Telemarketing Appointment Setting Best Practices: Part 2

By Angela Garfinkel

In Part 1 of “Telemarketing Appointment Setting Best Practices,” we discussed how to maximize the appointment-kept rate when conducting telemarketing appointment setting. In addition, we introduced the six primary components of a successful telemarketing appointment setting program:

  1. A targeted contact list with phone numbers
  2. A friendly, open phone voice
  3. A nutshell message
  4. A reason for the prospect to schedule the appointment with you—WIIFM (What’s in it for me?)
  5. A timely calendar invite sent via email with a summary of what will be discussed in the appointment
  6. Productive outbound dialing (about thirty-five dials per hour, 262 dials per day from a B2B telemarketing appointment setting program)

There is no doubt that having a powerful nutshell message delivered with a friendly, open phone voice helps ensure that your telemarketing appointment setting program is successful. Here is how to make this a reality.

Five Requirements for an Effective Script

There’s a fine line between selling an appointment and diving too deep into selling the product or service that you’re setting the appointment to discuss. A successful telemarketing appointment setting program provides just enough information to peak the prospect’s interest without putting the telemarketing agent in a position where they have so much information that they’re tempted to go too deep in the appointment setting call.

Telemarketing appointment setting scripts have five primary sections:

1. Who can the telemarketing agent speak to? Define this clearly. Setting an appointment with the wrong title or with a non-decision-maker doesn’t make sense.

2. Nutshell message. Who is your company and what problem does your company/product/service solve? Why is your solution better than the competition?

3. Ask for the appointment, and keep the appointment date within the next five business days. One good technique is to provide the “option close”: “Does Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. or Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. work better for you? We’ll need twenty to thirty minutes of your time.”

4. Close the conversation with an affirmation of what the prospect will learn during the appointment and how, even if your product or solution isn’t a good fit, it won’t be a waste of their time. Let the prospect know that you’re sending a calendar invite and they should accept the invite right away, so you can block off the sales exec’s calendar for the appointment.

5. “Not Interested” rebuttal. Be prepared to restate why the solution you are presenting is unique. Try to trigger curiosity for accepting an appointment with your company. Don’t restate the same information from your initial pitch. Instead give them some additional, compelling information and ask them again for an appointment. Possibly give them an option for a shorter appointment so there is a lower threshold for the required time investment during the first appointment.

In the next article on this topic, I’ll share best practices for finding a good prospect list.

Angela Garfinkel is the president and founder of Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing services organization serving the healthcare, financial services, automotive, market research, professional associations, and other B2B focused verticals. Angela leads a talented team that runs thousands of outbound telemarketing program hours daily. She is also a certified Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) auditor with the Professional Association for Customer Engagement, and she is a designated Customer Engagement Compliance Professional (CECP). Contact Angela at angela.garfinkel@qualitycontactsolutions.comor 516-656-5118.