As discussed in last week’s article, there are four important parts to setting a great qualified appointment. To review, the first step with this type of lead generation call is simply to qualify the prospect. This means to have confidence that the prospect has sufficient interest and means to be a viable customer and they are a general fit for the solution. When this is determined, a sales person can go on to generate interest in the specific solution and the company being represented. This step requires the enthusiastic communication of important differentiators, making a strong value proposition, and having a positive attitude. Today we will review the last two parts: how to establish the appointment and set expectations for the appointment.
Setting an appointment is the reason for the call, but there are good ways and bad ways to get there. Books have been written on this topic and I’m sure more will be written, but here we have a quick overview. Two key elements of effective appointment setting are expectation and attitude. Strangely, these factors often have as much impact as the actual steps in asking for and confirming an appointment. The expectation should be that an appointment will be set (if qualified) and the attitude should be positive, helpful, and confident. One thing that you do NOT want to do is jump to asking for the appointment without establishing a strong reason for it. You need to have a pain identified which you are positioned to provide a solution for. The strongest motivation for a prospect to have an appointment should come from their own mouth as they identify a challenge or need. This should light the path that the sales person can then walk them down to set the appointment.
When it comes to the structure of the call itself, it is always helpful to use good lead-in questions with prospects. “I would like Mr. B to connect with you for a 15 minute call to review this solution in more detail and address any questions you have. Do you think that would be beneficial for you?” It’s also good to give options, just not too many. “I see Mr. B is open on Tuesday and Thursday. Would one of those days work for you?”. “Is morning or afternoon better?” Of course, you cannot have an appointment without an agreed date, time, and location.
Once the appointment has been set, then you have an official lead and it’s time to be more specific about what is to be expected from that conversation. Setting expectations makes the prospect more comfortable and helps the appointment go more smoothly and productively. It also allows the appointment setter to further qualify the prospect with additional questions. “Mr. Prospect, I appreciate your interest in this solution. In order to help us prepare and maximize the value of your time with Mr. B, it would be helpful for us to know X, Y, and Z.” This is also the time to let the prospect know if he/she needs to have additional information or documentation available. At this stage contact information should be confirmed, including email, address, and direct phone number. Prospects should also be told to expect a calendar invite and a confirmation call within 24 hours of the appointment. This communicates that your time is valued, as well as theirs.
Qualified appointment setting is not rocket science, but it is a science and can be mastered through effective use of the right methodologies. This two-article series is not comprehensive, but we hope that it is a helpful overview. For a free consultation with an industry leader in qualified appointment setting, feel free to contact Vendere Partners using the link below.