In order to sell someone, you have to book a meeting with them first. And as salesperson can tell you, that's far easier said than done. Reps make countless calls each day, hoping and praying that one of their prospects will pick up the phone. And when someone finally does, what do they say? "I'm too busy for this." "Can you just send some information?" "Is this a sales call?" *Click.* You don't even get the chance to pull out your attention-grabbing statistic or perfectly phrased value proposition before the call ends. And you find yourself back at square one. If salespeople can even slightly boost their odds of booking that critical first meeting, their pipelines will be in good shape. At an AA-ISP's Inside Sales Leadership Summit, Mike Scher, CEO of Frontline Selling, shared a three-step process proven to increase the chances of booking an appointment.
In order to sell someone, you have to book a meeting with them first. And as salesperson can tell you, that's far easier said than done.
Reps make countless calls each day, hoping and praying that one of their prospects will pick up the phone. And when someone finally does, what do they say?
"I'm too busy for this."
"Can you just send some information?"
"Is this a sales call?" *Click.*
You don't even get the chance to pull out your attention-grabbing statistic or perfectly phrased value proposition before the call ends. And you find yourself back at square one.
If salespeople can even slightly boost their odds of booking that critical first meeting, their pipelines will be in good shape. At an AA-ISP's Inside Sales Leadership Summit, Mike Scher, CEO of Frontline Selling, shared a three-step process proven to increase the chances of booking an appointment.
"We looked at different reps and the ones that were most effective did three very simple things every time they had a key player on the phone," Scher says. "Those three steps are called disarm, purpose, and question."
How to Set an Appointment
- Disarm: Get them to lower their guard.
- Purpose: Explain why you are calling.
- Question: End with a specific question on how to accomplish your purpose.
1. Disarm: Get them to lower their guard.
On the off chance a buyer actually answers the phone, one thing is certain —they're busy. With this in mind, Scher says that reps with the highest connection rates acknowledge this fact up front.
He suggests "introducing yourself and your company and acknowledging they're busy,"
For example: "Hi, this is Ann Jones with ABC company. I'm sure I caught you in the middle of something.”
Why introduce yourself? Scher points out that people are naturally suspicious when they pick up the phone, and the best way to get them to lower their guard is by saying outright who you are and where you're calling from.
"Disarming them gets their attention off whatever else they're doing and gets them focused on you," Scher says.
2. Purpose: Explain why you are calling.
Every sales rep knows the point of a first call is to set up an appointment. But according to Scher, "the number [of reps] that actually ask for an appointment is very small."
After disarming the prospect, Scher advises reps to dive straight into their purpose — asking for a meeting. For instance, reps might say something like, “The purpose of this call is to get 20 to 30 minutes to discuss how we can reduce your operating costs by 20%.”
Why 20 or 30 minutes? Scher explains that this block of time was deliberately chosen.
"When you ask for less than a 20 or 30-minute block you're doing yourself a disservice," he says, "Lots of times, people ask for five or 10 minutes — all you're doing is indicating it's not important."
3. Question: End with a specific question on how to accomplish your purpose.
Scher advises reps to end their prepared speech with a specific question.
"Ask a question on how to accomplish your purpose — like, 'Would Tuesday at 10 or Wednesday at 2 work best for such a call?' If we ask the question, they have to answer it."
Unless, they don't. During Scher's presentation, an audience member brought up the fact that a prospect might ignore the question entirely and ask, "What is this about, anyway?" In this case, Scher recommends a rinse and repeat — disarming, stating the purpose, and asking a question all over again.
If the prospect still evades an appointment after three cycles of this process, Scher suggested sending a piece of informational content in a calendar invite.
"The obligation for them to read the materials will never be higher than at [that moment], so use that opportunity to lock down the appointment," Scher says.
How to Ask for an Appointment Over the Phone
If you're speaking to the prospect on the phone, there are additional tips you can use to book an appointment with them.
1. Understand their level of interest.
During your initial call with the prospect, communicate the purpose of the meeting you'd like to book with them. Will your solution give them the benefit of lower costs, more revenue, or gains in efficiency?
Listen for their interest level once you communicate the purpose of the meeting. If they're skeptical, carry on with the conversation, but don't push too hard for an appointment. Instead ask, "Would you be interested in having an initial conversation about [solution/benefit]?"
If the prospect is interested in your solution, move the conversation forward with questions like, "I'd love to have an initial conversation with you about [solution/benefit]?. What's the best way to book time on your calendar?" or, "When's a good time to discuss [solution/benefit] in more detail?"
2. Communicate the value of the appointment.
What does the prospect have to gain from meeting with you? Instead of focusing on selling your product, let them know the value the meeting will provide for them. Whether you can help them solve a problem or offer advice, let them know what they'd get in return from the meeting.
3. Give them a choice.
Providing the prospect with a choice of meeting times keeps them engaged in the conversation. Ask them, "We can meet this Wednesday at 2:00 PM. Or does next Monday at 3:00 PM work better with your schedule?"
Move the conversation forward by avoiding "yes or no" questions. By giving them options, they'll have to make a choice — and by suggesting different meeting times, that choice will likely lead to an appointment.
How to Ask for a Meeting by Email
1. Build rapport.
Don't start the email with your ask. That would be rude over the phone or in person, and it's just as rude over email. Instead, start by asking your prospect how their day is going and what they're focusing on this week, or include a personalized comment about the weather or an event happening in their area.
For example, "Hello Ellie, Hope you're having a great week. I hear Denver is hosting the Great American Beer Fest this weekend. Will you be dropping by?"
This rapport breaks the ice, humanizes the conversation, and can earn you their attention for a few more seconds.
2. Keep it short.
Don't include the history of your company or your time with the company in this email. If you must, share that when you get in front of them in a pitch or finally get them on the phone.Instead, keep your email brief — no more than three to four paragraphs — and focused on the prospect and their needs.
3. Always include a close
Always have a goal for each time you communicate with your prospect. It should be the thing you close with in your email. This ensures your reader is primed to take action and you haven't wasted their attention.
For example, you mind end your email by saying, "I'd love to earn 15 minutes of your time to learn more about your team's goals in Q1 of 2020. If you're interested, book time on my calendar here: [Insert Meetings link]"
Here's what that all might look like in practice:
How's your week going? I saw it's been surprisingly warm out in San Francisco so far this month. Have you had an opportunity to get to Baker Beach or Golden Gate Park? Regardless, I hope you've had a chance to make the most of the good weather.
I was taking a look at your marketing collateral and noticed your company hasn't really pursued any co-marketing partnerships. Your tech is obviously cutting edge — I think it could be the industry standard for higher-ed curriculum and schedule planning — but you're selling yourself short by staying siloed in terms of partner marketing.
I'd love to earn 20 minutes of your time to talk more about whether you intend to pursue co-marketing partnerships and the resources you might use to do so. If you're interested, book some time on my calendar here: [Insert Meetings Link]
With these steps and tips, you'll be able to book a meeting with anyone. And to learn more, check out these techniques to create the perfect pre-meeting email template next.
Editor's note: This post was originally publishedApril 28, 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Nov 2, 2020 3:00:00 PM, updated June 11 2021
Book Sales Meeting Free Scheduling Software
What do you say when requesting an appointment? ›
I would like to arrange an appointment to discuss…. Please would you indicate a suitable time and place to meet? Would it be possible to meet on (date) at your / our offices to discuss…? Can we meet (up) to talk about…?How do you politely ask for an appointment? ›
- A relevant subject line that introduces the topic.
- A polite opening (e.g., “Dear Dr. ...
- A clear reason for the meeting and a benefit (“We prepared the software version you asked for.”)
- Suggested date plus an option for the client to offer any convenient time.
- – Hello! ...
- – Good morning, this is Michael Smith calling. ...
- – Hello, this is Lynn. ...
- – Good morning. ...
- – Hello, this is Lynn. ...
- – I would like to arrange an appointment to see her.
- – I'd like to arrange a meeting with Doctor Johnson.
- #1. Set a clear goal.
- #2. Know your leads inside and out.
- #3. Align insights to your prospecting efforts.
- #4. Confirm the prospect is available.
- #5. Deliver an elevator pitch.
- #6. Share problems to agitate a problem.
- #7. Pre-close with the value proposition.
- #8. Ask for the appointment.
Thank you for booking an appointment for [Service] with [Name] at [Time] on [Date]. Please text CONFIRM to confirm your appointment, CANCEL to cancel it or call us at [Number] if you wish to reschedule. We look forward to seeing you!What 3 items must be considered when scheduling appointments? ›
The appointment schedule must take three variables into consideration: the scheduling system, the physician's preferences and needs, and the facilities and equipment requirements.How do you ask for a convenient time to call? ›
“Would you please call me at your earliest convenience?” is the most appropriate way to ask someone to call you.How do you respond to availability for a meeting example? ›
I would like to confirm that the meeting is scheduled for noon via zoom (or the company's address). Thank you for considering me for the position. Thank you for your time and consideration.How do you use appointment in a sentence? ›
Examples of appointment in a Sentence
I'm late for an appointment. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning at nine o'clock. The court ordered the appointment of an attorney to represent the child.
- Expressions. Examples. Are you…? Are you free tomorrow? ...
- Are you. free. available. at this time? ...
- Can you. give me. a second? a minute? ...
- Do you. have. time? a second? ...
- Is this. a good time. to talk? ...
- May I. have a word. with you? ...
- Let me know. when you are. free. ...
- Is your schedule open. at this time? now?
How do you ask for a meeting time in English? ›
Please let me know a convenient place and time to meet. It would be great if you could kindly inform me about a place and time for our meeting as per your convenience. Looking forward to meeting you, upon your intimation of place and time.How do you say yes to an appointment? ›
- Yes, Wednesday suits me fine? What time shall we say?
- Monday, between 3 and 5 would suit meet best.
- Yes, Tuesday 3p. ...
- Either Monday morning or Thursday afternoon would be most suitable/convenient.
- Yes, Friday 9 a.m. sounds good to me.
- Yes, I've got nothing on (etw vorhaben) then.
No. Appointment setting is a part of an outbound lead generation, and as we already know, that is something worth doing. Plus, there are at least a few tricks you can master to make this process easier. Pro tip: Use these outbound lead generation strategies to make your sales development more effective.Why would I be a good fit for appointment setter? ›
When interviewing appointment setters, the most suitable candidate will be energetic, persuasive, and target-driven. Be wary of candidates who demonstrate poor verbal, computer, and organizational skills. Completely free trial, no card required. Reach over 250 million candidates.Why Appointment setting is important? ›
Customers are more likely to purchase from businesses that are organized and efficient. When done right, the appointment setting gives your business more than just appointments. It also contributes to your professional and positive reputation, improves your efficiency, and increases your sales.What should I reply for confirmation? ›
- Thank you for confirming that information. ...
- Thanks for confirming. ...
- Thanks for providing confirmation. ...
- Thank you so much for confirming. ...
- Thank you for taking the time to confirm that information. ...
- Thank you for your confirmation of this information.
Hi (Name), you have an appointment on (Date and Time) at (Business Name) with (Consultant Name). Please reply YES to confirm or call (Phone Number) to reschedule. To confirm your appointment with (Business Name) on (Date and Time), please click the link: (Link to confirm appointment).How do you manage appointments? ›
- Set agendas ahead of time. ...
- Offer time and date options for appointments. ...
- Avoid fancy software applications. ...
- Make sure you really need a meeting. ...
- Minimize travel time. ...
- Schedule time for both preparation and debriefing. ...
- Separate personal and business appointments.
- Time-slot scheduling.
- Wave scheduling.
- Wave and walk-in appointment scheduling.
- Open appointment scheduling.
- Double scheduling.
- Cluster scheduling.
- Matrix scheduling.
- 40/20 scheduling.
The three schedule types are known as the Capacity schedule, Resource schedule, and Service schedule.
How do you ask for someone on the phone? ›
Say “Hello, this is (name)” to let people know who you are. If you answer the phone and the caller doesn't give his name, you can say “May I ask who's calling, please?”. Practise saying these simple phrases to help yourself feel confident at the start of any telephone conversation.
You can call me at your convenience – anytime, day or night. As for may vs. can, may is probably the more correct word to use (at least in a more formal sense), but can might sound more friendly in informal contexts.How do you say are you free to talk? ›
"Are you available?" "Are you available for a meeting/talk/etc." "Is now a good time?"How do you respond to availability? ›
Yes, I am available on day, date, month, at time am / pm." "Yes, I very much would like to interview with you at..." Yes, I can be available for an interview at several times during the week of..." Thank you for the invitation to interview for the [job position].How do you respond to a meeting invitation? ›
I thank you for the same. I hereby accept your kind invitation and confirm that I will be attending it on the given day. I am indeed looking forward to meeting you and other attendees, and have a fruitful discussion on this important subject matter. Have a nice day/ evening!How do you ask for a time slot at a meeting? ›
I hope you're doing well. I'd like to schedule a meeting with you next week to discuss [purpose of the meeting]. I'm available [mention two to three available dates and times]. If any of the above times work for you, please let me know by [deadline].What is an appointment answer? ›
Answer: An appointment is a formal date or plan to meet at the appointed time.What is a short word for appointment? ›
Appt. is a written abbreviation for appointment.How do I say I have an appointment? ›
Have an appointment vs Meet someone - English In A MinuteHow do you request someone? ›
- “Do you mind…?.”
- “Would you mind…?
- “Could I…?”
- “Would it be ok if…?”
- “Would it be possible…?”
- “Would you be willing to…?”
How do you ask? ›
- First, know what you want. ...
- Ground yourself in why you're doing what you're doing. ...
- You have to actually ASK for what you want. ...
- Be direct, clear, and specific about what you want. ...
- Be selective and targeted about who you ask.
- Go to Appointments.
- Select GP surgery appointments.
- Select Book a GP appointment.
- Select Which type of appointment should I book? and choose the type best suited to your needs.
The purpose of routine appointments is for general health queries, diagnoses, and monitoring of conditions (also known as non-urgent appointments). Routine appointments last for 10 minutes.Is it book or make an appointment? ›
Making a reservation guarantees a seat or place for you and others. When you book an appointment, it's for a place that caters to you other than restaurants. Like, beauty salons or doctor's offices. Booking an appointment guarantees a specific time to meet with a professional.What are the most effective strategies for securing an appointment? ›
- Focus on the right goal. ...
- Don't sound like a salesperson. ...
- Confirm that the prospect is available for the call. ...
- Share an elevator pitch. ...
- Ask good probing sales questions. ...
- Prepare for common sales objections. ...
- Build enough interest to close for the appointment.
You should also be able to find your NHS Number on any letter or document you have received from the NHS, including prescriptions, test results, and hospital referral or appointment letters. If you cannot find your NHS Number in these ways, you can ask your GP practice to help you.What do I do if I can't get an appointment with my doctor? ›
- Convey urgency and be thorough on the phone. ...
- Get a referral or see a different doctor. ...
- Go to urgent care or a walk-in clinic. ...
- See a telehealth provider.
Hello, my name is [say your first name]. I'm calling to book an appointment with Dr [name of GP] on [day you're available]. I'm calling to book an appointment with Dr [name of GP] as soon as possible please. Thanks, I'd like to come at 3pm on Tuesday.What are the types of appointment? ›
- Administration Appointments. ...
- Faculty Appointments. ...
- Staff Appointments. ...
- Temporary Appointments. ...
- Extra compensation. ...
- Non-Recurring payments. ...
- Non-Employee (Non-Compensated, Non-Academic) ...
- Rehiring Retirees.
Emergency appointments are for patients who have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait for a routine appointment.
What is appointment in hospital? ›
Hospital practice The admission of a physician to a hospital's staff, based on his/her credentials, work Hx, malpractice claims Hx, and reputation Medical practice A scheduled timeslot in which a person is examined by a physician during his/her normal office hrs.How do you use an appointment? ›
Appointment sentence example. I can make it to my appointment without you. I'll tell my receptionist to make you an appointment for next week. After a few questions, she hung up with an appointment scheduled for the following Saturday.What is the meaning of first appointment? ›
First Appointment means the appointment of a person not at the time of appointment holding any appointment under Government, even though he may have previously held such an appointment.How do I book an appointment by email? ›
- Write a clear subject line.
- Use a salutation.
- Introduce yourself (if necessary)
- Explain why you want to meet.
- Be flexible about time and place.
- Request a reply or confirmation.
- Send a reminder.
Customers are more likely to purchase from businesses that are organized and efficient. When done right, the appointment setting gives your business more than just appointments. It also contributes to your professional and positive reputation, improves your efficiency, and increases your sales.What factors should you consider when agreeing appointments? ›
- 1) Expertise in your industry. ...
- 2) Proximity to your business. ...
- 3) Ability to effectively use multiple channels to generate appointments. ...
- 4) Direct communication with the lead generator.
Formal meeting request with someone you already know
I'm writing this email to schedule a meeting concerning [main topic of your meeting]. If it's convenient, I would suggest meeting at [location, time and place]. Kindly confirm your availability and preference if you'd like to change the time or location.