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B2B Appointment Setting
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B2B appointment setting, B2B appointment setting in india

B2B appointment setting, B2B appointment setting in india

Businesspersons across different industry verticals would agree that B2B appointment setting is one of the most time consuming business processes. Having salespeople as well as prospects to make time for meeting each other is one of the toughest demands, or rather expectations, one could have in today’s world. However, this does not mean that just because something important has come up on the business end, one needs to stop the B2B appointment setting campaign. that’s just wrong!

There are certainly ways in which one can keep the campaign running in top shape while they are taking care of other tasks. The first step is to understand how important the other tasks are in comparison to appointment setting, which is certainly at the core of new business acquisition. For instance, if one is talking about rectifying a problem in the product or service, that certainly takes precedence over reaching out to prospects. Also, if there’s a task which is pertaining to improving the efficiency of the appointment setting process, the attention can certainly be given to the same. What can’t be emphasized more are day to day con-calls or meetings with regular clients. It’s necessary to demarcate some time for appointment setting, even if one can’t afford a dedicated team for the same. This way, the fine balance between smooth functioning and brighter prospects can be achieved.

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B2B appointment setting

B2B appointment setting

The next point in successful B2B appointment setting is to ensure that one asks the right questions. The ideal scenario is when one asks direct questions, but one also needs to give the prospect a chance to choose between the opportunities of setting up an appointment. For instance, one can say “is Friday morning ok with you, or should we do it on Monday?” This way, one can keep the conversation flowing and ensure that there are no problems with regards to controlling the direction in which the discussion is going. Also, it gives a hint of whether or not one can influence the other person’s decisions.

Setting up an early appointment is another great tactic used by B2B appointment setting professionals to get their way around things. It’s tantamount to making the most of what one has at that point in time. Since one already has the prospect’s interest, it’s best to utilize it in the best possible manner. Ideally, the maximum interval between a call and the appointment setting date is three days. Setting an appointment after a week will lead to the person losing interest, or just forgetting all about it, which is certainly a chance nobody wants to take.

 

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B2B appointment setting

B2B appointment setting

There has been quite a lot of brouhaha about how B2B appointment setting is only a matter of doing the same thing repeatedly to achieve success. However, the fact is that nothing could be farther from the truth in an actual business scenario. One of new-age marketing’s most important and imperative lifelines, B2B appointment setting has certainly been the undisputed king of closing the deal for many organizations. The only concept one needs to grasp is how to predict the customer’s preferences, and it’s really not that difficult. However, convincing them is another ball game altogether. The thing to look out for is that there are signs and red flags that one needs to recognize and analyze.

The first thing in ensuring B2B appointment setting campaigns deliver the kind of success one wants is to listen carefully for the signs that show the person is genuinely interested. The most obvious one among these is when a person starts asking relevant questions. However, it’s important to not give in to the temptation of answering all the queries. It’s best to generate their curiosity and then leave a cue for an appointment. Just this simple measure will make sure that everything falls right into place.

 

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B2B appointment setting

B2B appointment setting

It seems that the ­­concept of using the term ‘technical difficulties’ is being used a little too often to cover up for inappropriate B2B appointment setting. Whenever something gets in the way of communication or there’s some snag in the email filter that blocks out a prospect’s mail, there are certain elements that can prevent one from using such accidents to cover up for a poor strategy.

If one draws analogy from a video game, technical difficulties are somewhat of a bonus pick up that can be used to get out of a situation whenever one has bitten off more than they could chew. However, be it B2B appointment setting or video games, such situations are categorized under certain segments. It could be rare that one had to experience this kind of an incident like the phone line getting cut, but then that’s not something one experiences on a regular basis. The second segment is a list of identifiable errors. Truth be told, there’s a fine line between coincidences and a constant rate of mistakes. And the latter is what gets clients really upset. And lastly, if the issue is constantly coming up, clients expect the company in question to resolve it ASAP, not use it as a shield.

 

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Continuing from the previous post…

Prospects that may feel turned off by the image projected in front of them, so to speak, would in all likelihood not have been suitable leads for B2B appointment setting. So, it’s actually a good thing that instead of the firm having to go to the trouble of sorting out which leads are worth pursuing, this self-filtration takes place right at the onset. Also, by establishing a brand image right at the beginning, a firm comes off as a robust entity that cements the standards that it’s willing to live up to. Call it practicing what you preach, but it’s a quality many admire.

True, there may be situations when one would have to go the extra mile to ensure what was promised is delivered, but even if mistakes are made in the process, it’s better to own up to them rather than cover up. And lastly, this approach builds trust between the firm and the current & prospective clients, which builds the foundation of a long lasting business relationship. Essentially, it’s not just about fixing an appointment. One needs to look at the long term implications as well. Only then will the entire exercise be successful.

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B2B Appointment SettingWhenever one talks about marketing and B2B appointment setting, executives always seems to have a pretty black and white view of the business image. Some think that image is everything in this context, and can make or break a deal with regards to setting an appointment, while others think that image is just an excuse to overcompensate for business values. However, it has been conclusively proven time and again that image does have a lot to do with appointment setting. But it’s also true that just marketing techniques or pitches can’t for a business image – they are driven by the business values.

Taking the example of a tax consulting firm – the B2B appointment setting campaign is supposed to prove to the TG that the expertise provided by the enterprise is comprehensive & reliable, and can help companies keep their business operations aligned with the legal procedures. So, even though the leads are important, one must never be afraid to say things that may put off some clients, as long as they are in line with the business values. This is what it actually means to have an image. There shouldn’t be anything fake about the pitch, i.e., prospects should be able to see what they’re being offered.

More on this in the next post…

 

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Success in one’s endeavors in the field of B2B appointment setting is often based on building a solid rapport with prospects, and this can only be made possible if one has a good script in place. True, there’s no replacement of spontaneity in a telephonic conversation, but one can only go so far with eloquent words that don’t have a purpose or don’t adhere to a structure. There needs to be a certain level of flexibility, but a script is needed in any case, ideally prepared by an experienced executive who has ‘been there, done that’, so that all the possible responses can be addressed.

Also, once the appointment has been set, that’s only half the job done. Agreed that it was the hard part, but still, the job is not done till the prospect is sitting across the table. Hence, following up is almost as important as B2B appointment setting, without getting too anxious, of course. The trick is to strike the right balance between making a confirmatory call (or sending a confirmatory mail, although calling is always better) and sounding very eager to close the deal. Once this final step has been completed to perfection, the target would most certainly be achieved!

 

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The last post talked about how it’s important to be more organized, qualify prospects with long term objectives in mind, and make the prospect more comfortable. Now, we shall talk about getting the prospect interested in the product or service. Essentially, this is the next step to building trust with the prospect. Once the other person thinks that the caller is talking about something that can help him/her resolve a critical issue or enhance business in any manner, it’s time to begin talking about the brand offering in detail, to proceed to the next level of B2B appointment setting

It may be noted here that the best way to build interest is to provide a solution to a need. For instance, after building a substantial level of interest, if one can get the prospect to talk about a product or service they are currently using, there’s nothing like it. Just like that, one gets an opening to talk about the merits of the brand offering with regards to resolving the problem being faced. Also, even in case the product or service being offered is not quite capable of resolving the issue, it will serve as valuable feedback which can play a vital role in enhancing the value proposition in the times to come.

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The next point for more effective B2B appointment setting refers to be as organized as possible. And the best way to do this is to set the agendas ahead of time, so that one knows what the specific goals that need to be achieved are. Accordingly, one can formulate strategies to achieve the same. Essentially, it’s like going on a treasure hunt, for the lack of a better example. One needs to have a map to be successful!

Another important aspect when one talks about B2B appointment setting is to qualify prospects. For many, this is the make or break deal. But the important thing to remember here is that just because a prospect does not require a product or service right now does not mean that it’s a dead end. Particularly in cases where substantially high revenues are involved, one needs to think long term and park the prospect’s contact details and requirements for future references. Also, allowing the other person to let his/her guard down is very important, and that can only be done by giving the prospect the confidence that he can trust the caller. This seemingly trivial tactic can have tremendous impact on the revenues.

More in the next post…

 

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There are many business executives who are entrusted with the responsibility of B2B appointment setting, but don’t really know how to go about it. This series attempts to explore the different facets of this ubiquitous practice and how one can get better at it with simple, ease to implement tactics.

To begin with, sharp focus on every prospect matters most. Often, executives are so concerned about productivity that they drop cases very fast, in the hopes that the next person would give them a better response. Particularly in case of high profile leads, this kind of approach does not fare well, and one can soon find himself out of leads with no business. Persistency is the name of the game when it comes to B2B appointment setting, irrespective of whichever domain one is looking for more business in.

The next point is about rejection. Surely, there are going to be quite a few clients who would not be interested in the product or service being offered. Although this is more of a self-motivation scenario rather than a strategy, it’s nevertheless very important, since it can lay the foundation for a successful campaign, or otherwise.

More in the next post…

 

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