Vital Appointment Setting Skills
Setting, arranging and keeping appointments can be the difference between making a great sale, or losing it. Appointments, whether they be by telephone or email, are the basis for building and maintaining a great business relationship. Here are some vital appointment setting tips to help you navigate those important conversations.
Only offer two or three options
Although it is important to set up an appointment that works well for all parties, offering too many options is an easy way to lose the appointment altogether. Make things easy for the client by giving them few decisions so that they can make them quickly. Remember, always try to agree on an appointment time that is as convenient for your prospect as possible.
Call your prospect
Make things as easy as you can for your prospect. Call them at their chosen time via their chosen method, whether that is by smartphone, Skype or work phone. Being flexible with your communication also makes you appear more professional and organised.
Set an agenda
Have a list of notes ready (or a script, if you use one), to make sure that you remember to mention everything during the call. Whether it is your initial call or the closing call it’s always helpful to have notes that will keep you on track. For example, if the prospect has a few worries about your product or service, you may want to jot down a few answers and reassurances.
Schedule time before and after
It’s important to schedule at least ten minutes before and after the appointment. This gives you time to prepare to call your prospect, ensuring that you know exactly what the call is about and who you’re talking to. Evaluating for ten minutes afterwards is also essential, so that you can note down whether you have to call the prospect back, whether you need to collect payment, or whether you’ve set up a payment plan. This is especially important if you have multiple appointments set up across one day, as it also allows you to keep track during your busy schedule.
Update your appointment schedule
Use a shareable appointment schedule. This means that you can share your appointments with your colleagues. It also means that they can make notes or add information to your calendar. This is an excellent way to ensure that anyone who needs to know about your appointments can get all of the information they need, with just a couple of clicks. A good example of this type of software is Google Calendar.
Confirm, confirm and confirm again
Ensuring that both you and your prospect know exactly when your appointment is essential. Double-check the appointment time and date at the end of the phone call, set a calendar date and it may even be a good idea to send a brief email to the client a day or two before the appointment.
These tips will prevent any confusion as to the date, time or place. They will also help you to have a smooth and successful meeting.