Fixing up a meeting is an art in itself, as you need to be persistent without being too pushy. There will surely be times when you might have to bear the brunt of the person on the other side of the conversation.
If sales is difficult, setting up an appointment is all the more difficult if not executed in the right manner. This being the initial step towards getting a business deal, a lot of attention needs to be given to gratify the process.
We have compiled 5 of the best strategies that should be kept in mind while trying to set up an appointment.
1) Try to Take Advantage of the Off-Hours
Top business officials are not the ones who punch in at 9 AM and punch out at 6 PM. These gentlemen usually have their minds at work even after office hours. Hence, it is very important to take advantage of the off-hours. It may not be a bad idea to call them early in the morning – say 8 AM. Few sales reps looking for setting up appointments have had success when they drop a mail as early as 4 in the morning. This strategy actually ensures that the prospect is able to respond to the sender of the mail before the end of the day.
2) Reap Benefits from Referrals
Referrals are golden tickets – when you are being referred by someone, you increase your chances of setting an appointment. It is primarily because of the fact that the prospect would have some sort of trust for the referrer which will rub onto you. However, it is also important for the one looking to set the appointment to look for referrals at the right place. Initially, it will totally be up to you to navigate the hallway and find the buyer and the decision maker within the organization. The best way to do this is to get your foot in the door and ask for an internal referral.
3) Active Listening
While this might seem underrated, listening to your prospects goes a long way in setting up an appointment. One cannot help but agree to the fact that human beings like being heard. It is in human nature. While trying to set up an appointment, it is pretty crucial to listen to what the prospect is trying to say. This would make them feel that, “this particular person is listening to me and trying to help me out. I should definitely give him a chance”. At the same time, listening to the prospect and their problems can help us to prepare ourselves better for the appointment.
4) Do not Push Too Much
It is extremely good to be relentless in your efforts, but at the same time you should never cross the line of annoyance. Setting up an appointment needs you to be persistent, but that should not come at the cost of losing your sheen in the minds of your prospects. Trust us – you do not want to come across as the person who was so desperate to set up a meeting. This way you will surely end up leaving a negative impression in the minds of the prospect and your chances to do business with those prospects might turn bleak.
5) Follow Marketing Leads
This could easily go down as one of the best ways to fix up an appointment. There are people who have interacted with your organization in one way or the other. They could be the ones who have visited your website or attended any event conducted by your organization. There are many softwares that will help you identify prospects that have visited your website, their navigation history, the whitepapers and ebooks they have downloaded, etc. This is majorly helpful when you have already spoken to these prospects.
With events, you need to make sure that you have the entire list of the attendees, as it may help you initiate an useful conversation.
To add on to the above 5 points, here are a few basics that you need to get right:
- Know your target: Know exactly whom you want to set an appointment with
- Know your capabilities and limitations: It is very important to know what you are capable of and what you are not. If you are good at cracking jokes, try doing the same but do not force yourself
- Know the gatekeepers: Be nice with the assistants, as the CEOs, MDs, etc are too busy to get into such things
- Know your message: Design a script that would help you have a great introduction
As said earlier, in order to get a business deal, setting an appointment plays a role similar to building a good foundation. If you do not set the intensity with your appointment setting right, there are chances that you might not be able to generate the sale at all. Sometimes, it may even damage your future proposals. With prospects, it is very important that sales reps keep their attitude right. Setting an appointment is not an easy task, as it takes immense courage to hear a ‘no’ and take it in your stride. The above written points have been proved worthy by many sales reps.