Sales Appointment Setting Guide 101 (Tips, Scripts & Tools)

Master the art of sales appointment setting with our ultimate guide. Get insider tips, a proven script, and effective tools to close more deals.

Andriy Zapisotskyi

Andriy Zapisotskyi

9 minute read

Sales appointment setting guide

If your goal is to generate more sales and gain returning customers, one process that you should pay extra attention to is setting appointments with prospects.

Appointment setting can streamline sales processes and create lasting relationships with customers. Finally, an effective appointment strategy means that your business processes are actually working.

Want to perfect your appointment sales strategy and boost sales? Read this post.

What is appointment setting?

In sales, appointment setting is the process of scheduling and confirming a meeting between the company's representative and a prospective customer (lead). The goal of appointment setting is to launch the sales process by arranging a specific time and date for a discovery meeting, either offline or online.

Sales appointment setting is a time-consuming process that involves planning and using sophisticated communication techniques.

On average, a company makes 23 appointments per month. When a sale happens as a result of a successful appointment setting, it becomes a qualified appointment setting.

Critical steps in the sales appointment setting process

The process can be broken down into 2 steps: (1) setting the appointment and (2) actually going through with the meeting. The meeting may involve a product pitch or demo and is usually led by a sales generation team or a single salesperson. If needed, it can also be outsourced.

Differences between appointment setting and lead generation

The main difference is that lead generation and appointment setting happen at different stages of the promotion cycle (Sales & Marketing). While lead generation focuses on finding potential customers, appointment setting focuses on contacting and speaking with prospects about your product or service, and persuading them to buy.

Lead generation strategies include SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, creator marketing, and advertising.

Lead generation is all about discovering your potential customer and creating valuable, memorable content that attracts them.

If these steps are successful, they result in a sales appointment. The appointment requires more direct communication with the customer and actual persuasion to make a purchase, but luckily can use a variety of UCaaS tools to facilitate that communication.

Inbound vs outbound appointment setting

Inbound appointment setting involves booking appointments with warm leads. I.e. prospects who expressed an interest in your product or service). Outbound appointment setting involves persuading cold leads. I.e. prospects who have yet to express interest in the value your product or service can bring to them.

Outbound appointment setting

Outbound leads typically have a neutral approach to your business, so persuading them to act is key.

These leads can be discovered through sales prospecting, social media (both through targeting and browsing relevant groups/hashtags), attending industry events, asking existing customers for referrals, and more.

In the past, local phone services were used to make this type of appointment.

In the scenario of outbound calling, the salesperson must establish rapport and quickly demonstrate the value of their offering.

2 types of outbound appointment setting:

  1. Cold calling appointment setting involves unsolicited communication with a lead you have had no previous contact with.
  2. Warm calling appointment setting involves reaching out to potential customers who have had some prior interaction with your company. For example, a customer may have attended one of your webinars or interacted with your social media, but they have not yet shown interest in your products.

Inbound appointment setting

Leads for inbound appointment setting may have visited your website, called your customer service line, or reached out to your company through your VoIP system.

These leads come with a positive approach to your company or service and a motivation to buy. The key is to take advantage of this motivation and make sure they don't lose interest.

Types of inbound appointment setting include direct phone calls, web forms, email inquiries, or social media chat, all of whch can be managed through a cloud contact center.

Tips for cold email appointment setting

I) Get them off the email and into your sales collateral

While email is a popular way to reach out to prospects, it can be challenging to capture their attention with just plain text. Emails lack the engagement level of other content types, such as videos, animations, and interactive elements.

That’s why getting prospects off your email and on to engaging sales collateral is critical to driving more meetings.

With sales collateral you can create interactive and engaging content experiences with a variety of multimedia elements that bring your offerings to life.

Interactive sales collateral is also better at nudging prospects to take the next step.

We know, because we’ve seen it happen for countless sales collateral created with Storydoc.

The best thing about using Storydoc collateral is smart CTAs. Storydoc integrates with your calendar, making it easier than ever for prospects to schedule an appointment directly from your deck.

II) Avoid pushing for a meeting in the first email

Make your initial CTA about opening a conversation rather than making an appointment. Remember, your prospects don't know who you are, so let them warm up to you before pushing them to click the book button.

Start by asking for a small concession. This could be anything from requesting that they see a white paper, read a case study, view testimonials, try the product, or review a pitch deck.

The key is to bring them to the next funnel stage without overwhelming them with too much information at once.

By asking for a small concession, you are avoiding asking too much too soon and scaring off your lead.

III) Personalize the entire sales path

Don’t just personalize your email - personalize your entire sales path. This includes all the documents your prospect will see before they set an appointment.

  • Personalize your subject line: make sure it addresses specifics like the person's name, company, referrer, or acute need.
  • Personalize your opening line: use their name and mention something specific that you noticed about their business or industry to show that you have done your research.
  • Personalize the email body: use dynamic content like custom fields that pull information from your prospect's profile.
  • Personalize your sales collateral: make sure they address the person by name, have their company logo and brand colors, or include a private message (in text or video). You can do this with Storydoc in just a few minutes.
  • Personalize your CTA: with Storydoc, you can embed a calendar directly into your deck, letting your prospects schedule an appointment with you on the spot.

IV) Collect data and optimize

Data will help you identify what's working and what's not.

For accurate email tracking and to get visibility into your cold email campaign performance, use an email marketing tool.

An email marketing tool provides insights into open rates, click-through rates, and other key metrics.

To get visibility into what happens beyond your emails, after a prospect clicks on a link you’ll need a sales collateral tool like Storydoc that tracks and reports how prospects engage with your content (a PDF will never be visible).

WIth Storydoc you can check how many people read your content, which sections they interacted with, how long they read, where they stopped reading, and who they shared it with.

Getting data-driven insight into how your entire appointment setting sequence is performing will let you build an optimal path to maximize your appointment setting.

Tips for cold call qualified appointment setting

I) Focus on giving the customer a strong value proposition

A strong value proposition is what helps you shine among competitors and reach your appointment setting goals.

As a rule, customers are busy and not that interested in listening to your proposition. A customer value proposition saves the time of both parties and explains how exactly the product or service helps to solve a problem or improve your customer's business processes.

So, what are the features of a good value proposition? First, it identifies the problem the customer faces. Second, it clearly explains how your product or service can solve that challenge.

A strong value proposition outlines why your product or service is better than similar products your competitors offer.

If the last step is not followed, the customer can end the call and seek products from competitors, deeming the lead appointment setting unsuccessful.

II) Use clear, concise language to communicate value

To get your point across, avoid using power words, metaphors, or being vague. Customers will rightfully end up thinking you are simply trying to sell them something.

Use clear, concise language to communicate the value of the product. Customers deserve to know how your product can help them save time, reduce costs, and improve their overall business performance.

III) Build rapport with the client and be flexible

When speaking with a salesperson, it’s better to feel like you’re speaking with an actual person. Robotic conversations with no proper flow never result in a qualified lead.

To build rapport, engage in a friendly and professional conversation. Be flexible and tailor your proposition to what the customer needs. Take the time to listen to them and be empathetic.

IV) Take clues from professionals

Following tips is one thing, but taking clues from professionals who have been there and done that is on another level.

I've asked industry professionals to share their thoughts on what results in a qualified appointment setting. According to them, previous audience building and targeted outreach are just as important as the actual appointment.

With sales appointment generation, it is relatively easy to stick to the safe path that’s always worked for you. But doing so means missing opportunities for improvement. That’s why feedback is crucial.

Tools for appointment setting

When it comes to securing successful appointments, it’s essential not to rely solely on your skills. Good appointment scheduling tools can optimize your appointments and help you get the most out of them.

The global appointment-setting software market is estimated to reach $546.31 million by 2026, so it has a lot to offer.

This can be achieved most effectively with the help of marketing strategies and tools.

  • CRM software: CRM software is essential, helping you keep track of your appointments and lead base.
  • Calendaring software: Calendaring software helps you schedule appointments at the right time.
  • Presentation-creating software: Visual content, like presentations created by Storydoc, can be a great way to present information to customers beyond verbal communication.

The types of tools you use will depend on your industry and target audience. Be open to using tools, as they can make your life easier and help you secure more appointments.

Google Calen

Source: Google

What is the perfect script for appointment setting? (Example)

The perfect script for qualified appointment setting is your own, but you can use a template and build on it.

Here's ours:

You: Hello, this is A from B company. May I speak with [Client's Name]?

Secretary: ....

You: Thank you. We specialize in C services. The reason for my call is that you are part of [ customer's business industry], and we specialize in helping businesses like yours [insert your company's value proposition].

I know you’re busy, so I assure you this will only take 15 minutes of your time. My objective is not to sell you anything, but to find out which critical issues we can solve for you.

Prospect: ...

You: Are there particular issues you experience with your business? We want to make sure that our services are relevant to your specific needs.

Prospect: ...

You: [modified company’s value proposition]

Is there a particular date and time that works for you? Our availability is flexible, and we can work around your schedule.

Thank you, [Client's Name]. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

This script is just an example and can be modified based on your conversation style and business goals. If the customer has time, you can use other sales collateral during your call.

Calculating appointment setting cost

The cost of lead appointment setting can range from $1 to $1.50 per minute. However, the cost of the entire appointment varies significantly from industry to industry, ranging from $10 to $500.

B2B appointment setting is generally way more expensive than B2C.

The cost of B2B appointment setting depends on the product’s complexity, target market, and the team’s skills.

Arranging an executive appointment with top management in a well-known company is naturally a more expensive task.

Whether you stick to a specific script or not, appointment setting is the art of creating value with skills, experience, and additional tools. It’s essential not only to discover what works but also to optimize the processes fully for more successful sales each month.

Make it easier than ever for prospects to set an appointment

With Storydoc, you can make engaging decks that convert and streamline the appointment setting process. By embedding a calendar directly into your Storydoc deck, you make it effortless for prospects to schedule an appointment with you.

To get started quickly and save time, Storydoc offers a wide range of professionally designed templates that you can customize to fit your needs. Simply choose a template that matches your brand and start creating engaging content that converts.

Andriy Zapisotskyi

Andriy Zapisotskyi is the founder of GrowthMate, an agency that helps small and mid-size brands grow in SERP and generate more revenue. Andriy loves to mentor startups on content marketing, SEO, and networking with people. Running is his hobby and he enjoys discovering new places.

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