Steps to Effective Appointment Setting
1. The Opening
✓ It is extremely important that you initiate and create a favorable condition for a warm and friendly conversation by the quality and tone of your voice. Your character as well as your temperament is revealed. A picture of you in the mind of the person you are talking to begins to take shape. It would be great to have them mesmerized by your voice but I do know that not everyone is gifted with it. Try listening to yourself by recording your voice and find out if there are improvements you can make. Ask a third party for confirmation. Keep practicing if you think you need to improve on it until you find just the right blend and until you are already comfortable with it.
✓ Speak clearly and distinctively. The person on the other side of the line can immediately perceive if you are worth the time and effort. You would not want to waste their time and lower their interest level if they have to strain their ears to understand what you are saying.
✓ Combine the two previously mentioned points and add the words that you will use in your conversation, you then complete the opening delivery of the message you hope would get attention. Just a simply “hi” or “hello” without necessarily saying “good morning / afternoon / evening” can take away formalities that may be regarded as rigid and cold.
✓ Avoid exaggerated claims and promises such as “I can show you a way to be a millionaire.” Such claims and promises challenges the intellect of the person you are talking to which can be quite offensive. Focus the conversation on the measurable and substantive benefits of the campaign and its subsequent results without the larger-than-life guarantees.
2. Introduce Yourself
✓ It is proper and polite that you state your name after the opening. Don’t wait for the prospect to ask. As a rule, the caller is expected to state his / her name before proceeding with the conversation.
3. Explain the Purpose of the Call
✓ The Explain the Purpose of the Call step sets the stage for a productive discussion and may hold or even elevate your prospect’s attention level. Your prospect can now determine if you will be worth talking to or to completely drop you.
✓ State your call objectives. I think that this would be the best way to present your idea in a precise and logical manner. Indicate your openness to engage your prospect in a productive conversation that will encourage participation and sustain the attention and interest levels.
✓ Handle objections well. Provide the necessary information needed by your prospect. Do not get yourself engaged in an argument. Remember that your primary purpose is to set up the appointment and not take over from the client. So provide only the necessary information that leads to an appointment.
✓ Your call purpose is the benefit that your prospect would want to have. Take the viewpoint of the prospect. This step is crucial in determining whether or not you have succeeded to move on to the next step.
4. Set the Appointment
✓ Once you have your prospect’s interest have him agree with you for an appointment as soon as possible. Delays can turn hot prospects to cold. Interest may wane and it may take twice the effort to gain it back.
Having the Right Approach
5. A Positive Attitude
✓ Oftentimes we mirror back to the person we are conversing with our attitude and feelings. We set the character and tone of the discussion. If we project confidence in the things we say, our prospects responds with affirmation. If we are not confident, the prospect can sense this and may respond apprehensively.
✓ We must possess a mindset of win-win. Make the prospect feel that he may have so much to gain from having the appointment. But make sure that you handle the conversation taking things from his perspective and not yours. Your prospects will feel good from a well delivered appointment setting effort and you gain their respect.
✓ Is there a need to emphasize preparedness? We know for a fact that a well prepared appointment setting effort does not come from a scripted approach. It comes from having a good understanding and knowledge of the details of the appointment. Having all the information and providing the same at the right time shows your professionalism and sensitivity to the needs of your prospects.
✓ It has been said that timing is key to effective appointment setting. Learn and know when it is time to provide additional information, when and how to handle objections and finally, when to lead the conversation to an appointment setting close.
✓ Be flexible in both your conversation as well as your personality with your prospects. If the prospect carries the conversation from one subject to another, listen and respond with empathy then bring the discussion back to your appointment setting objective. It is beneficial to have not only an objective connection but more importantly a personal one.