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How to Boost Your Appointment Setting Skills: 10 Tips for SDRs

10 Tips for SDRs to Boost Appointment Setting Skills

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As a sales professional, you have a range of responsibilities! Some include – training your team, creating content, and researching leads. 

You’re also involved in preparing outbound campaigns and tracking metrics. You do it all to achieve one ultimate goal. And what’s that? Setting appointments that lead to sales.

But let's fast forward to a critical moment in the sales process. You’re face-to-face with your ideal prospect. This person is qualified and interested in your services. 

Plus, s/he is pretty impressed by your outreach efforts. You have established a strong connection and ultimately closed a deal. Your sales funnel grows, and your company thrives. 


Now, let's rewind to the start. Who is responsible for setting these critical appointments in the first place? The answer is – B2B appointment setters

Now, you already know this. Appointment setting is critical. The role has specific duties. 

Hence, you should understand the essential skills that make you a top-performing sales professional as an appointment setter. 

What Is the Role of An Appointment Setter?

what is an appointment setter

Before digging into your must-have skillsets as an appointment setter, let’s understand the answer to this question – what is the role of an appointment setter? 

An appointment setter is a sales professional who typically holds the position of an SDR (Sales Development Representative). Their primary function is facilitating a sales appointment between your company and a prospective buyer, which is a critical aspect of the sales process. If you're wondering how to get more sales appointments, these specialists play a vital role in achieving that goal.

An appointment setter performs three critical steps to accomplish this goal:

Step 1

Build an intent-based contact list of your ideal prospects.

Step 2

Prepare outreach email templates, cold message templates, and appointment setting call scripts.

Step 3

Execute the outreach by sending targeted messages/emails, calling your prospects, and following up until they’re ready to buy.  

As appointment setters, you can secure appointments through effective communication, personalization, and persistence. 

As such, you play a crucial role in the overall success of your company's sales efforts.

uss vision appointments

Check out how Revnew helped USS Vision to generate 100+ appointments with a 90% show-up rate.

How to Boost Appointment Setting Skills: 10 Expert Tips

As an appointment setter, you obviously aim for discipline, hard work, and motivation. However, you must identify the specific appointment setter skills that characterize your success before this. Only then you can take steps to hone your talents continually. Let’s check out how!

Tip #1: Set Agendas in Advance

Planning ahead by setting agendas is essential. Knowing what you want to accomplish in a meeting is necessary. It can help you decide how much time to allocate for each appointment. 

Yes, it may be challenging to get others to stay on track. However, sticking to the agenda is critical to:

  • Ensure Meetings Don't Go Off-track: By completing the agreed-upon schedule, you can guarantee you’ve covered everything you’ll discuss. As such, you’ll quickly understand when the meeting concludes.
  • Transit from One Point to the Next: It helps set the right tone and establish a clear direction for the conversation. Plus, it can keep the meeting focused.

For example,

It can be as simple as saying, "Let's start by discussing..." or "To ensure we cover everything, let's follow this agenda..." Such phrases set the right tone and give the prospect an idea of what to expect.

Tip #2: Know How to Use CRM Tools

The B2B appointment setting process can involve a lot of information and data.Hence, using customer relationship management (CRM) software can significantly assist in managing and organizing this information. By utilizing a CRM tool, you can:

  • Easily track your progress
  • Store and manage prospect information
  • Ensure you are following up with leads in a timely and effective manner

Also, regularly review and update your prospect information and progress. Why? It ensures your appointments and follow-ups are aligned with your overall goals. In short, by using CRM software for appointment setting, you can:

  • Streamline the process
  • Increase efficiency
  • Improve the chances of securing successful appointments and sales

Tip #3: Research Prospects Before Making Contact

Researching prospects enables you to personalize your outreach. As such, you can tailor your message to the specific needs and interests of the prospect.

You can use many different sources of information to research prospects, such as:

  • Social media profiles
  • Company websites
  • News articles

However, identify the most relevant and informative sources for your specific business and target audience. Once you gather the information, use it to tailor the appointment setting approach. 

Example 1

Let’s say a prospect's social media profile reveals a particular interest. As such, you can mention passion as a way to build rapport and establish a connection. 

Example 2

Similarly, maybe your company website indicates a specific pain point that your business solves. In this case, you can incorporate the solution into the messaging to show how to add value.

By researching prospects before contacting them, you can:

  • Personalize your messaging
  • Build rapport
  • Address potential objections

Tip #4: Develop a Script or Outline for Calls

Having a phone script or outline can be beneficial for the following reasons:

  • It helps to keep the call focused and on track
  • You won't miss any crucial points
  • You will have a clear idea of what you need to cover during the conversation
  • It helps build your confidence and reduces the chance of stumbling over words

Here are some critical script-writing skills you must have:

  • Ensure the script is tailored to your specific business and target audience.
  • Think about what's essential to your potential buyers.
  • Consider what key messages you want to convey.
  • Finalize the tone of your script - you want it to be conversational and not sound like a robotic sales pitch.
  • Be adaptable. Every prospect differs, so you may need to adjust your script or outline based on their responses. 

Finally, you should prepare to ask follow-up questions and pivot the conversation if needed. It will help your brand build a stronger connection with the potential buyer and increase the chances of setting an appointment.

Tip #5: Practice Objection Handling

As an appointment setter, it's vital to anticipate and prepare for objections that potential buyers may raise during sales. 

Understanding common objections can help you develop effective responses. It can help you address the buyer's concerns and ultimately lead to more successful appointments.

Some common objections that you may face include the following:

  • Budget constraints
  • Lack of time
  • Perceived lack of need for your products or services

By understanding these objections and developing tailored responses, you can effectively overcome these barriers and move the sales process forward. Here are some appointment setting tips for creating effective responses to complaints:

  • Focus on the buyer's specific pain points and how your products or services can address them – demonstrating an understanding of concerns and the ability to provide real solutions can build trust and credibility.
  • Anticipate objections before they arise and proactively address them in your sales pitch. As such, you can eliminate any hesitations the buyer may have and move the sales process forward more quickly.

Objection handling can also lead to more successful appointments by demonstrating your expertise and knowledge of your products or services. 

Confidently and effectively addressing objections can help you establish yourself as a trusted advisor and build a stronger relationship with the buyer.

Tip #6: Possess Great Listening Skills

You must be able to carry out smooth conversations with prospects. Plus, you should deliver the value of your services and ask relevant questions to identify specific pain points. 

Now, listening actively and attentively to what your leads say is equally critical. By actively listening, 

  • You can demonstrate that you care about the prospect's concerns. 
  • You can showcase your interest in helping leads find solutions. 
  • Additionally, by being attentive to client responses, you can tailor the approach and messaging – to fit unique customer needs and preferences.
  • Furthermore, sounding friendly and optimistic creates a positive impression. As such, this helps establish rapport with the lead. 

In short, adopting a positive tone can set the right mood for the conversation. Plus, it makes the prospect feel more comfortable and at ease. 

It can help eliminate sales objections before they even arise. In the end, it makes prospects more receptive to your pitch.

Tip #7: Allocate Time for Prep and Debriefing

Ensure to schedule time for preparation and debriefing before and after your appointments. It means planning ahead for any tasks you must complete before the appointment. 

A few such duties include – reviewing reports or putting together a presentation. 

It's also a good idea to schedule a short prep session right before the appointment – just in case there are any last-minute details to take care of. Likewise, don't forget to schedule some time for debriefing after the appointment. 

You may have follow-up tasks to complete. Or, you may need to review your notes and ensure all necessary actions are added to your calendar. 

Taking just a few minutes to wrap up after each appointment can help you stay organized. It ensures nothing falls through the cracks.

Tip #8: Maintain Updated Appointment Schedulers

Make sure everyone involved in scheduling your appointments is on the same page. Keeping them informed is crucial, especially if you're one of many people setting up appointments. 

It prevents potential scheduling conflicts from popping up at the last minute – like double-booking yourself during a family dinner or important meeting.

One great way to stay in sync is using shared calendars like Google Calendar. It allows everyone involved to see your schedule and make updates as needed. 

But if you prefer something other than digital tools, there are different ways to share your calendar with others. Some include using a physical planner or sharing your schedule through email.

When it comes to who to include in your scheduling updates, think about anyone who needs to be aware of your appointments. It could consist of the following:

  • Your manager
  • Your administrative assistant
  • Any other member of your team

Keeping everyone in the loop ensures your appointments run smoothly and without surprises.

Tip #9: Follows Up Promptly and Persistently

First of all, following up is essential because:

  • It shows the potential buyer that you're interested in their business. 
  • It demonstrates that you're committed to making the appointment happen. 
  • It also helps keep you on top of their mind, especially if they're considering other options.

Now, when it comes to following up effectively, timing is vital. You want to balance being prompt and not overwhelming the prospect. 

Try to follow up within 24-48 hours of your initial contact. But don't go overboard with multiple messages in a short time frame. Adjust your approach and follow up at different intervals depending on the situation.

As for the follow-up strategies, consider what works best for the potential buyer. Some prefer email, while others may respond better to phone calls or texts. You can even mix it up and use multiple methods to increase your chances of getting a response.

Now, let's talk about persistence. It's essential to be persistent but not to the point of being annoying or disrespectful of the prospect's time and preferences. 

Suppose you have yet to receive a response after a few attempts. Then, consider adjusting your approach or taking a break and revisiting the prospect later.

Read more: How to Follow Up on Sales Leads Without Turning Them Off [Templates Added]

Tip #10: Set Achievable Goals and Track Progress

Setting achievable goals and tracking progress is crucial for appointment setting success. With clear goals, measuring success or identifying improvement areas is more effortless.

To begin with, set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals. 

For instance, a SMART goal could be to:

  • Set a certain number of appointments with qualified leads per week.
  • Increase the appointment-to-meeting ratio by a certain percentage within a specified timeframe.

Next, various tools and methods can track progress, such as: 

  • A sales team might use CRM software to track and manage leads, appointments, and deals. 
  • Metrics like appointment-to-meeting ratio, conversion rate, and time to set an appointment can regularly assess progress toward goals. 
  • It's also important to regularly analyze progress and adjust goals as needed. If progress is slower than anticipated, re-evaluating the approach and adjusting goals or strategies may be necessary.

You can work toward continuous improvement, lower B2B appointment setting costs, and better outcomes by setting achievable goals and tracking progress.

Add Expert Appointment Setters to Your Team! 

At the core of any sales development effort lies the meticulous craft of appointment setting.

This process involves multiple stages of preparation, such as developing scripts, crafting messages, timing, and handling rejections – all of which need to be executed by the right person.

Alternatively, you could utilize an outbound appointment setting agency with years of proven experience, such as Revnew. Revnew has a high-converting framework to outreach with hyper-personalized cold emails and calls to your ideal prospects — generating consistent, high-quality, meeting-ready leads for you. 

Get on-demand appointment meetings with your dream client today. Contact us now.

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