November 07, 2016
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
In the sales world, getting the appointment with the prospect is one of the most important things to accomplish. You can’t close if you aren’t in communication with the person who has the power to say “Yes.” But there are steps that need to be followed in order to secure the appointment in the first place. Having telemarketing software on hand is a great start, but the agent with the right approach is much more successful.
A recent blog by telemarketing software provider VanillaSoft explored this concept, stressing the importance of preparing for the call. Making a completely cold call is difficult, especially if the agent doesn’t have any prior knowledge about the individual or why they should care to take the call or agree to the appointment. The agent who is prepared will be much more successful. To that end, it’s important to review the lead’s history. Even if there is no sales activity, there’s likely to be some sort of communication history that can help in the call.
It’s also a good idea to do a little research on the individual the agent wants to reach. LinkedIn (News - Alert) profiles are a great way to learn a little history. It demonstrates that the agent has taken the time to do their homework and may be worth the time on the call. The agent can then make that time worthwhile by knowing the sales pitch. The agent must know what he or she is going to say before the number is ever dialed. In fact, VanillaSoft’s telemarketing software has an appointment setting offering that helps agents prepare for the call before they make it.
When the time comes to actually dial the number, the agent must be in the right mindset. That includes the use of smiles, nods and other non-verbal communication. Yes, the individual on the other end of the line can’t see the agent, but these non-verbal elements still come across in the conversation and will lead to better outcomes. At the same time, the agent needs to be considerate of the contact’s time, show excitement and listen. The individual who is only interested in the sound of his or her own voice isn’t likely to land the appointment.
Finally, the follow-up is just as important as these other steps. It’s always important to schedule a follow-up call, send useful information to the contact, send a confirmation email and even get information on declined appointments. If the agent doesn’t understand why the contact declined the appointment, they are less likely to be successful with other attempts. As important as it is to get it right on that first contact, don’t leave it to chance. Put the right steps and tools in place to ensure agent appointment setting success.
Edited by Alicia Young