The contact center software solutions can be helpful in getting the company in touch with the right prospects. However, it is not as easy as we think. Closing the deal mostly involves more than one interaction with the buyer. Unless you have been very good during the first call, it is unlikely that the buyer is going to listen to you.
Getting an appointment is an art in itself. You have to stay persistent without appearing too pushy. You need to accommodate the schedule of the consumer while keeping in mind the competition in the market. Sometimes, the conversation can take an ugly turn and the agents have to bear the brunt due to the frustrated mood of the buyer.
This is the reason why many agents believe that scheduling a meeting with the purchaser is a difficult task. However, when you follow the right steps, chances of ending the call on a positive note can increase dramatically. Here are a few tips that can help you secure a meeting with your customers.
1. Use Multiple Media Platforms
• Many agents usually assume that appointment setting can be done only via a phone call. However, on the contrary, the consumers of today spend more of their time on the alternative modes of communication like Email and social media. Hence, it is important you tap the potential of these platforms and use them in order to convince the purchaser to try your brand.
• Integrate the call center software solutions for small business with the multiple interaction platforms so that your callers can easily connect with the prospects. The tone of the message sounds less promotional and more informative. People usually tend to ignore the selling calls and hence it is important that you make your presence felt on more than one channel.
2. Do a Little Background Research
• One of the most annoying things when dealing with meetings is not being prepared for the calls. Appointments generally imply that the consumers have to take time off from their schedule in order to cater to the representative. Hence, it is important that the agents value the time of the purchaser and book a meeting only when it is completely necessary.
• It is essential that you are absolutely clear on why you are making the call and how the prospect will benefit from it. Being unprepared or fumbling during the call creates a bad impression among the purchasers and takes away your chance of a probable meeting.
• It is vital that you not only have a sound knowledge of the company and its products but also about your target audiences. It is important that you understand your customers well enough in order to know which section of people might appreciate what kind of merchandise. Utilize the cloud contact center software in order to develop greater insight into the purchase history of the buyer.
• When you contact them with something that is parallel to their interests, chances of getting a positive reaction also increases. You can also integrate the outbound calling solution with the leading social networking platforms and know more about the preferences and the personality of the client by going through their profiles.
• An effective inside sales representative will be the one who has a sound knowledge about the products and services of the company and who can also anticipate the raising concerns of the buyer. Thus, it is important that you know all about your organization. Keep a tab not only on the merchandise of your own corporation but also on the movements of your competitors in the industry.
• Convincing the customer is not going to be a cake walk! They will have a lot of doubts and queries pertaining to the purchase and it is essential that you have the answers for all of them. Only when you resolve all of their queries, will they agree to give an appointment to your organization.
3. Listen and Stay Calm
• The basic rule to follow while generating appointments is to show interest in the prospect. It is essential that you display empathy and an eagerness to know more consumers. Only when they feel that they mean more to you than a mere financial transaction, will they start showing curiosity towards the company and its products.
• While this may seem underrated, it is important that the agents remember the basic human tendency of loving being heard. The primary thing to do is to give the buyers a chance to speak uninterrupted. Listening to them can help you in knowing the customer and his personality in a much better manner. It also casts a positive impression of the callers in the minds of the consumers.
• Most of the times, the sales representatives assume the reaction of the customer and prepare their script accordingly. However, in the real world, this is rarely the case. Every client is different and sometimes, the buyers can stump you by asking something unexpected. Hence, it is essential that you listen to what they want to know and frame your pitch accordingly.
• However, do not fake empathy. The purchasers can usually see through it. Most of the representatives tend to go overboard while trying to promote the products without giving the clients a chance to explain their side of the story. As a result, they usually miss the purchaser’s vital information, feedback or buying signals.
• Stay attentive during the conversation. Do not get distracted by the surrounding noise. Operating a good quality outbound calling software which has ease of functionality and drop-down shortcut methods can ensure that you do miss anything important in the call without losing focus.
• While on the phone, pretend as if you are meeting the consumer in person. This not only humanizes the interaction but also puts both the parties at a considerable comfort level. Smile during the opening and maintain the positive tone throughout the conversation. Sound excited about the offer. When you display a level of interest during the interaction, your lead many not act very quick to end the conversation.
• It is not necessary that you will get the appointment in the very first call. The customers will start trusting your brand only when there is an established bond. Hence, it is essential that you remain patient and work on your relationship. Once the rapport is built, the buyers will automatically get convinced to be a deal.
4. Reach out during the Off-hours
• Nobody wants to be disturbed at work, especially with tele-selling calls. The chances of you getting a green signal are practically nill if you contact the people while they are busy in doing something important. Hence, it is essential that you keep the timing in mind before striking the conversation.
• Try and take advantage of the off-hours, when the buyer is in a pleasant mood. When the purchaser is in a relaxed mind, there are greater chances of him hearing out your offer in a patient manner. Sometimes, the agents call the prospects early in the morning. However, while it is true that this is the time when the clients are not busy, not many like to be disturbed right at the beginning of the day.
• Hence, it is better that you send an email in the morning and follow it up with a call at around 6 PM in the evening. This ensures that your message has been conveyed to the customer without practically disturbing his routine.
• If you are looking at interacting with a high-level executive ensure that you have a sound knowledge of his day-to-day activities. If your call is an intrusion in his routine, he is never going to communicate with the company. One easy way to get in the good books of the higher authorities is to maintain a rapport with the gatekeepers.
• More than often, the agents fail to connect with the biggies of the organization because of the front line employees. Their job is to screen those individuals which they think will waste the time of their boss. Hence, it is vital that you win their trust before going to the boss. This is especially true when you are looking at B2C sales. Act confident while talking to the gatekeepers or you may jeopardize your chance.
• Actively engage with them but do not try to sell your product to them. They do not have the decision-making powers and if you start with your pitch right there, chances are you will get cut off at the knees. Instead, ask for their help. Something like, “Maybe you can help me in reaching the right person,” or “I have an exciting offer for the company but I am not really sure whom I can connect with,” can work. This gives them a sense of control and also keeps them glued to the conversation.
5. Utilize Customer Referrals
• Nothing can better help than recommendations from the existing purchaser base. Referrals are nothing less than golden tickets. Whenever you are being referred by someone, your chances of having an appointment also increase. Whenever you approach the customer through someone from his social circle, a trust connection is already built.
• Entice your existing consumers to get you more recommendations for the business. Rewards can be an active incentive for them. When you first make the call to the referred prospect, tell them from where you got the contact and also how the company has benefited the referrer. This gives you credibility, and, as a result, increases the chances of a probable meet.
6. Do not Go Overboard
• While it is good to be relentless in pursuit of a probable deal, there is a thin line between desperation and selling. If you go overboard with your pitch, you risk annoying the purchaser and this can be fatal for the long time association planned between both the parties.
• It is true that you need to put a little pressure when trying to strike a deal. However, if you keep pushing them, chances are that the buyers might feel uncomfortable and, as a result, he can write you off completely. Hence, it is vital that you act smartly.
• It is vital that you ask the prospect if he has time to talk to you or if not when can you next call him. Sometimes, the callers pay no heed to the schedule of the customer and keep rambling. This can upset the client and can put your company in a negative spotlight.
• Ask few questions in order to gauge the personality of the customer. At the same time, listen patiently; otherwise, it might look like you are only interested in selling your product. Use the previous success stories and be consultative rather than aggressive in your approach. If you think that the customer is not ready at the present moment, record his preferences for the future interactions and end the call on a good note.
7. Utilize the Marketing Leads
• This can be termed as a sure shot way of getting an appointment fixed. You will have a greater chance of having a meeting set up in case the purchasers have already interacted with your company. You can use the database of the cloud contact center solutions in order to know on which stage of the sales cycle is the lead present.
• Keep a track on your website traffic, blog comments, social media interactions, mentions etc. Integrate your outbound call center software with the leading communication platforms so that your callers never miss any buzz about the company. Often when you approach the customer as soon as he posts a query, chances of getting an appointment increases.
• Example, Racy Travels uses the cloud based call center solutions in order to connect with the probable customers. One of their agents had spotted a visitor looking for winter vacation holiday spots on their website. The caller immediately called him up telling him about the various destinations available. The buyer, however, needed more time to think.
• The executive responded saying, “Not a problem at all. You can discuss with your family. Till then I will get you more options that can fit under your budget. How about we meet up on 29th March, Friday to talk about the destinations as well as visa formalities?”
8. Handling Objections
• It can be difficult to accept a no for an appointment. The best way to deal with an opposition is to be prepared for it. It is essential that you get trained in advance to counter every question that the customer raises. However, do it in a pleasing tone. Rehearse rebuttals for every possible objection that the prospect can raise. Do not give up on the first refusal.
• Usually, when a client receives a telemarketing call, he becomes defensive thinking that the agent is trying to generate profit for the organization at his expense. Thus, the representatives should take the service approach and explain how the product can change the buyer’s life for good.
• Example, when the client says, “I don’t have time to meet you,” respond saying, “I understand your time is valuable and this is the reason why we will fix up the meeting whenever it is convenient for you.” However, it is vital that you know where to stop. In case the lead does not want to meet you, politely ask the reason behind the refusal. Sometimes the fault can be from your end and taking the feedback can help you refine your approach.
9. Seamless Interaction
• It is also essential that you take time off and think about what you are going to talk about during the call. The pitch should represent the company and should sound natural. Review all the information that you have got about the purchaser as well as your own company and think how you are going to connect the dots. Know how you are going to begin the conversation and also think about steps to bring it back if it goes off-topic.
• However, how you speak also determines the result of the interaction. Do not beat around the bush and do not act too direct either. Take some time to introduce yourself and then get down to business. It is essential to remember that people do not have all the time in the day to listen to your pitch.
• Hence, it is vital that you stick to only explaining the important points. The call should flow seamlessly. Have a strategy in mind so that you do not stray away from the main reason behind calling. Clarity regarding the purpose of the interaction will help to avoid the unnecessary wastage of customer’s time. At the end, review all the points discussed and reconfirm the date and time of the meet in order to avoid confusion.
• It is essential that you book the appointment as per the convenience of the customer. Allow them the liberty to change the plans if they are not comfortable. Tell them that they can inform the same through a message or an email. However, take care to schedule the meet as close to the interaction date as possible. This ensures that the conversation is fresh in the mind of both the parties.
• Appointment setting can be a hard task. It is important that your supervisors train you for the same. The outbound telemarketing software comes with features like call monitoring, barging and recording. The previous interactions can be used to coach the callers. Role plays can also be a good choice to teach the executives how to sail through the conversation and secure a meeting.
One of the most important things to remember while having an appointment is to have considerable follow-up plans and reminder messages. This can either be sent through an email or a simple SMS. The content must be short and crisp and should recapitulate the interaction that you had.
Something as simple as, “Hi Jackson! This is to inform you that our appointment has been fixed for the coming Tuesday, 7th March at 4 PM. Looking forward to meet you,” will also work. The cloud customer service software comes with the feature of sending automated follow-ups to the clients, reminding them about the coming up interaction.
The technologically advanced call center software solutions can also be helpful by showing the calendar to all the members of the insides sales teams. This ensures that only free slots are booked for the appointment, and, as a result, no two scheduled meets will clash. This can also be helpful for the supervisors as they can allot the customers to the agents based on their geographic proximity. As a result, more than one rendezvous happening in neighboring areas can be attended by the same caller, thus, saving on the resources.
It is also essential to remind the field executive about the meeting. You do want a situation where the purchaser is waiting, but you do not turn up. However, employing the best telemarketing software can be handy in such situations. It shall generate an automated alert reminding the executive about the upcoming meet with the purchaser.
Setting appointments can be a tough task and requires persistence and hard work. Chances of hearing a “no” are way higher than getting a “yes”. However, by training the agents in the right way, by utilizing the best call center software and by taking the right approach during the call, you will increase your odds of getting through and will be successful in getting an appointment.