//Does Appointment Setting Over The Phone Work?

In a recent telemarketing campaign, our client advised us that they wanted us to set face to face appointments for their sales team. The leads that we were calling on were pure cold leads. By that, I mean we had no previous communication with these leads at all. It’d be safe to say that not a single lead had ever heard of this clients business before our call.  It’s also worth noting that this client was in the property industry, which, for cold calling purposes, has a very low conversion rate.

Now, don’t get me wrong, you can definitely achieve success over the phone in appointment setting, no matter what industry you’re in. It’s just that cold calling for property related business does have a lower conversion rate than say cold calling for equipment supplies. At the end of the day, you just have to be realistic about your expectations. You also have to be able and willing to adjust to what the market wants.

As we progressed through the campaign, we found that we were able to set face to face appointments for our client, however, as mentioned before, the conversion rate was low.

Now, imagine a large funnel for a second. As with every appointment setting campaign, we throw a ton of leads into the funnel at the top. Those leads then get called and qualified, and the interested ones come out at the bottom.

So when speaking with a prospective lead, before we booked a face to face appointment, we had to qualify them. Obviously, our client didn’t have the time to meet with people who didn’t fit their criteria. After qualification, we moved to book them into a face to face appointment.

In this clients case, this is where a huge number of people dropped off and failed to book a face to face appointment.

Think about this for a minute. Imagine getting cold called by a company that you’ve never heard of before. Imagine the person on the other end of the phone is talking to you about property. Imagine that after a few minutes of rapport building they ask you a few questions to qualify you. And then finally imagine that they’re now asking if it’s okay to come into your home and talk with you about property.

Now don’t get me wrong, we definitely did set face to face appointments for this client from cold calls.

However, by changing the script slightly. By making a simply tweak in the offering, we were able to entice more people to speak with our client.

What exactly did we do?

It seems obvious now, but at the time it wasn’t so apparent. What we found was that, rather than set a face to face appointment, if we simply set a followup telephone appointment by the client, people were a lot more receptive. It was less confronting than a stranger coming into your home. In short, we booked more people for telephone appointments for this clients campaign and it worked a lot better.

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