"Looking for tips on how to set sales appointments more effectively"
A member of the Inside Sales Buzz LinkedIn Group recently asked for tips on setting appointments and in my experience I have found that most appointment setters usually doom themselves before ever picking up the phone because they are focused on the wrong objective.
Getting all psyched up after a morning meeting to hit the phones and set X amount of appointments is short sighted and is part of the problem. Now don’t take that statement to mean you shouldn’t set goals for yourself… you should. And they should be challenging.
If you want to hit your appointment-setting goal, you’ll need to be smarter in your approach.
To hit your appointment setting number and have the highest close rates, instead of making the sales call with a mission to set the appointment, change the mission dial to: qualify the potential opportunity, then set the appointment with the prospects who meet specific qualifying criteria. Or another way of saying it: “Set X amount of QUALIFIED appointments”.
“But I’m not allowed to qualify… that’s what the outside sales persons job is”
. Most appointment setters I know have a multi-tiered bonus structure. The more appointments that lead to new business, the more you’ll earn.
No sense setting an appointment with someone who doesn’t have the specific criteria to be a high probable suspect and waste everyone’s time when a few proper sales questions (after a solid opener, of course) could qualify the potential opportunity.
One of the biggest complaints from outside sales people who don’t do their own appointment setting is... (Drum roll please...) “The lead wasn't qualified.” Now, we all know that’s not always the case... the sales rep just blew it and is blaming the appointment setter... but that's a different discussion.
The reality of the matter is you have no control over how many appointments you can set… you can only influence the potential outcome. Meaning, your actions will influence the likelihood of you achieving your goal. However, you are in complete control of setting appointments with only qualified prospects. You just need to ask the right questions, to the right people, at the right time and know how to interpret the responses given.
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