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The Final Step In Your ABM Strategy: Appointment Setting

Jenny | 14 October 2021

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a powerful B2B marketing approach that can increase engagement with potential leads in large accounts and increase the chances of those accounts becoming customers. It does this by treating every account—and prospect within an account—as unique, and tailoring marketing content, messaging and communication accordingly.

As such, an ABM strategy needs to deploy a unique approach to prospecting leads, especially at the appointment setting stage. We’re going to discuss why appointment setting is so important, and how you can execute it successfully.

Appointment setting helps you identify the right decision-makers

Marketing content can pique the interest of your prospects, but a solid relationship can only be formed the good old fashioned way: through one-on-one communication. Appointment setting is the ideal chance to start this personal relationship that could develop into a long-standing custom. The process of appointment setting helps you identify the right contacts and decision-makers within an account—crucial for tailoring your marketing content and for closing deals further down the line.

Engage leads well before you walk into a meeting with them

It’s far easier and more effective to engage a lead through a phone call than in an email, especially at the early stages of a business relationship. By speaking directly to a prospect, you can glean useful nuggets of information about their pain points and needs. It’s a great way to cement your brand and product into the minds of your prospects ahead of a meeting, too. The initial appointment between a decision-maker in an account and one of your sales team is an important step in the relationship, but can only happen after successful appointment setting has taken place.

Before you pick up the phone, get to know your prospect

We mentioned in the previous paragraph that you can glean more information about a prospect’s pain points and requirements through an appointment setting phone call. However, before this call, you need to know a bit about them. Your targets are busy people who are likely averse to unsolicited meeting requests. You can avoid having your call cut short by doing your research and finding out as much about them as possible so that you can really engage and demonstrate that this isn’t just another cold call.

Know your strengths and weaknesses and play to these during calls

It might be tempting to put all your focus on researching your prospect, but don’t underestimate the role you, as the telemarketer, play in whether or not the phone call precipitates a meeting. Your manner while talking to the prospect influences how receptive and responsive they are to what you’re saying. It’s important to know where your strengths lie and maximise these, instead of forcing yourself into a role (e.g. the self-assured salesman) you think you should play. You’ll come across as insincere and might even put your lead off. Go with what feels most natural to you. And remember that B2B prospects aren’t seduced by words alone: you need to appeal to their logic, too.

Be direct, and ask questions that demand straight answers

Many marketers fail to realise the need to be direct during appointment setting phone calls. Being direct doesn’t mean being inappropriate or rude; it simply means being clear about your intentions. By all means, give the prospect a few minutes to warm up to the conversation, but make sure that you don’t propose a meeting in a way that invites them to give a vague answer. Instead of asking them if they’d like to meet (which can be evaded with “I’ll check my diary” or “let me talk to my colleague”), ask them if they’d like to meet on a specific date. If the answer is a resounding no, ask them why, so you can gauge whether or not this prospect is worth following up on.


Partnering with the right lead generation service can help you leverage your ABM efforts to generate better quality leads. Download our guide if you’d like more information on how ABM can boost your B2B marketing strategy:

ABM guide