The internet is full of business appointment setting information.
Some good. Some not so good.
That said, here's what I've learned from twenty plus years in the real world of business appointment setting.
Q: Is Business Appointment Setting On The First Call Sensible?
A: Business appointment setting with senior-level decision makers and influencers on the first call is rare.
An enlightened prospect can use the Internet to learn about your competitors and all the easily available options to what you are selling.
Regardless of whether you outsource your appointment setting or do it yourself, don't try for a B2B appointment on the first call.
Q: What goals are realistic for Business Appointment Setting?
A: Lead generation and list building are about qualifying prospects for future contacts.
Once you realize that business appointment setting is not the goal of your first call, the monkey is off your back.
You are calling to get information.
That means finding out if your prospect qualifies for being added to the front end of your sales funnel.
Picture a crowded room.
Your goal: find the folks interested --- more or less --- in what you offer.
How to do it? Ask for a show of hands.
There, that's the goal of your cold call --- (1) finding the right prospects; (2) separating them from the crowd: then (3) qualifying their interest level.
My goodness --- now you have three goals!
Also, phone prospecting and B2B appointment setting is a form of direct marketing.
And building a highly targeted database is the key to any successful direct marketing campaign.
Therefore, view each call as a means for fine tuning your business appointment setting database. It's a work in progress that never ends!
Q: How do I pitch my B2B call?
A: Always use a script. It keeps you focused and in control of the call.
Make your introduction short, simple, to the point --- something you can deliver in twenty seconds...without being rushed. Relax and be yourself.
After that, the rest is easy! Remember, the phone is a great way to build prospect lists, increase customer loyalty and win sales. The secret is to keep your call relaxed, almost informal tone.
Q: How do I qualify Sales Prospects?
A: Conclude your introduction with a simple "yes" or "no" question.
How your prospect answers will indicate if they are a qualified prospect...or a prospect you want to drop. Used early in your call this simple question helps you spot good prospects from the not so good prospects
. Remember that crowded room example? Your question is asking for a show of hands. Some folks will raise their hands, some will not. Your business appointment setting and revenue stream develop over time from the folks who raise their hands.
Q: How do I know my Script is working?
A: That's easy --- delivering your "pitch" without interruptions from your prospect is a sign that your script is working --- keeping you and your prospect focused on your delivery.
Q: OK to read my Script...or memorize it?
A: Reading is fine. The secret is making your delivery appear unrehearsed. Follow Winston Churchill. His speeches are among the greatest in the English language. He toiled endless hours over their every detail. Yet when delivering them he appeared completely at ease... almost casual in his presentation. Hence, his quip that “The very best impromptu speeches are the ones written well in advance.”
Business Appointment Setting Update
This article in FORBES may unsettle your business appointment setting strategy. Reading it may force you to rethink how you go about getting and keeping customers.
Prospecting B2B In The Age Of The Customer
Called 7 NEW RULES FOR PROSPECTING IN THE AGE OF THE CUSTOMER it tells of the shift in the marketplace of business to business sales.
This upheaval is the relationship between buyer and seller.
Your importance to a buyer is vastly diminished if you follow old way selling habits. Forget prospecting for appointments.
The digital age has pushed appointment setting off the high ground it held for so many years. B2B Appointment setting is now a loser's game.
Sure, face-to-face appointments matter...but their significance in the sales cycle has faded.
Bottom Line: If you are prospecting for appointments you are playing a loser's game. Get over it. Or get yourself another job --- but not in sales. With that in mind my page on prospecting for new clients also may be worth a look.
If you want better qualified sales leads, higher conversion rates and more revenue per sales lead than is typically achieved by traditional B2B Appointment Setting I can help you.
Become Better At Business Appointment Setting
Get updates on ways Business Appointment Setting can help your business grow ---especially in this economy.
Also, go here for DMA 2012 response rate reports for lead generation marketing media. Plus this Advertising Age update on B2B phone marketing.
Also, if you do nothing else today click and read this:
7 New Rules for Prospecting In The Age of The Customer