Featured in QCS E-Newsletter - July 2011
B to B Appointment Setting Tips
By Angela Morris
There are 5 key components to a successful business to business appointment setting program.
Business to business appointment setting is a tenuous balance between a numbers game and creating a work of art. A successful appointment setting program begins with developing the criteria for what types of businesses you want to target, what size of businesses you want to target and what level of decision-maker you want to target. A wrong list selection can doom the program from the start. An on-target list selection gives your program a running head start.
Why would a business owner or manager want to accept the offer of an appointment? It's the classic question of, "What's in it for me?" WIIFM. Spend some time developing talking points that clearly answer this question and you'll be on the right track. Again, the art of creating the program is in the answer to this question. It may also be beneficial to offer an incentive in exchange for the appointment. Try to make the incentive relevant to your business if possible (discount offer, free trail, etc.)
Professional and Memorable
Every good B to B representative knows how to engage the gatekeeper and their prospect in a professional, yet memorable phone conversation. It is important to make a positive impression, while at the same time engaging the prospect in such a way that they remember you and subsequently honor the set appointment when the time comes.
It is important to track every appointment and to document the results of each appointment. Feed these results back to the appointment setting team so that they can make adjustments to their approach that minimize no-shows (Yes, there will be no-shows!) and increase back end sales rates.
Most businesses do not have unlimited prospects within their target market. once you've identified your top prospects, engage in a perpetual B to B appointment setting and lead nurturing program. By perpetual, we recommend calling your prospects and sending a postcard or other direct mail piece every 2-3 months. A "no" today could be a "yes" in a couple of months when their situation changes. Studies show that it takes an average of seven impressions with a prospect before they start to actively recognize who you are. The more competitive the market, the number may be significantly higher than seven.