For many contact center agents, setting an appointment marks a win. It’s the end goal that drives their conversations.
But anyone who works in lead generation or appointment setting knows that setting the appointment is only half the battle — keeping the appointment marks a true win.
So, how can agents not only set more appointments, but also set appointments that stick?
After analyzing more than 125 million calls, Balto has gleaned unique insights on excellent conversations. Using those insights, we’ll explore some specific methods for setting sticky appointments at organizations in both B2B and home improvement industries.
Converse, Don’t Pitch
For those who work in B2B lead generation, it’s important to cultivate a two-way conversation rather than a one-sided sales pitch.
Remember that the person on the other end of the line is, first and foremost, a person. When the call begins, reps should start by asking if the customer is up for a conversation about whatever primary benefit the solution offers.
Throughout the call, one essential theme should stay top of mind: a conversation trumps a pitch. Ask questions, offer observations, but bear in mind that the solution may not be the right fit. Research shows that 77% of buyers feel B2B salespeople don’t understand customers’ issues and how they can help, so an insightful conversation helps agents outshine competitors and provide real value.
If reps see an opportunity to move forward based on the conversation they’ve had, they should reference the customer’s unique pain points in their attempt to set an appointment. A prospect will be more receptive to setting (and keeping) an appointment when they’ve been shown the product’s value using their expressed frustrations and hopes.
Expect the Unexpected
In many conversations, you can guess the sorts of objections you’ll encounter before you hear them. A salesperson might expect budget concerns, and a customer service rep might be prepared for a hold time complaint.
But when it comes to appointment setting, it’s a little tougher to guess the kinds of objections that may arise — particularly for those who work in the home improvement industry.
From customers interested in handling their projects DIY-style to those concerned about bad reviews, agents setting appointments for home improvement businesses have to be prepared for questions and objections that go deeper than run-of-the-mill budget concerns if they hope to set appointments that stick.
To be successful in this space, it’s vital to have a firm grasp on the nuances of the business and industry. When agents know the specific challenges of installing solar panels or remodeling a bathroom, they can prepare to handle any unusual objections that arise on the path to setting an appointment.
Start with Understanding
Regardless of industry, agents working to set appointments should approach objections with consideration.
For example, if a prospect raises budget concerns, agents should always begin their response with a statement of understanding that shows the customer their concerns are heard and noted.
Something as simple as, “I totally understand,” or “let’s try to find an option that works for your budget,” signals that agents are engaged in the conversation and committed to helping the customer rather than simply finishing the call successfully.
When customers feel heard and understood, they’re left with a positive impression from the conversation, more open to continuing their relationship with the company.
Ask About Potential Problems
When agents achieve their goal and set an appointment, they should take one final step to try and solidify it: ask about anything that may cause the customer to cancel.
This presents one final opportunity for hesitant prospects to raise lingering objections, allowing agents to handle those concerns sooner rather than later.
By asking about anything that could cause the customer to cancel, an agent can feel confident that they’ve done everything possible to make the appointment stick and take pride in the win.
Leveraging Data to Drive Excellent Conversations
Through our analysis of over 125 million calls, we’ve learned a lot. We know what works (and what doesn’t), and we’ve leveraged our knowledge into Industry Intelligence Playbooks.
Now, it’s easier for contact centers to immediately scale winning conversations to entire teams. We’ve used data to refine industry-specific best practices, giving contact center leaders the freedom to customize content built on tried and tested methods of success.
Whether your organization’s goal is appointment setting, sales, collections, or customer service, Balto’s Industry Intelligence Playbooks allow you to start the race just feet from the finish line.
Schedule a demo to see how Balto supports excellent conversations in real time.