Appointment setting is the bridge between your company and customers. It is the most valuable touch point you will have with a prospect. Whether it is done internally or externally, one should understand appointments are a means to an end and not an end in itself. Hence, there are some guidelines that should be followed prior to engaging in any appointment setting activity:
Measure Quality Not Quantity of Appointments
Have you ever been to a restaurant and the food you ordered arrived cold? Hungry, yet unhappy, you might have sent the food back to the kitchen and nervously waited until it came back to you warm.
In this sense, appointment setting can be very similar to your experience at a restaurant. Your experience with an appointment setting service provider will be dependent on how qualified (or “warm”) the leads you are delivered are. Either way, the price you pay will be the same; hence, how can you make sure to get the return you expect from your investment in an appointment setting partner?
Many appointment setters have for their primary goal the appointment itself. In fact, they have very little interest in whether the leads will convert and allow you to increase revenue. In this instance, sales reps will rely on cold calling as their primary method of action, counting on the law of averages to meet their quotas.
Where’s the flaw in this method? We found from our experience that many customers sign up for an appointment to prevent being called again – however, they really have no interest in your offer. Sure, the appointment pipeline is being filled, but you won’t be able to convert these appointments and your revenue growth will stagnate.
Consider the One Missing Ingredient: Lead Nurturing
Appointment setting is not worth your time and money if it’s not complemented with appropriate nurturing campaigns. Warming up leads is a process that can take quite some time and dedication. Through nurturing, sales representatives are able to build a relationship of trust between prospects and your brand. This should be the ultimate goal of any appointment setter who is looking to fill a pipeline with qualified appointments.
A competent appointment setting vendor will nurture leads all the way until the very moment they are ready to receive your offer. Only then do appointments become valuable to you and impact your bottom line.
Don’t evaluate appointment setting vendors based on the number of appointments, but on the quality of appointments they set.
Don’t take our word for it! Download this infographic to see the results we’ve achieved for our clients using this approach.
Photo by Keith Williamson