Best B2B Cold Call Telemarketing Sales Appointment Making Setting Tips

5 Steps to Making Appointments that Stick
By Mike Brooks,

best outbound B2B telemarketing sales appointment setting tips, techniques and strategies for making effective lead generation cold calls over the phone

Learn the best outbound B2B telemarketing sales appointment setting tips, techniques and strategies for making effective lead generation cold calls over the phone.

Nothing is more frustrating than making an appointment with a good sales prospect and then calling and getting their voicemail at the time of meeting.

Actually, there is something more frustrating: having to then chase these sales prospects and never connecting with them again!

If you would like to make your appointments more “sticky” and actually have your sales prospects be there when you call, then follow the 5 steps below:

Step One: Don’t just send a meeting request and then think the prospect will show up. That’s much too passive. What I always do when setting an appointment is to first test them to see how cooperative and engaged they are.

I always say, “Let’s look at our calendars to see what works best—are you in front of your calendar right now?”

This is crucial. I want to see if I can get my prospect to actually do something (open their calendar) and while I book a day and time, I instruct them to put it in their calendar as well. I actually wait for them to do this.

Oh, sure, I’ll send a meeting request as well, but I always see if they are willing to do this first. If they brush me off with a, “Oh, just send me a meeting request” and they won’t take the time to open their calendar, then that’s a Red Flag.

Step Two: Send a meeting request while you’re still on the phone with them. I tell them I’m sending a meeting a request, and I do it right at that moment. I then instruct them to open their email and accept it while I’m on the phone with them.

This is another test I use to see how cooperative they are. If they balk at doing this, then I know I’ve got a 50/50 chance they will show up.

Now I know that not all prospects will do this, but I direct as many people to do it as I can. It’s sort of a “pre-qualifier” for the appointment.

Step Three: After you’ve scheduled the appointment, and with the prospect still on the phone, ask them to reach back out to you—by phone or email—if something comes up and they can’t make the meeting.

I know, that sounds negative and you’re probably afraid to let them know they can cancel, right? Don’t you think they already know that??

Here is the best way to phrase it:

“{first name}, I’ve got you confirmed for (day/time), and you’re on my calendar. I’m in yours, right?

“Great!. Listen, I know things can come up for us both, and I respect your time and would like you to respect mine as well. So, if something changes and you need to reschedule our appointment—or if you’d like to meet earlier—would you make sure and shoot me an email or give me a call prior to our appointment time?”

[Must get buy in here]

“Thanks. Then if I don’t here from you, I’ll look forward to speaking with you on (confirm day/time again). And, by the way, what is your direct line phone number you want me to call in on?”

Step Four: Follow this up with an email essentially stating the same thing in the script above.

Always send this as soon as possible after hanging up…

Step Five: Call and confirm your appointment the day before the appointment time.

It’s amazing how so many people don’t do this, but when you do, several things can happen:

a. They aren’t available, so you leave a voicemail reminding them about the appointment call the next day and how excited you are to speak with them.
b. They come onto the phone and you can pitch them one day early!
c. They tell you they’re not interested, and you can begin overcoming objections and get into your pitch that way.

Don’t underestimate the importance of this step! Very few sales professionals do this, and I’ve found it’s amazingly effective at getting into the pitch a day early.

Bonus Step Six: Send out a reminder email the morning of the appointment. You are doing this now, aren’t you??

So there you have it: 5 proven steps to increase your number of appointments/presentations. Compare these to what you’re doing now, and if you find you aren’t using some of these techniques, then incorporate them this week.

And watch your appointment turn up rate soar…