For many businesses their survival depends on one thing: leads. There is no such thing as a bad lead.
The best lead, however, is one that is ready to meet and do business with you. And that’s where appointment setting services have a role to play.
What are appointment setting services?
The purpose of appointment setting services is self-explanatory – they set up appointments with clients who are ready to work with you. They connect businesses with qualified leads who are interested in what’s on offer.
No business owner wants to waste time on meeting with people who do not intend to buy their product or service. That’s where appointment setting services come in.
They will save time by calling as many people as possible, qualifying them as a prospective customer, and then asking them to set an appointment with a salesperson or representative.
Cold calling is, in some industries, a necessary part of lead generation. It is also one of the most difficult types of lead generation. Professional appointment setters are often cold calling specialists.
They work a full day calling prospects, asking qualifying questions and arranging appointments.
This service provides a way for your sales team to avoid sifting through dead leads and focus on leads that are ready and able to do business.
They direct qualified leads to your sales staff by coordinating schedules and calendars to set up meetings.
What duties should appointment setting services take care of?
The job description of an efficient appointment setter should generally include the following:
- They should be able to answer basic questions. Most people do not spend money on a product or service before finding out as much as possible about what they are getting.
Appointment setting services can handle all the initial interactions surrounding a new deal, answering preliminary questions so you can cut to the chase once the appointment is set up.
- They should be able to prove to your prospects that your company is reliable by providing customer testimonials, success stories and case studies.
- If a prospect wants a demo or example of your product/service, your appointment setter can provide demo videos or schedule a demo with you.
- Appointment setters should only be setting up appointments with qualified leads, in order not to waste time.
Therefore, they have to be able to determine whether a lead is qualified or not by asking the right questions.
- Anyone who works with people knows that they are sometimes unreliable, and that their busy schedules are constantly changing.
This means that appointments often get re-scheduled or cancelled.
Coordinating appointments is another very time-consuming task best left to professional appointment setters.
We can distinguish between two types of appointment setting services: inbound and outbound appointment setting.
Inbound appointment setting handles appointment requests from current customers or prospects that call in on their own. In this case your appointment setting service deals with tasks like:
- Answering preliminary questions.
- Booking the appointment as well as rescheduling or cancelling it if needed.
- Sending you notifications about your appointments.
- Logging data in your CRM (your customer relationship management system).
Outbound appointment setting is when your appointment setters contact members of your target market who might be interested in your product and service.
In outbound appointment setting tasks include:
- Contacting prospects and informing them about your product/service and its benefits.
- If the prospect is interested, the appointment setter will determine if the lead is qualified.
- They will then set the appointment and send you the appointment details.
The difference between appointment setting services and lead generation
There are many different ways to generate leads, with cold calling being one of them. Yet we referred to cold calling earlier in this article while talking about appointment setting services.
So if both involve cold calling and gathering leads, what exactly is the difference between lead generation and appointment setting services?
The main differences between these two activities lie in the goal, strategy and influence:
The goal of appointment setting is to create partnerships or make sales with new clients. The goal of lead generation is to find new potential clients who might be interested in your product or service.
Booking appointments is not part of lead generation, which focuses more on building a database of potential clients.
This goes hand-in-hand with the goal. With lead generation new clients are found, and the information is passed on to the business who then decides how to nurture the leads.
Appointment setting takes this a step further by establishing a date and time when the business will be in contact with the client.
Lead generation helps you create a bigger pipeline of future business, while appointment setting is a more long-term solution that can foster stronger prospects over time.
How can appointment setting services benefit your business?
Depending on the size of your business and your budget, you can decide to either outsource appointment setting services, or to handle it inhouse.
Either way, having someone dedicated to this role can be to your business’s advantage in various ways:
- It helps you to keep track of your schedule, as an appointment setting service can sync with, for example, Google Calendar. This way all parties are on the same page regarding the schedule.
- Appointment setting services make it easy to manage your clients and keep track of your communications with them.
You can send automatic email reminders and professional invoices, and get notified each time you receive a new message.
- Appointment setting services enable you to stay updated with everything that is happening, at all times. You will never be in the dark about your bookings.
If increased profitability and growth is important to you, appointment setting services can be a valuable tool to take you to your goal. It’s an efficient way to streamline the sales process and hence increase revenue.