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How enhancing your appointment setting can boost lead generation

GCL | 11 January 2024


Appointment setting is a stage in the sales process that allows you to arrange a meeting with contacts that could lead to a sale. In order to enhance your ability to create appointments with prospects and boost your lead generation, here are some useful ideas that you may want to consider before getting in touch with your next potential lead:

  • Data quality
  • Getting past the gatekeeper
  • Objection handling
  • Diary management
  • Customer relationship

Data quality

Too often, cold calling through prescribed lists of contacts, without enough background information, can prove a waste of time for both the calling and called parties. Therefore, it is best to do some research. Make sure you have up to date data that allows you to actually make contact and speak with your potential lead. And for really effective appointment setting, investing in data building can be beneficial.

Getting past the gatekeeper

Being able to get past the gatekeeper and speak to the decision-maker is crucial to set an appointment. This is because unless you talk to the person with the right authority you will be leaving your whole message with a receptionist or secretary. One way to avoid this is by building a relationship and a rapport with the gatekeeper to get them to want to help you. This could result in them allowing you access to the decision-maker, albeit eventually, especially if you have already emailed your contact and are getting in touch to follow up on that email.

Objection handling

Being able to reassure customer concerns is vital to keep your appointment setting process flowing. If you fail to do so, you could lose contacts altogether. Be prepared for a mini sales conversation, but know that it is dangerous to take it too far - that's the job of the salesperson when carrying out the appointment. To deal with objections, firstly acknowledge the customer’s concerns. But rather than trying to interrupt them and deal with the objection first, let the prospect say what their issue is, before using empathetic words to signal acknowledgement. For example “I completely understand that you are busy…” This may give you the best chance to get clients back onside, and proceed with your conversation.

Diary management

Maintaining a well-organised diary and staying in sync with the salespeople, who will actually be running the meeting, is important for appointment setting. It allows you to get the balance right when you reach out to a contact and when they can speak with you. If you fail to arrange a suitable time quickly enough, your potential lead will lose interest. Therefore, once the time and date have been agreed, send a meeting request to confirm the details as soon as possible. Beyond that, it may be a good idea to arrange a courtesy call or send a further email to confirm that the prospect is still able to attend.

Customer relationship

Being able to handle customer objections will enable you to help the customer, therefore creating a good relationship with them. Prospects will instantly resist setting an appointment with you if they think you’re in it for you. Right up front, in the first seconds of the first contact, you must exude service, not selfishness. This is especially important because before you even open your mouth, your prospect is already in a defensive mental position. Making them feel at ease will enhance your chances of setting an appointment as they will be more likely to talk to you.

If you can’t get an appointment, you almost certainly won’t make a sale. Therefore, you need to follow these basic steps to enhance your appointment setting. For more insights into B2B Appointment Setting Techniques, download our guide:

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