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Appointment Setting: Stick to the Script

There are many times when unbridled creativity is of great benefit to a business. Appointment setting is not necessarily one of those times. By and large, appointment setting services should stick to the script. More importantly, they should have a script to begin with. And it should be good.

The Appointment Setters Greeting
Especially when talking to C-level executive types, appointment setters must be extremely respectful of the executives time. So while Hi is not an appropriate start, neither is:

Hello, Im calling from B2B C2C Corporation, the leading maker of widgets for the regions west of the Mississippi since 1998, also one of the most innovative companies around, which also has a total commitment to integrity and business. The phone went dead a long time ago with that one.

A short but warm greeting is generally best. In choosing an appointment setter, look closely at this first impression issue. As in Hollywood, most scripts are bought or trashed within the first page or two. Also consider, however, that different versions of one script may be needed. There may be cultural concerns that preclude overly-friendly greetings, for example. In these cases, the script should be modified and customized. But by all means there should still be a script.

Setting the Tone: Dominant/Warm
As with any sales job, the fine balance between aggression and friendliness must be carefully managed. This script must be written to achieve this purposeful tone. To use a simple example, many respondents will say, I dont have time. The script would then cue the appointment setter to reply, What would be a better time to call?

More complex scripts will have several different forks in the road that must be dealt with. At every turn, the appointment setter must use the script to be both warm and dominant with prospects, guiding them but not being unprofessionally aggressive. Of course, if the appointment setter truly believes in the clients product, these efforts will be more convincing. But the script underpins the entire endeavor.

Effective Setting: Close or Go Home
Now, the really important part: the close. Thats when a script that works separates itself from a script that doesnt. Results matter most of all, and scripts that work get results. Effectively closing techniques, however, do not need to be pushy or annoying. With appointment setting, the most common technique is to simply attempt to schedule the appointment and see if the prospect will go for it. If not, What time would be better for you?

The prospect may still be resistant, in which case it is the job of the appointment setting service agents to determine the point of resistance and address it. If some obstacle cannot be overcome, the script may call for a graceful exit, something along the lines of: Thank you for your time, Mr. X. It was good talking to you and learning a little bit about your business. I hope you dont mind if I try you back another time.

This polite goodbye may be the part of the script that earns the appointment setting service the right to call that prospect again--and possibly achieve a different result.


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