B2B appointment setting is a skill that’s crucial to anyone who’s trying to generate sales for a big business. It’s also an art that requires delicate finesse as you’re trying to transform high-level decision makers into sales opportunities. Fortunately, like any other skill, there are some tips and tricks to help you master it much faster. So keep reading and learn some of our best advice.
What makes B2B appointment setting special?
Selling and marketing in a B2B context are unique in many ways. You’re generally trying to sell high-ticket items to decision makers who take the time to make their decision in a largely rational way. A lot of the sales tactics and tricks taught for B2C are useless or even downright dangerous to attempt in a B2B context.
The art of B2B sales takes time, experience and hard work to master. Reaching different decision makers within an enterprise demands in-depth research, persistence, and skill.
Selling to businesses is different and much more complex than selling to individuals. Here’s why:
- B2B decision makers have in-depth knowledge of the market, your products, and your competition. Sometimes, even more so than your sales team
- They represent many different people and make business decisions on their behalf. The stakes are high and they stand to lose a lot if your product fails to meet their expectations
- Unlike B2C, a single B2B sale can easily take months of negotiating, paperwork and meetings
- As a B2B seller, you don’t just need to know your offer inside out. You need to know the market and your prospect’s challenges, so you can come up with the best solution
- B2B sales call for specific skills, training, and marketing approach. This is especially true in the segment of lead generation
Some B2B appointment setting tips to help increase your odds
Whilst not an exhaustive list, we believe that this a good summary of the main points you should understand and work on if you want to increase your odds of securing that meeting.
Do your homework
Preparation is vital to appointment setting. You have to know your prospect so you’ll know what to say. Cold calling isn’t the most pleasant task for many salespeople; Mostly because they have to deal with various personalities and often face rejection. The key here is to come across as a confident professional who believes in what they are saying.
Learn what you can about the prospect’s business beforehand. This will help you anticipate their concerns and questions.
Be professional, yet casual
Of course, you have to know your lines and your script. But, you still have to act naturally and keep the tone conversational, not sound like a robot. This will make the talk more engaging.
Don’t overdo it. Be persuasive (but not aggressive) and always remain polite. If you come on too strong, you’ll likely drive the prospect away. Show your interest by asking questions and listening attentively. Always take notes and repeat the key information to make sure you’ve got it right.
Do your best to leave a positive impression, so the prospect will look forward to your next encounter.
Be considerate of the prospect’s time
When calling to ask for an appointment, don’t jump into the sales pitch too quickly. Always ask the person if they have time to talk first. This shows you respect their time.
It also gives you a chance to reschedule for a more suitable time when your call would be better received. Of course, the prospect may say “no” when you ask them whether they can talk. But forcing them to hear you out will never get you the outcome you desire. If they do say no, ask if you can call them back another time. Don’t think of it as a blanket rejection unless they say to never call again.
Target the right prospects
You may have the best salespeople working on B2B appointment setting. But your campaign won’t yield any results if you target the wrong prospects.
So, before you deploy your appointment setting campaign, define your ideal prospects. What size and type of business will you target? Which level of decision makers are you going to approach?
Do your research to determine who your potential clients are. Create a good contact list with the right people and the right numbers so you don’t waste time.
It may take a while, be persistent
The appointment setting process takes time. In a B2B setting, sellers often don’t have the luxury of an unlimited prospect pool. So, once you define your targets, you’ll have to be persistent in your attempts to reach them.
It may require multiple attempts to get the prospect to respond. This is especially true for highly competitive markets. People are busy and inundated with sales offers. Do your best to reach them using different channels. Call, email or leave a voice message to get them to agree to a meeting.
It’s a good idea to contact your prospects every couple of months. Markets change, and so do the needs of any given prospect. A negative response today can easily turn into a “yes” within a few months.
Referrals can help you strike gold
Referrals are important when it comes to appointment setting. This is because people tend to transfer their trust for the referrer to the person referred. They feel like they know you, which gives you a big advantage. It’s definitely better than trying to reach a complete stranger for the first time.
You can obtain referrals from your network of colleagues, business associates, and friends. But you can also leverage any relationships you have within a prospect’s organization.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone high up the corporate ladder. As long as they have the decision maker’s ear – it could be useful.
Develop a good script
To win over a prospect, you need a good script. It will serve as a guideline, help you remember what to say and what to focus on. Of course, you’ll also have to know when to deviate from the script and improvise if necessary. This will depend on the prospect and the direction the call is taking.
Consider outsourcing your B2B appointment process
B2B appointment setting can be a difficult task. You need to reach the right person, which can often take months of working up the ladder. All of this assumes you even have the prerequisite skill to navigate the organizational structure and secure that meeting.
This is why many businesses choose to hire a professional B2B appointment setting company. Hiring experts to do the job ensures that you only get qualified B2B meetings. It’s also a welcome bonus that the process feels like being on “autopilot” for you and your sales team.
How does this work? Basically, the service provider schedules introductory meetings with prospects on your behalf. It acts as an intermediary between you and your business prospect.
From this point on, your sales team takes over the negotiation and closes the sale. Remember that the provider can get you qualified appointments, but it’s up to you to seal the deal.
Time is money, and we can help your business have more of both at the end of the process. With DemandZEN, you can be sure you’ll only meet up with highly qualified leads. We will make sure that you always talk to a decision maker who understands your business and its value.
If this piques your interest, do not hesitate to contact the experts at DemandZEN today.