Appointments are opportunities to meet your prospects face to face and get a better understanding of their needs. When a prospect agrees on your appointment, she has taken her first step forward which means" she wants to know if you can help or not." Getting to this stage in the sales process gives you that important opportunity to find out first-hand what their needs are. It is much easier to do that face to face than it is over the telephone or by email.
Your challenge will be to make sure that the sales appointments you set up are with properly qualified decision makers. You can waste a lot of time, money and effort making appointments with poorly qualified people who cannot make a decision to go ahead.
Ways to make appointments
Using the telephone
You can make appointments as explained in the previous section by telephone prospecting. You may need to go through a number of stages before an appointment becomes appropriate. This may require a number of telephones follow-ups, and the provision of information about your product or service.
Appointments can also be made when you meet a potential prospect at a networking event, business conference or exhibition. A brief exchange with someone may create an opportunity to suggest a further more private conversation discuss their needs in more depth. This can be kept casual and informal initially.
Using appointment booking software programs
An appointment booking software is a clever scheduling system which allows you to manage your appointments online. It lets you invite your prospects to book the service, with a specific staff member, and the time that works for them and you. Simply, show your available times on the calendar seen by prospects, and they can choose one.
By making online appointments, you can manage your appointments, clients and other aspects of your business from home or anywhere where you have internet access. So, you can save more time and energy managing all the appointment stuff online (as entrepreneurs are busy handling several different tasks at the time). As your prospect would forget the meeting, a reminder can be sent to their mailbox so you would not miss an appointment.
Entice with the offer of a free consultation
The offer of a free consultation, product demonstration or business health check can be a way of giving your prospect something of value with no pressure to buy. This can motivate them to see you face to face. Having created this opportunity, you can start to build a relationship with them. Not all the people who take up the free consultation become clients immediately. It does, however, start a relationship with a potential client which could lead to further business in the future.
Make your recommendation for an appointment sound like an opportunity for your prospect. Consider what you can do to utilize these ideas to help you and your team get more appointments.