Getting your feet under the table: Basic rules for Appointment Setting

All B2B telemarketing agencies will advertise about their ability to provide an excellent and effective Appointment Setting Service and promise their clients that they can get them the appointments with the decision makers, helping them boost their businesses. Whilst no one can doubt the intentions, why is it that some agencies are more successful than others in delivering their B2B appointment setting service?

The answer is usually very simple, some forget or rush the fundamental rules when calling to get an appointment. Some callers can to be too aggressive when making these calls to the decision makers, which will turn away the prospect and worse it will reflect badly on the company’s brand and identity. Making a good first impression is paramount, as during the period of the phone call you have to build the confidence and trust of the prospect, to even consider taking time to commit to a meeting. Below are some of the golden rules that can help deliver that appointment.

Photo by Harshil Shah                Image Source – Harshil Shah (CC License)

Take the time to research:
A common error is rushing into the call list, to get through as many prospects as possible. But what happens when you get through to the the right person, no decision maker is going to agree to an appointment just out of courtesy. They will however agree if they are convinced that the meeting is going to be beneficial for them, such as boost their productivity or solve a specific problem. Requesting for an appointment without a solid reason won’t work, their time is precious. It’s essential to research before you call to know more about their organization, their needs and pain points.

Make voicemails count:
During the process of getting through to the decision maker, it will be more than likely you will encounter the dreaded voicemail. Many callers ignore this as an opportunity and accept it as a barrier – not so. Take this opportunity to leave a meaningful concise message, having done the research beforehand will make this easier, It helps build up a positive profile by the prospect of you and the company before the conversation has even taken place.The same is true with messages left with assistants and colleagues.

Be ready to react and respond:
You must be prepared to react to a request or objection by offering something of value. You may well have got their attention, but now it is important to listen to any possible barriers which the prospect may have and respond by providing something that can compel them to grant an audience. You can offer to help them research their issues, offer them some expert advice regarding their plans, or run a report on the latest industry trends. Give them the incentive to put that appointment in their diary.

Be flexible and go with the flow:

Adopting a rigid approach while requesting for an appointment is a sure way of inviting failure. Always go with the flow and try to empathise with the customer, even if things are not going according to your plans. If a physical meeting is too complicated then find-out if the customer prefers a video conferencing call instead, or if they want you to first meet one of their assistants in a preliminary meeting.. Even if you don’t get an encouraging response, try a different approach. You never know when a seemingly dead lead may turn into a goldmine if you don’t lose hope and think on your feet!

Sticking to basics and adopting innovative methods can make B2B appointment setting services convince the decision makers about the usefulness of the association with them. Getting an appointment is an art, if you add the science of logic to it, then the appointments will keep rolling in.

To find out how we can help fill your appointment diary, please contact Andy Dickens at VSL either by emailing at or call on +44 (0)1403 788480.


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Andy Dickens

Andy Dickens is a veteran of IT Sales, used to leading by example. He is the CEO of Virtual Sales Limited (VSL) who offer telesales, telemarketing, lead generation and appointment setting services to B2b businesses. He previously was Sales Director EMEA for Red Hat and before that ran sales at Visio before it was acquired by Microsoft.