The Traditional Way
Just about every salesperson spends time setting appointments each week. If you're lucky, you may have an assistant or even better, a business development team helping you. But very often, you’re handling it yourself. Traditionally, we make phone calls and we send emails trying to find a convenient time for a meeting. It will take on average 4-6 emails (and calls) going back and forth to set up an appointment and to confirm it. This can be challenging during the best of times.
These days, there's a much better way to schedule appointments using the latest add-on technology. By using a simple link on your email and a new appointment scheduling service, you can automatically link to your Calendar (either Google or Outlook), email and a webpage to set up an appointment.
So let me give you an example on how my appointment setting process improved, with a 20-percent increase in appointments and in less time.
Recent Example using the Latest Technology
Now when I send an email, I say: "I’d like to meet with you. Please click on the following link to find a good time for us to talk." When a prospect clicks on the link, a webpage pops up showing the available time on my calendar. All they have to do is click on the day and time that works for them and the following happens:
- A form pops up where they enter their: name, phone number, email address and any comments for the meeting
- As soon as they hit “Enter,” an email goes to them confirming the meeting, an email comes to me confirming the meeting - and then my calendar is updated with the meeting information.
The following are just some of the benefits:
- Reduced phone calls and emails
- Reduced phone and email tag
- Increased satisfaction by your customers and prospects
- Reduced time by you scheduling appointments
- Less mistakes on communications due to time zone issues
- Increased quality appointments by 20+ percent per week
We literally saw a 20% increase in appointments each week and spent less time doing it. Contacts can very quickly get on my calendar and get an appointment set up without spending too much time.
So here are the two apps that we like. The one we're using right now is YouCanBook.me - it’s a British company that specializes in integrating with Google Apps. So if you have Google calendars and Google gmail, this product works really well. It’s very reasonably priced and is extremely helpful for companies that are out of time zones or overseas because the recipient can change the time zones based on their city so they’ll see the times in their own time zone - which again saves you a lot of time and confusion.
Another very good leading app is called TimeTrade.com. They work with both Google and Outlook Calendars.... and integrate with Salesforce.com.
Pricing ranges from using a free version to $100 per user per month
If you currently make 10 appointments per week (say 40 per month) and you increase your productivity by 20 percent, you're looking at 8 extra meetings per month or 96 per year. How many meetings does it take to close a deal? You can do the calculation of how much more business you will close this year.
... and why aren't you looking into this technology right now?
Photo credit: winnond-freedigitalphotos