“The person who answers the next question correctly doesn’t have to meet his or her sales appointment setting goals this month,” the VP of Sales boldly announced to hissales team.
A headset promptly flew across the room.
“Who did that?” asked the VP.
“Me!” cried a voice from the back. “Thanks so much. I’m really looking forward to taking a month off.”
Appointment setting, however, is no joke! In fact, today it is more urgent than ever since businesses are busier, time is precious and creating a pathway for communication has become taxing and time-consuming. Amidst all this, appointment setting needs to be done skillfully and diligently – both of which are clear shortcomings today.
So let’s see what exactly can make your appointment setting game spot-on. Here are some tricks to take it up a notch:
1. Don’t sound like a salesperson:
It’s no secret that pretty much everyone you target is going to end up assuming that you’re a salesperson right in the first go. However, chances decline when you don’t sound like one – create a witty yet simple opening line and a short script you are comfortable with. As the call starts picking up, go with the flow.
2. Keep it interactive:
Salespersons are monotonous, hardly train their voice and rarely try something different. To avoid sounding like them, do the exact opposite of what one would do and you could surprise the receiver! It is important to know when to throw in something to get someone’s attention or get past the gate-keeper to the real deal.
3. Do your homework:
Read, understand and research before going for a client. Once they know that you know them or the matter being discussed, they would be more open. Along the decision-maker, it is also essential to know about the matter at hand so you can revert to any questions that come across during the call.
4. Reach out to the decision-maker:
Try connecting directly with the person with whom the appointment is being set. This is easier said than done, since many times your conversation shall be limited to the gate-keeper. With practice and a good amount of research, it is however, possible to connect with the end person successfully.
5. Avoid an awkward silence:
Know how to avoid the tricky “silence” that comes with almost every cold-call or even with a scheduled call for that matter. Keep the conversation flowing, however, do not keep pushing it since the person might be busy and you wouldn’t want to be the caller who wastes time. Keep a few tricks at hand to take care of such instances.
6. Keep measuring and learning:
Know how far you’ve come, keep a check on your average call-times and the success rate. Keep working until you get better. Again, there is a learning curve and strategies that may work for others may not necessarily for you, but keep getting better.
Although you’re the one setting up an appointment, never make it about you – it should be all about the two people for whom the conversation is taking place. While appointment setting is clearly a game that can tend to go either way even if you apply all the rules, it is all about practice, finding the right time and ensuring constant learning.