How to Set Sales Appointments and Make Them Count
Successful Appointment Setting Tips
Going into the SDR position, many assume the job is only about scheduling initial introductory calls for your sales reps. While it's true that the goal of an SDR should be to schedule qualified meetings, in reality, B2B appointment setting is only half the battle. The other half is to ensure follow through and avoid the dreaded no shows. Fortunately, there are many steps that an SDR can do both during the conversation and after the conversation to keep those valuable meetings on the books. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to set sales appointments successfully:
How to Set Sales Appointments Successfully
Create Value in the Appointment Setting Sales Call
If you want to learn how to set sales appointments successfully, the most important thing an SDR can do is create value for the prospect in that initial appointment setting sales call. At the end of each conversation, an SDR should always ask themselves “Why did this person take this meeting?” If you can't answer that question, then there's probably not enough value in your appointment setting conversations and the chances of that prospect showing up to the meeting are slim. Simply going into features and benefits and finding a time to call them back isn't going to cut it. Through effective questioning and active listening, be sure to have a memorable appointment setting sales call with the prospect.
Strategic B2B Appointment Setting
Not many SDRs realize that you need a strategy around how to set sales appointments and when to schedule them. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that according to Vorsight data, 70% of meetings occur when scheduled within 9 days versus only 47% when scheduled more than 30 days out. The further out an SDR schedules a meeting, the less likely the prospect will actually remember the conversation. In addition, try to make the scheduled time as convenient as possible for the prospect. Ask them if they are more of a morning person or an afternoon person or whether there is a particular day of the week they prefer to take the meeting. You don't want to give the prospect any excuse to not show up.
Ask Effective Overtime Questions in Appointment Setting Sales Calls
Once you do schedule a time to reconnect, don't end the appointment setting sales call there! Be sure to ask effective over time questions to ensure the appointment setting sales call sticks. For example, confirm their email and direct line in case something does come up on their end. In order to get that elusive cell phone number, ask them if they would prefer a reminder text before the call. Ask the prospect whether anyone from his or her team would feel left out if they weren't part of the conversation and have them potentially join the call as well.
Finally, be sure to ask the prospect to put a placeholder on their calendar with your phone number and the company you are with. You’d be surprised how many times our invites end up in the prospect’s spam folder. You don’t want those pesky spam filters to be what stands between you and commission! You have already earned the right to speak with these prospects so don't feel like you need to get them off the phone as quickly as possible. Be sure to take advantage of these types of questions to ensure that stays on the books.
Confirm the Meeting After Your B2B Appointment Setting Sales Call
Most SDR’s have the mindset of ‘don’t poke a sleeping bear, let him lie’ and hope for the best, thinking that confirming will result in a cancellation. This is the WRONG mindset . As one of our great Managers once said, the correct mindset is “If you let a sleeping bear lie, he’ll sleep right through your meeting!” ALWAYS confirm your meetings before they are set to occur! If the prospect can’t make your call, you give yourself the chance to reschedule instead of letting your rep prepare for a no-show. If your meeting is in the morning, then you should confirm the day before, and if it’s in the afternoon, confirm the morning of, through both voicemail and emails. These steps are quick and decrease the likelihood of no shows.
Although in reality, you can't control everything that could result in a no show, you can actively go out of your way to increase the likelihood that these meetings occur. SDR’s put in a lot of hard work to get prospects on the phone and have them agree to attend a meeting. What will you do to make sure all that work doesn't go to waste?