B2B Sales, Lead Generation and Marketing Blog

The Fundamental Skills of Qualified Appointment Setting

Posted by Vendere Team on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 @ 11:09 AM

The Magic CubeThere is no substitution for preparation: 

  Know the process – The process is the most fluid way to move through the conversation, ie asking the right questions at the right time. This way you will be most confident in your telemarketing appointment setting.
  Know the product – Know the client for whom you act as the appointment scheduling service.  Know the product(s) that their appointment will cover.  It also helps to know some industry jargon and hot topics!
  Know your prospect – take 30 seconds to look over the prospect’s website.  It helps to have an idea of what they do so you can formulate a sales process before the call, and prevent you from asking obvious questions that could irritate them.

Introduce the call with enthusiasm and confidence:

 The first few words out of your mouth determine whether the prospect will give you his/her time.  Be conversational! Keep in mind you are calling to have a conversation, not just sell.  To set an appointment for the sales rep it is fundamental to know your product and demonstrate interest in the industry.  You are more likely to set qualified, meaningful appointments for your client when you relate to the prospect’s pains or issues and can clearly outline your product's advantages.

Ask open-ended questions: 

A personable salesman asks the right questions to find out about the customer. 

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
— Stephen R. Covey

 You are on the right path when you find yourself beginning more questions with “What…?” or “How…?”  and not “Is…?" Yes and No answers lead to the end of the call and a shortage of good information.  A prospect is seldom committed to an appointment without justification – that is, customers rationalize the agreement or next step. Effective cold calling derives from asking the right questions - leading the prospect down a road of self-discovery, and realizing they will benefit from pursuing more information on your product or service.

Listen to understand: 

Stop talking so much and listen.  Friendly reminder - what is listening again? 

      "Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand."

                     — Karl Menninger

 Do not focus on what to say next.  Truthfully, don’t think about anything.  If you have prepared, the call should be a conversation.  Listen and guide the conversation with your relevant responses and questions. This is perhaps the most crucial aspect to an effective appointment service.


Let them know you have been listening (reiteration):

 After asking the right discovery questions, you should be able to identify any issues/pain.  Reiterate the key points in the conversation.  This way, they know that you are on their side in terms of the company’s needs.  The appointment will be much easier to set when the prospect knows that you are there to help him/her out.

Pitch and Close:

 The close comes full circle.  Let the prospect know you understand their pain or current issues and how your product may fit the need.

Once the prospect feels that you understand him/her and are presenting a valuable option, it should be easy to set them up with the rep for that helpful “next step” in qualified appointment setting. 

Topics: leadership, marketing, appointment setting, telemarketing, cold calling, tips and techniques

RFI tips for b2b lead generation appointment setting