Successful Tips for Appointment Setting
By Nikole Smith-Toptas
Breaking into new accounts and setting meetings is one of the most difficult tasks in sales. But if you want to be successful in sales, you need to be able to build your own pipeline and drum up your own business.
To increase your odds of landing initial meetings, follow these five appointment-setting tips.
Reach out during “off hours”: Business leaders do not punch in at 9:00 am and leave at 5:00 pm. This is something I always stress to my inside sales team. If you’re trying to get through to an insulated executive, try calling early in the morning (before 8:00 am), during lunch, or late in the evening (after 6:00 pm). Chances are you’ll bypass the gatekeeper. Just be respectful of an individual’s after-hours family time and commitments.
Use multiple media: Appointment setting isn’t just about cold calling. It can take more than a dozen touches to get a prospect to respond to you. For appointment-setting success, you must reach out a number of times, using multiple media. Prospects are busier than ever and inundated with marketing and sales messages and meeting requests. You can break through the noise by leaving voicemails, sending an e-mail, dropping a package in the mail, or writing a hand-written note. Do not be afraid of rejection, be prepared with rebuttals to overcome those “no’s”.
Follow marketing leads: You’ll have much greater success setting appointments with prospects who have already interacted with your company’s brand in one way or another. Make sure you get the information you need from marketing to follow up on:
- Website visitors
- Website downloaders
- Event attendees
Leverage referrals: Referrals are golden. When someone refers you, the trust your prospect has for the referrer transfers to you. This gives you a huge advantage as buyers will be more open to speaking with you. The obvious place to ask for referrals is your network and everyone should be doing this.
Ask for the meeting: This is appointment setting 101. Many sellers forget to do this simple thing! When asking for the meeting, be specific. Asking to meet at a specific date and time changes the question from “Do you want to meet?” to “When do you want to meet?” Paul Goldy, Associate Vice President/Solutions Advisor, CDI Managed Services, says, “The direct approach is the best approach and has worked effectively for me for over 20 years of being in sales.”
Setting appointments with new accounts takes hard work and persistence. You’re going to hear a lot more no’s than yeses, but if you follow these tips, you’ll increase your odds of getting through and securing a meeting.
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