Crossing the barrier from prospect to client can be difficult. One of the biggest hurdles to reaching this new status is setting appointments.
If you’ve found cold calls are complicated for you, check out my best tips for setting appointments that will land you the meeting.
Use it! Cold calling isn’t the only available method nowadays.
You must reach out across various platforms, numerous times. Prospects are busier today, more than ever—you should try e-mail, send a handwritten note, and leave a voicemail.
You’ll have to break through the noise. It’s unlikely to do so on your first try. But don’t get discouraged!
The head honcho isn’t punching in at 9 and out at 5, but their gatekeepers are.
If you’re aiming for a chance to talk with a particularly insulated executive, try calling before 8am and after 6pm. Some people may even call during lunch, but that’s up to you.
Keep in mind, I’m not saying you should call people at home during dinnertime; I’m talking about calling an office, where the person answering the phone will think, “You’re working too? I like that.”
Always ask if you’ve caught them at a bad time. Some may think this is a chance to get shut down, but if a prospect says they are busy, just ask for a good time.
If they really aren’t interested, think of it like they’re doing you a favor – you don’t have to waste your time with them!
Phrases like “Did I reach you at an okay time?” or “Did I reach you at a bad time?” are effective and show that you value their time.
Namely, setting the appointment.
Some people will make so much small talk that they avoid bringing up the appointment until the very end. It’s best to be direct.
Don’t oversell on the phone—get to the point and set an appointment. Being straightforward like this shows that you respect their time and gives you more time to reach out to other prospects.
It’s not necessary to have a printed out script in front of you, but definitely don’t go in unprepared. Aim for a rough script that accomplishes three things:
You should go about this in the right way, which is simple!
Instead of saying “Are we still on for Thursday?” ask, “Is there any additional information you’d like me to bring on Thursday?”
When you confirm in the right way, you are eliminating the possibility of a cancelled appointment and refreshing yourself in the prospect’s mind.
I recommend calling two days before to confirm and keep voicemail as a last resort. If they don’t answer on the first call, then call back the next day.
Cold calls and appointment setting is an area on which you can easily improve with a plan and some practice. Remember not to get discouraged, but recognize the value in the experience.
If you’d like some guidance in sharpening your cold calling skills, let’s talk!