Appointment Setting Is a Fine Art

Contributions By: Janet Quinn (An awesome Production Manager who knows her “stuff”)

Gone are the days of ‘smile and dial’ and traditional telemarketing methods.  Today, people do not have the time or patience to speak with someone who is blatantly a telemarketer and obviously reading from a script.  Telemarketers typically have an aggressive mentality and very rarely “listen” to what their prospects are saying.  Appointment setting, on the other hand, is a fine art.  The goal of an appointment setter should never be to set an appointment with just any company… their mentality should be to set an appointment with the perfect company.  Below are the qualities or attributes of a great appointment setter:

  1. Mirror prospects
    1. Every prospect is different.  A good appointment setter can determine the personality and/or mood of their prospect and mirror it.  If a prospect seems to have a good sense of humor, the appointment setter can “roll with the punches.”  If a prospect seems busy, the appointment setter will not waste time and will make sure to get to the point more quickly and efficiently.
  2. Reacts properly
    1. In a way, appointment setters are a lot like psychologists.  They must be able to react to their prospects without seeing their prospects eyes or body language.  They also have to be great listeners who are able to respond properly. 
  3. Knows how to say the right thing
    1. A great appointment setter will share just enough information and not too much.  They will be able to pique the interest of the prospect and qualify them to the clients’ specifications without over qualifying or over-informing.
  4. Able to get a point across to a busy executive quickly
    1. Executives are busy people.  It is very important to get the point across quickly and succinctly.
  5. “Goes for the gusto”
    1. The appointment setter gets the appointment; high-level executives do not intimidate them.  Once they have determined a prospect is a good fit, they schedule the appointment.
  6. Knows when “please send information” is a genuine request and not “please get me off the phone”
    1. Many people will request information just to get off the phone.  A good appointment setter can determine if a prospect is truly interested in receiving information.
  7. Is disciplined
    1. In order to make cold calls day in and day out, an appointment setter must have superior discipline.  Similar to surgeons, they must be precise and disciplined.
  8. Treats every call like a warm lead
    1. It is never good for a prospect to feel “telemarketed.”  The messaging and how the message is conveyed is critical.
  9. Is not aggressive
    1. No one wants to speak with someone who is aggressive and pushy; it is an instant turn-off and rarely successful.
  10. Makes appointments “stick”
    1. Anyone can set an appointment.  However, a good appointment setter will make the appointments stick.  The prospect must be genuinely interested in the product or service in order to set the appointment and keep the appointment.   
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