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Seven Top Tips For Appointment Setting

Once you’ve found your prospect, setting an appointment is the next task. Setting yourself up for sales success means making a successful appointment. Here are our top 7 tips to help you.

  1. Call the client outside of trading hours

    Phone your advertisers before the phone rings at their place in the morning, and after the day has finished – if you phone before the main business hours you usually get the decision maker. If it is a store with just a few employees then the chances of getting the owner are pretty good. Why? Usually the owner is the first one in the store, setting up and getting ready for the rest of his employees to join him or her. If the company you are calling is bigger, then you avoid the gatekeeper and you will catch your decision maker before they set off to meetings all day or before they leave for the day.

  2. Talk to the decision maker

    If you’re planning for appointment setting or general prospecting, do a little research. It’s a simple phone call to the business during trading hours to find out who makes the decision on advertising and marketing at that business.

  3. Set a purpose or outcome for your call

    Be clear on why you are calling a client. If it is to invite them to a meeting or seminar, be precise, have scripts if necessary, but make sure you have a plan, sound professional and do not waste the client’s time when you make contact. We are all busy.

  4. Don’t speak too fast or make mistakes

    When you make contact with a client, or even get voicemail, immediately slow down, take your time to either deliver the message or get the appointment. You know what you are going to say, but this is the often the first time you might have spoken to this client, and they do not know anything about you, your product, or your medium. Remember – it is not a race to get off the phone.

  5. Be open to using scripts

    If you make appointments or are prospecting on a regular basis then be open to using scripts. They are a useful tool if used correctly. When we train direct media sales people they often resist using scripts because they feel it is role selling. Scripts are only a guide, but the great sales people use them all the time because of one important element, they become natural over time.

  6. Repeat your contact details

    If you have to leave a message make sure you repeat the vital information twice. “Hi it’s Mike here from The Capital Times please call me on 04 888:888.” Then repeat it again and remember to slow down.

  7. Follow up to confirm the appointment

    Before you get off the phone, make sure you get the client’s details as well as email, so you can confirm with them the time and date. I have heard so many stories of sales people turning up at a client’s business only to discover that the client forgot and is away from the business doing something else.