting up a demo for a product or service. Thus, the hunting and pecking must begin again.

The truth is, your appointment setters need a new approach — one that shifts from trying to persuade someone to spend “just 15 minutes” with a rep to digging deeper on what they need. Your sales team needs to help leads see value in meeting with them. In fact, they don’t necessarily need to be in the market at this point, the goal is to create an understanding and trusting environment for the prospect.

VanillaSoft’s appointing-setting module is designed specifically to get organized with multiple calendars, quota management, schedule blocking and more so you and your sales team can have a more productive and efficient process.

Logical-Branch Scripting and On-board Messaging to Set Appointments

Digging deeper is much harder than calling endless amounts of leads, making a short pitch, and hoping to set an appointment. But you’ll likely have an appointment schedule filled with more qualified leads and with fewer no-shows. You will need to discover what each prospect is searching for to provide value.

Finding a successful message is essential and a call center scripting software can easily create and update scripts instantly. A logical-branch script will help reps to get past the gatekeepers, build rapport, handle any initial objections and ask probing questions that dig deeper.

While your appointment setters may be accustomed to highlighting the benefits of your products and services the purpose of the call is twofold: discover the lead’s needs and help prospects see the value of your company.

Discovering A Prospect’s Needs

The “Sandler Pain Funnel” — a sales methodology developed by David H. Sandler — is a questioning approach that digs progressively deeper with pain questions.

These include, “Tell me more about that.” “Can you be more specific?” “How long has that been a problem?” “How much do you think that has cost you?” and “How do you see me helping you?” Appointment setters can qualify the leads and provide enough information to suggest you’re a good by incorporating probing questions into your script.

Setting the Value and Booking the Appointment

Most people don’t want to be sold to and their time is precious to them. However, if the appointment is positioned as a low-pressure meeting where they will benefit in some way, they may be willing to meet with you.

A powerful close is to suggest meeting briefly to get acquainted, learn more about the problem and see if you’re a good fit for each another. Let the prospect know that if it turns out not to be a good fit at the time, you will provide good information they can refer to in the future.

This value-oriented close keeps the focus on prospects and their needs while also giving them an out if they are not interested. Overall, you’ll want to ensure your actual appointments live up to the promises you make when setting an appointment.

Provide Gentle Reminders

To reduce the likelihood of no-shows even further, use a system — such as email reminders or brief phone calls — to gently remind your leads of upcoming appointments. Simply be personable and remind your prospects that you look forward to meeting them at the appointed time.

Whether you set appointments yourself or use a team of appointment setters, using a script that asks questions and provides a proven path will help leads to better understand their own needs and see value within the meeting.

Setting more appointments with the most powerful software on the market, including best-in-class features and extensive calendaring functionality can be done through VanillaSoft. The appointment-setting module is one of the many invaluable features provided within the industry’s leading software by taking the best CRM, lead management and telemarketing applications to create the most inside sales environment available.

This article was written and contributed by Celeste Stewart.

Genie Parker

Genie brings more than 30 years of experience in sales and marketing with an emphasis on doing business on the phone. Genie comes with a broad experience reaching into hundreds of industries including technology, manufacturing, non-profits, financial services, and business services. Prior to joining VanillaSoft, Genie Parker co-founded Parker, Murray and Associates, a remarkably successful boutique outbound call center. Genie's company consistently delivered sales, qualified leads, appointments, marketing and fund-raising services to businesses from The Fortune 500 to small businesses across the United States for 15 years.

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