Five Steps to Improve Your Sales Appointment Setting Attempts

Are you having difficulty setting appointments over the phone to see people face to face? Perhaps you’re looking for advice on how to secure more face-to-face meetings.

If so, you’ve found the right article!

I’m going to share five fantastic tips that I highly recommend to boost your appointment setting attempts. I promise they will help you be a more efficient appointment-setting machine so you can turn more of your calls into sales. Let’s get started!

# Sell the Appointment, Not the Product

This first point can take some time to get used to. However, it’s imperative that when you’re trying to set an appointment over the phone that you sell the appointment – not the product.

It’s easier to understand if you recognize that the function of setting an appointment is to discuss the intricacies and details of how your product or service works. These days, in the field of business, it’s unlikely that a prospect has time to listen to your pitch over the phone.

That’s why in an ideal situation, you would convince them that spending a few minutes of their time meeting you in person is a worthy endeavor. After all, you’re only asking for a brief, no-obligation meeting.

A face-to-face pitch means you’ll be able to book more appointments and communicate with your prospects more clearly. Plus, you could also use “props” in your pitch to help explain your product or service. A great example of this would be during a tour of their facility. You could use this as an opportunity to explain how your product would improve their current system.

How Do You Sell The Appointment And Not The Product?

Check out the script below! Notice how it’s designed to set a quick, casual appointment and ends with two choices.

“Hey, Mrs. Jones, this is David Duford calling. I’m following up regarding the information you requested on our burial insurance programs.

My job is to deliver the info you requested. It only takes 10 minutes to show you how this works. I wondered if I could stop by tomorrow at 2:00 PM, or would 10:00 AM work better?”

Let’s break down this script sentence by sentence, so you know how to adapt it to your particular sales pitch.

“This is David Duford calling”

Simple and straightforward. You can also add your company name:

“This is David Duford from Aramark Uniform Services”

Then you explain the reason for your call.

“I’m following up regarding the information you requested on our burial insurance programs.”

If you’re cold calling, you can say something like:

“My name is David Duford, and the reason I’m calling is because I help businesses save money and improve their BLANK and BLANK service program.”

Short and straightforward is best. It shouldn’t be a long, detailed dissertation of precisely what your product does.

The next line sells the appointment.

“My job is to deliver the info you requested. It only takes 10 minutes to show you how this works.”

Again, simplicity is vital. We don’t want to pressure our prospect into declining, which they will likely do if the meeting seems high-pressure and time-consuming.

Plus, stating that it’s your job to deliver the information places burden on the company and not yourself. Just like when store clerks say, “its store policy” or “My manager said…” Placing responsibility (blame) on a third party allows you to connect with your prospect on a more human level.

“I wondered if I could stop by tomorrow at 2:00 PM, or would 10:00 AM work better?”

Try to phrase your request in a way that makes saying “No” slightly more complicated.

# Dial Early & Dial Late

This is a common strategy to use, especially with hard to reach prospects.

Business owners tend to get up early, go straight to work, or start working in the office before other people show up. Likewise, they tend to work late, too.

When I was working for a uniform service company, this is what I did. I would start at 7:00 AM and begin dialing my VIP prospects straight away. Calling up in the morning can help get you in the door and reach people that would otherwise be difficult to get ahold of during the day.

Also, calling late is a great idea as well! (Especially on Fridays). If you’re not dialing during these “unnatural” hours, you should test it out and see what happens.

# Triple dial

This strategy is more suited to a business-to-consumer approach. For anyone generating leads, one problem you’ll see in the business-to-consumer arena is people ignoring phone calls. They’re aggressively and heavily screening incoming calls specifically to avoid telemarketers.

The problem here is that in many cases, they’re the ones who requested the information online. But how are you going to deliver the info if they never pick up the phone?

The solution we use that works wonders is to triple dial the client.

Here’s how it works:

You make the first call as usual. Assuming it goes to voicemail, you hang up and then call again. Then you repeat that process for the third time.

Psychologically, what this does is instill a sense of concern in the prospect. They start to wonder if it’s an urgent call or someone they know. Sometimes people pick up on the second call. But more often than not, on the third dial, the urgency level increases exponentially, and they answer the phone. Many times, this strategy results in successful conversations with prospects that you would otherwise never get.

Yes, you may feel that you’ll upset the applecart by calling multiple times, but you have nothing to lose. There’s nothing more frustrating in sales than an unknown. I want a “yes” or a “no,” and I’d rather put a lead down and forget about it than never knowing if there’s an opportunity there.

# Always Anticipate Objections

As a new salesperson, you need to understand that the first opening script we talked about earlier is normally not enough. You have to be prepared to counter objections on almost all calls.

Have your rebuttal objection series prepared because that’s how you will overcome those objections and continue to have a successful appointment setting strategy.

I call this strategy the “ASC method.”

  • A stands for answer the objection
  • S stands for sell the appointment
  • C stands closing for the appointment

If a prospect says, “I already have life insurance, I’m not interested,” here’s how I would rebuttal it using the ASC method.

“No problem, Mr. Prospect. All I need is five minutes to show you how our programs are different, and what you do with this information is totally up to you. Would 10:00 AM work, or is 2:00 PM better?”

This is a very simple script. The key takeaways are:

  • It’s okay if they have life insurance already
  • The appointment is quick and casual
  • There’s no obligation
  • Close by suggesting different time slots

Using this script, simplistic as it is, will convert more objections than you’d assume into face-to-face appointments.

# Always Consider a Power Dialer

This, again, is more relevant for anyone selling business-to-consumer. Just bear in mind that you will still get lots of non-answers even if you sell to some businesses.

So, What Is A Power Dialer?

A power dialer helps you work through a list of prospects a lot faster. Whereas dialing by hand is slow and tedious, if you have a power dialer, you can have two, maybe even three, lines dialing at a time and spend more time talking to people versus listening to dial tones.

Power dialers cost around $100 to $150. They can help optimize your time so that you’re talking to more prospects and therefore booking more appointments.

I hope you enjoyed this article and will take on board my advice. I recommend putting all of these strategies into practice right away to start seeing immediate results.

Thanks for reading!


Author –  David Duford

David Duford owns Buy Life Insurance For Burial, a virtual insurance agency helping seniors source quality final expense life insurance coverage. He is the author of 3 best-selling insurance sales and marketing books, including “The Official Guide To Selling Insurance For New Agents, “The Official Guide To Selling Final Expense Insurance,” and “Interviews With Top Producing Insurance Agents.” David is also a YouTube Influencer in insurance sales with more than 17,000 subscribers and more than 1.7 million total views.