There’s no doubt about it — appointment setting is an important aspect of B2B sales and business growth.
Landing in-person or Zoom meetings with key decision-makers provides salespeople with the opportunity to respond directly to a prospect’s needs and pain points.
Yet, scheduling B2B sales appointments is no easy task. Let’s review why:
- Complex Buying Committees: Selling to businesses is much more complex than selling to individuals. The buying committee involves many more influencers and decision-makers.
- More Informed Buyers: B2B decision-makers often have in-depth knowledge of market and product options prior to speaking with a sales rep. Sometimes, even more so than your own sales experts. For this reason, sales reps need up-to-date knowledge of the market and a real understanding of each prospect’s challenges to deliver the best solution.
- High-Risk Purchases: The stakes are much higher during B2B transactions, so negotiations may take longer than expected. With more money on the line, sometimes millions of dollars, deals often take months to close.
So how do you set up and secure sales appointments? Well, it can be tricky — but fear not! In today’s blog post, we explore eight tips to make the process easier.
8 B2B Appointment Setting Techniques
1. Work with a Sales Intelligence Provider
Before placing any calls, you must acquire the necessary data and information about your target prospects and customers. Without access to sales intelligence, sales reps will have a difficult time connecting with decision-makers and influencing their purchase decisions.
For this reason, we recommend working with a B2B contact database or sales enablement tool. Using such would provide you with:
- Direct-dial phone numbers
- Confirmed email addresses
- Opportunity insights
- Company demographics
- Tech stacks
- Competitor information
2. Prepare Notes
An organized salesperson comes across as reliable and trustworthy. So, make sure to prepare the required documents, information, and data beforehand. Don’t leave anything until the last minute.
Practice what to say, including how to present product options and the core benefits of your services. It’s important to take the time and effort needed to conduct research and write a strong script — preparedness is key!
3. Don’t Take Up Too Much of Your Prospect’s Time
Your prospect’s time is valuable. If your prospect is busy, arrange a more appropriate time for the phone call. Always be flexible. Rather than providing a one-time slot, offer different times so your prospect can choose the most convenient option.
It’s also important to reply promptly to any inquiries the prospect has between the original conversation and your secondary sales appointment — whether by phone or email. Think about it: A delay in communication may give a prospect second thoughts about working with you.
4. Be a Problem Solver
B2B prospects buy products and services in order to solve a problem. Therefore, it’s up to you as the salesperson to identify that need and offer a solution.
While attempting to set an appointment, ask questions and listen closely to the answers. Then, make a detailed report regarding the prospect’s needs and problems to stay organized. According to a DemandGen report, 97% of B2B buyers agreed that sales reps who demonstrated a strong knowledge of their needs were important to them.
Your focus should be to find solutions that will make each prospect’s life easier. Rather than give generic examples, demonstrate how your product can meet their unique needs. Position yourself as a partner or a consultant to the buyer rather than a pushy salesman.
5. Listen More and Talk Less.
Let’s face it — speaking too much, without letting your prospect have a say, can make for a very short sales call.
Remember, always listen to the prospect’s priorities and problems before diving into the best possible solution and options.
6. Accelerate the Process with Referrals
A referral is an easy, efficient way to accelerate the process of setting up in-person B2B meetings. The reason for that is simple: The trust that the prospect has in the referee is now transferred to you, the salesperson. Yet, many salespeople forget to take advantage of referrals.
Close this gap by always asking for referrals after you complete a sale and have a good relationship with a customer. Customers who value your product will be more willing to refer you to a colleague or personal connection.
7. Address All Objections.
To successfully set up a face-to-face sales appointment, be prepared to handle the most common sales objections. Preparation comes in handy here: Use research, notes, and data to offer specific details into why your product is the best option.
For instance, if a prospect says they can’t afford to purchase your product, provide proof of value. Demonstrate exactly how your product will improve their bottom line.
Work with your marketing team to develop the content you need to sway a prospect who might be on the fence about meeting with you. And whatever you do, don’t leave a prospect’s questions or objections unanswered. Doing so will drastically decrease the likelihood of securing more meetings in the future.
Establishing value in the face of objections helps salespeople build trust and ultimately secure more in-person appointments.
8. Don’t Reconfirm the Meeting
Good news: You’ve set up a meeting with an important B2B decision-maker. But it’s a week or two away. Should you reconfirm the appointment as the date approaches? Veterans in the field advise against it.
Here’s why: Asking for confirmation gives the prospect an opportunity to reconsider. So, instead of asking if the meeting is still on, simply send a reminder. Say you look forward to meeting on the agreed-upon date.
Build Your B2B Sales Appointment Setting Strategy
And there you have it — eight ways to simplify the B2B appointment setting process. We know setting up a B2B appointment can be difficult, but making some small tweaks in your B2B sales strategy can result in an influx of closed deals.
This post was last updated October 12th, 2020.