By AJ Windle, Senior Operations Manager
What would you say if I told you “You can have endless appointments at your disposal”? What would you do if I told you “You will get so many appointments, you will need to consider hiring more staff”? Would you read my article if I said “all the answers will be revealed below”? Well, this isn’t an infomercial for a secret money making scheme so I can’t say all those things. Gotcha! I do know, however, that appointment setting is tough and after setting over 5000 appointments via telemarketing services, I have learned a thing or two on how to increase the number of appointments that you are getting. Here are my top 5 tips that will help you increase the appointments that you are getting in your current telemarketing services program.
1 – It all starts with the Data
Ever hear the saying you get out what you put in? This is also true when it comes to telemarketing services campaigns for appointment setting. Data is the most critical component to the success of any telemarketing services campaign, regardless if the campaign is conducted internally or externally using outsourced telemarketing resources. Over the years I’ve seen appointment setting campaigns fail and have watched the same campaigns launch to success not because of the messaging but because of a simple change in the target market. Sometimes selecting the right audience is easy and sometimes it can be extremely difficult, so what do you do? List segment. You need to establish core groups of data that you want to test. Once you have done this, test each segment, analyze the data, find out which segment is performing the best and buy more leads.
2 – Soften the Market
Getting great show rates out of current clients can be tough enough, so I don’t understand the concept of thinking calling someone who has no idea who you are is going to be any easier. You have to get your name out. Sure if you are a Household brand maybe you don’t need it as much but if you are working your way into a new market or trying to expand you need Presence. What I like to recommend is an initial email campaign to the segments that you will be calling using outbound telemarketing. While you may not get a huge response from these emails that is not the point. It’s about creating Presence in the market. Once you have done this, making appointment setting calls is much easier on your team and much easier on your customer who now at least have heard your name before. I believe that the successful use of telemarketing services for appointment setting should always be coupled with an email blast and/or a direct mail campaign to your prospective target audience. Attack the “click lists”.
3 – Provide the Right Tools
Alright, let’s flip the coin here and put ourselves in the caller’s shoes. Imagine for a second you are responsible for coordinating a call in your own office and everyone must join. This is pressing and there is money on the line. Now, let’s imagine you only have the ability to talk with one party and you do not have access to shared calendars and you can’t email. This once easy task becomes very challenging in a hurry doesn’t it? Well, I’ve seen this situation all too often in appointment setting programs that are coupled with telemarketing services. We ask our outsourced telemarketing team to coordinate calls with other sales professionals however they only get to talk with one party, they often times don’t know who the sales professional is and they have no visibility to that sales professional’s calendar. They are literally throwing spaghetti and hoping it sticks. This often times results in numerous reschedules, passing of leads from one agent to another or frustrated customers. You only get one chance to impress these people so make sure you set things up right and your team has the proper tools to coordinate appointments successfully.
4 – Big things come in Small Packages
Alright, let’s talk messaging. I’m going to keep this brief and so should you. I’m sure you have a great product, I’m sure people are going to love it, but I’ll be honest, they really don’t want or have the time to hear all the details of what you are offering on an appointment setting telemarketing call. They are busy and you have one minute to buy the next minute of that person’s time. So keep it high level, hit them with the 1, 2, 3 power punch of what you can do for them and close. It’s really that easy.
5 – Big Gaps create Bad Falls
Now, your outbound telemarketing team can schedule all the appointments in the world but at the end of the day an appointment means absolutely nothing unless your customer shows up. So how do you increase the likelihood that your customer will make their appointment? Well, the first step is making sure that you Mind the Gap. What I mean is that your telemarketing team needs to be setting appointments in as close proximity to the original call as humanly possible. If you can transfer, do it. If you can make the appointment same day, do it. I’ve found that most appointments have the best show rate within 3 business days of the original call. After that the numbers drop quickly and if your customer is asking for an appointment past 1 week well, sorry to tell you this, but in most cases they are probably just trying to get you off the phone. People are busy. “Stuff” happens. Making sure you strike while the iron is hot is critical.
“I’ve found that most appointments have the best show rate within 3 business days of the original call.”
Well there it is, my “SHAM WOW” of appointment setting via telemarketing services. While these tips may not wipe away all your appointment setting mishaps, they have certainly helped me clean up a few spills. Yes, that was a play on my earlier infomercial introduction.
Quality Contact Solutions has managed hundreds of outsourced telemarketing appointment setting programs and we have set more than 5,000 appointments for our clients. If you are looking to start an appointment setting program or want to benchmark your current outsourced telemarketing campaign to see if you are getting the best results you can, please give us a call at 1-866-963-2889. Or email me at email@example.com. We would love to help!!
A.J. Windle is Sr. Operations Manager for Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing organization. With responsibility for overseeing the daily operations of client programs, A.J. is relentless in his pursuit for ensuring every client program is reaching the desired goals – every day. With over 14 years of experience in Telemarketing Services, A.J. has built his career on creating win-win relationships between his team, his clients and his telemarketing vendors that drives unparalleled success. A.J can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-656-5106.