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Appointment Setting

Call Center, Telemarketing

Here are 8 steps to go through when using  appointment setting scripts,

Step 1 – Focus on the Right Goal
The first step in creating your appointment setting scripts is to focus on the right goal. If you are calling to set an appointment, your ultimate goal is to sell the product but your immediate goal is to set the appointment.

With that being the case, when you keep a laser focus on the immediate goal of setting the appointment, this can impact your cold call script in terms of how you open, how you close, and how you deal with objections.

Step 2 – Confirm the Prospect is Available
This step is optional and if you don’t agree you can skip it, but we believe that you you can improve your ability to establish the cold call by politely confirming that the prospect is available by asking if you have caught them in the middle of anything.

Step 3 – Deliver Your Elevator Pitch
The next step in your appointment setting scripts is to deliver your elevator pitch. This is one to two sentences that communicate how you help your customers and clients.

Step 4 – Perform a Soft Takeaway
Right after you share how you can help, perform a soft takeaway by saying one statement to question whether or not the prospect is a good fit for what you have. This is a very nice way to decrease the prospect’s guard and create a little curiosity and intrigue.

Step 5 – Ask a Couple of Pre-Qualifying Questions
The next step in this process is to ask a couple of questions. This becomes the purpose of your call and will help you to establish a more consultative selling conversation.

This can also help you to gather some good information from the prospect which can not only help you to determine if the prospect is worth scheduling an appointment with, but the information can also help justify your close attempt.

Step 6 – Share Common Problem Examples
If you don’t get good answers to questions that you ask in terms of finding a reason to meet, share some examples of the common problems that you help to fix. After you share these, inquire if the prospect has any of the challenges or concerns to determine if it makes sense to meet.

Step 7 – Share Brief Company and Product Info (Pre-Close Step)
The next step in your appointment setting scripts could be considered your “Pre-Close Step” because you are going to share some information about your company and product to create a little interest before you go for the close.

Notice that we say “a little” interest because we don’t need to create enough interest for the prospect to want to purchase. We only need to create enough interest so that they agree to meet.

Step 8 – Close
After you create a little interest in your appointment setting scripts, simply go for the close by asking for the meeting and scheduling the appointment.

1. Do Not Sell Your Product or Service

I know it seems obvious that when you call to set an appointment, you are not calling to try to make the sale over the telephone. However, most salespeople fall into the trap of selling the product or service in the process.

Remember, you are selling the appointment, not the product.

While attempting to set an appointment, the prospect objects. The problem is that usually, the objection is a “buying” objection. The prospect says something like, “I can’t afford your product or service right now…,” or “I am happy with my current supplier…” or something of that sort. Those are objections to making a purchase, and the normal response is to answer and try to overcome such objections.

When this happens, the prospect is objecting to BUYING and the salesperson is trying to CLOSE. Think about that. Why on earth are you trying to close the sale at this stage of the sales process? You are trying to sell the appointment.

Neither you nor the prospect should even be thinking about making a buying decision at this point! Be careful not to fall into that trap. Instead, help the prospect understand that you are not asking for a buying decision; you are not asking for their business. All you want is a meeting and focus on that.

Remember; you are setting the appointment, not the sale.

2. Build the Value of the Appointment Itself

When setting appointments over the phone, you should be focusing on just setting the appointment only. In other words, you need to SELL the appointment ONLY.

That is, sell the value of the meeting on its own merits. When setting an appointment on the phone, often the prospect feels that meeting with you will be a waste of their time if they do not believe they will buy; and since they have not yet seen your sales presentation, that is only natural.

Therefore, you need to help the prospect understand that they receive VALUE, they get some return on their investment of time, just to meet with you, regardless of if they choose to buy what you are selling or not. Figure out the reasons how the prospect benefits just by talking to you and sell those benefits. The selling of the appointment on the phone can achieve this.

3. Alternate of Choice

Finally, in setting the appointment on the phone, use a strong ‘alternate of choice’ close. Give the prospect two choices and narrow down the parameters.

“So Sarah, are mornings good for you to talk for a few minutes, or are the afternoons more convenient?”

“Paul, I can meet with you next Thursday sometime, or would a Monday be better?”

“Sean, we can get together Friday at 4:00 pm, or would Monday morning be easier with your schedule?”

Don’t try to sell the product or service or you will receive the “I’m not interested” sales objection. Instead, just sell the appointment. On the phone, the appointment is the product they are buying. Build the value of that appointment on its own merits. Use the old, but reliable alternate of choice close and you will set more appointments!

Making appointments over the phone can be difficult enough these days. By following the above ideas, you increase your chances, but only if you remember exactly what you are selling on the phone; the appointment!

If you’re still itching to learn more, then check out our Face to Face Telesales Training. Alternatively, try out our range of other Sales Training solutions which include both offline and online options to help you further.

Happy Selling!

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