14 Top Tips for Appointment Setting

Our panel share their best practice ideas for getting great results from your appointment-setting teams.

1. Think of a good hook that will grab the person you are calling in the first 60 seconds

The most important thing when outbound calling is to have a tried-and-tested hook (or a number of hooks) you can use. These should be benefits that will get potential customers interested within the first 60 seconds.

A cold call usually happens when you don’t want to be bothered. If you don’t get the customer’s interest immediately, you will struggle to pull it back, no matter how well trained and knowledgeable your people are.

With thanks to Tom

2. Make sure your data has been TPS checked

Too often, cold calling through prescribed lists of data, without enough information, can prove a waste of time for both the calling and called parties.

Making sure that your data has been TPS checked beforehand will ensure a better contact rate once initial calls are being made.

3. Ask “Do you have time to talk?”

Rushing into a sales pitch, without asking if this person has enough time to talk, can potentially put them off wanting to listen.

time-watch-185If you can, make sure that they have the time, and if not, arrange a more convenient time to call them. This may prove to be a more successful conversation overall.

Don’t panic if the prospect that you are calling doesn’t have time right there and then. If it isn’t convenient, just try to establish when is a good time for them.

4. Don’t hang up the minute they say “I’m not interested”

Don’t give up if there is an objection initially.

Take the time to ask a few more questions as to why the potential client isn’t expressing an interest. Often this may open doors to other services that your business may be able to offer.

5. Offer a choice of day and time when setting the appointment

When arranging your appointment meeting time, try to ensure that your potential customers are happy with the day and time, especially if the meeting is likely to involve multiple people.

This will help to prevent any cancellations or potential no-shows nearer the time.

Offer people the choice of meeting times, not to the extent of this being open ended, but perhaps ask the question as to what days are better suited. For example, “Are Wednesdays or Fridays better for you?”

This will give potential customers an element of choice, rather than trying to force a day or time on them which may not be suitable.

6. Confirm the details as soon as possible – and schedule reminders

reminder-185Once you are able to agree a time and date, send a meeting request to confirm the details as soon as possible.

Beyond that, you may perhaps want to arrange a courtesy call or send a further email to confirm that your prospect is still able to attend.

Make time to initiate this contact a day beforehand to avoid disappointment.

7. Avoid the hard sell initially

Try to avoid over-selling the product in your initial contact. Information overload during the first conversation can often overwhelm people.

The sales meeting itself is where further questions can be answered and the sale needs to be qualified.

An initial call is about setting up the all-important appointment and building a rapport with your prospect.

8. Give your prospect the information they need to do their own research

Near the end of the call, provide your prospect with the right links to access your company information themselves.

This can give them the chance to ask any additional questions that they may have prior to your meeting.

9. Make sure the right people are scheduled for any follow-up meetings

Martyn King

Martyn King

Do your best to make sure that you have arranged the right people in your follow-up meetings. This will ensure that you are able to field any questions that your prospect may have.

Making sure that the right people are in attendance can also potentially speed up the decision-making process and reduce the possibility of additional or multiple meetings that may not always be necessary.

With thanks to Martyn King at Nexbridge

10. Agents need to see themselves as sellers not “appointment bookers”

If you want to increase the number of appointments being made, bring your agents together in groups and ask them “How do you describe your role?”

If they see themselves as “appointment bookers” or “order takers” then they may not be “selling” the appointment sufficiently.

I then rip up a £50 note in front of them to highlight the cost of the leads they are following up on for appointments.

11. Support a “sales mindset” with persuasion and influence training

Carolyn Blunt

Carolyn Blunt

It is also important to support your agents with a training session in the skills and knowledge they need to persuade and influence effectively, thus moving them to a true sales mindset.

In this session, listen to their “blockers” and support the removal of these.

12. Invest in good-quality data

Also ensure your data quality is good enough – and that you are avoiding manual dialling for maximum productivity and conversion.

With thanks to Carolyn Blunt at Real Results Training

13. Your agents need to understand the market they are calling

It is important to train your agents well, so that they understand the market they are calling, and how it can use the product or service.

Cold calling is about getting past the scripting and truly appreciating that you just interrupted someone’s life and now you need to know how to go on.

With thanks to Rick

14. Recruit people who work well under pressure

The primary focus should be on the individuals you are hiring, in regard to their personality.

  • Do they fit the role?
  • Do they fit the working environment?
  • Can they handle the pressure?

Training is great if it’s targeted at the right person, but if it’s to the wrong person, it really is of little or no benefit.

With thanks to Tony

Click here for our Top Tips for Selling Over the Phone

What have you tried to improve your appointment-setting success?

Let us know in the box below.

Published On: 13th Apr 2016 - Last modified: 22nd Mar 2017
Read more about - Skills , , , , , ,

  1. Thanks for the tips. The telephone definitely remains the most effective method in setting appointments and I agree that the first step should be to plan the call. The act of preparing is very essential to success. It helps us get the results faster than just “going with the flow.”

    Judy Caroll 8 Feb at 9:05 am
  2. Hi, I am going to call for an appointment for a via legalization, could you please help me or give some tips or advise on how to do a call, and what to say?????

    Anonymous 31 Aug at 4:08 am
  3. Thank you very much, about the tips…. very help ful.

    Komal Mahajan 8 Jan at 11:35 pm
  4. Thanks, it really makes a lot of difference. It is helping me a lot..I scheduled 6 appointments in a day

    Mark 7 Feb at 3:08 pm
  5. hi i am an agent supposed to be appointing people to meet up with a chiropractor but I’m having a lot of chanllenges. hope you can help.

    belle 9 Apr at 5:26 pm
  6. Hi am I speaking / May I speak to the property owner? I’m _____ calling from ABC Services at Albert’s Road, South Melbourne, Please don’t mistake me for a telemarketer as I’m not here to waste your time.
    We are a appointment setting company that offers free information on how you can save a huge amount on taxes every week, So would you be working and do you feel you pay too much income tax? If ( YES ) So just wanted to know if you will be interested and keen to receive information on how you can save upto 50% of your taxes. If (YES) And the best part is that, there is no cost involved, nor do you have to change your accountant or your financial structure and its obligation free.
    If (YES) Proceed
    All I need is few minutes of your time to check if you qualify, So I can send home my Qualified Licensed Expert to explain it to you in a form of a presentation which will roughly take 20 – 30 minutes of your time, will and appoint for tomorrow at 6 or 8pm be convenient for you.

    Anonymous 5 Jun at 6:17 am
  7. Hi! Thanks for this article very helpful, I would like to ask for a help. I am also appointment setter and prospect clients always say NO or not interested. Can you give me convincing script for Health insurance because that’s what we offer. I hope to hear it from you soon, Thanks!

    Lian 25 Jun at 9:34 am
  8. Can you please help me with objections and what to say on outbound calling to booked appointment. I try to sell free quote of advice or consultation for computer or laptop, Internet problem, software etc. Much appreciated.

    Ruth 20 Aug at 11:00 pm
  9. Very positive, encouraging and helpful, thanks to awesome article. It does not help me in my job but boost my confidence.

    Sam 16 Nov at 7:03 pm
  10. Hi can please provide the formula how to compute the number of calls over productivity? we are using manual dial. the answering machine, wrong # are not included on the conversion right?

    Mary 13 Apr at 2:49 am
  11. Perfert timing. I need these tips to help my agent boost her productivity.

    william p 23 May at 4:38 am
  12. hi iam anju iam working in a five star hotel my designation is assistant banquet sales manager i want to know the tips of banquet sales mktng

    anju kumari 9 Jun at 9:13 am
  13. One important factor about data, don’t just inform them of the product and who your company is. Don’t forget they are people just like you and me, take the time to build some rapport when needed to try and persuade them. Example: You hear someone in the background playing a piano. Ask it sounds beautiful, who is playing the piano? this will lead you into a conversation about the music or who is playing it, but remember to keep it short and to the point and then try another pitch to seal the deal!

    Roland 18 Jul at 11:18 pm
  14. thank you very much, it really helps a lot. 🙂

    Jifryll Germo 24 Sep at 9:44 am
  15. This is truly benificial in my first day job, realated to sales calling. Thanku for this and keep giving us these tips and suggestions.

    Divya Badhani 1 Oct at 8:44 am
  16. i am into setting appointment over the phone about solar panel.please help me.i need some tips.thank you

    dave 16 Feb at 6:14 am
  17. We have two ears and one mouth, try and listen twice as much as you talk. Take control by asking open ended questions, and after a closing statement, do not speak until the prospect does. This will indeed help you reach hot buttons, the prospect actually sets themselves.

    Jim Brady 31 May at 3:23 pm
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