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6 Tips for Appointment Setters

Jul 15, 2008
Setting appointments is a lost art, but it doesn't have to be. It's all about keeping your client, customer, sales lead, or co-worker in mind. Here are 5 tried-and-true appointment-setting tips to "set" you on your way!

1. Set an agenda and then stick to it. When setting up an appointment or meeting, make sure you share your agenda with your appointees. It's also helpful to ask them if they would like to add anything to the meeting agenda. Having input on the direction of the meeting from the appointees themselves will ad value to the experience for everyone in the room, including you. It's also important to stick to the agenda once it's been set. This will help your success rate if you need to set more appointments in the future.

2. It's about them, not you. The people you want to meet with should be your entire focus when setting an appointment. You should always have their needs at the center of your concern; those needs should align with your own. If your needs, and theirs, don't line up, then maybe you should be questioning the validity of your request for an appointment in the first place. You wouldn't want to set an appointment with a shoe salesman about his business 2 business refrigeration needs, right? But a restaurant franchise owner would be right up your alley.

3. Minimize travel time for your appointees. Go to them or at the very least offer to meet in the middle. Unless you really have an upper hand ignoring this common courtesy will see your success rate drop like a rock.

4. Schedule enough time for set-up and teardown. Many appointment setters only schedule time for the presentation and questions. This is a mistake. Make sure you have your space, and enough room in your schedule for set-up before the meeting or appointment, and for teardown afterwards. You may even find a practice run is in order, if you're dealing with things like projectors & screens, laptops or elaborate lighting.

5. Scarcity. Don't invite everyone and their mother. Be selective about your appointment setting. Don't go crazy, and make sure you let the invitees know that they've made the cut and this isn't some cattle call.

6. Confirmation is key when it comes to appointment setting! Confirm when, confirm where (the location), confirm what (agenda), and confirm how (travel arrangements, if called for.) All this can be in a simple email sent out a few days before the appointment. This is also the perfect opportunity to request a simple "yes" response from your attendees if they are still coming.

Appointment setting doesn't have to be hard or stressful. Just follow these tips and remember: practice makes perfect.
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