Without a meeting or an appointment, the relevance of sales skills, such as negotiation, is significantly decreased. You need to see your client face-to-face to successfully present your products. Even though setting B2B appointments seems irrelevant compared to other marketing tactics, its importance is substantial.
The entire sales process (up to the deal closure!) depends on meeting with a prospect. This article will concentrate on the following aspects of appointments:
- quality appointment setting techniques;
- using reminders;
- how to respond to failed appointments.
How to “sell” a meeting
Setting a sales meeting is a special ability that every salesperson needs to possess for a successful sales process. If you can convince decision-makers to have an appointment with you, you are also likely to convince them to buy your product or service. Selling a meeting shows that you have managed to get the attention of the prospect.
The next step is to present the product in a way that provides value to the potential customer. However, selling a meeting is not that easy.
Most of the time, you will be contacting the top executives for sales appointments. These are busy people with lots of business operations that require their immediate presence.
You need to provide a reason why it is the best option to listen to you. As such, you need to utilize the available time to the fullest. Give a detailed summary of the reason why you are calling. Show the prospect how an appointment helps them better understand the benefits of your product.
Keep your cold calls short and avoid dragging the conversation too long. Unnecessary chit-chat tends to dilute the main objective of the cold call, which is to set an appointment. If you can't sell a meeting, the odds of successfully selling the product are close to zero. Therefore, don't underestimate the importance of selling B2B meetings.
What is better: To call or send an email?
Salespeople often try to choose the best method to set a meeting out of sending an appointment email and making a cold call. Well, the correct answer is - both methods are valid. Depending on different factors, one method tends to provide more advantages over the other. The following B2B appointment setting tips can help you decide which approach is the most appropriate.
If the situation requires an immediate response, the best approach is to use a phone call. However, if the sales process is still in its infancy and there is no hurry, sending an email is the best approach.
In sales marketing, it’s advised that you know prospects well. Knowledge of the possible actions of your clients helps you to use the appropriate approach they will respond to.
On top of cold calls and emails, there are other methods to approach the key decision-maker. When reaching out to a client, diversity is essential to increase the odds of success. Perform social media research and find your prospects on platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Follow them and comment on their latest posts.
When you have obtained their attention, notify them of your interest to talk to them.
Eventually, when the prospects respond, the appointment email must be sent immediately, ideally within a week from the response date. In case the date is set much further, you need to continuously check on them and remind them of the pending future meetings.
Appointment setting by email
You can get excellent email campaign results only when you know what you are talking about and who you are writing to. A deep understanding of your customer will help you provide the value they are looking for. Knowing their pain points will help you present the solution. Therefore, you will be able to write high-quality appointment emails. Below are sales appointment setting tips for a quality meeting:
- Personalize the email. It shows that you made an effort to know who you are addressing in the emails.
- Relevant, high-quality email content.
The header and the email content must be eye-grabbing to get the attention of the prospect. Refrain from using weak and common introductions. They are boring and skipped over very fast. The email content must be straight to the point. The decision-makers are busy people. As such, you need to take the minimum time they have to open and read your email.
Immediately, drive the point home by stating the reason for your email. Also, explain how your product will solve the problems being experienced by the client. To make your solution more relevant, the problem it helps to solve must be real: The bigger, the better.
Performing in-depth research targeting enables you to come up with compelling points. Provide a report of the benefits your prospect must expect from using your product. Then, present a request to set an appointment to fully demonstrate the features of the product or service.
The Final Step
Finally, provide the next action they must take. This step must be clear. One of the options you can use include:
- to give you a call;
- to set up an appointment to your online calendar via a link;
- send a reply email.
After drafting the email, send it to your fellow workers for criticism. Honest feedback helps you to improve on the weak areas and make them more appealing. If the email is bad for your coworkers, mostly, it will be the same way for the prospects.
Appointment setting by phone
A phone call is another tactical method used to set up appointments. There is also a follow-up method for email setups without deliverability insights. Without email insights, you don’t know if the email made it into the inbox of your prospect.
With new GDPR laws coming into effect soon, the use of a cold emailing list will be a thing of the past. The laws are to increase user privacy and protect them from receiving content, which they didn’t subscribe to. Therefore, the relevance of phone calls is going to increase soon.
When a client answers your phone call, remember that you have limited time. Therefore, make use of the available time to deliver the best you can. Even if you are presenting your product, always make it a priority to pay attention to what they are saying.
Choosing the best day and time to send
In marketing, timing is everything. It is essential to find the best time and day to contact the prospects for effective RESULTS. Even if the prospects have an interest in your products, mistiming can result in the following:
- Disruption of an important meeting through a cold call can frustrate the prospect and jeopardize the chances of having a meeting. Also, they might hang up on you, and the worst thing that can happen is to blackmail your number.
- They might get so busy that they won't see you or attend to your calls. It results in wrong conclusions, such as assuming that the prospect has decided to cancel the deal. As such, the right timing for the email delivery and making calls guarantees you a maximum response.
The study that observed more than 12 000 calls for 60 days had prominent results. The conclusion was that the best day to make a call to a client is Wednesday between 4 and 5 pm. For emails, the best day to send an email is on Tuesday, around 10 am. The email statistics came from the data collected by CoSchedule. Therefore, it’s essential to plan email delivery and cold calling to achieve a higher response rate.
The next step after setting an appointment
Once an appointment is set, it is your job to keep the prospect interested in the upcoming meeting. It increases the chances of them showing up. The next step is to create a high-level meeting schedule that includes the topics, which the meeting will cover.
The agenda must include essential topics, such as product reviews of the improvements it will bring to the company. There must also be a question and answer section for the prospects to ask about the things that need further clarification.
Moreover, it’s best to send them a LinkedIn request. It further shows that you are interested in working with them. If there are multiple parties involved, ensure that everyone concerned receives the email.
Also, ensure that your internal event’s organizer receives the email to set up the logistics to ensure that everyone will attend the meeting. The organizer is also responsible for ensuring that the seller and buyer are on the same page, irrespective of their differences.
Due to the busy schedule of the executives, they might overlook the appointment email. To minimize such scenarios, you must have a system to send reminders. By continuously doing so, you will reduce the chances of them inserting another essential event in your meeting day. Research has shown that the best time to send reminders is:
- 24 hours before the appointment. It allows the prospect to arrange their next day's activities in such a way as not to coincide with the meeting time. The reminder must also have a link in case something comes up, and there is a need for rescheduling.
- 3 hours before the appointment. It enables the prospects to reschedule the meeting in case their day becomes hectic. Also, it provides you with enough time to reschedule the rest of your day in case there is a need to postpone the meeting further.
However, other situations require a phone call. For example, if the appointment requires physical presence, is in a distant place, and the deal involves large amounts of money. For situations like these, it's best to use a phone call in advance to confirm any possible changes. You are likely to encounter prospects who will set up a sales meeting only to find yourself sitting opposite an empty chair. In situations like these, send another reminder email to tell them about the meeting they missed and ask them if they want to reschedule for another day.
If the client does not come to the meeting, what to do next?
It is frustrating if a client fails to show up at a scheduled meeting. It brings many inconveniences on your side, such as wasted time and resources used to set up the meeting. You must always prepare for this and have appropriate actions to follow in case the sales meeting fails.
If you are using online media for B2B appointment setting, after connecting, wait for 3 minutes, and if there is no response, send a message notifying them that you have connected.
Ask them if they might be experiencing connection problems that you might help to ensure the success of the meeting. If there is no response after ten minutes, that’s a sign that they won’t be attending your meeting. Send them an email notifying them of the missed appointment and a link to your calendar for rescheduling. Rescheduling enables the prospects to connect with you despite the failure of the last attempt.
Research shows that the second appointment email attempts have a good response rate. Your B2B settings must have more than one rescheduling attempt for your prospects. Usually, at this stage, the prospect will apologize for not showing up and probably provide a reason why they failed. You will get new insights into the operations of your prospect business that might help increase the quality of your presentation.
Be ready for prospects who will disappear. All your attempts to contact them will be unsuccessful. These are typical signs of a dead end. The best action is to set them aside and concentrate your efforts somewhere else.
Appointment selling is as essential as product selling. To sell your product, you need to present it first. Therefore, setting an appointment provides a perfect sales opportunity to fully present your product in a convincing way to ensure an increased number of closed deals. Even after an appointment is a failure, the established business relationship will benefit you in the future.
Therefore, as a B2B company, the importance of setting appointments must not be overlooked. Use the methods described in this article to increase your opportunities of closing deals.
At Belkins, we have a group of experts in lead generation services to improve your B2B appointment setting. Get our expertise and maximize the number of successful appointments. Get more meetings, increase sales and get more profit. It’s as easy as that with the Belkins team.