Dos and Don’ts for Effective Call Center Appointment Setting

omnichannel vs multichannel contact center | inbound appointment setting

Qualified appointment setting, alternatively known as inbound appointment setting, is an art, a science, and a bit of intuition all rolled into one. Booking a phone appointment with a qualified lead is the perfect opportunity to sell your product or service and close a deal. But a whole lot can go wrong during these critical calls.

To help, we’ve got some handy do’s and don’ts that can reshape your approach and supercharge your results. 

5 Dos for Inbound Appointment Setting

As you gear up for your next inbound appointment, make sure that you:

  1. Know Your Customer

Deals are won and lost in the preparation. So make sure you understand who you’re talking to. Are they a decision-makers or a gatekeepers tasked with gathering information for stakeholders? What are their pain points?

You can tailor your pitch by getting to know your audience and their needs. And ensure that you make it about them and then frame your service or product as the solution to their problem. 

  1. Listen More Than You Speak

A common misstep is overloading the potential client with information. Remember, it’s a two-way street. Listening helps you identify opportunities to address specific concerns. 

It’s also important to avoid getting too fixated on your talking points. Be flexible and respond to what the customer is saying instead of just pausing to hear them talk. 

  1. Prepare to Counter Objections

Every call center agent will face objections; having a well-prepared counter for each one can make all the difference. Do your homework, and be ready. 

During your preparation, consider citing common objections that you have heard in the past. Then, make some notes to remind yourself of how to counter them. Don’t discount the prospect’s concern. Instead, redirect back to the benefits of your service or product that mitigate their objections. 

  1. Use a Script to Keep the Conversation Focused

While we don’t advocate sounding like a robot (more on that in a bit), a well-prepared script can be a lifesaver. It ensures that you hit all the key points and keep the conversation on track. 

That said, don’t feel the need to read from your script verbatim. Think of it more as a roadmap with landmarks and mile markers that help you keep the conversation flowing in the right direction. 

  1. Build Rapport

People like doing business with people they like. A little small talk and some genuine empathy can go a long way toward making a prospect feel valued. 

Ideally, you should have already started building a rapport before the appointment. For instance, you could send an email like, “Looking forward to speaking with you tomorrow!” to connect with your audience. 

5 Don’ts for Inbound Appointment Setting 

Learning inbound appointment-setting best practices will certainly help you close more deals. But you also need to know what not to do. With that in mind, here are some common mishaps that can derail any sales conversation. 

  1. Don’t Outsource to the Lowest Bidder

Quality comes at a price. While budget is always a concern, outsourcing your qualified appointment setting to a subpar agency can cost you more in the long run. From miscommunications to friction with your prospects, there are all sorts of hidden issues to be mindful of. 

The same rule applies to your appointment scheduling and customer relationship management (CRM) tools. If you want to start customer relationships off on the right foot, you need quality tools that keep them in the loop and make working with you easy. 

  1. Don’t Be Too Pushy

No one likes feeling cornered. If a prospect feels pressured, they’re likely to back off. Strive for a balance between persuasive and pushy. This is a fine line, which means it may take some practice to learn when to push and when to give a customer space.

One great way to avoid being pushy is by learning your product inside and out. The better you know your product and its value proposition, the easier it will be to keep the conversation focused on the customer and how you can solve their problem. 

  1. Don’t Sound Robotic

Yes, scripts are fantastic, especially for less experienced sales agents. But if it sounds like you’re reading directly from one, a script is not going to get you very far.

Bring some life, personality, and spontaneity into your calls. While you don’t want to waste the customer’s time, it is okay to go off-topic for a few minutes if doing so helps you build rapport and trust. 

  1. Don’t Deceive or Mislead

Trust is the foundation of any successful business relationship. If you’re caught stretching the truth, you may lose credibility with your prospect. 

Another danger is overpromising and underdelivering. With that in mind, don’t overstate the benefits of your products or services. If you make a claim, back it up with testimonials, case studies, or other quantifiable data. A substantiated claim will wow your audience, but a baseless statement can cause them to check out of the conversation.

  1. Don’t Overtalk

We’ve all been on the receiving end of a call where the other person just won’t let you get a word in edgewise. It’s frustrating and counterproductive, so make sure you let the conversation breathe.

After you greet your customers and run through your opener, allow them to talk and ask questions. Don’t leave too much dead air, as a few seconds of silence can feel like an eternity. That said, don’t talk so much that you overwhelm your audience, either. As always, balance is key. 

Upgrade Your Qualified Appointment Setting Capabilities

Qualified appointment setting is a valuable tool for nurturing leads and transforming promising prospects into loyal customers. But qualified appointment setting is only half the battle. It’s what you do during the appointment that will make or break your conversion rate and shape your bottom line.

If you want to make the most of your lead appointments, outsourcing is the way to go. A skilled outsourcing service provider can prep leads and transfer them to your specialists or navigate the entire nurturing journey on their own. Either way, outsourcing qualified appointment setting is a big win for your company, bottom line, and customers. 

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